The Mandalorian and its Impact on Star Wars


Walt Disney Studios

Official Image for Star Wars: The Mandalorian


Star Wars: one of the most influential and popular franchises in the history of pop culture. Ever since its initial release in 1977, George Lucas’ Star Wars gained massive popularity, as it is “the first epic sci-fi space adventure to be told on a grand scale” (Derek Togerson from NBC). However, Star Wars wasn’t popular only because of its unique genre. It was popular because of the lovable characters like Han Solo and Chewbacca, iconic moments like Darth Vader’s, “Luke, I am your father,” and the memorable soundtrack composed by John Williams. Star Wars also expands itself from movies to other forms of media, such as books, comics, toys, and now TV shows on streaming platforms.

Even though Star Wars is a beloved franchise, there are polarizing opinions from fans, regarding the most recent trilogy. Some fans claim that the new trilogy was fairly enjoyable, while others believe that it wasted its potential. Ever since the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019, the general feedback from the Star Wars fanbase is negative, as it currently has a 51% score on Rotten Tomatoes, 53% on Metacritic, and a rating of 6.6/10 on IMDb.

The Rise of Skywalker is a bad movie and a miserable finale that served no other purpose other than to reassure adult fans of the original Star Wars that they are still the ‘chosen ones,’” Scott Mendelson from Forbes said, “The problem isn’t just that it absolutely walks back a number of potent reveals and plot threads from the last movie […] the movie spends almost its entire running time retconning its predecessor and adding painfully conventional ‘plot twists’ and patronizing reversals in the name of mollifying the fans who merely want to be reminded of the first three movies.”

However, before the release of The Rise of Skywalker, a spin-off series The Mandalorian was released on November 12, 2019 on Disney+. Ever since the release of The Mandalorian, fans were ecstatic, as many claim that it is the best installment in the Star Wars universe by far. The Mandalorian is a western-styled show that is set five years after Return of the Jedi. The series follows the Mandalorian, also known as Mando, as he goes on missions for his clients. Well, what made The Mandalorian so charming? Besides the adorable ‘father-and-son’ dynamic between Baby Yoda (now named Grogu) and the well-written protagonist, there are many reasons why The Mandalorian is so great.

“It’s not easy to tell a Star Wars story – let alone one that has anything new to say,” Laura Prudom from IGN said, “The Mandalorian draws heavily from the classic Western and samurai movie tropes that inspired George Lucas when he created the original films.”

The Mandalorian manages to take that classic Star Wars charm, and tell a fresh story. It didn’t need to rely on the Skywalker Saga to make it interesting, unlike Episodes VII-IX. Instead, The Mandalorian explores the expanded universe with a completely new character who has no connections to already established characters like Luke Skywalker or Han Solo. Additionally, the characterization of Mando is very well done, as he can display genuine emotion without the need to show his face. Furthermore, the show isn’t afraid to display a couple of fan-service moments, only to further the plot and to get Star Wars fans theorizing and anticipating what’s going to happen next.

Some of these fan-service moments are more prominent in Season 2, as some fan-favorite characters make their grand return. Examples include Ahsoka Tano’s and Bo-Katan’s first live-action appearances, and Boba Fett’s surprising comeback after Return of the Jedi. However, those character returns weren’t as huge and jaw dropping as what happened in the Season 2 finale, as the famous Luke Skywalker makes a surprise cameo. Not only was that scene surprising, but it was fulfilling for all Star Wars fans alike.

“The impact of seeing Luke himself step out of the past and into this story couldn’t have been more perfect,” Alan Sepinwall from the Rolling Stone said, “And having Grogu [Baby Yoda] essentially watch Luke Skywalker on television only adds to the power of it. Grogu is us, as children, seeing Star Wars for the first time, gasping at the idea of an all-powerful Force that binds the universe and makes everything better.”

And even after the return of Luke Skywalker, the finale ends with an impactful scene where Mando has to say his final goodbye to Grogu. That scene is another one of the surprises the series pulls because it has Mando removing his helmet not for the purpose of getting a mission done in time, but to show his true self to the child he protected at all costs. And after saying his goodbye, Luke leaves with Grogu, saying the classic phrase, “May the Force be with you.”

Overall, The Mandalorian is considered to be the best installment in the Star Wars universe because not only was it satisfying for fans who were disappointed after The Rise of Skywalker, but the series told a fresh story with a compelling protagonist, rich soundtrack, and that classic Star Wars charm.