Baby Yoda and the Mandalorian: Guilds, fraternities and organizations are no match for a good smuggler

Needless to say it, but I am very happy with The Mandalorian, the latest Star Wars show revealed on the new Disney+ streaming service. I think it’s the best show I’ve seen on television in quite a while, and I don’t just say that as a Star Wars fan. The first three episodes have completely captured pop culture with the revelation of the now famous baby Yoda and suddenly we have something very special on our hands that is bringing people together in a time where Democrats are trying to impeach President Trump so that they don’t have to run against him in 2020. Knowing how politically active the modern Disney Company is I was surprised that they even allowed for The Mandalorian to be made since the plot is essentially a “lone gunman” fighting his way for life after the events of Return of the Jedi and the fall of the Empire. There are lots of gunfighters and the way the episodes are filmed are very reminiscent of early Clint Eastwood westerns. But Disney more than anything is about making money, which they should be, and after the let downs of political tampering so far in the Kathy Kennedy era Star Wars shows, everyone seems to have learned their lesson and is making The Mandalorian in a way to make up all that to the fans. Needless to say, I’m a fan.

As all this is happening my wife and I are planning a trip to Disney World, its about time for me. I’ve always loved Disney because of their more traditional programming, such as Zorro and Davy Crockett which are both available on Disney+ and I have been watching them for the memories. Disney World and all those Florida theme parks are intended to be such optimistic places which a person like me feeds off of. But being the big corporate target that they are, not all management at Disney gets it and they do pander to Democrat and more dangerous progressive ideas way too often such as they had with Star Wars which I have covered here voluminously. Frozen II is out and doing good business, but it has several political messages that will be considered dated in the near future, especially in regard to gay and transvestite concerns and that’s a shame. So there is bad with the good and Disney as a company is trying to make money off everyone, so the Disney products are not traditionally safe and family friendly as we’d assume them to be, and I find that problematic. Frozen II was green lit a few years ago, before Trump was elected, so I can understand their mistakes, even though the box office has yet to reveal it to them. The Mandalorian however shows that at least Disney listens and is looking to make a course correction with Star Wars.

Disney as a company has always been about ideas and that is obvious in the theme parks. Their films and television shows generate sentiment, but it is the theme parks that drive the mythology home and make those ideas into something you can see and touch. I’ve always thought of their entertainment vision as bold and beautiful. I look at Liberty Square in Disney World as a temple of American reverence and it would not exist if not for the greater appeal of Disney as a company. To a point I’m willing to overlook political work like Frozen II or the lectures about global warming from a company that took a swamp in central Florida and completely reformed it for the benefit of amusement, because the end product is very good. In many ways The Mandalorian is the embodiment of the Disney Company itself and the metaphor has not been lost to me. At the start of the show the bounty hunter was well respected and wealthy. But along the way it has had to undergo some transformation that has inspired it to find the now famous baby Yoda and save it from the clutches of an evil Empire seeking to restore itself to power. To do so, The Mandalorian must turn against the Bounty Hunter Guild to do the right thing. Pretty good stuff.

As far as Star Wars mythology goes I had been liking The Mandalorian as a character when he was presented as the lone gunman type, but all this attachment to his Mandalorian culture is not something I admire. This “way” they keep talking about is not something I can relate to. But Star Wars has a lot of things for a lot of people and for me, the “smuggler” class still is far superior. They are not held to the rules of an organization the way these bounty hunters appear to be so I find their efforts far superior as a philosophy, and that is obviously understood by Disney as well as they have made their theme park attraction Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios a dedication to those types of people in the Star Wars storytelling experience. Even when the big organizations fail, such as the Empire did, or the First Order is attempting to restore, or the Rebellion succeeded but failed to properly organize a replacement government leaving the Resistance to attempt to stand up to the First Order, or the Mandalorians are trying to reestablish themselves in the wake of war, it is the smugglers and outlaws who manage to see the reality of such things due to their lack of investment into the social order of things, and that is very much a sentiment I can relate with.

There’s a lot going on and media and the things people enjoy coming from it is happening at a rapid pace. Political sentiments that were started in 2015 look like ancient history by 2020 so for a company like Disney trying to be all things to all people, its hard to pin down and I’ll give them a little room for that. By what has so far been seen of The Mandalorian Disney at least has shown that they aren’t so committed to Democrat talking points that they’ll penalize themselves as a profitable company. If Disney can continue to put out the kind of content that they are with The Mandalorian there is a bright future for Star Wars even if they have stumbled through much of this present decade. There is a lot of room to repair that relationship and they are off to a good start with baby Yoda and The Mandalorian.

More specifically I do not find The Mandalorian such an admirable character as he is more attached to his culture than I would like to see. Belonging to a guild, a fraternity, or club is a social security blanket that many people can’t see beyond, so I understand the reason its part of the story. I prefer the lone gunfighters who are also smugglers and don’t crave the company of others to make them feel a sense of belonging. But The Mandalorian is great in all other aspects and I look forward each week to the new episodes. It is certainly some of the best television I have seen in a number of years. And it looks like that is only going to increase.

Rich Hoffman

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