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Mando is losing its luster for me

Discussion in 'The Mandalorian' started by Jayson, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Here's a the thing, it's not about the mask.

    I'll say that again, because there's such a hang up on it, it's not about the mask.

    It's about the theatrics.

    You remember the explosion of energy that came when Moff busted out of the Tie with the Dark Saber?
    THAT is theatrics.

    "OH SNAP! WHAT?!"

    There was more theatrics in that moment than there was in Mando taking off his mask.
    And THAT is the problem that I have with the show. There's more theatrics over props than character.

    And that sword really shows the problem I have because every time Moff whips it out, they take a moment to highlight it theatrically like a big deal.
    Yeah, got it. He's got an amazingly cool boom stick. Check.
    But every time it comes out it's actually weakened more and more, not because it's shown more and more, but because it's theatrically chorused every time it comes out.

    The moment that he holds it over Grogu's head is weak because it's more theatrical that it's a dark saber hanging over Grogu's head than it is theatrical that Mando now has a weakness - something he cares about protecting and can be hurt by that no amount of armor can protect.

    So it's not about the mask. It's about theatrics and where they're used and how they're used. Cool things get more glorified theatrics than impactful character moments.
    There's a wealth more theatrics in Mando's Whistling Birds than in Mando openly choosing to become vulnerable and show himself to Grogu, which is a pinnacle moment to his character.

    Heck, there's a massive theatrical display to Mando getting new armor. There's more theatrics surrounding that than any other moment in the show for Mando's character.
    If I were to assign value based on theatrics, I'd say the important thing in two seasons was that Mando got new armor.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
  2. Ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi

    Ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi Rebel Official

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    I too am not fond of the direction The Mandalorian as a whole is heading. Season 1 had a better tone: bounty hunter guy doing dirty jobs for random people. There were few ties to the bigger Skywalker saga.
    Fast forward to the season finale of season 2....
    Probably the most marketable and recognizable face in Star Wars shows up in person at the end. Previous episodes also featured fan favorites like Ahsoka and Bo Katan. The trend is disturbing: instead of bolstering the character arc of Mando, they rely on the “guest star of the week,” similar to the later Scooby Doo episodes. I might add that this is precisely what made me a bit disinterested in Rebels. I wanted to love Ezra. I wanted to get to know him as his character “grew” out, but it never really changed from season 1. Apart from Ezra’s hairstyle and some sick moves, he never really progressed as a person. (Sabine Wren and Kanan are different...) Instead of being concerned about Ezra, I found myself wondering “Is Leia going to show up next week? How about Lando Calrissean? Maybe Mon Mothma?”
    And here lies a big millstone around Lucasfilm’s neck they haven’t been able to shake since the Disney buyout: no matter how far they try to stray from the Original Trilogy, they find themselves coming right back at it.

    Now, will that keep me from watching Mandalorian Season 3? Heck no. I have some renewed hope things will refocus with Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and possibly other characters off with their own individual spinoff series.
     
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  3. Mando LXXXV

    Mando LXXXV Rebel Official

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    It's only gained more affection and luster for me than lose any at all but well that's just me
     
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  4. RockyRoadHux

    RockyRoadHux Ginger General

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    Imo you summed it up pretty well.
     
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  5. DarthSnow

    DarthSnow Master of Coin
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    Ehhhh...

    AHSOKA TANO: "There is one possibility. Go to the planet Tython. There you will find the ancient ruins of a temple that has a strong connection to the Force. Place Grogu on the seeing stone at the top of the mountain... ...Then Grogu may choose his path. If he reaches out through the Force, there’s a chance a Jedi may sense his presence and come searching for him. Then again, there aren’t many Jedi left."

    I know its not much, but between Ahsoka's words and the events on Tython, I thought that was plenty.

    And while the set-up didn't happen in The Mandalorian, we know from the ST that this was the time when Luke was starting up his own Jedi School, so it does make sense for him to be the one to answer the call. And when you consider that Ahsoka isn't a Jedi anymore and had just declined to train him, and that Ezra may still be out there somewhere but is likely tied up with other matters, he probably isn't in the business of taking on a trainee. So, if anyone were to answer that long-distance call from Tython, in hindsight it had to be Luke - or nobody.

    I will concede that there is no room for Luke though. Which is exactly why he did what he did, and left. We won't be seeing him again in The Mandalorian, I can all but guarantee it.

    I wasn't too thrilled with all the cameos at the time, but knowing what we know now (Ahsoka, The Book of Boba Fett, Rangers of the New Republic) I am totally cool with it. I am sure that at least half the purpose of Mando S2 was to be used as a launching pad for these new series.

    I feel the same. I'm confident the style and format of Mando S2 will be the exception to the series instead of the rule. I'm definitely anticipating an entire new focus moving forward... but Bo Katan and other Mandos will surely be feaured heavily, considering the Darksaber developments.
     
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  6. RockyRoadHux

    RockyRoadHux Ginger General

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    I think that's a given, most likely they already run out of dialogue recycled from the OT and if there had ever been the plan for Luke to have greater role they wouldn't have used a CGI, but an actor.
     
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  7. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    I agree the helmet thing could've been handled a little better, though I think that him doing this at the Imperial base just went to show how important saving Grogu was to Din. Not only did he remove his helmet (something he almost didn't do last season to save his own life) but he did so in front of Mayfield who Din arguably isn't particularly fond of (no to mention a room full of Imperials). It was a big decision for him, and I don't think it was made lightly.

    As for the "wookieepedia checklist", that was a problem I had too, though I personally think it worked itself out by the end. This season had a really bad case of what I like to refer to as the "Iron Man 2 Syndrome". Much like how Iron Man 2 spends a lot of its resources on setting up various aspects of the upcoming MCU, this season spent so much time trying to build up this connected universe of the Ahsoka show, Rangers of the New Republic, etc, that it sometimes felt like Mandalorian Season 2 wasn't really about anything else.

    Also, I understand that without Grogu the show feels a lot more directionless. And that could be a problem.
    Obviously we don't know what will happen next season, and I have a feeling that Grogu will return to Din at some point... but in the mean time, I think the Mandalorian inheritance storyline is compelling, if not also a massive shift for the show.

    So, I understand problems people might have... but I hope you find joy in it again sometime in the future :)
     
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  8. RockyRoadHux

    RockyRoadHux Ginger General

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    My latest post came off a bit negative, it's not like I didn't enjoy Season 2. I had a great time watching it.
     
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  9. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    That's all I'm really talking about.
    Sure, there's a weak setup that allows us to scoot him in, or really anyone we wanted to squeeze in (heck, if we wanted to we could resurrect Windu from the great beyond with another "he didn't die...like Maul, Palps..."), but there's no elbow room narratively for the demigods in the stories of the peasants - there's always room for peasants in the stories of the demigods.

    That's kind of my problem though.
    It's not that it doesn't make narrative sense, or can't make sense.
    It's that it's the weaker of the two theatrically.

    That's where my meat and potatoes of issues lies: the line up between theatrics and narrative weight aren't aligned.
    Even back in Season 1 they were out of step.
    There was way more theatrical weight on props than character. So much so that in Season 1, the two were practically conflated.
    I felt like I was watching a dramatization of an MMO character leveling up more than I was watching Mando go through an internal emotional arc extrapolated into external metaphors.

    Those external metaphors where there, and he went through them, largely because of the Grogu McGuffin - which helped.
    But, man, it really didn't stop hammering the Gear Game bell. If it wasn't theatrically heralding Mando's weapons, armor, or ship, it was heralding the bad guys' weapons, armor, or ships.

    Season 1 held on better than Season 2, but I was already feeling like they kind of lost their focus 2/3rds of the way through. I figured I'd wait for Season 2 because, hey, could just be a rough patch. Figuring out this stuff is hard.
    Season 2 came out and Mando doesn't really go anywhere. It's mostly "play that same old song Sam" every episode: Mando searches for where to drop off Grogu.
    Meanwhile, every episode fills itself mostly with other show idea plot set ups, or just has fun playing around in the Star Wars toy box.

    I could basically skip all of Season 2 and jump to episode 5 and then 8 and call it a day without missing much of anything worth a whole lot of weight relative to Mando.

    That's not to say they don't hit the themes. Cobb rings the bell of community, Frog Lady of progeny, Kryze of heritage, Ahsoka of connection, and Mayfeld of atonement.

    But they're not the focus consistently. It's more "FETTS ARMOR!" "WOAH! X-WINGS!" "KRYZE!" "BOBA FETT!" "OH NO! MANDO'S SHIP!" "AHSOKA!!!!!" "DARK SABER!" "STAR WARS TERMINATORS I HAVEN'T SEEN SINCE 1995!" "LUUUKE!"

    If you wanted a show to revel in Star Wars fandom wowzers, this is absolutely the show.
    If you want a show that focuses on a bounty hunter growing a heart and learning to be more of a person through herculean tasks told in the theatrical styling of Star Wars allegory...this isn't the show.

    It kind of is, but only for maybe about a third of itself. The rest of the time it's far more interested in nerding out on iconic IPs.
    Which, hey, that's actually perfectly fine. Don't get me wrong there.

    My wife is over there crying her eyes out at the end because the Grogu jerk-chain works, and she's also over there asking me every episode about everything they're focusing on in the show that anyone not steeped in Star Wars doesn't really understand - "What's that? Who's that? etc..." because she can tell they're focusing on it to say it matters, but she doesn't know the Star Wars Encyclopedia - so I pause and tell her real quick and we continue on.
    And my kids love it when we pause and go over Star Wars gear and character lore.

    That's probably why I recognize it so much - it's been pointed out very much.

    So it totally works in a circus of marvels sort of manner.
    I'm just not that guy, really, when it comes to Star Wars (or anything, really).
    I'm mostly here because I like the way the stories are told, not what the IPs are. So for me, it sort of falls flat as a pure story at this point.

    You'll never really see me talking about Star Wars IPs for the sake of what they are as an idea or thing.
    I don't care about speeder bikes, tie fighters, x-wings, Jedi temples, sabers, Mandalorians, Jedi powers, Sith <fill in the blank>, ad nauseam.... anymore than I care about what color frosting is on a cake, or what sprinkles it has.

    ...although, I'll admit...the speederbike was a stroke of kit-bash genius.

    And I'm just going to go ahead and say it....
    My god Luke looked terrible.
    I don't mean The Rock in Mummy terrible...nothing is that terrible. That's just sad that it even exists as an option.
    But it's bad. Lips don't move right, eyes don't move right...
    The overall effect is like looking at someone who just had a ton of Botox and is recovering from a neck injury.

    Hopefully they go back and fix that in years to come as the technology improves, yeesh.

    I'm not holding my breath.
    I kind of already knew that after the ST ended, I was unlikely to keep up with Star Wars much after that because chances are massively high that it will become a
    cirque de l'encyclopédie because...how could it not?
    There's a massive bin of IPs just sitting there waiting to be rolled around in and brought to screen - so much so that it's easily going to become the focus.

    Where, when, what, who?
    A hundred IPs per answer.

    That's the way it goes. A cultural blockbuster makes toys, and eventually the toys make the blockbuster.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #29 Jayson, Jan 4, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
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  10. Jpcab

    Jpcab Clone

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    Well said.. You just completely destroyed that initial post completely.
    Congrats
     
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  11. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Ninja and I are friends who share an interest in film and writing.

    We don't write to destroy each other. We write to discuss, challenge each other's views, and grow.

    This isn't a war. It's a discussion for the betterment of art appreciation and creativity.

    De Palma regularly disagreed with Lucas absolutely.
    Neither destroyed the other.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  12. Jpcab

    Jpcab Clone

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    I understand.. But your counter argument was very logic and made all the sense. As we all could see by viewer reaction
     
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  13. GingerByte

    GingerByte Simple Man

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    Well, you're actually way off with that. Luke started training Ben in 15 ABY, and didn't even consider himself ready to start a school yet then. He was still investigating ancient Jedi sites and collecting relics with Lor San Tekka. The Mandalorian takes place in 9 ABY.
     
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  14. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Grogu teaches Luke how to teach.
    Bet me... :p

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  15. Flyboy

    Flyboy Force Attuned

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    Ruralfarmboy?
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 6, 2021, Original Post Date: Jan 6, 2021 ---
    Anyway as far as the main topic goes, I agree with most of what you said.

    From the very first episode Mando hasn't clicked with me in the way I hoped it would. My problems with it probably even exceed yours but I won't be getting into them because... I just don't want to. As someone who's spent the better part of 3 years defending 2 films that a lot of people don't like, I simply don't have the energy to be on the other side.
     
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  16. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Yeah, I don't much enjoy making these.
    There's really a lot in Mando that's great stuff - it's just not going to a place as a type of fipm/show that I enjoy on the whole.

    That doesn't mean it's bad.
    It still clicks to scores of people and it has wonderful sonnets in it.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  17. oldbert

    oldbert Guardian of Coffee Breaks

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    @Darth Chewie
    You answered yourself on your own point allready. Give the "fans" something they have allready shown to be engaged with, sthg they feel familiar with, then your chances are higher to get a before calculated money with the calculated risk of loosing then percent of people who like it a little bit more fresh and sophisticated.
    As long as people want a FAST and safe return on investment, they will reduce risks.
    I think it's a real problem of our nowadays "old" "western" economies to play it safe. Money is more important than innovation because inventing comes with failure, trail and error.
    Play it fast and safe for a large number of consumers and you have what we're getting all over the place and also on film: More of the same.

    That doesn't mean that I can't enjoy a "good show".
    BUT reading through all the posts above I have got a better and clearer picture of my own troubles with Season 2.
    Kuiil and his reprogrammed robot have provided a momentum for Din's character development. They have been a challenge for him as person. They asked him questions. I missed relatable characters like this in Season 2.
    I think they used Season 2 as marketing platform for next year's content.
    The price was that they had very little room left for going deep into character developments.

    I had stick to some short but good moments of acting in Season 2.
    That was also the case in the helmet scenes.
    Thanks to excellent acting I wasn't that focused on the helmet lifting lifting itself but very much more so on the emotional expressions on Din's face while doing it. Because he was able to carve out the difference between an "oh I have to break the rules now" moment and "I love you so much my little friend, but because of that I let you go" moment.
     
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  18. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    This.

    The first season was my cup of tea. A lone western like anti-hero making his way through the galaxy. In season 2 Mando doesn't feel like the main character. I would even say he doesn't even feel like a character at all. He's just there while others shine. I hope this changes in season 3.
     
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  19. gholc15

    gholc15 Rebel Commander

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    Aw, that sucks, I hope you can enjoy it going forward!
     
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  20. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Yeah, I want to be SUPER clear - I may have come off harsher than it really is in effect.

    I don't hate Mando, nor do I suffer it.
    There's still cool shots, ideas, sequences, and a couple narrative thoughts here and there in this show.

    It's ABSOLUTELY better than Supernatural or Lucifer by LEAGUES and I've sat through both of those (spousal duties call...although, Supernatural had a good season or two, and the production staff is to be admired truly...though...nothing close to Psych's production staff).

    I think I'd plop it currently just below the 12 Monkeys series, but only just.
    Maniac, limited series, still beats the crap out of Mando Season 2, but the first 2/3rds of Mando Season 1 was right there next to it and on its way to soundly beating it.

    For comparison, Stranger Things was up to Maniac's level for me until the last season. The last season wasn't terrible, but it's eh...just fell flat by comparison.
    But that's not saying it's terrible.

    Mando is still, in my book of quality, top notch television. Certainly superior to Shield, so folks looking for TV shows centered around Star Wars content should still be happy.
    Oh, and it's MASSIVELY better than Star Trek right now. We're not drowning in CW-like interpersonal melodrama every episode.

    But what will Mando do now that Cara Dune doesn't think that Mando likes her because he told Greef that he was leaving, but didn't tell her?????
    [​IMG]

    The day THAT happens...yeah, then it's become what I call a tabloid serial.
    Which are basically serials that take a soap opera formula and cover it up in single-camera set ups instead of multi-camera set ups.

    lol
    Man, now THAT I would pay to see just once. A multi-camera set up Star Wars show.
    Can someone out there in the universe make a Telenovela Star Wars limited series just once - you can even make it that it's a show within the universe just so you can throw it away (and burn it afterwards). lol

    Anyways...

    Yeah, it's not a bad show.
    It's just not going the way I would prefer, which are two very different things.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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