(Spoilers for The Mandalorian)
The space western series The Mandalorian debuted on November 12, 2019, following a Mandalorian bounty hunter. With only a few episodes out so far, the show has already gained major traction and has even topped Stranger Things as the most in-demand digital TV show in the U.S., a title it held for 21 weeks.
The show takes place after Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader’s death and the destruction of the second Death Star. The main character, played by Pedro Pascal, is a mandalorian bounty hunter. The first episode starts at the outer rim of the galaxy, the equivalent of the wild west in the Star Wars universe. The whole series carries the rough characters and dramatic feeling of a western and has incorporated various western tropes throughout the episodes so far.
Apart from the western feel, one of the most recognized parts of the show is ‘Baby Yoda’, or ‘the child’ as called in the show. While not actually a baby version of Yoda, as he died in Return of the Jedi, he is a baby of Yoda’s species, which not much is known about. While he immediately melted the internet and flooded meme pages, he is also key to the plot of the series, as well as the type of Star Wars lore fans seem to love. Original Yoda’s species was never named or explained, but with Jon Favreau, director and showrunner, promising more of the character, it appears the mystery may be unveiled.
“We’ll learn more about him (baby yoda) over the course of the season. I think what’s great about what George created is that Yoda proper, the character that we grew up watching, was always shrouded in mystery, and that was what made him so archetypal and mythic… we don’t know a lot of details about where he comes from or his species. I think that’s why people are so curious about this little one of the same species.” said Favreau.
Apart from baby Yoda, one of the key things fans seem to enjoy about the new series is the nostalgia. The episodes are filled with nods to past movies and lore of the Star Wars universe. The newest episode, chapter five, even took place on Tatooine, possibly the most well-known planet in the Star Wars universe, where Anakin and Luke grew up and multiple movies took place. While some people enjoy the references, others feel it’s a cheap trick for views.
“…for the first time, a needless nostalgia trip led the series astray.” said an article on The Ringer.
Despite this disagreement between fans, the conflict about the series seems to be minor. Past films, particularly The Last Jedi, had much controversy. Fans argued and debated, some going so far as to attack the creators on social media, but The Mandalorian seems to have a mostly positive reception.
“Considering all the continuations and spin-offs of Star Wars, I think this is the most entertaining,” said freshman Mia Mcbride.
With The Rise of Skywalker on the horizon and the controversial The Last Jedi still in the minds of fans, The Mandalorian may play a key role with the Star Wars fanbase.