Friday, January 8, 2021

Let's compare notes on the Mandalorian which wrapped up its second season in December.

 So, I want to talk about The Mandalorian for a moment. It ended its second season last month, and when it ended my first thought was that, "It's not enough." I deeply miss longer seasons of television, but eight does work in a pinch. And then I had a flood of other thoughts. If you haven't watched it by now, you might want to stop reading as I'm going to spoil the whole thing for you in discussing these thoughts.


Okay then, second thought: Why did they deepfake CGI a young Mark Hamill's face onto the body of an actor. There are two reasons for my frustration regarding this choice. The first is that within the Disney stable, they've already got an actor that looks a lot like young Mark Hamill. He's Sebastian Stan, and here's a pic comparing the two of them.

In my opinion, the resemblance of young Sebastian Stan to Mark Hamill is uncanny. Furthermore, Sebastian Stan said that he would play the part if it were offered to him. Like...he's already willing. He'd just have to juggle the new gig with his role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

This seems like a big "missed opportunity" for Disney primarily because I know that the kind of "deep fake" stuff that Disney is doing to paste Mark Hamill's face onto the body of an actor is probably a thing that they don't want to do all that much. Why? It looks terrible. But... it also means that we probably aren't going to see Baby Grogu all that much anymore too. If he's off being trained by Luke Skywalker, it means that the supporting character of Baby Grogu is probably being written off, and I don't like that. I liked the kid. I thought the kid was an amazing character.

Third thought: Just like in politics, being extremely good at something and being passionate about something does not make a person the right one for the job. Specifically, I'm talking about J.J. Abrams. J.J. is brilliant. I like a lot of his stuff. But he wasn't the right person to hand the reigns to when it came to Star Wars. And follow me down this rabbit have to ignore box office receipts. And yes, I know that box office receipts are all that matter. Okay...that being said...please ignore the billion plus dollar box office, so that I can make a point.

J.J. is king at the box office! All hail J.J. Let's just work that out of our system. Because...he's still the wrong person for Star Wars. The right people are Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.

Now look...If you got J.J. in a room with Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, I know you wouldn't be able to tell them apart as far as Star Wars geeks go. J.J. would be right there rattling off his favorite moments along with the rest of them. He would pass every geek test. His track record is impeccable when producing money comes to bear. But he's still wrong. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni just know how to tell a Star Wars story. They just do...and they tell it way better than J.J. They're doing such a fine job, that the excitement around Star Wars is essentially due to their efforts with the animated series and with The Mandalorian and their other projects. I can't tell you why they are better. They just are, and I'd rather watch and listen to stories where Favreau and Filoni are collaborators, than listen or watch one where J.J. is in charge.

My fourth thought is that the creators of The Mandalorian know how to build a story. I didn't even think that there was any reason to return to Tatooine. In my mind, this dusty planet had no tales left to tell. Boy, was I wrong. When I saw the krayt dragon early on in season two, I remembered wanting very much to know what a krayt dragon looked like (all the way back when I was a kid)! I'd just forgotten. And lo and behold...there it was. And then we got to find out that Boba Fett escaped the Sarlac pit. We also got to see Boba Fett take over the old palace that Jabba the Hutt used to call home. All of these events fit into one season of eight episodes. I went into this season of The Mandalorian with no idea what it was going to be about, and I came out of it deeply satisfied with that kind of fan service.

My final thought regarding this season is with regard to Ahsoka Tano. Rosario Dawson is perfectly cast, which irritates me just a little because Rosario Dawson kinda makes my eye twitch with her refusal to support Hillary ("but her emails") Clinton in 2016. Her and Susan Sarandon both make my eye twitch. Because of people like them, we got Trump, who has proven to be a traitor to our nation. Like most liberals, I'm willing to "let it go," but eye twitches when I see them in a role. But that's it...I'm not angry at either woman....just disappointed that they made selfish choices in an era that probably felt safe to make selfish choices. After all, no one (except me) thought it would get this bad with the country 27 trillion in debt, that there'd be 350,000 people dead, where domestic terrorists storm the capitol, and where the world is on fire. Such is life. But yeah...eye twitch. However, I'm excited to see more Ahsoka, even if it is from an actress who gets on my nerves.

And those are my thoughts on The Mandalorian. Do you have any? Have you watched it?


  1. We're in that much debt due to governors who shut down.
    You know Grogu will be back. He's the heart of the story even though he's not the star.
    Eight episodes is perfect even if we want more - which we do. Long enough to tell a long story without overwelcoming its stay.
    They could've got Mark Hamil himself, like they did with Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy. Although it also looked a bit weird.

    1. It may have been Hamill. He was in the credits.

    2. First off the national debt is national, not states. Second if states hadn't shut down we'd be looking at far closer to a million deaths. Hospitals in many parts of the country are already overloaded because people refuse to wear masks, social distance, and stay at home. It still baffles me that people can't understand that.

  2. You can't really blame Abrams for what happened with Star Wars. It's 100% on Kathleen Kennedy. She was the guiding hand who refused to guide.

    1. Okay, I didn't know that. But I bet Kathleen Kennedy (without even knowing much about her other than she's been incredibly influential in Spielberg collaborations for forty years) is a Star Wars nerd. She's probably on the level with Abrams, Filoni, and Favreau (and with all of us for that matter). Which means she'd be in a room, keeping up with the conversation, and we'd think, "Hey...this is the right person for the job." My point is that being a nerd and having the resources DOES NOT make you the right person for the job. And it's easy to make that mistake, because they pass the smell test really well.

  3. I heard Mark Hamill was there so he was probably the voice. It's probably cheaper to "deep fake" than to hire Sebastian Stan for one scene. I did like this season, though I was never one of those fanatical Boba Fett fans so I didn't care if he survived or not. But now they have a miniseries for him.

    What annoys me is that Disney seems to going back to its bad pre-Solo habits. I mean Taika Waititi is supposed to be doing a movie and Patty Jenkins is doing a movie and some other people are doing a movie and they want 10 series in the next 5 years or whatever. It seems the success of this show has them convinced again they can just churn out anything with the Star Wars name and make a bunch of money. I don't think it's sunk in yet that they need decent stories to go with it.