The Mandalorian: Star Wars Live Action Series


Higher Further Faster
So of course I have been watching every episode as they come out but right now I'm watching chapter 15 and I just hit pause because I cannot believe what is happening on my screen right now. Is this real?

I don't know if I can bare to keep watching... 🙈


Ready for the mosh pit, shaka brah



I mean the face CG was a bit iffy as usual but HOLY SHEEEEIIIIT HYPE

Also, that post credits scene "The Book Of Boba Fett" Coming December 2021

Exfuckingcuse me?! DId you just announce another series?!?! Or is Din's story over and Mandalorian S3 is gonna be Boba?! WHAT


Harbinger O Great Justice
Ok, so I have to hit on the exceptionally impactful moments for me:

First was the Imperial trooper talking about all of the millions who died aboard the Death Stars, and saying that Alderaan was a small price to pay to wipe out terrorism. That's some DAMN topical political Star Wars right in line with Return of the Jedi's commentary about Vietnam. I have to say that setting that line as an opening for an episode that's gonna be watched and re-watched a billion times by the fanboys getting what they want as a payoff in the end is pretty fucking brilliant for putting that kind of objective perspective on what and who the "bad guys" are and how they're motivated, especially after last episode.

Then was the confrontation around Fett being a clone. That's a HUGE deal in the scope of what it means to survivors of the Clone Wars, and especially with The Book of Boba Fett. Not only that, but it also helped to establish that what defines someone as a "Mandalorian" is still really contentious for Bo-Katan, and shows where she still has personal weakness from what happened with Maul.

Dark Troopers. I still remember the Mark III Dark Troopers from the old Star Wars Essential Guides and Dictionaries that I had as a kid, and they absolutely delivered the Terminator-like vibe that they had back then. It's genuinely terrifying watching just how outmatched Din is even with all of his armor, tools, and skills, he almost lost that fight. This set the stakes amazingly well for just how much they're meant to be a tool of intimidation and feeling inevitably unstoppable. They don't go for efficiency – their approach of hammering through things and methodically beating things to death in a way that other people could watch, because it's one designed to terrorize & demoralize. They are perfectly portrayed.

Moff Gideon is an excellent villain because he is always content to have someone else lose if he can't win. As a former ISB Officer he's the same type of terrifying that Thrawn is, but just ever-so-slightly less capable at orchestrating plans. What he's still a master of is destabilizing others, to hamstring an opponent's victory. His fight with Din shows what two capable, motivated, and well-equipped humans look like in the Star Wars universe. This conflict and everything that it sets up works exactly according to the plan that Din knows, but it also fails exactly within the acceptable parameters that Gideon is comfortable with – which made me nervous, because I knew why.

The moment Din walked in with Gideon prisoner and holding the Darksaber, my heart dropped into my stomach. Because of Rebels, I knew that Bo-Katan only originally got the Darksaber given to her because it was recovered from Maul, and there was no battle to be had to claim it when Sabine gave it to her – as that was "hers" because she was the closest thing to a rightful ruler of Mandalore that remained, and that's who the blade belongs to. As soon as it was taken again, that's not the case any more – and even less-so because she didn't win it in combat the first time she received it. She absolutely can not accept it outside of combat, because it would be the antithesis of everything that the blade itself stands for, which is why I love that Gideon is the one who gets to goad on that it's the STORY that's important. The re-establishment of Mandalore relies SOLELY on the Legend of the Mandalorian warrior and what that represents. – That's why this is Din's story. It's also why it's important that he saves Grogu when Moff Gideon realizes that he's trapped and tries to take out as many as he can before attempting to kill himself. You don't want him to die easily or on his own terms, but it also sets up for what the relationship that the Mandalorians have with Force users in the way that Din defines them.

Obviously, the second a single X-Wing shows up and it's not the pair of X-Wings that'd be trapper Wolf (using them frequently in the series was an excellent way for that to feel like a Republic intervention for a moment). But literally the second that it came in, I knew. THIS is how they set the scope of what they're dealing with. You watch Luke take out an entire platoon of Mark III Dark Troopers, single-handedly, without breaking a sweat. This was easily his "Rogue One Darth Vader scene" parallel, and the slow reveal of his hands, the lightsaber, the fighting style, and everything was brilliantly coordinated. On top of that, the other Mandalorians are afraid of him and don't want to let him in. It was excellent seeing old school Luke, and my only single critique is really that he didn't use the child's name after it was clear that he and Din had such an important bond, but Luke is often overly formal like that when he's in a situation that might go sideways, like in Return of the Jedi (another good reason for Fett to be elsewhere). After all of this though, Din knows without a doubt that there is no way that he can offer Grogu the kind of protection that he needs from the sort of things that could come after him. Now he needs to stay alive and make things safe for when they can be together again. That's why it's extra important that this is the defining moment when he removes his helmet. Not ONLY is he rejecting the extremist Death Watch cult creed around being a Mandalorian, but he's doing this for a Force user which fundamentally redefines everything about what a Mandalorian is – and HE is that new template. He is literally THE Mandalorian that defines what that term means for Star Wars.

Then we get the after credit with the assault on Jabba's palace. I love how it ends on the Frank Frazetta style King Conan shot of Boba Fett & Fennec Shand. At the end of this episode, it was clear that Din is going to need to become a ruler and a role model of what represents Mandalorians, which means that it's time to explore a foil of those things. Fett has a similar background as Din, but he's a clone of a foundling child of the Watch. So I think that "The Book of Boba Fett" is going to be about defining a foil to Din – not necessarily as an enemy, but to show the bounds of what is and isn't something that defines a new Mandalorian. This is especially important, because Din has to be the one to be able to unite Boba Fett with Bo-Katan under a single code, which means that we need more context into just how difficult that's going to be, while also seeing the types of struggles that Din is going to have to face if he wants to be an effective leader.

The series has been brilliant at building itself piece-by-piece, and I'm nothing but thrilled about it.



Ready for the mosh pit, shaka brah
Dark Troopers. I still remember the Mark III Dark Troopers from the old Star Wars Essential Guides and Dictionaries that I had as a kid
For me they're extra nostalgic because I remember playing Dark Forces on my brother's Amiga when I was a kid, which is where they first appeared.
Not sure how dangerous they were in that though because at that age I played games like this with cheat codes turned on :wacky:

I wonder how they did Luke's voice. When Mando asked him whether he is a Jedi and he said "I am" my immediate thought was that it was recycled from Return of the Jedi's "I am a Jedi, like my father before me" line. But he has some more unique lines too. Was it a soundalike? I don't think a voice actor was credited, only Mark Hamill. But Mark Hamill himself can't make his voice sound like this anymore. Or maybe they managed to adjust it in post? I need a making-of featurette, stat.
Mr. Ite
Great essay.
For my part, I think it was the strongest choice for the story, as I immediately jumped to it in Episode 4 when the [yojimbo] told Din about the beacon. I quieted that thought with three reasons not to do it:

1. budget/CG concerns
2. toxic culture around Luke caused by TLJ
3. the fact that Mando's distinct identity is hard fought, and touching the Star Wars of Star Wars threatens that.

In the end though, it's simply the strongest choice for the narrative. It does rely on prior Star Wars knowledge in a way that Bo Katan, Boba, Ahsoka, and even the Child didn't. This reliance informed how flashy his intro was -- or perhaps I'm just jaded from Zack's obnoxious entrance into FF7R, where a new player would have no context to appreciate it. But, as a deus ex machina, I didn't feel like the pomp and circumstance of Luke's entrance was too egregiously unwarranted.

R2D2 though, took me right out. I was having genuine emotions about Din's reveal, how his arc came to fulness, how well-crafted the story was to have him see the folly of cultural zealotry, just in time to do what he could not before -- show someone his face, bearing his love for them. Ohh! It still makes me verklempt. And then R2-feckin-D2 shows up with a BEEP-Bo-BWEEW here's the fanservice bucket goddamnit get out of here you nearsighted scrap pile!

There's a reason for R2 to be there in the context of Luke (his buddy is never far behind him) but, as they used him, he didn't add anything relevant for this story and could have/should have stayed in the X-Wing. And it's not that they couldn't have found a way to make R2 relevant -- Luke showing care for his astromech could have helped convince Din that he would show the same tenderness for Grogu. That Din's relationship with droids has matured since S01E01 could have also factored into the scene -- but as it was, we didn't really have time for any of that, so R2 just shows up to pluck our nostalgia strings, and my nostalgia strings are really frayed from constant plucking -- these days, that kind of manipulation has the opposite effect on me -- I recoil from that warm fuzzy feeling, and grow cold. That I had a positive reaction to Luke at all is to this show's credit. For me, R2 was a bridge too far, especially how he was used.

That's what I think that video essay articulates so well. Your mileage may vary for this show in a serious way.
Mr. Ite

I had a good debate with my friend about the issue I had with a particular bit of fan service that I ranted about above. I noticed how good it felt to debate a particular story choice as I used to -- with the debate being an act of love for that thing, rather than dual rants fueled by bitterness or cynicism -- like, even though my friend and I disagreed, neither position felt misguided or stubborn. Just -- what a good feeling :)
Unsurprising but... I am a little unnerved by this trend of hounding people from their jobs for expressing opinions, however repulsive those opinions may be. There's something about it that smacks of Stalinism: "Of course you're allowed to criticise my regime, but you should have known there would be consequences." That said, it was impossible for Disney to keep her on. I am sure she will live to regret those tweets.
Mr. Ite
Your job is not a right. If it’s no longer profitable to rehire you, what does it matter if it’s because you mishandled finances, harassed your colleagues, or used your public platform to say abhorrent stuff?

There’s a lot of discussion around “cAnCeL CuLtUrE” in the theatre/film community right now, and the whole things seems so fucking dishonest. When people aren’t hired because they’re fat or old or not-white or not-related to the director or not-fucking the producer nobody gives a single shit, but the minute a company decides that someone’s press releases (e.g. twitter posts) don’t pair with their public image goals, suddenly it’s all libtards and snowflakes.
We did it, y'all, we combined the three most contentious topics on the internet into one news story. The Holocaust, US politics, and Star Wars.

Irony: Calling out metaphorical use of Stalinism, ignoring post beneath it which calls obviously not literal Nazis literal Nazis.

The posts are very similar, they're both instagram images insulting the victims of the Holocaust by comparing the poster's political opposition to Nazis. But one is okay, because it also insults Trumpists.

If their bosses had any integrity, if this was about showing respect to the victims of the Holocaust, rather than appeasing a Twitter mob, then they'd both be gone. But it's not.
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