Skip to main content

This Week’s ‘The Mandalorian’ Felt Like ‘The Clone Wars’ in the Best (and Weirdest) Ways

Sometimes, Star Wars should be a little weird.

Din grogu and bo sitting at a palace on the mandalorian

Season three of The Mandalorian has been different from the previous two, and this week’s episode really highlights that. Strange interspecies romances, droid subplots, and crime/investigation stories? Some people may claim that this is not what Star Wars is about, but they’re wrong.

This week’s Mandalorian feels like a live-action episode of The Clone Wars, and I love it.

Spoiler Warning for the episode in question!

Wild Celebrity Cameos

While a lot of the cameos were hidden in the voice acting, there was a ridiculous number of well-known celebrities that worked on The Clone Wars. That’s actually how The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau and executive producer/Star Wars guru Dave Filoni met, with Favreau voicing Pre Vizsla, a Mandalorian Death Watch leader, in season two of Clone Wars, on which Filoni served as supervising director.

George Takei, Ron Perlman, Simon Pegg, James Marsters, David Tennant, and Mark Hamill all had cameos throughout The Clone Wars.

In The Mandalorian’s latest episode, we have Jack Black and Lizzo feeling perfectly suited to their roles as king and queen of a little outer-rim paradise, and Christopher Lloyd as an elderly separatist just works.

“Strange” interspecies romances

The Mandalorian episode’s cold open about a forbidden love between a Quarren ship captain and a Mon Calamari noblewoman’s son may seem odd to the average Star Wars fan, but fans of The Clone Wars are no strangers to “weird” interspecies romances.

That show demonstrated how love and attraction transcend species with the clone Cut Luquane and his Twi-Lek wife Suu, the Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka and Palliduvan Aurra Sing, and Ziro the Hutt and Sy Snootles (though that one ended on bad terms). Even Ahsoka and Anakin had some ship teasing with characters of different species.

Honestly, I’m all for it. The galaxy is a big place that we will never fully explore, and I wish “alien” characters would get more focus in live-action Star Wars.

Droid subplots

Remember in season three of Clone Wars when they had a whole episode where Threepio got kidnapped by Cad Bane while R2 was at the droid spa? Or the multi-episode arc in season five about R2 and his own squad going undercover as separatist droids? Or the one where Threepio and R2 accidentally kill a Liliputian dictator and start a messy democracy?

Hell, the first twenty minutes of A New Hope is basically The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO.

While I do think this week’s episode could stand to delve more into the rights of droids as a marginalized group in Star Wars, it does acknowledge the issues with Din Djarin’s lingering distrust of droids, especially Separatist ones. It also plays into the season’s theme about redemption/forgiveness, with the former Imperial bombardier using the Republic Amnesty program to give himself and the separatist/Imperial droids a second chance at a new life (or, purpose for the droids).

Crime/investigation stories

I’ve written previously about how The Mandalorian borrows from The Clone Wars, and the crime/investigation plot of this episode of The Mandalorian is no exception. A surprising number of Clone Wars episodes had Ahsoka, Anakin, Obi-Wan, Padme Amidala, and even Duchess Satine Kryze acting as detectives and investigators, trying to get to the bottom of a corruption scheme or an assassination plot.

Abusing technicalities

Some people think Din Djarin saying the Darksaber works like the Elder Wand is BS. And that’s literally the point. The idea that Mandalorians are honor-bound to follow whoever wields the Darksaber is ridiculous, and Din literally does not want it. He’s basically Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow, except he figures out a way to give the job to his much more qualified female friend via a loophole.

The exploitation of loopholes was a method frequently used by the heroes to get around direct orders from the Jedi Council in Clone Wars. Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex tried to talk their way out of Order 66 by arguing that Ahsoka wasn’t a Jedi and therefore shouldn’t fall under the order. Too bad Palpatine had already thought ahead and specifically ordered the troopers to kill the former padawan of Anakin Skywalker.

The role of camp and humor in Star Wars

I will say, I understand if this episode’s brand of humor felt off to some people. The most critically acclaimed pieces of Star Wars media have usually been adult-orientated/very serious films and shows like Andor or Empire Strikes Back. But another major point of Star Wars is finding light in even the darkest moments. 

Han Solo always had a wisecrack for even the most hopeless looking of situations. Finn never wasted a chance to recognize how wild the galaxy could be. Ezra Bridger beat Grand Admiral Thrawn with freaking space whales and it was amazing!

Basically, give some of the campiest parts of Star Wars a chance. You might find some truly unique and fun stories in there.

(featured image: Lucasfilm/Disney)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. Dhe has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.