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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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    And that's not what the point is.

    It's not about whether this is good or bad Star Wars, or good or bad for Star Wars.

    It's about why it's losing its luster for me.
    And that comes down to a rather technical nuance, but one that is important to me.

    Mayfield is an absolute no one.
    However, the same thing happened there. There's no "Elvis" issue going on here. No preloaded super fame.
    It's simply that the show turned the narrative camera and focused on his story and his motivational needs for character growth and gave him a character champion and psychological resolution...rather than focusing on Mando.

    It doesn't matter how it feeds into the plot, the story, or how logical it is.
    Pretend I'm an all consuming attention grabbing drama queen for a moment and I want all of the attention to be on me.
    Except now shift that over to Mando and not me.

    You can earn Mayfield's moment. They didn't. They threw it in and hit the gas pedal on it in one episode.
    I don't care about him. I never did. He's a walk-on meat bag.

    Slow the F down and take some more time - stop tossing things around as the focus just because they're cool ideas, and make sure they don't just plausibly relate, or thematically relate to Mando, but directly relate to him perpetually more than the amount of time it takes to get a pizza delivered.

    That would draw me back more.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
  2. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    Trust me, nobody is trying to change your mind. But your reasons feel a bit weak IMHO.

    You mention that Mayfield is "an absolute no one." We're to assume that it's bad story telling to have an episode that features a secondary character. We get that doesn't work for you, but the notion that a screenplay that doesn't focus all the attention on the main character is somehow crazy and absurd. In the history of episodic TV, we've 'only' had THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of shows that have done that.
    Again, we get that this is part of the reason why it's losing it's luster with YOU. But for ME, this episode was one of the best written scripts I've seen in Star Wars. Not only did it enhance the audience's understanding of Mando, it put Mayfield, just a ruthless con from last season, in a whole new light. We left the episode with a much different impression of him --- one which, IMHO, was definitely 'earned.' And unlike any other Star Wars show I've watched, this one gave the audience a glimpse of what it's like to be ON THE OTHER SIDE.

    I mentioned it elsewhere here, but this episode is one that I admire and appreciate more and more with each viewing.
     
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  3. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I don't see your reasons as compelling to interest me differently of the point.

    The primary difference I'm reading is that you are fine with the focus shifting all over the place whereas I am not.

    You continue to cite things which are exactly of issue and skip over recognizing how it can be an issue.

    It's just a technical weakness.
    Every show has at least one. Lucas has one very big one and he's one of my favorite filmmakers.

    A technical weakness doesn't mean the show is wrong.
    It means there's an aspect where it is weaker, often by choice, than it would be otherwise. Often in exchange for an enhancement on another aspect.

    I am not here to tell you that it is a crap show or anyone is wrong for liking it.

    There are loads of things I love in the show.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #83 Jayson, Mar 16, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
  4. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    OK, now that I'm home and not typing on my phone.

    The Mayfield thing, @Darth Derringer ...

    Earned was a poor choice of words on my part because that is highly subjective and aesthetical - let's break that comment of mine down more.

    The issue is, for me, that Mayfield is not a secondary character.
    He's hardly even a tertiary character. He's a character that was around for one purpose previously: to be a reverse Worf for Mando.
    There's nothing wrong with secondary characters getting nice arcs and focus that is complimented by the protagonist. As you note, scores of shows have done this.
    It is, however, entirely different when that character isn't a regular of any kind.

    Now, Barr acted the hell out of that scene in the cafeteria, and it is one of the best acted scenes in all of Star Wars, quite frankly.
    It was so good I was sitting there wondering where that show about Mayfield is instead of this one about Mando...I was also thinking, "Holy crap! Bill can act!"

    But that doesn't change anything about the technical aspect that what I was watching was Mayfield square off against his arch nemesis.
    If Mayfield had spent as much time with Mando as Kuill, then cool beans. Rock it. For a show that's only 8 episodes long, being around for half a season definitely carries enough preloaded baggage and weight for a nice focus on your own arc without a need for a bunch of dumping exposition to catch us up to speed on why the audience should care about the character. The audience doesn't need a sad violin backstory on-the-go to accomplish the subsequent focus.
    Instead, the audience has a direct relationship with the character and the character's own charms have pulled the audience in and their relationship to our protagonist over the scenes in their history compel the invested concern for their well being.

    Mayfield didn't have that. Mayfield had to cram that all in during a car ride with nothing but an antagonist relationship with Mando in the past, and a pretty harsh one at that. The only way to do that is to just write a bunch of dialogue exposition dripping in weeping violins and then have the protagonist show empathy so the audience connects to the sympathy through the protagonist's stance.

    That's far weaker than easing that over multiple episodes through actions Mayfield could have done for Mando to warm himself up more organically.

    But they didn't have time for that because of all of the other whizzbang stuff they had planned to spotlight coming up.
    He essentially got the "Lando apology to Han for betrayal" stick (read: essentially minimal to none), and that means it really lands on the actor to sell the heck out of that upcoming moment.

    Barr, luckily, is extremely capable of taking some good lines and giving them more than enough emotional weight that the lack of graduated context can be overlooked.

    Which, leads to the other point.

    I agree, but also...not this show's title.

    Again, this isn't a show about Mayfield and what it's like to be on the other side. That would be a brilliant show...one that a lot of fans have been variously asking for ever since Finn showed up (and quite honestly, long, long before then).

    But that is not this show.
    That's another show.

    This show is about a rogue Mandalorian finding out what he values in life and how to connect to people instead of being a walking slab of rock with the ability to shoot things and speak simple phrases.

    It's a show about the Man with No Name becoming Bridges of Madison County.

    It's not a show that is about traumatized storm troopers and their coming to peace with the ghosts and demons of their past who have made them the broken people they are today, and that is such a good idea that it would be far better as at least a limited series all to itself - not sandwiched into a suicide run mission with an "accidental" meeting of the personal demon the character just got done waxing about the baggage of on the way over in a "heart-to-heart before we storm the beaches of Normandy" scene.

    So once again, it's not that these elements in themselves aren't very well done, nor that they aren't strung together by illogical narrative tangents.
    It's that these things are all indeed very cool, but none of them square the focus on Mando.

    The only way they relate back to Mando is that he was there, and takes in such individual's actions like Data from Star Trek observing humans to learn what it means to be more human than he has been in the past.
    Cool enough, but Cobb was able to do that perfectly fine, and with a good solid episodic arc for his character that didn't take over the spotlight but became far more about Cobb helping Mando (even though Mando was helping him), rather than Cobb "getting his".

    Few are likely to think back to that episode and think of Cobb's really cool scenes over Mando's, and they will likely recall the gravity and growth of Mando far more than Cobb's.

    There was room for both, and Cobb was able to support the Mando tonal focus far better than Mayfield was, and without taking over the finale of the episode.

    Again, this isn't to say the show is bad...so incredibly far from it.
    There are bad shows. Mando is NOT one of them - not a long stretch.

    But just because something is well crafted and not bad, doesn't mean that it A) doesn't have technical issues, and B) that those issues don't present problems to some of the viewing audience.

    Just because they aren't issues to you, doesn't mean they don't exist. I could walk these scripts into a few classes and groups of writers and they would easily target these points as weaknesses in the stories.
    They are quite simply weaknesses that are tolerable in trade off for the outcome and plans laid out for the show to accomplish.

    The show isn't perfect. It's not sacred or perfect. It has flaws.
    That those flaws create an issue of boredom for me, again, doesn't mean it's a terrible show or anyone is wrong for watching it.

    Episode 1.2 is still one of the best episodes I've seen in television hands down. I wrote about it immediately after it and praised its bold embrace of the slow meander, or "walk and watch" that few shows out there will do (Maniac, Queens Gambit are two others), and Kuiil's entire line was just solidly well done.
    Not only that, but inside of all of this section the pastiche and parallelism narrative techniques Lucas embedded into his Star Wars was present and trucking along...to my utter shock! I was truly blown away.

    If the show was still doing this, I'd be absolutely gob smacked and lip stuck to the screen.

    So don't for a moment see my comments and break down as a declaration of the show being terrible or that I'm ragging on it. I am not.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  5. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    You'd have a compelling argument IF the script wanted viewers to care about this tertiary character because he was ultimately going to die like Kuill did. If that had been the screenwriter's intent and Mayfield had died at the end of the episode, you'd have been right. Most fans wouldn't have shed a tear about it. But that was NEVER the screenplay's intention.

    While we learned a lot more about Mayfield in the episode, his role in the screenplay was to give Mando a 'buddy' for this episode's adventure and 'push' Din on his belief system -- both of which Bill Barr accomplished in a very entertaining way. While the 'sad violin backstory' that got told during the cafeteria scene gave the audience a better insight into Mayfield's character, it was never intended to be the focus of the audience's attention. The audience -- along with Mando -- wanted to see the pair quietly get the hell out of there!!! Instead, the scene's tension was being ratcheted up because it was apparent to the audience (and Mando) that the officer's comments were angering Mayfield to the boiling point.

    I thought Mayfield's shot brought the perfect mix of tension release and comedy (the stormtrooper staring at them while holding his cafeteria tray) which kicked off the final 'wild n crazy' action sequence.
     
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  6. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    And yet...it did grab the mic.

    To you it doesn't matter because he didn't die.

    To me, that's not good enough. Not by a long shot.
    It's not good enough because of all the reasons I brought up previously. It still forced the shift of focus heavily, and put the character arc fuel squarely focused on Mayfield who's moving from an uncaring lethal a**hole to a more compassionate helper of good...basically a sort of miniature Mando arc in one episode.

    If you take that same exact idea and stretch it out and have it pepper in organically, then it flows and clicks much better and feeds into Mando without the need for rushed exposition and artificial character growth excused through that exposition in a sort of soft retcon (oh, you thought he was this, but here's a news update that tells you he's really this).

    He doesn't have to die for it to be valid for his character to pair alongside Mando for longer.

    Does it work the way it is? Yes. It does.
    Again, that's been my point the whole way through.
    None of my issues are issues that point to a show that doesn't work.

    It's, as I said, rather cliché French: It could be better IF...it slowed down and stopped swinging the camera to every shiny cool factor in the galaxy that can be wrangled in and instead only cared about Mando's story exclusively...not how to get a bunch of cool stuff in Encyclopedia Star Warsica to fit into Mando's story before the season's over.

    In a sense, it would be better if the story were written as if it weren't in the Star Wars universe, and then the Star Wars outer shell was laid over the top of it after the story was written out.

    That doesn't mean it's bad as it is. It's just not for me. It's far too Encyclopedia Star Warsica.
    Star Wars isn't Star Wars to me because of things like Boba Fett, Stormtroopers, the Empire, Ahsoka, Jedi, Yoda things, Droids, X-Wings, Tatooine, Jawas, Sand People, Mandalorians, and Luke Skywalker.

    While that was my toy box as a 5 year old, that's not what makes Star Wars Star Wars for me at all.
    What makes Star Wars what it is for me comes down to how it tells a story through pastiche expressionism employing parallelism as a means of motif and reflectively expresses its message through the three tiers of the narrative, the imagery, and the medium - each addressing a slightly different layer of conversation and audience: the narrative is for the kids, the imagery is for the adults (yes, it's backwards because to Lucas the image changes the meaning of the narrative's events through an understanding of symbolism), and the form of its medium is for the industry/other filmmakers/cinephiles (through what the narrative and imagery are mixing with how they are expressed in referential tokens to known forms and standards that it plays with and augments purposefully in conversational reaction to previous films and conventions).

    That's what I saw in Mando in the first half of the first season, and that's what started to fade away starting at 1.6, and completely took a hike out of town by 2.6.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #86 Jayson, Mar 17, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
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  7. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    What??!? The Mayfield stuff grabbed the mic? IMHO, the episode was one of the most Din-centric episodes we've seen in the series. Sorry you got distracted by Mayfield and it 'heavily shifted your focus.' As a result, you missed some good Mando character moments.
    Okie dokie. For me, it's a Flash Gordon-style sci-fi serial with Old West and Samurai influences.
     
  8. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    A thematic arc is defined by whose payoff is at play in a story at the tension cilmax.

    Just as Venkman isn't the thematic arc of Ghostbusters because the tension climax isn't about his arc even though he is by far the center of attention most often, the tension climax of the show wasn't Mando's.

    That doesn't mean Mando didn't have moments. Venkman had moments as well.

    And that's great that that's what Star Wars is for you.
    Rock it!

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  9. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    Pardon me for yet another drill-down of E2E7's cafeteria scene, but we clearly have polar opposite views as to its payoff. You are viewing it as a "Mayfield thematic arc" (which is true.) However, you are doing it while ignoring the bigger picture.

    Talented screenwriters are able to convey many things at the same time. While Rick Famuyiwa used that scene to give us a better understanding of Mayfield, his primary intent was to build up the tension by having Mando hoping and praying they could quietly escape the compound unnoticed while sitting beside a human teapot on a hot stove (Mayfield), with steam coming out of his spout, ready to start whistling.

    There are scores of fan reaction videos of that episode--and I've seen most of them. When watching that scene play out, the audience wasn't saying, "Okay, NOW I understand why Mayfield is the way he is." Instead, they were echoing what Mando was communicating with his eyes, "Be careful, Mayfield...no, no, no, don't go there, man!.....no...no....no..." *BANG!* "OOOOH SH*T!!!!"

    Trust me, I get that you thought it somehow took the focus away from Mando (even though he's the one caught between that nasty officer and Mayfield's growing temper.) Most of the audience viewed it differently.
     
    #89 Darth Derringer, Mar 17, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
  10. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Again.
    You are reading me as if I am speaking about:
    A) Other people.
    B) How Mando is a bad show.

    Neither is true, and I seem to be frustrating you, so I'm going to leave it where it is.

    I'm quite pleased you enjoy the show so well.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  11. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    Okie dokie. For the record, you're not frustrating me in the least bit. Far from it, I've been enjoying our back-and-forth. For the record, I've tried hard to understand your point-of-view and be respectful of your opinions in my responses. If you feel otherwise, my apologies.

    However, as a big admirer of what Favreau and Filoni are doing with The Mandalorian, my goal has been to provide readers of this thread with some equally-compelling counterpoints to the aspects of the show which you've indicated have dampened your enthusiasm. Cheers.
     
  12. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    OK, as long as you're not getting frustrated, then I'm fine moving forward.

    So, let's swing back.
    I'm not ignoring the bigger picture. It's actually because of the bigger picture that it even bothers me.

    Yes. The tension climax was Mayfield's arc.

    Consider 2.1. The tension climax there was Mando's directly. Not Cobb's. Cobb was in the position that Mando is in 2.7 - pensively observing and hoping things work out, bracing for everything to go wrong while Mando is in the middle of the climactic tension.

    I care nothing about other people's reactions here.

    I'm only interested in:
    A) What the camera is doing
    B) What the narrative is doing
    C) What that does to me. Not everyone else in the world. To me.

    Again, I did not title this thread, "Mando is wrong", "How Mando should be done", etc... I titled it, "Mando is starting to lose its luster for me".

    Because it did.
    You've written about it.

    That doesn't happen if Mayfield isn't focused on.

    It's perfectly OK to enjoy that Mayfield's character arc was the focus of the story. You enjoyed what it gave, and didn't see a problem with it because what Mando had going on was also satisfying for you.

    It was not for me.

    The part I liked about it was the theatrics of the humor and Barr's acting. That's pretty much it.

    I don't care. Why do we keep bringing up how others felt about this?
    We're talking about me and how I react to this show's structure.

    I am not that compelling of a writer to threaten the admiration of this show by others.
    By and large, Mando is a power storm of praise with little in the way of dissent (look around the forum). My one thread on how it's going for me is in no way capable of convincing others to dislike the show...NOR DO I WANT THAT!

    I would MUCH rather everyone else continue to watch it and love it.
    Rock the heck out of it! THERE'S TONS TO LOVE IN THIS SHOW!

    TONS!

    I've written up quite a few things I love about it in other threads.

    No one should stop watching Mando because of my writing, and I honestly believe no one will stop watching Mando because of me...thankfully!

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #92 Jayson, Mar 17, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
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  13. Rogues1138

    Rogues1138 Crazy Old Wizard

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    No one should stop watching Mando because of my writing, and I honestly believe no one will stop watching Mando because of me...thankfully!

    Do not worry yourself @Jayson I've watched Mando seasons 1& 2 at least 3-4 times. ( I will definitely consume it again right before the Book of Boba Fett is released) I was gonna give it another go, but I felt I needed a rest from it... it hasn't lost its luster at all, and I think it never will, especially season 1 episode 5, The Gunslinger. Every time Fennec Shand beats the crap out of that wanna be bounty hunter (Toro Calican) that scene (Art is subjective) brings lots of joy to my heart... it was LEGENDARY. I felt I needed to leave it alone for a while and revisit it when the time was right. Just writing this makes me wanna watch season 2 episode 7... hehe :D
     
    #93 Rogues1138, Mar 18, 2021
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  14. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Rock on!

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  15. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    While watching that scene I was still worried that Mayfeld might think that betraying Din to the Imperials was a profitable strategy. I wasn't all that worried about the revelations of Mayfeld's past changing his character all that much. I was just tied in knots wondering if and how they would get out of there. In hindsight the first episode featuring Mayfeld didn't really prepare us for his appearance in chapter 15. But to be fair, the season 1 chapter featuring him wasn't much more than a side caper that was meant to demonstrate that making ends meet while a fugitive was going to be difficult and would force Din to mingle with types he'd rather not. That's all. It's good that they've embellished it but it didn't feel like it was planned at all. I don't think that's important though either. It demonstrated that "ex imperial" is a useful term that can be used to mean a lot of things in GFFA. A bitter and defeated fanatic, a cynical and disinterested conscript, a disillusioned idealist, a vengeful loyalist. And so on.

    I hope that it means the rest of the series can adapt and take advantage of opportunities to enlarge roles that might not have been planned that way. It would be interesting to see a character who served the alliance seeing the aftermath of the civil war and thinking it's not what they fought for and deciding that the overthrow of the Empire was a mistake.
     
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  16. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    I apologize in advance for this OT comment ... but DAMN, Ming-Na Wen, the actress who plays Fennec Shand, has to be the most amazing 57 year old 'gunslinger' ever to be seen on film!
     
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  17. Rogues1138

    Rogues1138 Crazy Old Wizard

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    My martial arts instructor is over 60 years old but could pass for someone in his early 40's... I'm 51 the women I talk to say, I look like I'm 35, take up some sort of activity that keeps you moving everyday, and its like the fountain of youth... its never too late, age is just a number as the women say... and when you stop moving that's when you're done.

    Also, my youthful attitude toward life stumps them too, I still enjoy all the things I enjoyed as a youth, Star Wars, comic books, video games, the gym, etc.
     
    #97 Rogues1138, Mar 18, 2021
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  18. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    You don't give yourself enough credit. By presenting a well-thought out contrarian view, you push us, 'Mando Believers,' to examine why the show works for us and to articulate the reasons why. I see that as a good thing -- and it creates a fun thread. Well done!
     
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  19. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    There's a lot to unpack in here, and a lot of it feeds into the concepts of why the show isn't really working for me.

    It's not so much the lack of planning - god knows Star Wars is absolutely packed with piss poor planning and I hold that some of the greatest stuff comes out of Star Wars when its back is against the wall in the 11th hour after all of the plans have fallen apart and everyone is in panic mode trying to scrape together a solution.

    That said, in this case, it's kind of a good representation of what I was referring to that:
    A) 1.6 didn't prepare for 2.7
    B) 1.6, nor 2.7 were well planned for, which is OK, but that meant that it was a bit jarring rather than eased into.
    C) The concepts and topics of "ex imperialism" are absolutely not interesting to me, specifically when I'm interested in Mando's story and not the sociopolitical structure of the galaxy in regards to the remnants of the Empire.

    I think these are interesting ideas, but that's where I see a bit of a problem. The universe is so vast and the opportunities so numerous that it's very hard to not whip your head around at every shiny interesting idea and toss that in because, "Oh man! That would be awesome...and..and...!".
    Yes, it is awesome, but it's a matter of topical tangent. Is that topic directly relevant to the thematic topic of Mando without extraction into side tangents?
    No...it's really not.

    So if you're interested in that stuff, then it really won't matter that it's being brought up - you'll be interested because it's producing a contrast on something you want to pay attention to.
    If you're not interested in that stuff, then it really will matter that it's being brought up because you'll not be interested because it's not producing a contrast on something you want to pay attention to. Instead, it's taking attention and time away from what you do find interesting.

    It's a difference of A) Is Mando a vehicle to survey the galaxy and comment on the universe of Star Wars ad nauseum, or B) Is Mando a vehicle to tell the story of Mando.

    You can say, well..both! Surely!
    But no, one of those is the priority.

    And the lack of planning is fine, but it's the mixture of the lack of planning (which is fine) and the whiplash neck sprang that creators can go through turning at every great idea about the galaxy that pops into their head and not forcibly restricting themselves to direct relevancy of topic to Mando.

    It's one thing to have an ex trooper helping Mando which elaborates on Mando's theme (which Mayfield did). It's another for an ex trooper helping Mando to elaborate on ideas beyond Mando (which Mayfield did).
    The same is true of Fett, Ahsoka, etc.... ad nauseum - so many things really.

    All of the episodes are written somewhat slapdash mixed between planned and unplanned, but the ones that don't really have this issue are the ones that are isolated to an almost exclusive topical tangent of just Mando and nothing much else - no other big named nouns being provoked to think about.

    Well, thank you. That's all I can really hope for.
    The best I prefer to do isn't to tear things down, but to lift things up by causing people to look at the art the next time in a new way that causes another layer of appreciation.

    I actually sat on this thread for a very long time (a year, actually) before posting it because it nearly breaks from my normal rule: if it's criticism, don't; if it's critique, do.

    And on that note, let's dive into the critique a bit more.

    I said before that what I love about Star Wars is the pastiche expressionism. That's basically, as far as I'm concerned, something Lucas practically invented.
    Both ideas existed as a form of art, but thrashing them together was definitely new, and it's radical. So radical that it's rarely done outside of Lucas.
    I think perhaps Maniac (Netflix limited series) might be the only other example I can readily draw to mind.

    And this is why:
    A) I wasn't expecting Star Wars TV shows to really work out (for me at least),
    and
    B) Why I was blown away for the first few episodes of Mando,
    and then
    C) Why I was bummed at about 1.6 (and 1.6 was a hard knee jerk...hard)

    The pastiche part is obvious, refraining older art into new art. Check.
    And that's where you look at it and say, "Flash Gordon".

    This also loops back to the "I don't care" part for me. It's the "I don't care about the aesthetic of Star Wars".
    That's true the way I meant that, but it's not true absolutely.
    It's true that I don't care about the aesthetic of Star Wars in itself for what it is as a designed surface.

    However, I DO care about is what fuels that aesthetic and why that aesthetic is chosen.
    It's a tool. It's not just a "Flash Gordon 2.0" skin - a "let's give sci-fi a better flare quality than it's ever had".

    It's also a tool - a very specific and fascinating one...because Lucas is anything but simple. The man is the most over-thought and contrived artist to probably grace the craft.
    I made this joke once and I still hold to it:
    lucasing.png

    The part that comes into play that is the reason for that pastiche is actually, fascinatingly, the expressionism part of "pastiche expressionism".
    (By the way...don't go looking for this term, I made up "pastiche expressionism" to define what the heck Lucas had invented because it just doesn't exist outside of his creation before him...and barely at all after him....but I'd like to see that changed.)

    Lucas went with fantasy not just because he loved science fantasy, but because he was massively impacted by German and Russian Expressionist film, as well as massively impacted by Arthur Lipsett.
    He saw his short films and it just blew him over.
    It's why he made Look at Life, it's why THX has a number in it, it's why 21-87 is a number all over Star Wars, it's why it's called "The Force".

    I think in many ways Lipsett's 21-87 almost hit Lucas about like Star Wars hit so many people. Just a complete pounding shock.

    All of these things have one thing in common that Lucas is absolutely obsessed with: art as a communication with the subconscious.
    He loves breaking the cognitive wall and communicating with the subconscious mind. That's what he's ultimately trying to do in everything he works on.

    And fantasy is a great vehicle for doing that because your basis for cognitive reality nearly drops off as if you're in a dream world because all of the regular rules go right out the window.
    But to do that you have to not have familiarity. The more familiarity there is the less cognitive bypass you can accomplish.

    This is why he gave TFA such a hard time about not having new designs of ships, planets, and other various aesthetics.
    This is why THX looks like it does, why Look at Life ticks like it does, why Willow looked like it did, why Indiana Jones looked like it did, why Star Wars looks like it does, why every film he tried to bring more in that you've never seen before - not just upgrades of what you have seen before.

    Bespin, for example, exists in ESB because you had never seen that before in Star Wars. It wasn't just Tatooine 2.0, which you would think you would do.
    It was completely alien. The aesthetic of Bespin was a complete departure of the aesthetic of everything else.

    It's also why you have Ewoks (in part), and Endor, and Speeder Bikes.
    These are things you've never seen - nothing looks like them.

    It's why the Prequels look like they do rather than looking like a shared ancestry more closely to the originals.

    At every step Lucas is constantly trying to knock down the cognitive wall and talk to your subconscious as directly as possible, and fills in as many things as possible to hammer away at that wall so he can get in there.

    Then he uses the music and the imagery to talk to the subconscious once the walls are down. This is why you can turn off the words in Star Wars, or flip it to another language, and it still works. People who can't understand English still understand what's going on and most of the meanings of it.

    The dialogue and narrative are more or less just contrivances to get the actual discussion via the imagery and music a platform to occur.
    To give the cognitive something to be distracted by so the real conversation underneath can happen.

    And that's not woowoo. That's Lucas talking heavily about German and Russian expressionism over dozens of years, and what he loves about those things and what he was trying to do with various parts of his films and why.

    It's highly specifically targeted art to such an amazingly high caliber that it's just mind numbing.

    So...when I saw that same thing happening in the first season of Mando, I was BLOWN away.
    I was NOT expecting that to be present.

    And that's also why when 1.6 came on I was jarred so harshly, because 1.6, 1.7, and 1.8 were so absolutely 180 degrees in this regard from 1.5 and before.
    They were nothing like it - there was no expressionism going on anymore. There was some pastiche, but absolutely no expressionism preserved.
    It was all cognitive hits and tickles. The interest of dialing in to cognitive sledgehammers to open up a subconscious conversation was just vaporized in the process.

    Then 2.1 came out and it was back...a bit. Weaker, but it was at least back.
    Then 2.6 came out and, bam. It was vaporized out again.

    This is a part of the "wrong tonal focus for me".
    It's only, to me, doing half of Star Wars.

    This is something that I don't think Filoni actually gets. Favreau does - I know he does, but he's not 100% committed to it to a fault like Lucas. No one is...except maybe David Lynch.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #99 Jayson, Mar 18, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
  20. Martoto

    Martoto Rebel Official

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    That's a problem since a large percentage of the people that Mando interacts and will interact with are, inevitably, either ex Imperial or have fought against the Empire. So that isn't going to go away.
     
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