Submitted by Bad Billy Pratt
If you got caught up in the opening minutes of “The Mandalorian” thinking Disney finally got something even half-right, you’re not entirely wrong. Turns out, third time’s a charm with the Boba Fett character after not getting enough of him in the original trilogy, and way too much in the prequels. The mouse has righted these wrongs and given the plebs a cool, respectable, bad-ass bounty hunter in the new Disney+ streaming series… well, at least for a little bit.
Taking a page out of the Netflix playbook for getting guys to agree to watch shows made for their girlfriends by loading up the first episode with something they’d actually want to see (for Netflix, this means nudity), you’re only getting the icy, cold hearted bounty hunter in the first half of the Mandalorian’s series premier.
Straight out of a western, the bounty hunter storms through the doors of a cantina in time to save a nerd alien from getting bullied. After killing the bullies, the bounty hunter asks the nerd if he wants to be brought in “warm or cold.” Ah-ha, twist, the nerd is actually the bounty and our anti-hero is only out for himself- in other words, exactly what Star Wars fans wanted all along, a character with balls, especially after Han Solo was neutered by Lucas twenty years ago. This is the grey, the edge, the dirty side of a distant galaxy that the originals worked with so well. This is Disney’s version of Netflix nudity- a trick to get you to buy-into the series- and it’s not built to last.
“The Mandalorian” will ultimately become a lesson in toxic masculinity, taught by a mouse who will, again, learn the hard-way that Star Wars fans aren’t looking to be lectured. Disney’s playing things closer to the vest this time, however, and hedging their bets that fans will be too stupid to notice.
You may think the as-yet-unnamed bounty hunter is the first comfortably masculine character out of Disney’s rebranding, but, twist, you’ll be reminded repeatedly throughout the eight-episode series that he’s really just an insecure little boy playing dress-up. He will accept his losery short-comings and learn to have a heart. Along the way he’ll meet a #badass girl who will never need such a lesson.
In line with stripping the hero of respect and dignity, it’s implied that the bounty hunter isn’t a true Mandalorian– he seems to have been adopted by the tribe as a child. Bent on proving himself true cult, the bounty hunter spends all of his earnings on Mandalorian armor… playing dress up like a good cosplayer, indeed.
Taking a gig from what remains of the Empire, the bounty hunter’s next job is ambiguous until his tracker leads him to a baby Yoda. Here, the bounty hunter faces the moral quandary of committing baby murder. Instead, he reaches a finger out to the baby Yoda and we fade to black- so much for icy and ruthless.
With this inflection point, we get to the heart at Disney’s lesson for the plebs- tribal authenticity is contrived. With another layer of baggage added to the attack on their audience, Disney imagines the pseudo-masculine man-children who hated “The Last Jedi” are likely also Trump supporting, ethno-nationalists who need a lesson on the definition of identity. Even if the species-diverse cantina is a violent hellhole- a hilarious blindspot in the worldview Disney is attempting to establish- the bounty hunter will learn that chasing a sense of blood and soil pride is a dead end for self-satisfaction, something that will ultimately be found through taking care of somebody else’s Yoda.
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“Take care of half-Wookie children, you must.”
“Do or do not. There is no White.”
“Much fear I sense in the boy. Racist he must be. Kill him.”
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The book “Londonistan” on London Islamic Terror scene called London “the Cantina in Star Wars.” Team America, world police didn’t miss it either. 🙂
I hate Disney Star Wars as much as any man alive, but this is a pretty silly article. It’s too early to have a strong opinion, but so far The Mandalorian is surprisingly watchable and free of poz. It’s got a stoic tough-guy hero who is formidable without being an invincible Mary Sue, barely any female characters (sadly this probably won’t last), and a focus on tight, tense action sequences. Sure the lead is nonwhite, but he may never actually take off the helmet and he doesn’t have an accent, so it doesn’t register. It’s legitimately a step up from the trash they’ve been putting in movie theaters.
If you expected the show to constantly be full of edgy scenes like the thug being cut in half by sliding doors, your expectations were just wrong. This isn’t Quentin Tarantino and was never going to be. They make it clear that the hero isn’t shy about hurting people when he needs to (see also: when he instantly starts disintegrating the Jawas who are robbing him), but it’s Disney, of course they’re going to keep the violence tween-appropriate. Only a small handful of Reddit goons would ever actually want a dark, violent, morally gray Star Wars show.
I think you’re wrong about the Mandalorians, too. I can’t be arsed to look it up but I’m pretty sure they’re more like the Jedi, not a racial group, i.e. you join by having potential and completing the training, not just by being born into membership. In any case having a main character with a strong sense of who he is and what he stands for is another surprising step for Disney.
Whining about having the bounty hunter hero temporarily caring for a cute alien baby is pretty weak. There needs to be some kind of emotional hook, and giving the loner merc a cute little sidekick is pretty standard and effective. Trying to pretend it’s some kind of triple-bankshot commentary on blood and soil nationalism is a massive stretch; in the very first episode the hero donates a share of his earnings to help support his people, there’s your in-group empathy if that’s what you need to see. And he doesn’t “buy a piece of armor to play dress-up”, it’s implied that he earns the right to wear it by proving himself in the field, and that this is a traditional part of Mandalorian culture. It’s a very masculine concept notwithstanding the female-voiced blacksmith (LOL) who makes the pauldron.
There are definitely things to criticize about the show (e.g. it recycles past Star Wars stuff in a very fanservice-y way: Jawas, Ugnaughts, IG-88, Yoda, etc), but at least give the show a chance to fall on its face properly (it probably will) before laughing at it.
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A glance look at the Mandalorians makes them reminiscent to the Ancient Spartans and the Japanese Samurai warrior cultures. I wouldn’t put it against them if they thought that killing a defenseless child was dishonorable as the canon states they attempted to exterminate an alien species for that same reason (which makes me respect them more), but I wouldn’t put it pass Disney to use that as a means to guilt them into submission (remember the 6 gorrilian Ubdurians). They’re a blood and honor culture which makes them a step up from the rest of the cosmopolitan galaxy and the Jedi when they’re being pacifistic sophists.
Will I watch the Mandalorian? I might. But I’m definitely not going to shell out money for a streaming service that is at the forefront of pozzing your children and cashing billions to sate the petty drives of bugmen.
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“I have a dumbphone and use the Internet exclusively to access Archive.org.”
“I consume YouTube videos other than dry academic lectures with descriptive names and autogenerated thumbnails.”
“I consume telemovievisiongandaflicks.”
“I watched the Joker and here’s my critique of current-year media produce.”
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