While the world is sort of in a freefall, the only source of comfort I currently have is watching the docuseries Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian to get all my baby Yoda needs fulfilled. On this week’s episode, the series focused on the legacy of the Star Wars franchise and what it meant to the creatives behind The Mandalorian to bring this story to the world that George Lucas created.
There were two moments that brought tears to my eyes (in addition to the opening music segment, because let’s be honest, I did get teary-eyed)—one of which came with series creator Jon Favreau understanding exactly how Star Wars works for fans.
Jon Favreau understanding Star Wars and Star Wars fans, a mood pic.twitter.com/a15enMg49q
— rachel leishman (@RachelLeishman) May 8, 2020
Being a “younger” fan of Star Wars (meaning I was born after the original trilogy had been released) means that I have a different experience with the OT. I love it—I love Chewie and Leia and Han and Luke—but the prequels are what many of us affectionately refer to as “ours.” I was 7 years old in May of 1999, and I went to see Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and loved it. Meanwhile, my (at the time) eighteen-year-old brother did not feel the same.
It’s a strange game to play with Star Wars, because I think that the original trilogy bottled magic in being both for children and adults, and both the prequels and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker struggled with trying to find that same balance. The Mandalorian, however, feels so much like Star Wars because it does give us that childlike wonder that we got with movies like A New Hope, but does have themes and characters that we can love as adults, as well. It’s a perfect marriage of them both, and I think that’s because there are creatives there, like Jon Favreau, who understand both sides of the fandom.
The second part that got me comes at the hands of Dave Filoni, who talks about the aspect of family within the franchise and how, at its core, Star Wars is about that family dynamic. “Qui-Gon is fighting because he knows he’s the father Anakin needs because Quin-Gon hasn’t given up on the fact that Jedi are supposed to actually care and love and that that’s not a bad thing,” Filoni says, and honestly, it hits the nail on the proverbial head in a way that I’ve never really heard before with Star Wars.
Even in the context of The Mandalorian, Mando realizes that he has to be the father that the Child needs. Baby Yoda has no one, does not know of his purpose, and in a lot of ways, is still learning about his powers, and the Mandalorian helps teach him in the way that Qui-Gon Jinn was trying to do with Anakin, because Star Wars, at its core, is about family and helping those who need us most.
What works with this episode of the legacy of the franchise is that they let the cast and crew tell their stories of how they came to love Star Wars. Pedro Pascal sharing his memories of getting tickets to Return of the Jedi and Carl Weathers opening up about his own feelings just helps to drive home the fact that Star Wars is for us all.
This legacy isn’t just because the movies themselves helped to inspire the world into looking to the stars as we created stories and built our own worlds. The legacy is more about the memories that Star Wars left us with. Will I remember the first time I saw Princess Leia for the rest of my life? Maybe not (I was very young), but I will remember dressing up like Queen Amidala for my eighth birthday party and refusing to bob for apples because I didn’t want to ruin my makeup.
I’ll remember going to the rereleases with my brothers. I’ll remember talking about this franchise with my friends and family because it means that much to me, and that’s the legacy that George Lucas and company left with us all.
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