The Mandalorian: Tried and True Science Fiction

Hey gang, Lilith here, been a while, I no, but someone’s got to bring you their opinion on this epic new installment in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian, and specifically baby Yoda aka the Child, has probably given Disney thousands of Disney Plus subscriptions and not without reason. Rather than write a play by play or discuss possible theories of what is to come, or even just rant about the show’s awesomeness, I want to instead compare this show to my still all-time favorite science fiction TV series and why I feel this show is destined for success. Very minimal spoilers to follow.

What might that all-time favorite TV show I mentioned be? Why Firefly my friends, a one season wonder with the elements of a Western and science fiction master piece that brings some of the most endearing characters and raving one liners to the small screen. I am sure many people will say that the Mandalorian has already surpassed Firefly since it has attained second season status, and I hope it continues to grow as a show and bring us great storylines and characters, but I was thinking about why I like this Star Wars show so much the other day and I realized it has a LOT in common with my old time favorite. 

There aren’t quite as many characters as seen in Firefly, but maybe that is for the best, because I felt the character development seen in Firefly was above most show’s paygrades. But there are some striking similarities between Mando and Malcolm Reynolds. The two are both ruthless, bad ass, and have an incredibly strong internal moral code. While they could do things to solely benefit themselves, they regularly make decisions based on what they perceive as right, seeing a distinct difference between right and wrong. Which is both cases is ironic, considering Mal is a thief and Mando is a bounty hunter. But from early on we see Mando break the bounty hunters’ code in order to save The Child from a potentially gruesome fate, probably the only time he ever broke his end of the bargain on a bounty. This episode in The Mandalorian was incredibly similar to The Train Job, where Mal and his crew steal from The Alliance, similar to The Empire in many ways, but then realize what they stole was medicine that hard working people with a chronic disease needed, so he gives it back knowing there will be a bounty on his head the rest of his life. Just like Mando couldn’t rightfully sit back and let The Empire experiment on The Child as it was just wrong, and The Child was so innocent. 

Aside from the obvious similarities between Mando and Malcom Reynolds, it is a little harder to compare characters, but I would argue that in many ways Baby Yoda is like River Tam (and yes, I know his name is not Baby Yoda, but we all think of him that way, admit it). The Child is misunderstood, innocent, a baby, yet has immense power at the tip of his fingers should he learn how to control it. River Tam is borderline psycho from the experiments the government did on her, yet also is the most powerful being on the whole crew of the Serenity. And both shows spend much of the time keeping their powerful kiddos safe, protected from the evil governments that would continue to abuse and manipulate these individuals. 

There are some other more subtle similarities in the side characters, like Cara Dune could be compared to Zoe Washburne and Peli Motto could be compared to Kaylee. But with less repeated side characters in The Mandalorian that is a little more hard to equate. Yet the overall feel of shows are so alike. Both take place on the outskirts of a universe with so much potential, and follow a mission episode sequence, or some would say a D&D approach to episodes, where on each episode you follow your group of do gooders on a new adventure in to a new castle or battleground. And thus far, both shows have minimal harm come to our beloved important characters, making us happy to see our team succeed. (Who wants to watch them die or get hurt?!). Both shows have superb theme songs. And both shows keep reselling the idea episode after episode that we want to route for our good guys, they deserve to win. 

I hope that having multiple seasons doesn’t result in too much repetitiveness, or overly complex and bizarre storylines, but so far I find myself enjoying The Mandalorian quite a lot, and I am relishing the same atmosphere I experience when I watch my beloved Firefly. This is the way. Also, I can kill you with my brain. 

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Posted on November 22, 2020, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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