In his debut post, Steve explores the impact The Mandalorian will have on the Star Wars franchise
It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that the Star Wars fan base has become divided over the years. The most noticeable divisions began in 2012 when Disney purchased Lucasfilm from Star Wars creator George Lucas. The wedge among fans continued when Disney announced that they were effectively putting an end to the Expanded Universe. Decades of Star Wars literature was wiped out in an instant and this was not an announcement that the fandom took lightly. The Disney-era movies have certainly not helped unite the fans. Specifically, the release of The Last Jedi gave way to an increase in toxic fandom. Sadly, the newest and last installment in the saga, The Rise of Skywalker, has done little to help this broadening rupture among its fans.
How can this schism be made whole? Is the Star Wars fandom beyond hope? I don’t think so. With the release of Disney’s first live-action television product, The Mandalorian, a possible savior has come.
The introduction of The Child, an infant version of Yoda’s species has not only brought some unity among fans of Star Wars but also has brought in new fans of the franchise. People everywhere have fallen in love with this baby. “Baby Yoda” merchandise has been selling out well ahead of the actual release.
The Mandalorian appeals to all types of Star Wars fans. It appeals to those that are more interested in the story outside the Skywalker family. It appeals to those that are interested in the scum and villainy aspects of the galaxy, specifically those that are attracted to the idea of bounty hunters. It is possible that many might have tuned in because they are a fan of Boba Fett and thought they were getting an answer to the decades-old question “What happened to Boba Fett?” Unfortunately, The Mandalorian has not answered that question but certainly, those interested in Mr Fett have found that this new, previously unheard-of character, is worth their time and affection. The show even attracts those that are not fans of the franchise. An individual could watch this show while having minimal to no familiarity of the Star Wars saga. The influence of movies such as The Seven Samurai can be felt and its similarity to TV shows such as old westerns as well as the Joss Whedon fan-favourite Firefly can bring aboard new recruits into the Star Wars fandom.
Unlike The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, fans have little to argue about regarding the show. And the disputes about the show that do exist are comparatively just nitpicky. The Mandalorian is stimulating and breathtaking. The writing, primarily done by Jon Favreau, with some help from Star Wars veteran Dave Filoni, as well as Christopher Yost and Rick Famuyiwa, is without compare. It’s casting, comprised of both film and TV veterans and newcomers, is incredible. Star Wars novices Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard, alongside Dave, Rick, and Taika Waititi are directors that, based on their work here, have a great future in Star Wars. Deborah Chow, for instance, has been tapped to direct the live-action Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
The stories bring us new worlds and a clean story, along with familiar places and imagery. This show has something that everyone, fans and (previously) non-fans alike can enjoy.
But most importantly, The Mandalorian is the Star Wars product that has the best potential of unifying the Star Wars fan base.
The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.
Steve Long is a new addition to the Future of the Force roster. Aside from being a passionate Star Wars fan, he also co-hosts the Rogue One Radio Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @otter272 where he channels his passion frequently!