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The Mandalorian - a general discussion thread - * SPOILERS * — Page 59

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jedi_bendu said:

My feelings on Mando season 2 have actually soured over the past few months. Part of that is maybe bitterness at how much Disney seems to be capitalising on its success, and that possibly taking away from a future for animated shows, but in general I’ve come to see the plot of season 2 as too contrived. It’s playing join the dots with its special character appearances, there are too many coincidences, the sidequest structure is a little formulaic, and when Grogu gets kidnapped it’s not actually as emotionally compelling as it should be. Season 2 has some of my favourite episodes - The Marshal, The Heiress and The Believer, and I still find those outstanding - but now I might prefer season 1.

I’m not necessarily disagreeing, but I do feel that a loot of these are problems that come with all types of storytelling after a certain amount of time. Plus, since modern series are less episodic and more like very long movies cut up into smaller pieces, I feel this way about most streaming series. Ironically The Mandalorian gets criticized by some for being too episodic, and compared to something like GOT it’s much more retro in this regard, though it does still have that single overarching narrative. I personally wouldn’t have minded if it was even more episodic, but I suppose that would have alienated a lot of the modern audience.

Also, as for the use of EU characters, as I’ve said previously in this tread, the real irony about it all is that it’s only SW geeks like us that actually know that they are EU characters in the first place, so it’s only us who can get thrilled or annoyed about their inclusion. Both my mother and uncle watch the show (both are in their sixties), and like most casual fans of their age they only remember the basic gist of the OT movies (and maybe a little of the PT), and they were both quite surprised when I mentioned that season 2 had several “guest-characters” from other SW shows.

Could season 2 have been just as good or better without these characters, sure. But to me personally it didn’t sour my enjoyment of the show, and I though they managed to integrate them all into Din’s character arc really well. I think both Bo Katan and Boba Fett were characters that made sense in Din’s journey to learn what it really means to be a mandalorian. Ahsoka was a bit more random, but it too had that episodic side-quest feel to it, and even acted as a bit of a mini-backdoor pilot of sorts.

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 (Edited)

I definitely prefer season one. For me, it’s much more removed from The Saga. It’s truly an adventure away from what we’ve seen for the past 40+ years. It’s familiar, but at the same time entirely new. It’s exactly what I’d hoped it would be.

If I had to pick a favorite episode so far; Season One, Episode Two would be it. It feels very much like a story in a galaxy far far away. Disconnected from the rest of either season. I particularly like the Mudhorn portion. I also really like that Mando has no idea what is happening when the beast levitates or how the child does it. That works perfectly in the non-saga story line.

Soured is too strong a word for my season two feelings, but I only really like the episodes with Boba Fett and Ahsoka Tano. I’d waited nearly that same 40 years to have Fett’s depth and dignity restored. For that, I’m very grateful. I also loved the Ahsoka Tano episode. Outstanding work all around. Her entrance was perfect. I also enjoyed The Passenger episode. Again, removed from the Saga. Interesting and well done with the X Wing pilots leaving him behind.

The rest of the season shrinks the universe a bit too much. Particularly seeing Luke. To me, that was an unnecessary tie-in and story shrink. If season three stays in the smaller\Saga universe, I’ll be disappointed.

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I also prefer season 1, though I don’t consider 2 bad or disappointing by any means.

S1 just has a simplicity to it that makes for a welcome and overdue change of pace. And is very audience-friendly both for hardcore and casual fans. When recommending Star Wars to a friend that might have a preconceived bias against the movie saga, I always suggest starting with the Mandalorian S1, because it’s a simple yet engaging and beautifully told story that happens to be situated in the SW universe.

Though S2 is perfectly comprehensible for non-fans, arguably a bit of its impact is lost when you don’t know the relevance, backstory or fan-following of characters like Boba Fett, Bo-Katan, Ahsoka, etc, even though I loved their respective episodes.

I’m not gonna lie, I was almost moved to tears by Luke’s appearance at the end (except for maybe the CGI effects…). But now that the Jedi quest storyline is resolved by now, I don’t expect the future path of the show will rely on galaxy-shrinking cameos. Ahsoka and Boba are getting their own spin-offs, the show now has to build up to the retaking of Mandalore and the Imperial plot (even if Grogu is not with Mando anymore, we still need resolution to what are the Imperial Remnant’s plans).

In a way, The Mandalorian is shaping up to be like Rebels. A self-contained first season, a second one full of cameos, returning characters and a powerful climax involving a major saga player, and the third onwards gradually go back to the beginning, developing the main characters and building up to a conclusion that pays off their personal arcs rather than a galactic-scale event.