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Star Wars The mandalorian [Spoilers]

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Yeah. It's not so much looking for loopholes, it's how to you get Bo Katan to view it as honorable and worthy of a fight. That's who you have to convince.

Back in Star Wars Rebels Season 3, Sabine Wren took the Darksaber from Darth Maul's lair on Dathomir (Maul had won it in single-combatant mortal combat in The Clone Wars Season 5 from Pre Vizsla, the leader of Death Watch and heir of the blade's creator, Tar Vizsla (and voiced by Jon Favreau to boot). Sabine had not "won" the saber, and felt extremely wrong learning to use it and resisted her mentor Kanan's push to use the blade as a symbol to reunite Mandalore behind her (even if the Mandalorian Defenders of Concord Dawn were on board with the idea). In Rebels season 4, Sabine yielded the blade over to Bo-Katan Kryze saying that Bo was the leader Mandalore needed, with the support of several Mandalorian clans.

And that's where the Mandalorian story ended, with Bo-Katan trying to reunify Mandalore under her rule. We know from The Mandalorian that this… did not go as planned. Moff Gideon got the Darksaber, Mandalore was "turned to glass" and the people shattered and divided.

I strongly believe that Bo-Katan Kryze feels that because she didn't "earn" the saber in the proper way, the story wasn't strong enough to hold Mandalore together against the might of the Empire. And to reunite Mandalore again, she'd need the actual story to do so.

Note also that Bo rejected Maul's claim to the Saber and all Mandalore at the time of The Clone Wars Season 5, saying that an outsider would never rule Mandalore. So to Bo, there are two rules here, it's gotta be a true child of Mandalore, and it's gotta be won in fair combat. I'm not sure she can accept Din's leadership either from that stance; note that she refused to accept Boba Fett as Mandalorian given that he's a clone of a foundling. She might think similarly to Minister Almec, who said that Jango Fett is no Mandalorian (he seemed to be looking down on Foundlings as not true Mandalorians, only counting those born of Mandalorian heritage with the northern-European look of fair skin/blond-or-red hair/blue-or-green eyes). She did accept Sabine's mother Ursa Wren has an ally in the Siege of Mandalore, as well as new ally Koska Reeves, both of whom have dark skin and dark hair, and were likely not born of the Mandalore core stock like she was. But perhaps she has her own rules about who is Mandalorian and who isn't… does Din count? We'll have to find out.
 

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pukunui

Legend
@Marandahir: I have made similar points earlier in the thread. I took the differences of opinion as more of a class thing rather than a “race” one.

That is, Almec and probably Bo-Katan have an aristocratic bent to them, and they undoubtedly look down on foundlings (and clones of foundling) as not being true Mandalorians because they weren’t born into a clan or whatever, rather than because their skin/eye/hair color is different.

That said, I’m pretty sure Clan Wren is meant to be an old established clan (who were vassals of Clan Vizsla), so despite their having a slight Asian appearance, I think they would count as being true Mandalorians. Sabine’s mother was a countess, after all.

Otherwise, I agree with you. Sabine didn’t earn the darksaber properly at first. It wasn’t till her mother took it off her and gave it to Gar Saxon, whom Sabine then defeated in hand-to-hand combat, that she actually earned it properly. But then she gave it to Bo-Katan.

I am thinking that Moff Gideon may have duelled Bo-Katan and won the darksaber off her around the time of the Great Purge.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
@Marandahir: I have made similar points earlier in the thread. I took the differences of opinion as more of a class thing rather than a “race” one.

That is, Almec and probably Bo-Katan have an aristocratic bent to them, and they undoubtedly look down on foundlings (and clones of foundling) as not being true Mandalorians because they weren’t born into a clan or whatever, rather than because their skin/eye/hair color is different.

That said, I’m pretty sure Clan Wren is meant to be an old established clan (who were vassals of Clan Vizsla), so despite their having a slight Asian appearance, I think they would count as being true Mandalorians. Sabine’s mother was a countess, after all.

Otherwise, I agree with you. Sabine didn’t earn the darksaber properly at first. It wasn’t till her mother took it off her and gave it to Gar Saxon, whom Sabine then defeated in hand-to-hand combat, that she actually earned it properly. But then she gave it to Bo-Katan.

I am thinking that Moff Gideon may have duelled Bo-Katan and won the darksaber off her around the time of the Great Purge.
Sorry, the thread's gotten long enough now that I can't read every page anymore if I get too far behind. Too busy. :(

Needless to ssay, I think I agree with you.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
@Marandahir: I have made similar points earlier in the thread. I took the differences of opinion as more of a class thing rather than a “race” one.

That is, Almec and probably Bo-Katan have an aristocratic bent to them, and they undoubtedly look down on foundlings (and clones of foundling) as not being true Mandalorians because they weren’t born into a clan or whatever, rather than because their skin/eye/hair color is different.

That said, I’m pretty sure Clan Wren is meant to be an old established clan (who were vassals of Clan Vizsla), so despite their having a slight Asian appearance, I think they would count as being true Mandalorians. Sabine’s mother was a countess, after all.

Otherwise, I agree with you. Sabine didn’t earn the darksaber properly at first. It wasn’t till her mother took it off her and gave it to Gar Saxon, whom Sabine then defeated in hand-to-hand combat, that she actually earned it properly. But then she gave it to Bo-Katan.

I am thinking that Moff Gideon may have duelled Bo-Katan and won the darksaber off her around the time of the Great Purge.
Foundlings seem to be honored by Mandalorian culture, none of the Mandos in the series have had an issue with Djarin's foundling status. They are wary of him being a foundling of the Deathwatch, but not of his foundling status itself. Clones on the other hand . . . .

Also Fett himself doesn't claim foundling or Mandalorian status . . . although considering his father Jango was a Mandalorian foundling, Boba probably could make that claim. How would other Mandalorians feel about a clone foundling? Perhaps we'll find out in Season 3, or in "The Book of Boba Fett".
 

MarkB

Legend
Seen on Facebook, too good not to share.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Foundlings seem to be honored by Mandalorian culture, none of the Mandos in the series have had an issue with Djarin's foundling status. They are wary of him being a foundling of the Deathwatch, but not of his foundling status itself. Clones on the other hand . . . .

Also Fett himself doesn't claim foundling or Mandalorian status . . . although considering his father Jango was a Mandalorian foundling, Boba probably could make that claim. How would other Mandalorians feel about a clone foundling? Perhaps we'll find out in Season 3, or in "The Book of Boba Fett".
I'd argue that Boba is quite a bit different from say, Rex or Echo or Cody. They may all share the same face and voice, but Boba was unaltered, and raised by Jango in the Way until his father's untimely death, so he may be able to stake such a claim. Hard sell to get anyone else to believe that, given that Clones were so well known that anyone looking or sounding like Jango would be considered a clone soldier rather than the son of a foundling.

Do Foundling's children get to be Mandos as well? Or are they supposed to adopt other foundlings into the Way, like Din did with Grogu?

Also, are there any foundlings that aren't Children of the Watch? I don't think we meet any such besides potentially Boba Fett. It's very possible that in Canon, Jaster Mereel could be Death Watch. In the old Legends, Mereel fought against Death Watch, but in canon, the factions seemed to be Death Watch and the pacifist followers of House Kryze, and I don't thin Mereel as he was written in Legends fits into either faction cleanly…
 

Wishbone

Paladin Radmaster
Binging the second season after it all aired and it seems more like a bunch of backdoor pilots for the new Disney+ franchises than the first season did. Reminds me a lot of Iron Man 2 where it seems to exist to tie-in properties instead of existing as a thing that can stand on its own.

I haven't kept up with the Extended Universe post-continuity reboot and its strange to see all these characters I don't know much about making an appearance. Beyond stunt casting I don't understand the point of it to serve a larger story?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Binging the second season after it all aired and it seems more like a bunch of backdoor pilots for the new Disney+ franchises than the first season did. Reminds me a lot of Iron Man 2 where it seems to exist to tie-in properties instead of existing as a thing that can stand on its own.

I haven't kept up with the Extended Universe post-continuity reboot and its strange to see all these characters I don't know much about making an appearance. Beyond stunt casting I don't understand the point of it to serve a larger story?
To me, the show watches just fine with absolutely nothing outside. A new character is a new character. Why does it matter that they've been in a Star Wars before?
 

Wishbone

Paladin Radmaster
To me, the show watches just fine with absolutely nothing outside. A new character is a new character. Why does it matter that they've been in a Star Wars before?
Because the show felt like it was becoming reliant on narrative shorthand that required pointing to external sources to appreciate the character, which I thought showed a disturbing lack of faith in the ability of The Mandalorian to stand as its own thing. Every named character introduced this season felt like a diversion intended to push us towards watching a new show on Disney+.

Gina Carano's character in the first season felt like the start of this—sure it is probably safe to assume most people watching have seen A New Hope so the destruction of Alderaan has some resonance. But when I get to Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano showing up—a character I have a vague memory of from an animated movie and TV show I never saw with all I know about her being that she was Anakin's apprentice—and it felt like they were introducing characters with the intention of showing us their valuable intellectual properties so we'd be inclined to explore those properties. Is mentioning Admiral Thrawn absent context really meant to have resonance with anyone who isn't vaguely familiar with whatever version of the blue Chiss they're using now?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Because the show felt like it was becoming reliant on narrative shorthand that required pointing to external sources to appreciate the character, which I thought showed a disturbing lack of faith in the ability of The Mandalorian to stand as its own thing. Every named character introduced this season felt like a diversion intended to push us towards watching a new show on Disney+.

Gina Carano's character in the first season felt like the start of this—sure it is probably safe to assume most people watching have seen A New Hope so the destruction of Alderaan has some resonance.
Her home was destroyed. What more do you need?
But when I get to Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano showing up—a character I have a vague memory of from an animated movie and TV show I never saw with all I know about her being that she was Anakin's apprentice—and it felt like they were introducing characters with the intention of showing us their valuable intellectual properties so we'd be inclined to explore those properties.
Why? You really don’t see the gap in reasoning, here? There isn’t anything obvious between premise and conclusion. I’m asking you to fill in the blank space with reasoning of some kind.
Is mentioning Admiral Thrawn absent context really meant to have resonance with anyone who isn't vaguely familiar with whatever version of the blue Chiss they're using now?
Why on Earth would the person the newly introduced character is looking for need to have any particular resonance? Not every question a story raises should be answered. She is on a mission. It points toward her unwillingness to train Grogu, and suggests that his anger and fear aren’t the only reason.

I really think you’re just being cynical about a shared universe acting like things exist in the same universe.
 

Call me cynical as well, but I recognize what @Wishbone is saying. Some of the characters seem thrown in just to kickstart their own respective spinoffs. A reference to Alderaan is fine, since most people watching the show should be familiar with the original Star Wars. But Thrawn is just casually mentioned with no further explanation. I'm a huge Star Wars fan, and I've heard of Thrawn. But even I don't know exactly who he is. Likewise, I know of Ahsoka, but I never really watched the cartoons. The show almost seems to presume that the target audience of The Mandalorian IS the target audience of the cartoons, and that we would all recognize Ahsoka. It is a bit bizarre.

So when the show namedrops Thrawn, it is pretty clear that this is a pretty big deal. The scene is just short of a DUN-DUN-DUUUUN! But without prior knowledge about some of these characters, I think a lot of viewers might feel like they need to open Wookiepedia.
 

Echohawk

Shirokinukatsukami fan
The scene is just short of a DUN-DUN-DUUUUN! But without prior knowledge about some of these characters, I think a lot of viewers might feel like they need to open Wookiepedia.
We covered this topic up-thread. I wouldn't describe myself as a Star Wars fan. I've seen each of the movies only once, not watched any of the animated series, and read a total of only four EU novels. I didn't feel that I needed to have any clue who Ahsoka was in order to enjoy the episode in which she appeared, and I still have no intention of watching Clone Wars or Rebels. If this thread did not exist, I would not know that Ahsoka was anything other than a character who appeared in one episode of the Mandalorian.

To be fair, I did appreciate the Thrawn reference, because three of the four novels I happen to have read were the Thrawn Trilogy. But for me that was just a nice Easter egg, and not something I needed to know for the episode to make sense.
 

Khelon Testudo

Cleric of Stronmaus
I remember watching the film now called "A New Hope", and just hearing about Lords of the Sith and Womp Rats and Power Converters. SF does this a lot, to show there's a bigger world than we're seeing on the page or screen. Technologies or histories that will be explained if need be, otherwise just markers that what you're seeing isn't set in the here-and-now.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Call me cynical as well, but I recognize what @Wishbone is saying. Some of the characters seem thrown in just to kickstart their own respective spinoffs. A reference to Alderaan is fine, since most people watching the show should be familiar with the original Star Wars. But Thrawn is just casually mentioned with no further explanation. I'm a huge Star Wars fan, and I've heard of Thrawn. But even I don't know exactly who he is. Likewise, I know of Ahsoka, but I never really watched the cartoons. The show almost seems to presume that the target audience of The Mandalorian IS the target audience of the cartoons, and that we would all recognize Ahsoka. It is a bit bizarre.

So when the show namedrops Thrawn, it is pretty clear that this is a pretty big deal. The scene is just short of a DUN-DUN-DUUUUN! But without prior knowledge about some of these characters, I think a lot of viewers might feel like they need to open Wookiepedia.

He's a mysterious Grand Admiral if you have just watched the Mandalorian:). Youl have to watch more to find out.

If you know who Thrawn is omfg cheeseburger!!!!

Wonder if he will be the Thanos of the Filoniverse.
 

pming

Hero
Hiya!

Thrawn I thought was an interesting "bad guy". For those who don't know, he was the key opposition in a series of novels written by Timothy Zahn. I really enjoyed them, to be honest. If done right, they would make a great new Star Wars trilogy of movies.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
They're planning to do a big crossover of shows. Book of Boba Fett, Rangers of the New Republic, Ahsoka, and The Mandalorian are all going to meet at the same place, likely at Grand Admiral Thrawn and the origins of the First Order.

The shows can ONLY assume that you've seen the original trilogy. That's the baseline of ALL Star Wars expanded material (though if it's set in the Clone Wars era, the material assumes you're familiar with the prequels, and if it's set in the Resistance era, then yes, it assumes familiarity with the sequels). These shows are set not long after VI (5 years for Mando's start). Rangers may start earlier (I'm guessing at least a year after VI, since the Empire's official End was in 5 ABY, a year later at the Battle of Jakku that we see the remnants of in Episode VII). They can ONLY assume that you've seen the original movies, and even that's a big assumption.

The Mandalorian season 1 slowly guides you into this universe, assuming you know nothing about it, not even IV-V-VI. Season 2 starts to open up the rest of the Star Wars toy box, but it doesn't introduce these elements in ways that wouldn't make sense to someone who hasn't been taught about what the Force is. However, I'd argue that Season 2's enjoyment should be greatly increased if you're familiar with what a Jedi is, what the Force is, etc. But because Din Djarin doesn't know, you can learn with him.

It's not a series of backdoor pilots if they're all stories leading to the same destination. Take it this way: some novels change point of view characters through the text to give other perspectives on the setting, story mind, and themes. We're getting a new series of interwoven tales that assume only that you know the other ones in this series. Perhaps we'll get pay offs to The Clone Wars/Rebels/Resistance/The Bad Batch cartoons too, but they can't ASSUME new viewers have watched those. So IF Ezra is rescued by Sabine and Ahsoka in the Ahsoka series, then they have to establish who Sabine and Ezra rather than just drop an out-of-universe text panel saying "go watch Star Wars Rebels on Disney+ to learn more." I'm SURE they WILL drop that in the context of commercials and D+ formats (see the Ahsoka collection of videos on D+ that collate some of Ahsoka's best hits across TCW/Rebels/Mando), but within the context of these new shows, Filoni and Favreau have confirmed that they CANNOT make that assumption.

It's the same reason that the casts of Daredevil and Agents of SHIELD didn't show up in Avengers: Endgame, even though AoS can reference Infinity War. The shows can assume that viewers have watched the movies, but the movies can't assume that the viewers have watched the shows. Even at this point, the movies are becoming unwieldy enough that they're creating a whole new D+ miniseries to highlight MCU characters' best hits ahead of their new solo-outings so that you don't have to watch everything to catch up. First episode will be clips of Wanda Maximoff and the Vision from The Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron, Civil War, Infinity War, and Endgame, ahead of their show WandaVision (MAYBE they'll show clips of Edwin Jarvis and J.A.R.V.I.S. from other material for Vision's story, but I'm doubting it).

Think of these shows as their own publishing period, a series of interquels between VI and VII, somewhat equivalent to a movie trilogy. Every movie trilogy is an on-ramp into the Star Wars universe. Each "first" film takes its time to set these concepts up for entirely new audiences. That's why Rogue One isn't recommended for new audiences to watch before IV, despite the two creating one intense heist thriller. There's too many concepts in R1 that rely on the other films and the film movies too quickly instead of guiding you into the series naturally. IV was edited perfectly as an on-ramp. The Mandalorian Season 1 was created with the same on-ramp mentality in mind.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Call me cynical as well, but I recognize what @Wishbone is saying. Some of the characters seem thrown in just to kickstart their own respective spinoffs. A reference to Alderaan is fine, since most people watching the show should be familiar with the original Star Wars. But Thrawn is just casually mentioned with no further explanation. I'm a huge Star Wars fan, and I've heard of Thrawn. But even I don't know exactly who he is. Likewise, I know of Ahsoka, but I never really watched the cartoons. The show almost seems to presume that the target audience of The Mandalorian IS the target audience of the cartoons, and that we would all recognize Ahsoka. It is a bit bizarre.

So when the show namedrops Thrawn, it is pretty clear that this is a pretty big deal. The scene is just short of a DUN-DUN-DUUUUN! But without prior knowledge about some of these characters, I think a lot of viewers might feel like they need to open Wookiepedia.
Good. The show should raise questions that feel important to the characters involved but aren't part of the Mando's story. It should leave questions unanswered, reference plots and powers and events and even tech without any explanation of what they actually are. It should present new characters with their own history and goals that have nothing to do with the plot of the show, have them intersect with the Mando, and then move on toward their own ends.
I remember watching the film now called "A New Hope", and just hearing about Lords of the Sith and Womp Rats and Power Converters. SF does this a lot, to show there's a bigger world than we're seeing on the page or screen. Technologies or histories that will be explained if need be, otherwise just markers that what you're seeing isn't set in the here-and-now.
Exactly.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Good. The show should raise questions that feel important to the characters involved but aren't part of the Mando's story. It should leave questions unanswered, reference plots and powers and events and even tech without any explanation of what they actually are. It should present new characters with their own history and goals that have nothing to do with the plot of the show, have them intersect with the Mando, and then move on toward their own ends.

Exactly.
A snippit from the original film:

Luke Skywalker: No, my father didn't fight in the wars. He was a navigator on a spice freighter.
Ben Kenobi: That's what your uncle told you. He didn't hold with your father's ideals. Thought he should have stayed here and not gotten involved.
Luke Skywalker: You fought in the Clone Wars?
Ben Kenobi: Yes, I was once a Jedi Knight the same as your father.
Luke Skywalker: I wish I'd known him.
Ben Kenobi: He was the best starpilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior. I understand you've become quite a good pilot yourself. And he was a good friend. Which reminds me, I have something here for you. You father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it. He feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damn fool idealistic crusade like your father did.
C-3PO: Sir, if you'll not be needing me, I'll close down for awhile.
Luke Skywalker: Sure, go ahead.
[C-3PO shuts down.]
Luke Skywalker: [to Ben] What is it?
Ben Kenobi: Your father's lightsaber. [He turns it on and hands it to Luke, who begins swinging it around while Ben continues.] This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.
Luke Skywalker: [turns off the lightsaber] How did my father die?
Ben Kenobi: A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct. Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force.
Luke Skywalker: The Force?
Ben Kenobi: The Force is what gives a Jedi his powers. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together. [to R2-D2] Now, let's see if we can't figure out who you are, my little friend. And where you come from.
Luke Skywalker: I saw part of the message he was—
[R2-D2 abruptly begins playing Leia's holographic message]
Ben Kenobi: I seem to have found it.
Princess Leia Organa: [in a hologram message] General Kenobi. Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father's request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack and I'm afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him in Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope. [looks to the side quickly, then crouches to end the message]
Ben Kenobi: [to Luke] You must learn the ways of the Force if you're to come with me to Alderaan.
Luke Skywalker: Alderaan? I'm not going to Alderaan. I've got to go home. It's late, I'm in for it as it is.
Ben Kenobi: I need your help, Luke. She needs your help. I'm getting too old for this sort of thing.
Luke Skywalker: I can't get involved! I've got work to do! It's not that I like the Empire, I hate it, but there's nothing I can do about it right now. It's such a long way from here.
Ben Kenobi: That's your uncle talking.
Luke Skywalker: Oh God, my uncle. How am I ever gonna explain this?
Ben Kenobi: [pleading] Learn about the Force, Luke.
Luke Skywalker: Look, I can take you as far as Anchorhead. You can get a transport there to Mos Eisley or wherever you're going.
Ben Kenobi: [resigned] You must do what you feel is right, of course.

The film doesn't explain what the Clone Wars are. We never actually go to Alderaan. We never visit Anchorhead. We never learn more about spice, save Threepio's line about being forced to work in the Spice Mines of Kessel (never shown). Luke never meets Vader, but Vader's shadow is all over the film (he kills Kenobi, and almost shoots down Luke in the climax of the film). Luke never uses the lightsaber in combat, though he does train with it on the Falcon as an exploration of his deepening connection with the Force. The Force is a central idea of the story.

Star Wars enacted a very important narrative concept for the sake of creating mythologies: the illusion of depth. SOME of that depth could be important details to the story, but other details are narrative flourishes, little details that give a sense of depth and breadth, allowing us alongside Luke to take our first steps into a larger world. Later released films and tv shows and peripheral materials like comics and books would explore some more of these concepts, such as prequels taking us back to the Clone Wars to actually show the tale of Anakin Skywalker and Ben Kenobi and how they were good friends and how Anakin "died." We eventually visit the spice mines of Kessel in both The Clone Wars and Solo. We see the actual world of Alderaan in The Clone Wars and Episode III, and get to know its senator Bail Organa in various works.

But notably, a lot of this flourish may have emerged in the editing room. Famously, Anchorhead WAS filmed for Star Wars with the intention of starting the film with Luke noticing the battle between Devastator and Tantive IV overhead through visor binoculars and trying to convince his "friends" that he saw a real battle. This is where Biggs, and hence why Luke says "Biggs was right, I'm never going to get off this rock!" But we don't need to meet Biggs to relate to Luke in that moment. Meeting Biggs later in the film and having him say he finally made it into the Alliance is all we needed. We didn't need Biggs explaining he plans to leave the Starfleet Academy and join the Rebellion as a catalyst for Luke to leave. His friends are already leaving the moisture farm in other dialogue bits. Who knows how many other references Lucas originally planned to actually pay off in the original film, before it was cut down? Lucas' best ally was his editors.

Incidentally, this is also one that JRR Tolkien also had the insight to draw on (or rather, the books he could actually sell in his lifetime may have eucatastrophically found their way into this narrative concept through his inability to ignore his Great Tales). I'd argue that this wasn't entirely unconscious of Tolkien; he speaks about the importance of creating the illusion of depth when writing fairy-stories in his 1939 essay appropriately titled "On Fairy-Stories." But perhaps it was unwitting in the case of The Hobbit - he initially borrows elements from the Great Tales like Elrond or Glamdring or the Necromancer Thû and spider-infested Mirkwood and a greedy Elven-king in his underground halls, but as he gets to the Battle of the Five Armies, the tale… grew in the telling. It was supposed to be a silly unimportant borrowing of concepts, but found its way to turn those flashes of colour into a depth of history worth adding a dash here and there more come the sequel.

Perhaps most comparatively, the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings benefited from the depth provided by The Hobbit films not coming out first. They were able to draw upon Bilbo's story and its influence on the younger Hobbits, compare and contrast Bilbo and Frodo's respective journeys and relationships with the Ring, without actually showing Bilbo's journey beyond the necessary bit with Gollum and his sparse few appearances in The Lord of the Rings. This gave a similar depth to the Hobbits that is afforded to the other free peoples and their histories throughout the trilogy. And like with Star Wars, a prequel trilogy was eventually explored, with contentious results.

My point with all this is that The Mandalorian also achieves the illusion of depth, but it does so in part by building on a vast and shared universe (non-illusory depth) alongside adding its own flourishes to Galactic history that may or may not pay off. They don't need to to be emotionally or intellectually relevant to the characters. So whether we go to Mandalore or not, its destruction by the Empire is deeply important to the lives of the surviving Mandalorians like Din or Bo-Katan. :)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
A snippit from the original film:

Luke Skywalker: No, my father didn't fight in the wars. He was a navigator on a spice freighter.
Ben Kenobi: That's what your uncle told you. He didn't hold with your father's ideals. Thought he should have stayed here and not gotten involved.
Luke Skywalker: You fought in the Clone Wars?
Ben Kenobi: Yes, I was once a Jedi Knight the same as your father.
Luke Skywalker: I wish I'd known him.
Ben Kenobi: He was the best starpilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior. I understand you've become quite a good pilot yourself. And he was a good friend. Which reminds me, I have something here for you. You father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it. He feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damn fool idealistic crusade like your father did.
C-3PO: Sir, if you'll not be needing me, I'll close down for awhile.
Luke Skywalker: Sure, go ahead.
[C-3PO shuts down.]
Luke Skywalker: [to Ben] What is it?
Ben Kenobi: Your father's lightsaber. [He turns it on and hands it to Luke, who begins swinging it around while Ben continues.] This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.
Luke Skywalker: [turns off the lightsaber] How did my father die?
Ben Kenobi: A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct. Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force.
Luke Skywalker: The Force?
Ben Kenobi: The Force is what gives a Jedi his powers. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together. [to R2-D2] Now, let's see if we can't figure out who you are, my little friend. And where you come from.
Luke Skywalker: I saw part of the message he was—
[R2-D2 abruptly begins playing Leia's holographic message]
Ben Kenobi: I seem to have found it.
Princess Leia Organa: [in a hologram message] General Kenobi. Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father's request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack and I'm afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him in Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope. [looks to the side quickly, then crouches to end the message]
Ben Kenobi: [to Luke] You must learn the ways of the Force if you're to come with me to Alderaan.
Luke Skywalker: Alderaan? I'm not going to Alderaan. I've got to go home. It's late, I'm in for it as it is.
Ben Kenobi: I need your help, Luke. She needs your help. I'm getting too old for this sort of thing.
Luke Skywalker: I can't get involved! I've got work to do! It's not that I like the Empire, I hate it, but there's nothing I can do about it right now. It's such a long way from here.
Ben Kenobi: That's your uncle talking.
Luke Skywalker: Oh God, my uncle. How am I ever gonna explain this?
Ben Kenobi: [pleading] Learn about the Force, Luke.
Luke Skywalker: Look, I can take you as far as Anchorhead. You can get a transport there to Mos Eisley or wherever you're going.
Ben Kenobi: [resigned] You must do what you feel is right, of course.

The film doesn't explain what the Clone Wars are. We never actually go to Alderaan. We never visit Anchorhead. We never learn more about spice, save Threepio's line about being forced to work in the Spice Mines of Kessel (never shown). Luke never meets Vader, but Vader's shadow is all over the film (he kills Kenobi, and almost shoots down Luke in the climax of the film). Luke never uses the lightsaber in combat, though he does train with it on the Falcon as an exploration of his deepening connection with the Force. The Force is a central idea of the story.

Star Wars enacted a very important narrative concept for the sake of creating mythologies: the illusion of depth. SOME of that depth could be important details to the story, but other details are narrative flourishes, little details that give a sense of depth and breadth, allowing us alongside Luke to take our first steps into a larger world. Later released films and tv shows and peripheral materials like comics and books would explore some more of these concepts, such as prequels taking us back to the Clone Wars to actually show the tale of Anakin Skywalker and Ben Kenobi and how they were good friends and how Anakin "died." We eventually visit the spice mines of Kessel in both The Clone Wars and Solo. We see the actual world of Alderaan in The Clone Wars and Episode III, and get to know its senator Bail Organa in various works.

But notably, a lot of this flourish may have emerged in the editing room. Famously, Anchorhead WAS filmed for Star Wars with the intention of starting the film with Luke noticing the battle between Devastator and Tantive IV overhead through visor binoculars and trying to convince his "friends" that he saw a real battle. This is where Biggs, and hence why Luke says "Biggs was right, I'm never going to get off this rock!" But we don't need to meet Biggs to relate to Luke in that moment. Meeting Biggs later in the film and having him say he finally made it into the Alliance is all we needed. We didn't need Biggs explaining he plans to leave the Starfleet Academy and join the Rebellion as a catalyst for Luke to leave. His friends are already leaving the moisture farm in other dialogue bits. Who knows how many other references Lucas originally planned to actually pay off in the original film, before it was cut down? Lucas' best ally was his editors.

Incidentally, this is also one that JRR Tolkien also had the insight to draw on (or rather, the books he could actually sell in his lifetime may have eucatastrophically found their way into this narrative concept through his inability to ignore his Great Tales). I'd argue that this wasn't entirely unconscious of Tolkien; he speaks about the importance of creating the illusion of depth when writing fairy-stories in his 1939 essay appropriately titled "On Fairy-Stories." But perhaps it was unwitting in the case of The Hobbit - he initially borrows elements from the Great Tales like Elrond or Glamdring or the Necromancer Thû and spider-infested Mirkwood and a greedy Elven-king in his underground halls, but as he gets to the Battle of the Five Armies, the tale… grew in the telling. It was supposed to be a silly unimportant borrowing of concepts, but found its way to turn those flashes of colour into a depth of history worth adding a dash here and there more come the sequel.

Perhaps most comparatively, the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings benefited from the depth provided by The Hobbit films not coming out first. They were able to draw upon Bilbo's story and its influence on the younger Hobbits, compare and contrast Bilbo and Frodo's respective journeys and relationships with the Ring, without actually showing Bilbo's journey beyond the necessary bit with Gollum and his sparse few appearances in The Lord of the Rings. This gave a similar depth to the Hobbits that is afforded to the other free peoples and their histories throughout the trilogy. And like with Star Wars, a prequel trilogy was eventually explored, with contentious results.

My point with all this is that The Mandalorian also achieves the illusion of depth, but it does so in part by building on a vast and shared universe (non-illusory depth) alongside adding its own flourishes to Galactic history that may or may not pay off. They don't need to to be emotionally or intellectually relevant to the characters. So whether we go to Mandalore or not, its destruction by the Empire is deeply important to the lives of the surviving Mandalorians like Din or Bo-Katan. :)
Well said.
 


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