By Brittany Anderson
Assistant Web Content Manager
May 4, 2011 marked the first official observance of “Star Wars Day,” a celebration of all-things Star Wars that has since become an annual tradition across the world. No matter what kind of Star Wars fan you are (diehard, moderate or not at all), you can’t not help yourself from saying “May the Fourth be with you.”
Thanks to the many sequels, prequels and offshoot ideas from Lucasfilm over the last few decades, an entirely new generation of Star Wars has been able to emerge past the original three episodes of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Whether you’re a fan of the newer iterations or not, there’s no doubting that they’ve tested the creative bounds of the Star Wars universe in a way that opens up the fictional world into a vast, changing landscape full of new planets, creatures and stories.
While the latest films have, for the most part, been met with mixed reviews, I’m always game for experiencing and inevitably loving the latest Star Wars story (this Tweet sums it up best for me), and November 2019 satisfyingly brought us something that did just that: The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian takes place in between episodes six and seven and follows Din Djarin, otherwise referred to as “Mando.” A mysteriously charming bounty hunter, Mando lives an elusive and relatively violent life.
Despite a harsh and complicated history, Mandalorians have garnered the reputation of being mercenaries and bounty hunters: heavily armored, unwaveringly loyal to their rigid code of honor and ruthless in their demeanor, they’ve become some of the most feared figures across the galaxy.
Star Wars has always been like a spaghetti western— just set in space and with lightsabers and starships instead of guns and horses— but The Mandalorian really packs a punch with its well-polished use of action, suspense and complex characters.
To feel connected to a mysterious bounty hunter who insists on remaining a quiet, faceless warrior is no easy feat, especially in contrast with the kinds of chatty, upstanding heroes we usually meet in the Star Wars canon, like Luke and Finn.
The Star Wars community is no stranger to disagreeing about plotlines, character arcs or other creative choices that have been made, but there’s a resounding love and appreciation for The Mandalorian, and it’s no secret why.
With no mention of Darth Vader, the Skywalkers or even knowing what the Force is, The Mandalorian doesn’t feel tiresome or overdone. Instead, it’s a fresh new take on a galaxy we’ve come to know and love. By the same token, there are a few easter eggs that fans can enjoy picking up on (like a visit to Tatooine and, yes, Baby Yoda).
From the writing, acting, visuals and score, this particular story takes you to the heart of Star Wars. It’s nostalgic enough to make you remember and truly feel the roots of this world, but modern and savvy enough to excite you about the future.
Fittingly, Disney+ is releasing an eight-part documentary-style series titled Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian on May 4, offering behind-the-scenes content and commentary hosted by Jon Favreau, the series creator.
Despite being only a few months old, The Mandalorian has already solidified itself as a new way for this generation of fans to keep the well-loved Star Wars universe and its galactic stories alive.
So, no matter if you’re a lifelong Star Wars fan, just a sci-fi fanatic or neither, trust that The Mandalorian offers a fantastic piece of storytelling and world-building, and is a perfect way to embody “May the Fourth be with you” this year.
And, if you need any more convincing, Baby Yoda should do the trick.
Featured image by Brittany Anderson.