The Mandalorian other Star Wars shows may be repeating the same mistakes of the past. Read on to find out what I mean.
Color me mildly concerned. Okay, I’ll admit, concerned is an exaggeration. I’ll say I have my head tilted, my arms crossed, and a tentative eye to the future. I am generally not one to poo-poo an idea from the studios just because I don’t like it. When all said and done, execution is what matters most, but I don’t believe all fans have the same perspective as me. Many seem to care more about “what” happens as opposed to “how” it’s done.
So, what am I talking about? I’m looking at all the news surrounding The Mandalorian and worry it’s making the same mistakes of the past. So, what am I talking about here? What mistakes of the past could The Mandalorian and co. be making? Well, to explain that, I’ll have to take you back to the past.
The Prequel Mistake
Here’s the deal. I don’t like the Prequel Trilogy. While I do think there is a kernel of a good idea for the trilogy as a whole, and it had groundbreaking visuals for the time, it didn’t work as a story. The scripts were poor, the acting was subpar due to bad direction, and it just didn’t feel like Star Wars. Gone was the trademark grittiness that the original series had, and gone was the simple archetypal storytelling that characterized the original.
Instead, it was all in favor of plot-heavy story with lots of expository dialogue and little focus on characters. However, in spite of my main issues with it, this trilogy had an uphill battle from day one.
Nearly two decades had passed since the Original Trilogy came out. In that time, we faced a drought of Star Wars. All we had to fill in the blanks was our own imaginations. And, you know what? Our imaginations are pretty dope.
No matter what George Lucas came up with, the thing inside our own heads was bound to be better. Remember that “trademark Star Wars” grittiness I brought up? That’s admittedly some baggage I brought to the franchise. I imagined a world more similar to the one delivered decades prior. And that’s the problem. It would never have lived up to what we wanted.
Sure, fans may be changing their tune about the Prequels now (though I’ll never understand why), but I still maintain this was a mistake for George Lucas to pursue. Had he gone about it immediately following the originals, I may be on board with it. But there was simply too much time for the fandom to grow and become inundated with its own ideas. Now, this leads us into…
The Disney Era Of Movies
Now, here’s where I differ from most of our readers. I really liked Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yes, it was a rehash of A New Hope, but I felt like it needed to be to reintroduce the familiar tone of the original trilogy. The Last Jedi, I maintain, is a classic film that will stand the test of time better than most movies. The Rise of Skywalker, to me, was an unmitigated disaster.
As far as anthology movies go, I enjoyed Rogue One, but it was ultimately one big chunk of fan service with a weak and passive protagonist. If you’re a fan of world-building and Star Wars fan service, chances are you love that movie more than me. And then there’s Solo. I thought the film was a slap to the face of Han Solo. Even worse is that it featured a Han that acted nothing like Han. It was a bit safe, and if I’m being honest, it would have been totally fine if it didn’t feature the titular character at the forefront.
So, what was the mistake here? It was honestly almost worse than what George Lucas did with his Prequels. While Lucas had the imaginations to overcome, Disney had the Expanded Universe. In the EU novels, we saw the story continue for all of our heroes. So, in addition to imaginations, fans had actual stories in their heads they wanted to see play out. And when it became clear it wouldn’t be a one-to-one adaptation of their stories, they went each movie with a comparison mindset.
But that’s not all. By this time, the internet was fully of age. Fans had gone through the Prequels and been burnt. They came to one simple conclusion: They know better than anyone in charge what needs to be done.
Personally, I don’t think that was the main problem, though it didn’t help.
The main problem is that Disney should have abandoned the existing story and just jumped straight into the unknown. Give us the Star Wars feel without the characters we know. As I stated above, fans clearly think they know the characters better than anyone else, so there’s no point in fighting that battle. Instead of getting caught up in the timeline/character quagmire with films like Rogue One or Solo, or the Skywalker quagmire of the main saga, they should have done their own thing.
The Mandalorian And Disney+
Now, this brings us back to The Mandalorian, which I think could be making the same mistakes as above. Now, I’ve made it clear that I think the show is fine. It’s not great. It’s not exactly what I want to see as the future of Star Wars, but clearly, a lot of fans feel differently. To me, I still see it as them playing it safe. But I will give them this: they didn’t utilize familiar characters. Sure, they may have utilized characters who LOOK like characters we know (Boba Fett, Yoda, IG-88), but I can let that slide.
But after its first successful season…they seem to be making some familiar steps. First up, we have the rumor about Ahsoka Tano. She is reportedly in the mix for Season 2 and could even be getting her own show. What’s more, is that we have Temuera Morrison returning to the franchise. He could be playing Boba Fett or, as one of our writers thinks, he could be playing Rex of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels fame.
So, what’s the problem? Well, these are beloved new characters who we know nothing about in live-action form. Those who have consumed the series have likely already created backstories for them, and the live-action show will be competing with it.
It’s the same mistake all over again. If we’re to believe these rumors, it sounds like Disney will continue introducing familiar characters and create series revolving around them. Rather than expand the universe, they continue to meddle in the timelines we all know and love. They utilize characters we are all familiar with and continue to make this show more about one continuous struggle.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Star Wars to be more. I ready to move beyond this forty-year time period. I’m ready to see what the greater galaxy holds. For the first time since I was introduced to the franchise as three-year-old, I’m ready to go into a Star Wars story without any preconceived notions about what’s to come.
For once, I ask that I go into a Star Wars story and not feel the need to point at the screen and say “oh, it’s the thing from that thing I know!”
Wouldn’t that be nice?
How do you feel about this? Do you agree The Mandalorian could be making the same mistakes as other Star Wars movies? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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