So, here we are: two seasons in, and pretty much everyone I know who started out cautiously optimistic about Mando last year finished this season giddy, emotional, and more than satisfied once the final episode hit last Friday.
But what does that tell us about Star Wars, and Star Wars fans, in general?
I’m not here to do a play by play of Mando’s 16 episodes thus far. What I’m more interested in is how the whole thing has progressed since the advent of Disney Wars all the way back with their first cinematic incursion, and where we seem to be going.
If you’ll remember, I was also cautiously optimistic when that one dropped. I could see its faults, but they’d handled things better than I expected in some areas and had left themselves room to grow. I remember feeling a distinct “that’s it?” at the end of TFA, but then started making up scenarios in my head and felt that we were near a good path that we’d be able to fully step onto, eventually.
In 2016 we had Rogue One, which I loved every facet of and now consider pretty much on par with the best big screen Star Wars we’ve had over the years. I enjoy it so much I now consider it an integral part of ANH and will never not watch them back to back, given the opportunity.
Then, in the year of our great despair 2017, TLJ came out. The less said about it, the better, but I did pen a giant ass rant over the whole shitshow way back when. And still couldn’t tackle all the cancer it served up on a shit platter. Good luck picturing that.
Solo was a step down from RO in terms of side stories, but a somewhat entertaining, if flawed action film, with some pitfalls that came from them trying to cram so much backstory into it we could’ve found out about Han’s favourite left sock given a bit more runtime…
I’m not even going to deign TRoS with more than a sentence, cause what in seven levels of space slug vomit even was that? Then again, where could they have gone from TLJ, anyway?
With the poor box office of Solo and the deluge of hate, disappointment, and vitriol floating around both of the final entries in what can only be described as a poorly (if at all) thought out trilogy, Disney claimed “Star Wars fatigue”. Because after waiting a decade for more of it on the big screen, it was obviously the ungodly amount of no less than FIVE movies over as many years that really bothered the fans.
After the MCU had literally flooded cinemas over the past decade and changed the perspective on what actions films can do and what a shared universe was, it was this ungodly number of movies that doomed Disney Wars on the big screens...
Not the fuckheaded plots, not the disregard to character history and evolution, not the missed opportunities regarding the new characters, not the flippant reaction to valid concerns raised by fans early on (with not just the movies), not the fact that actors and directors alike were so full of themselves and hopped up on their own supply that they couldn’t be arsed to extend an olive branch to the old fandom that felt slighted or ignored, not Chuck Wendig tweeting diarrhea gifs at fans calling him out on his timeline inconsistencies… Nah, it was TOO MUCH Star Wars.
People who grew up being heavily influenced by this franchise, whose lives and personalities had been shaped by it (to some extent), and who still loved it dearly, had suddenly had too much of a good thing, and it was time to stop.
And after this brilliant conclusion, what did Disney do?
They announced more Star Wars than we’ve ever had before combined, coming to small screens everywhere, from now to basically eternity, once it’s all said and done.
The trend of streaming being the focus of the franchise going forward had been felt before, with the Andor, Kenobi, and (supposedly) Boba Fett series sweetening the pot for Disney+ (which still ain’t worth it). But now, it looks like from December 2021 onwards, and especially 2022-2023, we’re going to have a whole shitload of Star Wars (both animated and not) coming at us at a rate we’ve never dealt with before.
So what does this tell us about the whole thing, apart from the fact that Disney, and movie execs in general, are not only hypocrites but also spineless gasbags who can’t admit they were wrong?
Oh, you think this is some brand new slate of shit they’re gearing up for now that they’ve seen the error of their ways? Fuck no! This was always planned for, especially since the MCU did as well as it did, they weren’t going to let the franchise simmer, and they evidently didn’t.
They’re still going to milk it for all it’s worth, they’re just able to do it on the back of arguably their biggest hit since they relaunched everything, with mainstream and hardcore fans alike.
If you think about it, The Mandalorian is the single post-2015 Star Wars film/series product (that wasn’t an animation) that didn’t draw loud critiques or enraged at least some sizable portion of the fandom one way or another.
Sure, there’s people out there arguing that the gunfights in Mando aren’t on par with something like John Wick, for instance. Yeah, that was a critique of the show I was faced with. Almost drove my face clean through a wall.
You see, some people are stupid and their parents never told them that, growing up. Those contextually challenged cantaloupes are now comparing Star Wars’ traditional and thoroughly unequaled examples of military prowess, tactics, and acumen (this is sarcasm) with a gun-fu based movie lead by a dude who could probably shoot his way out of a war single-handedly in real life.
Worse, they’re your coworkers. Your bosses. Your shop attendants whose sole purpose in life seems to be telling you they’re there should you need them for anything. I know, Karen, I have eyes and you’re as big as that frozen foods display you’re leaning against, making it tilt.
These are the same people who are harping at Gina Carano over whatever perceived offense they think she gave that week. The woman can’t even post a meme without flaring every Karen in a North-American-hemisphere radius up and putting up petitions to “cancel” her.
So, where is Star Wars headed, anyway?
Well, for one, it seems to be slowly inching closer to Marvel. There were rumours before of Solo being the start of their MCU-style universe, but those plans seem to have been canned for the moment.
Now, with Mando doing so much world building and expanding, it could very well be their next focal point. And judging by the timeline most of their upcoming shows seem to be centered around, it may well be that we’re going to get crossover characters and events and an even more fucked up timeline.
So, yay, Star Wars!
Then again, their track record is still spotty, at best. The sequel trilogy’s finale drew in less money than the glorified side quest that was Rogue One. That, coupled with the general positivity towards Mando may mean that Star Wars is still at its best when given the original Lucas treatment. You know, before George started thinking he could write and direct his own love stories and basically ruined a lot of people’s hopes at a career (*cough* Hayden, Jake, Ahmed *cough*).
It still looks like that particular, original stretch of time had the best characters, the most interesting tech, and the right amount of Jedi and non-Jedi affairs to keep people guessing in the long run.
More than that, it was the product that dealt with the OT and the characters therein with the most respect and reverence thus far, alongside Rogue One. And they did so while ticking plenty of boxes in terms of a diverse cast that pretty much everybody loves, man, woman, Ugnaught, or droid.
You know, apart from the aforementioned Gina Carano, a legit badass and a pretty damn good role model for anyone’s daughter (and I say this as an expecting father of one), whom some prim bitches (both male and female) majoring in gender studies would love to see fired because she doesn’t quite fit their limited view of what a strong woman should be, and also doesn’t give two shits about their screeching because she’s more mentally sane than they’ll ever be, even after getting literally punched and kicked in the head for a living.
Have I mentioned you can also follow us on Parler and Gab, @GungHoGeeks and @Grizzlyface, respectively? Do it.
I don’t really know where this rant was supposed to be going, and I’m not sure about Star Wars, either, but a few things are for certain:
1. John Favreau needs to be cloned. As does Dave Filoni.
The team he put together and had run Mando for two seasons delivered some awesome content, and judging from The Book of Boba Fett announcement, I think their stock is high with everyone at the moment. Also, anybody who puts Bill Burr in a film and has me forget he’s Bill Burr deserves even more credit. I couldn’t believe the guy’s turn from raging tangerine to someone I actively cared about in the context of the show.
2. People will always moan about something.
There’s more than nine billion of us out there, and at least half of us are capable of critical thought. Ok, maybe that’s a bit optimistic. There’s no pleasing everyone, and not everything should be for everyone, but as I’ve said before, you can pass the torch without burning the house down.
4. Licensing out SW products is still piss-poor, overall.
We’ve yet to get a single, truly memorable experience out of gaming, and the milking is going hard here as well as in comics. Books seem to be finding their footing, ever so slightly (thank the universe for Thrawn and Zahn’s past and future trilogies). Also, the numbering of this point is out of sequence because this is a Star Wars article.
3. Don’t get your hopes up.
For all we know, everything hitting on all cylinders with Mando was a flash in the pan. We may never get ensemble casts that are this fun, and we may never come across such compelling new characters (both main and supporting). And there may never be another Razor Crest (RIP in bits and pieces, you sweet, sweet hunk of junk). Further, be on your guard. Don’t let future products off the hook just because this one actually felt like the Star Wars of old, with all the positive emotions and drawbacks that entailed.
6. There will be at least one cunt calling us Disney cucks for this piece.
And that’s fine. We know who he is and where he lives. Alone. With his inflatable fuck doll, Cheetos reserve, and live-in bugs.
Thanks for reading, and have as nice a day as you deserve!
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