The Mandalorian & THAT Moment
There’s a line uttered by Sam Elliott’s character, The Stranger, in one of my favorite movies, The Big Lebowski. He says:
“Sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about the Dude here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s the Dude, in Los Angeles”
2020 Stunk. We all know that. Look, at best, for most of us, it was just regular crappy. That was the ceiling. Badness. When a whole bunch of people are going through similar things, the ground is fertile for an event that galvanizes and make millions of people, for a short time, forget about their troubles and just for one moment, believe that we’re all going to be ok. And sometimes, there’s a man…
I am of course talking about the resignation of William Barr. Besides that, The Mandalorian kicked all kinds of ass. Season 1 had a grounded feel to it. I know that’s crazy talk about a show that takes place in space but it did. It was a wandering samurai and his charge (sub in an intergalactic bounty hunter and a child alien with absurd force powers). That was the show and it was excellent. The end of season 1 began to crack the door open to the universe at large and showed us that the stakes would only grow. Where would it take us? Maybe we’ll see Boba Fett? How cool would that be? Stuff like this was commonplace: ‘I read on this one forum that Boba Fett was totally one of the background Mandalorians in that one scene with the Armorer when Mando got his insignia on his Beskar based on the shadows and posture it was totally him and my friend’s friend knows one of the guys who knows one of the writers and they think it might’ve been him.’ That’s where we, the fans, were.
*****SPOILERS*********ALSO, WATCH THE GODDAMNED SHOW IMMEDIATELY*******
The steady rise to ‘OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD’ began in Chapter 11: The Heiress. Bo-Katan. We knew Ahsoka Tano was coming but it was still a 10 when she wrecked shop on Corvus… and then, when confronting The Magistrate, AHSOKA SAID ‘THRAWN’.
^^Zack Morris style timeout.^^
Thrawn is an incredible character created by Timothy Zahn (who doesn’t get near enough credit) who basically re-ignited the dormant Star Wars expanded universe. Thrawn himself is a worthy adversary, a brutal antagonist, and a wonderfully adapted fit by Dave Filoni into the world of Star Wars Rebels.
Now, you can see the Filoni influence. You can see the bridge being built. 3 dimensional universe, building blocks, the steady diet of characters from the expanded universe and then… Boba Fett. Not standing still with a hoodie on watching like a weekend soccer dad, Boba Fett, but goddamned jet pack, rope, blasters, green armored Boba Fett. Now we’ve checked every box you can check. So how do they close it out?
Annoying jerks like me love, I mean LOVE, to try to figure out where things are going. What’s the twist? Who’s behind the mask? I’m telling you, I had it all figured out. The surprise, the reveal, the big moment at the end? It was going to be Ezra Bridger. It was obvious. Ahsoka asked about Thrawn, that meant he was back. Where did he go? Ezra sacrificed himself to rid his home planet of Thrawn in the finale of Star Wars Rebels. They’re linked. So when we hear that Thrawn is back and Mando takes Grogu to shoot a force flare up from Tython so that any Jedi out there can swing by and pick him up, I’m sitting on my couch smugly. I know. Ezra, bro. I’m telling everybody.
We all know what happened. Luke.
5 years post ROTJ, THE Jedi, in his prime, just annihilating dark troopers and making Moff Gideon make boom boom in his pantaloons.
Luke Skywalker. The Luke we were robbed of when Disney made the old canon expanded universe into ‘Legend’. The Luke that should have been instead of the cranky old defeatist on Ahch-To, who could barely be bothered in The Last Jedi. The Luke that turned his father back to the light. From the throne room, with impossible odds, conquered the dark side of the force. Trained. Disciplined. Master.
We lack the words in our language to properly describe my reaction. My hope is that those few minutes could be frozen in time and the aliens that invade in 2486 years will have a term that adequately conveys tears/gasp/faint/underwear combust/head shake/laugh/joy/mirth/disbelief. Just blown away. Absolutely perfect. Then Grogu doesn’t want to go at first? Good heavens. The weather system in my eyes.
The Mandalorian was outstanding. It delivered in a way even an annoying know-it-all like me couldn’t anticipate. So yeah, in 2020, sometimes there’s a man.