Is ‘The Mandalorian’ actually ‘Star Wars’ canon? Inside the arguments
The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau has faced acclaim & scrutiny from Star Wars fans since the release of season 1 in 2019. Despite being produced by the new franchise owner, Disney, Star Wars fans question whether this show is truly canon, fitting into the established Star Wars universe, or if it’s just a spinoff.
The Mandalorian follows Din Djarin, or The Mandalorian (played by Game of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal). As we discover in season 2, episode 3, Djarin is part of a Mandalorian faction called Children of the Watch, so he rarely takes his helmet off. The series journeys with Djarin as he travels around the Galaxy with The Child, called Baby Yoda by fans, as he collects bounties and tries to keep The Child safe.
The Child is a comical, but mysterious character. We don’t know where The Child came from, so we want to keep watching this Star Wars show to find out. It’s especially crucial for diehard fans to get more info on “The Child”, since he’s a younger version of the iconic Jedi, Grand Master Yoda from the films.
According to Digital Spy, The Mandalorian uses easter eggs to prompt questions from longtime fans. For example, one episode reveals “the B2 super battle droids being responsible for the death of Din Djarin’s parents”. These droids were manufactured during The Clone Wars, the setting for the Star Wars prequels and the Cartoon Network show The Clone Wars.
The presence of Clone Wars drones prompts the question: was Din Djarin really taken during The Empire reign, or before? Fans, take note: Wookiepedia claims these droids were extremely rare post-Clone Wars, and they weren’t used by The Empire at all. Rather, they often joined resistance groups.
Season 1, episode 6 also contained an easter egg when Mayfield (Bill Burr) taunts Djarin about using his helmet to hide his identity. Mayfield jokingly speculates the character is a gungan, referencing the indigenous Naboo species from the prequels.
Jar Jar Binks, arguably the stupidest character ever created, hails from this species. Due to his unbelievable tomfoolery, some fans have speculated he’s really the mastermind behind the evil Sith (the good Jedi’s counterparts) & The Empire.
Significance of The Child
Since the storyline largely focuses on Baby Yoda, fans expect they’ll hear more about his species. It’s apparent from their similarities that Yoda & The Child are from the same species, which is said to consist of powerful Force-wielders. Could this be why The Child is also called The Asset in The Mandalorian?
The Child’s story may delve into Yoda’s time on the remote planet Dagobah before & during The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Some fans believe it could fill in some plot holes left from Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy and the rest of the Star Wars film franchise.
Many fans noticed the technology in this Star Wars series may be outdated for the show. The Mandalorian takes place in 9 ABY, nine years after the Battle of Yavin and a few years after the Rebels defeated The Empire. Therefore, technology should’ve surged past the Clone Wars era from the prequels, which took place about thirty years before the Disney + series begins.
However, Din Djarin & The Child ride a vehicle on Tatooine that’s surprisingly similar to Anakin Skywalker’s “pod racing engine” from The Phantom Menace. The vehicle was obviously a makeshift speeder bike, and Tatooine wasn’t exactly known to be a rich, high-tech part of The Galaxy. However, the easter egg prompted fans to ask about the fate of Skywalker’s pod racing car.
According to Screenrant, the mysterious marshall (Timothy Olyphant) Din Djarin meets in the season 2 premiere may have gotten his hands on it somehow. It makes fans wonder how the marshall could get Anakin Skywalker, later the infamous villain Darth Vader’s old pod racing car. Did he buy it, rescue it from the scrap heap, or does he have a nefarious connection to Vader & The Empire?
There’s also another unanswered question hailing from Tatooine: what’s Din Djarin’s connection to Boba Fett, if any? The end of The Mandalorian’s season 2 premiere features a cameo of Boba Fett, the first Mandalorian seen in Star Wars. At first, fans thought he died in the sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi, but he’s clearly back. How did he survive, and why does the Marshal really have his armor when Djarin meets him?
Too much Star Wars?
Vox reports The Mandalorian can be watched by new & diehard fans alike. The show is “set in the Star Wars canon” but it’s not centered around established Star Wars characters, offering fans a fresh look into the franchise. Most importantly, it doesn’t require viewers to have previous knowledge about The Force or the rest of the galaxy.
However, the series can fill the gap between the original Star Wars Trilogy and Disney’s sequel trilogy. Via TIME Magazine, The Mandalorian is set twenty-five years before the rise of the First Order, the evil, militant faction trying to become the new Empire. The series outlines how the New Republic has recently won the Galactic Civil War, but the galaxy still isn’t safe, as remnants of The Empire still hold power.
The Mandalorian season 1 and the first three episodes of Season 2 can be streamed on Disney Plus with new episodes released every Friday.