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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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    I want to be very clear here...
    At no point is it my view that Mando is a show that has failed to communicate its narrative, or convey the narrative arc of its primary protagonist.

    The fact that the show conveys character development and a narrative arc does not change the effect of the (sometimes wildly) off-topic distractions this show has in it.
    Look at it rephrased about something else. Let's say a painting series about ice cream.

    For a painting series featuring such a limited subject material that can't emote, I would argue that it's actually rather remarkable how much emotion the ice cream conveys over the course of the series of paintings. Despite the many 'distractions' (of naked women eating ice cream, which the painting series did not first include) you mention, I would opine that the overriding power of the painting series still shines through.

    Perhaps.
    But 2 points.
    1) If you don't find shoving naked women into paintings to be all that remarkable, then the provocativeness or marvel of their inclusion isn't going to be all that interesting to you (yes, I am comparing Luke Skywalker showing up in Mando as equal to tossing naked women into paintings about ice cream).
    2) A painting series about ice cream managing to be about ice cream isn't all that impressive as a bar.

    Likewise:
    1) If you don't find all of the "Star Wars greatest hits" to be all that remarkable, then the provocativeness or marvel of their inclusion isn't going to be all that interesting to you.
    2) A show about a character managing to be about that character isn't all that impressive as a bar.

    And on point 2, I think Mando has far more good qualities than that it at least manages to convey a powerful narrative about its primary protagonist.
    That's every other show out there right now - everyone is tossing around powerful protagonists right and left. Our television is littered with "powerful shows" like Europe is littered with castles.

    I've talked about those qualities a few times, and they are what really impresses me and draws me back to the show. Not it's "powerful narrative" (that's actually a turn off for me at this point - I'm kind of sick of that attribute being steroided).

    Keeping the story squarely on the subject of the series was never a part of what I discussed. I never claimed it wasn't about Mando as a narrative arc.

    What I did say was that it repeatedly focused momentarily, and intermediately in length, on other things than Mando and displayed them in ways that focused on the object or subject's wow-factor to audience minds outside of the context of Mando at a rate of frequency that I found to be unenjoyable, and that some of them weakened the standard narrative devices at times in exchange for those contrivances. If you are a fan of those objects and subjects, then it is not going to be a problem. However, if you are not interested in those objects and subjects, then the focus on those objects and subjects will be a problem because every time the lens focuses on them for their cool-factor in-and-of-themselves (even if that focus on their cool-factor in-and-of-themselves is being mixed with narratively relevant motives) your enjoyment and interest level will drop.

    Just because something has been made to have relevance to Mando doesn't mean the primary reason that it's there is not because of the wow-factor that thing has to the mind of the audience outside of Mando.

    You can have someone drive a Ferrari in your story. It doesn't matter how relevant it is to the show, a part of the reason that that Ferrari is there is because it's a Ferrari.

    Top Gun doesn't have F-14's because the narrative needed F-14's. They wanted a show about F-14's and found a way to get a story written that made F-14's relevant to the story.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #121 Jayson, Mar 25, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021
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  2. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    I would agree that the individual episodes can go in dramatically different directions. But I would argue that's exactly what fans expect from an episodic adventure show. You mentioned the early seasons of Supernatural in an earlier post as a good example of 'old-style' episodic TV. I would wholeheartedly agree with you and believe The Mandalorian is following in that grand tradition.

    When you have a 'monster of the week' or 'adventure of the week' approach, you would expect that each show would be, to use your words, 'wildly' different. I appreciate that you view them as 'off-topic distractions' but, given the show's episodic nature, I view them as one of the shows strengths. People who love roller coaster rides, enjoy every twist and turn - or if we're talking ice cream, people who enjoy every new flavor they're presented with. :)
    While you can view Luke's appearance as equivalent to 'tossing a naked woman into an ice cream painting' or as nonsensical as a fish riding a bicycle, those analogies simply don't hold water if you follow the show's storyline.

    Such a perspective ignores the set-up to S2:E8: Din is searching for a Jedi to take and train Baby Grogu. When Ahsoka is eventually found and refuses, she tells Din about an ancient temple where Grogu can 'call out' to a Jedi. Now at that point in the story, I would argue that most Star Wars fans realized the most logical Jedi to answer Grogu's call was Luke Skywalker. The only reason why folks thought otherwise is because they didn't think the Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni would 'go there.' So while 'the splash' of it wasn't to your liking, it was, nevertheless, the natural conclusion to Season 2's storyline.
     
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  3. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    Great discussion here!

    probably not in my lifetime , but my teen sons, we may enter the era of human actors/actresses being made obsolete. And all future “movies/tv shows” being made fully digitally by CGI
     
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  4. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I wasn't using the early episodes of Supernatural as good examples. I was saying that it took them a while to get the balance right, and that for the first couple of seasons it was more episodic and sporadic (at times painfully so).

    A good example of episodic is the early X-Files, which didn't bother with any narrative arc for either main character.
    Supernatural tried to squeeze both episodic and serial narratives into the show, which is what Mando is doing, and wobbled quite unsteadily for a while until it got it right, around season 5 or so when it figured out how to juggle both together without having to awkwardly drop the ball on one or the other - or suddenly shove exposition into walls of dialogue to catch everyone up to speed on something they were supposed to care about that they had no idea existed before the wall of dialogue.

    I wouldn't care one bit, and would prefer it, if Mando were like Knight Rider, but it chose to attempt to be like Dr. Who or later seasons of Supernatural.

    The problem that I have births out of this because episodic serial narratives (that is, they do both at the same time) are already hard enough; trying to smash in tours of the universes' "greatest hits" on top of that is an incredibly difficult and challenging chore - one that makes any writer, no matter how good they are, struggle to balance three competing components instead of ether one or two.

    Further, again, I really don't care what other people think of the show in this regard.
    The subject is how the show is going for me. Not other people.

    Which is why I made the point about Top Gun and F-14's.

    It really doesn't matter if it was set up. It doesn't change what the creator's motivations were.
    You can make anything relevant. It's not like they needed Luke. They wanted Luke and made it relevant for him to be there.

    Just like they wanted Fett and made him relevant to be there.
    It's fiction. You can do anything you want. There's no hand forcing you to make any object or subject the focus of attention. It's your creative choice as to what you put in there. If you set it up to bring in something you want, and someone doesn't care one bit about that thing you brought in, then for them, no matter how logically justifiable you made that tangent, it won't interest them and any amount of time you spend focusing the camera there will be wasted time to that person.

    I'm that person.

    Also...I call bull on this being an absolute state, and I do because of one very simple example.
    Untitled.png

    This scene has nothing to do with Mando.
    It exists purely for the fans of the universe's enjoyment regardless of Mando.

    More to the point, anyone can justify just about anything.
    Just because there's a narrative thread one can link between things doesn't mean that the link makes something that occurs on screen any more palatable.

    Showgirls is an entire narrative that makes it entirely logical why you would be staring at the naked body of Elizabeth Berkley, but that doesn't mean that you'll be good with it if you don't want to be staring at her naked body.

    Now imagine for a moment, that you tuned in to watch something other than that and that's what you kept getting hit in the face with?

    Imagine you tuned into a film about the NON-TOP TIER SUPERHERO stuff of a superhero universe and you kept getting smacked in the face with TOP TIER SUPERERO stuff...regardless how logical it is.

    And for the record, I was not a fan of Grogu from the onset. I REALLY didn't tune into Mando to find out more about Yoda's species.
    He's funny and fits the bill as the orphan token innocent, but man I would have really rather that been anything other than a Yoda poke.

    He's actually a great example of off-focus tangents. Probably the single best one, really.
    What toy was flying off the shelves? What was everyone suddenly obsessed with?
    Mando? Nope. Not Mando. No one was drying up shelves of his toys and flooding the internet with his memes. There were some, but no where close to the rocket ship that became the "Baby Yoda" fad. Now it was all about Baby Yoda and his Force power problems. Mando was relevant in so far as he related to Baby Yoda.

    And yeah, the narrative still worked on Mando as the focus, no kidding. But again, that entirely misses the point.

    Star Wars fans, above anyone else, are extremely well aware of this as the amount of logical hoop jumping that exists in Star Wars films to plop certain things on the screen is probably more than any other franchise on record, and just because it's logical in the narrative as a point of exposition hasn't made things that some fans don't find enjoyable suddenly worth it, or remove the experience of disinterest go away for them.

    You can't reason why fans shouldn't really hate every time the camera plops onto Ewoks or Jar Jar for those who do. I mean, you can, but it's also try that those throw ins are straight up structural weaknesses, and Lucas full well knew it and openly repeatedly accepted those hits in trade off for what he was getting out of it in his ambitions - which is, and I want to be massively clear here, ABSOLUTELY FINE.

    There's ZERO requirement for Mando to be structurally solid and impervious to all disinterests!
    That's impossible! You have to pick what it is you're doing.

    What they are doing is a show that's more Encyclopedia Star Warsica than it is not, and THAT means I'm not going to be as interested as would otherwise be.

    You can't reason me into an emotional investment that I simply do not have.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #124 Jayson, Mar 26, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
  5. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    Just to be crystal clear, my responses are not intended to get you to change your mind -- THAT is clearly a lost cause. ;) My sole intent is to present readers of this thread with an alternative perspective on the issues you raise.
    We get it and I'm sure there are other people like you who felt the same way. My point is that The Mandalorian Season 2 ratings -- and the renewed interest in Star Wars following the disappointing ST -- certainly indicates there were an awfully lot of fans who, like me, were excited by the appearances of Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, and Boba Fett.

    I'm sure my last comment will generate a "What EVIDENCE do you have that The Mandalorian is popular with SW fans?" post. Let's just nip that in the bud by saying the answer is so obvious that I see no reason to comment on it further here.
    It was a post-show cameo. Today's modern audiences have become accustomed to these little teases here in the Marvel era of movie-making. They are to be considered nothing more than "Coming Attractions," period.
    OUCH!!! You're really attacking BABY GROGU??!? NOW you're getting downright personal!!! ;)
    Your perspective *might* play if the show's creator, Jon Favreau, had not said from the outset that his inspiration for The Mandalorian was the Japanese television series, 'Lone Wolf and Cub.'
     
    #125 Darth Derringer, Mar 27, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
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  6. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I think that was done quite a ways back.

    Irrelevant to the point.

    Irrelevant to the point.

    Irrelevant to the point.

    Cheers,
    Jayson



     
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  7. Callisto Arlok

    Callisto Arlok Rebel Commander

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    I agree. The repetitiveness and the lack of shock when we see him without his helmet on... i feel like Grogu should have been the first to see him, although I understand that they wanted us to see how he would compromise his beliefs for what he loves. That conflict has always been a part of SW, but idk. It almost feels like an open-world game, but you don't get to choose the mission or play. Love going around the SW universe though.

    I also wish Ezra was the one to come, not Luke. If they have no plans for Rebels, it would have been amazing if that was what brought him back and he saved Grogu. Not sure if Luke was the right call, but ofc I loved seeing him slay again.
     
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  8. Matt_T

    Matt_T Rebel General

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    It's not lost its luster for me. Far from it. It's the best content Disney has given us by a long shot.
     
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  9. Callisto Arlok

    Callisto Arlok Rebel Commander

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    That Disney has given us? Off the top of my head I would have to agree. Ofc I would change things, but Disney actually did a lot right with this one. Although i can get repeteive
     
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  10. Mando LXXXV

    Mando LXXXV Rebel Official

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    Rewatching some episodes and I still love the show and am hyped for season 3! Haven't lost any interest at all.

    The show is among my favorite star wars stuff in general and not just from disney! Season 3 may get me even more excited/hyped up because even though I love Grogu, I like that Din will be probably be going solo for at least a couple of episodes and the focus all on him and maybe mandalore culture
     
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  11. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    A clear sign a show is good is when you don't mind rewatching episodes or watching some of the fun compilation reaction videos of the series.

    As one of the reactors said at the end of The Jedi reactor compilation video, "This show is making me fall in love with Star Wars again!"
     
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  12. Lukestarbucker

    Lukestarbucker Force Sensitive

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    Absolutely. I have watched and rewatched Mando episodes for Mando. Picking up new details builds up even the smallest amount of hype for season 3. I can’t wait for Luke or wookies we might get to see
     
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  13. Mando LXXXV

    Mando LXXXV Rebel Official

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    Watching reaction videos for each episode is definitely a bonus joy!
     
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  14. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel Trooper

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    It's like rewatching favorite episodes with a room full of fellow geeks. GammaRay's reactor compilation videos for the Mandalorian are my favorite. Very well done!
     
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  15. Mando LXXXV

    Mando LXXXV Rebel Official

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    Can't wait to see the s3 trailers as well as fan reactions to them!
     
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  16. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Force Sensitive

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    I know I'm late to this party, but I would kindly disagree. I think there was no one else that it could be. It had to be Luke. Ahsoka herself says that a Jedi will answer Grogu's call. There was then a TON of speculation about who that would be... Would it be Ezra (he's not a Jedi)? Would it be Ahsoka herself (why would she make them go there only to join them??? Plus, she's not a Jedi). I don't know if there needed to be anymore "work" done to set up Luke. I mean it's pretty obvious who it has to be. At least to me.
     
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  17. Lazarus Dei

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    I’m inclined to agree - given that Luke is the only known, living Jedi in the post-ROTJ/ Mando era, who else would it be?
     
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  18. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    There is no requirement for Luke to save the day.
    Nor for the adoption to be Luke.
    Nor is there any for the adoption to exist at all.

    It's fiction. It can go anywhere they want.

    But the main point wasn't that Luke exists. It's that if Luke shows up to swing sabers, nothing else at that moment has any attention - whatever show you were watching is now the "Luke's swinging sabers!" show.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  19. Deac421

    Deac421 Rebel Official

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    Yeah movie making phd dissertations on the craft of filming take all the fun out of the films for me.
     
  20. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Force Attuned

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    would you prefer if ezra showed up and killed the robots and then adopted grogro
     
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