For a few weeks now, Star Wars fans have shared their deep enthusiasm for the second season of the Mandalorian series, which will be broadcast on Disney +. The series appears to be successful where the Star Wars postlogy that began in 2015 with The Force Awakens and ended in 2019 with The Rise of Skywalker failed. As the series’ popularity skyrocketed with its final two episodes, let’s try to understand the keys to that success by analyzing episodes 5 and 6 of The Mandalorian. We also invite you to reread our article explaining how Rogue One and The Mandalorian correct certain mistakes in the Disney trilogy.
A better understanding of the saga
This is the argument that fans of the Mandalorian series make the most: Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni managed to capture the essence of Star Wars. Indeed, it would be wrong to summarize the first six films just by the prism of the family saga. Star Wars, and especially the original trilogy, is also a deeply kinephile work, a kind of western in space. Much of a new hope synthesizes many of the topos of the classic western.
With The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni give everything, multiply the references to Westerns and take up the most important codes. Episode 6 is also a textbook case in several ways: the poses of Boba Fett and the laser machine gun used by the stormtroopers are reminiscent of some of the greatest classics of the genre such as La Savage Horde by Sam Peckinpah and Once Upon a Revolution by Sergio Leone. This influence can even be felt in the music of the composer Ludwig Göransson, whose orchestrations seem to be influenced more by Ennio Morricone than by John Williams.
The series also doesn’t forget the Japanese sword films that deeply influenced George Lucas, such as Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress. An influence that we could find in the fifth episode of season two, particularly in the aesthetics of the Magistrate’s fortress Morgan Elsbeth or in the fight that concludes the episode. A quality that is unfortunately missing in the Postlogie. Instead of capturing the essence of Star Wars, the Disney trilogy films stayed way too close to the original trilogy. Many have found strange similarities between A New Hope and The Force Awakens following the same narrative steps.
Better fan service management
Episodes 5 and 6 of The Mandalorian made a deep impression on fans of the saga, especially because they marked the official return of hugely popular characters: Ahsoka Tano (in episode 5) and Boba Fett (in episode 6). . The Postlogie had been deeply criticized by Star Wars fans, particularly because of the way it handled fan service: the production seemed to follow a specification and felt obliged to bring back almost all of the main characters from the original trilogy. Sometimes it falls into a cartoon, like the return of Lando Calrissian, who makes brief appearances in The Rise of Skywalker. Also, the way the characters were treated seemed like sheer betrayal, according to some fans. Mark Hamill himself had criticized Luke Skywalker’s development in The Last Jedi.
Errors that the Mandalorian series does not seem to reproduce. First, the series seems to use the saga’s historical characters needed for the plot and therefore seems to disobey the alleged wishes of fans. Hence, the presence of Ahsoka Tano, who is also the first to appear in live action, is useful for the story as Din Djarin has been exploring the Jedi to entrust them to L ‘child since the end of season one. And it would be difficult to expose any betrayal of the character, as we find Ahsoka Tano right where Star Wars: Rebels viewers left them: in search of Thrawn and Ezra Bridger.
The same goes for Boba Fett, whose return is particularly useful for the scenario: Din Djarin finds an ally in his search for Grogu. In addition, their relationship will no doubt enable Din Djarin to better understand the Mandalorian heritage. Again, the character is not revealed: if Boba Fett was perceived as the antagonist in the original trilogy, it is remembered that he was a bounty hunter. He was therefore not subject to the empire, but kept contracts.
A successful villain
At the end of the first season of The Mandalorian, the character was introduced by Moff Gideon, the series’ main antagonist. And the least we can say is that Moff Gideon is a particularly successful villain. Gideon is a mysterious character who wants to revive the Empire from its ashes. Interpreted by the excellent Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), he is also very charismatic and seems extremely dangerous. An impression made clearer by the fact that he is in possession of the dark sword.
The fact that he is looking for the child also adds to the danger he poses in the eyes of the viewer, as his target is a deeply innocent being. Episode 5 also teased the return of another villain particularly cherished by fans of the saga: Grand Admiral Thrawn. The presence of these two antagonists in the series is all the more interesting in that they complement each other: Moff Gideon appears terribly powerful, while Thrawn’s strategic genius is known to everyone.
In the postlogy, the antagonists were extremely poorly managed … Kylo Ren was much too psychologized at first. If one can understand the interest in creating a character whose constant hesitation between the dark side and the light side of the Force would tip the scales one way or the other, that will in the end be mitigated. both its dangerousness in the public eye, while nipping the surprise in the bud as the character expects to return to the safe side. In addition, it is difficult to find the slightest complementarity between Kylo Ren and Snoke.
Better articulation with the rest of the saga
As mentioned earlier, the Star Wars postlogy expanded the Skywalker family saga. A tendency that has been heavily criticized at Disney. Fans rightly argued that Star Wars was a universe rich enough to break away from Anakin’s and Luke’s family as much as possible, and advised screenwriters to take an interest in what they got in Star Wars before Legends works that have not become canonical.
In The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni do not seem to be haunted by the weight of George Lucas’ films and cleverly manage to draw many elements from the Star Wars Extended Universe. The Dragon Krayt from the first episode of the second season comes from the video game Knights of the Old Republic. Ahsoka Tano was created by Dave Filoni in the animated series The Clone Wars. The dark sword wielded by Moff Gideon is a key element in the Star Wars animated series. and the planet Tython, featured in the official canon in episode 6 of the second season, is one of the locations of the video game Star Wars: The Old Republic. The series also connects the Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens by narrating the beginnings of the New Order, as evidenced by a scene in Episode 4.
Baby Yoda versus BB-8
The Mandalorian series has had its mascot since its first episode: Baby Yoda. L’Enfant is absolutely adorable and the undisputed new star of the internet. Postlogy films also have their mascots: the BB-8 droid introduced in The Force Awakens and the Porgs, those birds that live on the planet Ahch-To. Baby Yoda, however, is of a different nature: he’s a real character.
Unlike BB-8 and the Porgs, Baby Yoda has an awfully mysterious past that began in Episode 5. Additionally, the relationship he has forged with Din Djarin, whom he considers his father, is one of the main factors behind the audience’s attachment to the series. His reaction when the Mandalorian uttered his name Grogu for the first time moved more than one, and the introductory dialogue in Episode 6 is particularly moving. Unlike BB-8 and the Porgs in particular, Grogu is at the center of many script issues, and his abduction by the Dark Troopers at the end of Episode 6 is clear evidence of this.