I think it’s as morally complicated as Empire, but that’s almost besides the point.
And I wasn’t who compared it to Empire first. xP
This is all just my opinion. A very nitpicky one at that. I like the show, and I’m sure it’ll get better, but I don’t really think it earns its hype right now. Believe it or not, I actually agree with everything you’re saying about Din, Cara, Greef, Herzog. But what I’m saying exactly is that the show leaves all of that as subtext 90% of the time. Stuff like that should be what the show is about. It’s why I actually like episodes 2 and 4 a lot, which seemed unpopular with people for being “filler.” They’re actually about the characters in it, have anything to portray about the world beyond the surface.
I think it’s morally confused more than anything. It’s only mature in concept, not execution. It’s a shallow kids version of the story you’ve outlined. That’s what I’m saying. He becomes good because Baby and he was once Baby. That’s the extent of the exploration this season. They didn’t explore anything more when they had ample opportunity to synthesize it with parallels to the young Calican, revisiting his old comrades, or in the action itself, etc.
Like not to get hypothetical, but maybe he could’ve seen all the different places his chosen path would have brought him, tragically put in the ground for his ambitions, or surrounded by terrible people he can’t identify with anymore (eps 5/6). This life of violence he basically worships leading him away from human connection he might have wanted (ep 4). None of that is actually in the show outside of me just pulling that analysis out of my ass just now. But imagine if that was what the episodes were rather than just homaging crime tropes. As it stands, Calican was dispatched coldly with no remorse from the storytelling, but the mercenaries all get to live for some reason. The Mando expresses nothing about any of this.
Cara is a fun interesting character, but her being a rebel is an easy way to make her sympathetic. Kuill/IG are the most interesting characters but even that has the element of “good because programming.”
It’s not a mature handling of what is an inherently mature premise is what I’m saying. It wants to stay as morally black/white as possible while still being an anti-hero narrative. You can’t have your cake and eat it too is where I’m at with it.
I don’t see how the show “talks down” to anyone. It doesn’t include violence for the sake of violence, all the adult stuff in the show has been portrayed very tastefully.
I don’t think the magnitude of violence itself has anything to do with what I’m saying, really. I don’t mind it, and whether or not it’s done tastefully is besides the point. (it’s not violent imo) But think of it like this. It’s like if you made a crime movie for kids. What would that entail? The premise is inherently tied to, well, crime. You can sanitize the violence all you want but thematically it can’t be the same as a normal crime film. The Godfather but the family goes straight? The Mandalorian is at its best when it commits, which it doesn’t so that it can be “enjoyed by everyone.”
But I’m gonna stop now tho. Just remember, I’m not attacking the show! I like it! I wish it were better! It’s good! Not great!