This newest Mandalorian episode made me miss Andor so much… There’s so much meat left on the bones of the New Republic’s political situation, how these ex-imperials are treated, why they believe or don’t believe. What opportunities are open or closed to this class of people.
God, just seeing them try to do a wide crowd scene on the Volume and the place is so empty like the Kenobi show made me sad.
It looks terrible. There were a couple interesting bits of the non-Mando parts of this episode (the very “happy dystopia” vibe of the New Republic I found super interesting and they spent about three seconds with it) but like…why. Why spend that much time with a second-string mook. You have what could be a really interesting conflict brewing over the future of Mandalore and the Mandalorians with Din in the middle. But no; we get whisked off to Coruscant for Andor 4 Kidz for like, 35 minutes
I don’t know. Does it compare to the quality of Andor? Absolutely not, but I still enjoyed that brief interlude. It did feel out of place, but I appreciated the hammering home of how the Empire vs the New Republic makes absolutely no different to the people with power. Fundamentally nothing changes for the rich other than the name, as made evident by the rich guy bragging about not being drafted.
At the same time, there is something interesting in showing the “reformed” former imperials and how the same dehumanizing system continues to carry on in the universe under every new government. Specifically I am thinking here about the through line of slavery/conscription complete with the removal of your name that we’ve seen with the clones, prisoners in Andor, stormtroopers in the sequels, etc. Now what that says when the character you are following is Star Wars Joseph Mengele kind of muddles the point. It winds up coming off like the “there is zero difference between good and bad things” dril tweet. The Empire was bad, but also the New Republic is repurposing Imperial torture devices/techniques as “therapy”.
To go back to my point above, it was nice to see Mandalorian attempting an Andor-style episode, but fundamentally the show structure doesn’t allow it to work as much. We’ve got too many Mandalorians to focus on and we don’t get the time to spend with the politically oppressed.
I’m assuming that part of that interlude beyond the above was to set up how Elia Kane isn’t actually reformed and seems to be attempting to climb the ranks as part of a Moff Gideon related plot.
Really the biggest struggle with this show I’ve had so far is that, as has been pointed out a lot, the main crisis of season 2 was resolved during the break in a different show in such a way that when Nazi doctor Leo Spacemen showed up, I forgot who he was.
Also, as an aside, now that we’ve firmly introduced a lot more Mandalorians, does it feel weird that people continue to refer to Din Djarin as “the” Mandalorian or just Mando?
It’s unfortunate that they resolved the show’s big conflict in another show but, like I said, I think they have a perfectly compelling conflict waiting for them if they felt like doing something with it.
And I honestly never thought about how people refer to Din as “Mando” - I have to imagine that Mandalorians are probably rare enough that most people probably only know one, if any, and so the definite article is appropriate.
This week’s Mandalorian was super weird but put me in the “I dug it” camp too.
I don’t want or need every Star Wars show to become Andor, but I definitely appreciate The Mandalorian digging into some of the problems with the New Republic even if it doesn’t fully land or it once again lays bare the problems with filming on the Volume.
The Republic sucked, it became the Empire with worryingly little transformation, and this is making more explicit that there’s a great deal of continuity from Republic to Empire to New Republic. It’s something this series has briefly dabbled in earlier but I’m not gonna say no, don’t spend an episode on it, especially when it’s presumably setting up for later developments.
Also not for nothing but that battle with the TIE Interceptors was kinda sick.
Oh for sure! Every time a Mandalorian was onscreen I was a happy camper.
It’s the rest of it that was hit and miss. I don’t even necessarily mind taking a little vacation from the helmets; I just think it’s a weird choice to pluck some C-stringer from the cast instead of like, having Carl Weathers try and defend Nevarro from the New Republic’s Totally-Not-Imperial encroachment or something
This episode reminded me of the episodes of Boba Fett that were actually just episodes of Mandalorian, in that it isn’t bad but it did slam the brakes on the pacing (if still moving the story forward). Like, even if in a void I think it was a fun episode, I also think it’s kind of a terrible episode of the show I am watching?
(Not that weird side story episodes never work, but I don’t think it is working for me in the… Mando cinematic universe or whatever BoBF+Mando are collectively called.)
Yeah, I think that’s mostly where I come down on it now, having watched it. (Although I’d also argue that it suffers not just from “being a bad episode of The Mandalorian” but also from the inevitable comparisons to Andor, which would have handled the same plot in a deeper, and more grounded fashion.)
As it is, this was a perfectly good attempt at the continuing attempts by modern Star Wars to add a deeper level of political realism to its setting [or, more cynically, “doing the popular modern thing of making things Grey vs Grey or Grey v Black rather than Black v White”]… but it felt a bit like a one-off The Twilight Zone episode or something.