The Mandalorian is the Best Disney Star Wars Release to Date
Congratulations Disney, you finally did it! Finally decided to allow writers to create storylines rather than the marketing department! The Mandalorian is by far the best thing to come out of Disney Imagineers’ brains since they acquired the Star Wars Universe from George Lucas.
The first live-action Star Wars television show, at least since the Battle for Endor and the strange Star Wars Holiday Special, is something fans have been clamoring for. Disney brought in Jon Favreau to write the storylines for the series. A smart decision based on his experience with the Clone Wars series and Solo film.
Disney Star Wars Bias
I admit I am terribly skeptical of anything Disney plans on doing with the Star Wars franchise. Outside of Galaxy’s Edge in its theme parks, the movies have really been letdowns filled with way too much irrelevant shallow fan boy nostalgia for my liking.
Enter The Mandalorian. It took me a long time to get into the series mainly because I was put-off by an onslaught of “Baby Yoda” memes everywhere I looked. My stubbornness wouldn’t allow me to participate in the apex of the hype. So I waited.
This Thanksgiving weekend, I finally had some time to binge the first season and the first 5 episodes of The Mandalorian’s second season. I was blown away.
The Grey Area of the Galaxy
For someone who grew up on the Star Wars Original Trilogy, this show is everything I ever wanted that subsequent movie films could never deliver on. While the movies have had endless call-backs to the original movies, these nostalgic moments were rarely used to add depth to the already existing Universe.
The Madalorian brings the much needed depth the Star Wars Galaxy. The show exists in the gray area of a galaxy undergoing a massive regime change from the fascist Empire to the “radical” Rebel Alliance. There are holdouts from the Empire still fighting. Storm Troopers still missing shots. The black market for crime and bounty hunting still going strong. It’s a galaxy in disarray after the second Death Star was destroyed and the initial celebration did not last.
There are many call-backs to the originals during the show which places The Madalorian timeline a few short years after the destruction of second Death Star. It takes place 9 years after the Battle of Yavin. Which for the less fanatical Star Wars fan means about 9 years after New Hope – Episode 4.
One call-back I enjoyed was in Season 2 where Mando shows up to a fighting arena for a meeting with gangster Gor Koresh, and two Gamorrean guards are squaring off in the ring. Not only is this callback fun for fans of the original, but this also adds a little context to the nature of the Gamorreans.
Of course the biggest fan-boy nostalgia moment had to be in the Season 2 premier when (SPOILER ALERT) The Marshal shows up wearing what appears to be Boba Fett’s armor. The episode later goes into great detail about how The Marshal obtained this from Jawas. A perfect example of how The Madalorian goes to great lengths to not waste anything by providing additional layers to build the universe around it.
Honorable mention: The humanization of the Tusken Raiders. So crazy that Din can communicate with them. I mean, other than the raping and pillaging they’re known for, they seem like fine people willing to lend a hand to kill a sand dragon.
Then there’s the lovable Grogu, or as he will go down in meme history: Baby Yoda. It took me a couple of episodes before I warmed up to this character. I originally thought it was Disney’s marketing department gone wild again. But as the story and characters have developed, Grogu’s addition to the storyline and cast of The Madalorian is absolutely perfect.
And Then They Bring in CGI Luke Skywalker
Then in the finale of the series a cloak figure shows up and starts sabering in half Dark Troopers on Moff Gideon’s ship. To anyone who’s a casual fan, knows it’s Luke. The only question that remains as Skywalker approaches the blast doors is – how are they going to pull off a 1994 version of Mark Hammil?
When the hood is pushed back, Luke Skywalker is revealed!
But wait…is it?
At first, I wasn’t sure if this was another actor with make-up or a CGI version of Luke Skywalker. It kinda looked like Jedi Luke, but in a weird sort of way. As odd as the CGI version of Luke was it seemed close enough to produce the desired effect. The fact that this can actually be done is amazing, and I’m sure we’ll see more going forward in Disney’s Star Wars universe. Hopefully, the technology makes CGI Luke a little less
The Mandalorian is Star Wars
The Mandalorian feels like Star Wars. Serious. Action. A joke here and there to not take itself too seriously. To me, this is what the originals were all about. And I’m not even going to hesitate that The Mandalorian will exceed either the prequels or the Disney trilogy some day.
It wasn’t about Rey’s parents, or Fin’s love interest, or some CGI animation series for kids. Star Wars was always meant to be a fun ride. The Mandalorian is and it’s the purest continuation of the original trilogy to date.
I’m hooked. After that conclusion to Season 2, I’m looking forward to what is in store for The Mandalorian Season 3!