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A New Age for Star Wars

Din Djarin and Boba Fett, both mandalorians. Each mandalorian has a customized version of their famous Mandalorian armor. Illustration by Pearl McNames

First released on Nov. 12, 2019, “Star Wars” fans all over the world were able to view the “Star Wars” original series, “The Mandalorian,” on Disney+, and reignite the love and wonder they had for the universe. In the time period after the fall of the Empire, specifically five years after “Return of the Jedi, “The Mandalorian” is set after the famous events that occur in the third movie. Fans will remember these events in the original trilogy, specifically when Darth Vader dies, and Luke Skywalker follows his path to become a Jedi Master. 

“The Mandalorian” currently has two seasons, with 21 episodes total. Many fans were taken on an emotional journey following the Mandalorian Din Djarin, played by Pedro Pascal (Some might be familiar with him from shows like “Narcos” and “Game of Thrones”), who is tasked with retrieving an alien child named Grogu. “This show is a tremendous addition to the “Star Wars” canon,” says Cian McKeown, a Franklin student and longtime “Star Wars” fan. Many fans originally called Grogu Baby Yoda, due to Grogu being the same species as the Jedi Master Yoda, though the name of the species is unknown. During the show, Grogu is 50 years old, which gives some evidence to the aging process of the alien species. The first season of the series follows the pair on their journey across the galaxy as we are introduced to the subtle backstory of Din Djarin, as well as getting hinting at Grogu’s unique force abilities, and following the pair on their journey across the galaxy. The Mandalorian is trying to keep Grogu out of harm’s way, specifically from the still active Empire followers who are looking for him. Actors such as Bill Burr and Carl Weathers make their appearances in the galaxy far far away for the first time, and we are lucky to still see some old “Star Wars” references, like X-wings, scout troopers, and assassin droids. 

“The Mandalorian” is an action packed space western, full of high paced combat and it’s the true essence of a “Star Wars” story. This is a good sign, considering the high number of series that were released, or are in the process of being released, by Disney+. Fans first got to see evidence of a Mandalorian (Or rather someone in Mandalorian armor) in the movie “Empire Strikes Back,” and since then have been wanting more from the strange and mysterious character, much like Darth Maul in the Phantom Menace. There were more questions answered after the release of “The Mandalorian,” like the history of the Mandalorian race, a highly skilled and mysterious warrior creed originating from the planet Mandalore, who swear by the rule to always keep their armor on in the presence of another, and never break the creed rules. However, by the end of the first season, there are still some questions left unanswered, most of which are resolved in the second season. Even as conflicts and wonders arise in the second season of “The Mandalorian,” there is still much to praise. An example of this is in the final episode, when Din Djarin and his crew are saved by none other than the Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker. Other than the regrettably failed final movie in the Skywalker Saga, “The Rise of Skywalker,” Luke finally gets his much deserved screen time as his true character, a calm and calculated Jedi Master. With season three of “The Mandalorian” approaching, it makes sense to talk about the other “Star Wars” original series’ featured on Disney+, such as “The Book of Boba Fett,” “Bad Batch,” and upcoming series like “Kenobi,” and “Ahsoka.” 

Fans were very excited to see the result of the release of “The Book of Boba Fett,” based on the beloved bounty hunter that met his demise (or so it was thought) to the open jaws of the sarlacc pit in “Return of the Jedi.” It is later revealed that Boba Fett was in fact not dead, saved by his Mandalorian armor, and after only five lines in the “Return of the Jedi,” he was given more to say in “The Book of Boba Fett.” Fans got to see the sneak peek reveal of “The Book of Boba Fett” after the last episode of the second season of “The Mandalorian,” in a post credit scene. 

 Additional shows on Disney+ include the animated series “The Bad Batch,” which follows a group of rebels as they make their way across the galaxy, and the long-running show ”The Clone Wars.” Fans of the universe are gifted with even more series that are coming soon, most anticipated of which is the live action show, “Kenobi,” based on Luke and Anakin Skywalker’s first mentor, Obi Wan Kenobi. The show is set to release on May 27, 2022, and features the prequel trilogy’s original actors such as Hayden Christensen who played Anakin Skywalker, and Ewan McGregor, who will be returning to the lead role of Kenobi. The show is set to take place following the “death” of Anakin Skywalker, his transformation into the sith lord Darth Vader, and how Kenobi navigates his failure to his prized pupil. The show is set to introduce new characters to aid Kenobi on his journeys, and may include the reappearance of Darth Maul, the sith who was cut down by Kenobi after he witnessed his original mentor Qui-Gon Jinn get killed by him. In the show “The Clone Wars,” it is revealed that Darth Maul was in fact not killed in “The Phantom Menace,” and was instead living on a junk planet, blinded by rage and insanity. Eventually, Darth Maul was killed by Kenobi once and for all, in the animated show “Star Wars Rebels,” on Tatooine. We will see if the story follows the “Rebels” timeline, with the eventual story ending up with Kenobi finding Luke on Tatooine.

The most recent promotion for a “Star Wars” series is the live action show “Ahsoka.” It does not yet have a release date, but is being directed by John Favreau, who directed “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett,” as well as other movies such as “Iron Man” and “Chef.” The show is sure to be a great showcase of the character Ahsoka Tano, who appeared in many different “Star Wars” shows. “The Clone Wars” and recently “The Mandalorian” have had Ahsoka appear as a protagonist, who was a great Jedi and friend to Din Djarin, and student of Anakin Skywalker. 

As a long time “Star Wars” fan, I am extremely excited to see the new series being released. I encourage you to watch these shows even if you may not be a “Star Wars” nerd like me, as most of them don’t require a lot of background knowledge to get the main point, and are fun for everyone who enjoys shows depicting flying around space at lightspeed and fighting aliens with enormous blasters.

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