Dr. Mandalorian or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Star Wars
The Mandalorian was awesome. All you have to do is spend three minutes on the internet to realize that consensus. But what's more important for me is not the Mandalorian itself but what it made me feel for the Star Wars franchise as a whole. It reignited my love of this universe and its lore in a way recent installments hadn't. And, probably most controversially, it made me accept the fact that my favorite Star Wars trilogy is often its most despised: the prequels.
But let's back up a bit to discuss the recent climate of Star Wars. I am not a fan of the new trilogy. I think the writers have taken the story in a terrible direction that I'm just not interested in. The Force Awakens left me asleep. The Last Jedi left me annoyed. And The Rise of Skywalker left me laughing at its absurdity.
But the Mandalorian doesn't take place during the same time period. Not entirely. It takes place after Return of the Jedi, amidst the confusion, chaos, and lawlessness of a fractured Empire and a young New Republic. This era is filled with all sorts of storytelling opportunities that have made me eager for season two. But more than that, it highlights, even tangentially, the political themes that have made the Star Wars universe so appealing. The Empire was evil and authoritarian. But it worked! It made the universe function. Freedom rose in the wake of its destruction, but so did fear and panic.
These types of political consequences and nuances played a huge roll in the prequels. It's what I loved about them in the first place. Don't get me wrong, the prequels certainly have their problems, but Star Wars is indeed a story of politics (among other things). The Mandalorian made me realize how politics, whether it be direct or indirect, can set the stage for some awesome stories.
Even the new trilogy, which I truly disliked, was built upon political undertones. Upon a struggle for control of a diverse and, at its core, chaotic galaxy. That's what the Mandalorian allowed me to realize. That this universe is awesome. Its characters. Its worlds. Its conflicts. And even the installments I disliked allowed me to revisit it. So good or bad, I vote to have Disney continue telling stories in a galaxy far, far away...but please, make them good. We're begging you.