Author’s Note: An incomplete version of this review was posted two days ago by a reckless editor. The editor has been disintegrated.
You’re Just A Fanboy
You only care about seeing familiar things you know from the Star Wars franchise.
Sure, of course, you would love to see a new character who becomes iconic as Darth Vader or Boba Fett but you’re afraid that the people currently behind Star Wars are so inept and craven that whatever they could come up with wouldn’t fit into the universe; you know, kind like maybe a blind, Force-worshipping, non-Force using samurai.
Or, even worse, what they would come up with would be crass commercial exploitation of identity politics like that pointless silver stormtrooper.
And you’re not wrong.
But this doesn’t mean you have to accept the complete mediocrity of the fan fiction that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are just smart enough to know the hack for.
The Star Wars Hack?
It’s simple: I call it fanertainment™.
The Four Commandments Of Fanertainment
- Don’t fuck anything up. Stick to canon.
- Avoid hacky socio-political messaging.
- Show things from the past. Anything from the past that sort of makes sense in context is fair game.
- Show us new things that make sense in-universe. These should mainly be modifications of more things we know.
This is what fanertainment is about: it’s about things. The ships, the guns, the monsters, the aliens, the unknown lore, etc.
“Isn’t that fucking cool!”
Admit it: that was what episode one of The Mandalorian was and it made the fans incredibly happy. I even said it was the best Star Wars since the Original Trilogy.
This isn’t a crime again the franchise.
In fact, the Star Wars that we all remember and cherish was also about things.
Each iteration was a journey into the unknown whose destination was a wonder.
You didn’t know about lightsabers before A New Hope, you didn’t know about Boba Fett before Empire, you didn’t know about force lightning until Jedi.
Return of The Fan Service
We can argue over whether The Mandalorian has any of the excitement, tension or adventure of the Original Trilogy — it doesn’t — but we have to agree that the first episode of the series did show us new things.
Unfortunately, with episode two we’ve returned to the safe space of the past.
You’ve got Jawas from A New Hope, a reek from Attack Of The Clones and baby Yoda doing force stuff from Empire.
Normal fans, whom we respect, will absolutely lose their mind and tell you that episode two is “a masterpiece” and “they finally got Star Wars right” just because it’s stuff they know and they like being serviced.
Are you not fluffed?
What’s worse, almost the entire 28 minutes of episode 2 is filler.
It does nothing to advance the story or explore the characters. The audience is in exactly the same place it was before spending another half-hour in the world of The Mandalorian.
The characters and scenarios are dead ends. It’s a side quest in a season that is going to be all of four hours long.
What this tells me is that Filoni and Favreau have absolutely no respect for the audience beyond showing fanboys things that will make them clap like trained Kowakian monkey-lizards.
Sorry, not into it. I’m not a Star Wars fan anymore.
Lucasfilm has burned me on seven films in a row.
I don’t care about seeing a new creature. A new ship isn’t really that exciting. I don’t give a shit about Jawas. I don’t give a fuck how cute a Baby Yoda is — I don’t need to pretend I have a soft-side on social media to get sex from fat Star Wars chicks!
Lucasfilm needs to earn back fans with compelling drama and exciting action set in the Star Wars universe, not simply recycling characters and iconography into a motif that while familiar, lacks energy, tension and, honestly, thought.
It’s Become a Dumb Show
This is another side effect of fan service. Your entertainment doesn’t need to explain anything or make any sense because “look at this shiny nostalgia bauble!”.
- What the hell was that ambush about? Why are they trying to capture Mando and not just kill him and take The Asset?
- Why are the Jawas on this planet?
- OK, so maybe they are star-faring scavengers… but then why are they in the same exact crawler as they had on Tatooine? Did they bring it with them? Do they have an armory like the Empire? Are they buying crawlers in bulk? With their scavenging wages?
- Why is Mando floating Baby Yoda around in dangerous territory with the hood of his bassinet down? (Think about this for a second, there is a fucking bassinet in Star Wars)
- How does Mando kill a 5000-pound Reek with one stab from a 5-inch blade?
- Who instructed this Baby Yoda in the ways of The Force considering there is only one Jedi left in the entire Galaxy?
- How does a baby know about The Force if it can’t even talk?
- Are we going with the Disney Wars concept of The Force that says users can actively call on The Force without ever knowing about it because of… midichlorians?
Ah, fuck it.
We’re Finally On Our Own
But if you think about it, around 13,323 days have passed since the OT, so I’d say we’ve been on our own for a while.
This is what Star Wars is now.
Lucasfilm will never combine the quality writing of a AAA+ premium television series like the first few seasons of Homeland, Game of Thrones or House of Cards with the spectacle and wonder of Star Wars.
And they don’t have to because you’ll accept anything.
It’s your right to enjoy the things you know, but know yourself first.
Admit who you are.