Star Wars' new TV series The Mandalorian is 20 years too late
Commentary: Jon Favreau's new live-action Star Wars streaming series is just another sugar hit in the oversaturated Star Wars universe.
Claire ReillyFormer Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
ExpertiseSpace, Futurism, Science and Sci-Tech, Robotics, Tech CultureCredentials
Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
As a kid, I was used to missing out. I haven't been able to eat sugar since I was 6; when other kids were eating Coco Pops, I was making myself a thin slurry of soy milk, puffed wheat and unsweetened cocoa. So I know a thing or two about patiently waiting for a special occasion.
For that first generation watching the OG movies in the '70s, Star Wars only came every three years. Even as a 12-year-old kid, when I was first taken to see the re-released Star Wars films at the cinema, I knew I'd have to exercise patience. There were only three of these movies. Three perfectly formed space operas that I'd heard my dad raving about for years. And now, just like a sneaky slice of birthday cake, he was sharing them with me.
Sure, I didn't have to wait three years between episodes. I paid the price in the form of Han shooting first and terrible CGI (et tu Snootles?) but once I'd seen all three original Star Wars films, that was it. No more Star Wars (or, at least, good Star Wars) for years.
That poor, puffed-wheat-eating child in small-town Australia would have killed to see The Mandalorian.
The newest TV series in the Star Wars universe has been revealed, and it's a spin-off about the race of Jedi-fighting warriors that brought us Boba Fett, the Mandalorians.
Writer and producer Jon Favreau is behind the live-action series, which is set to air on Disney's streaming service. On Wednesday, Favreau gave a hint on Instagram at what the series would involve.
"After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe," Favreau's post reads. "The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire, and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic..."
A lone gunfighter? The outer reaches of the galaxy? All set after the Empire has fallen?
"Heck yes!" says 12-year-old Claire, spitting out a mouthful of unflavoured soy milk onto her Maths Olympiad homework. "Sign me up!"
But sitting as I am in 2018, looking back through the years on my old self, I realise The Mandalorian is coming 20 years too late.
I'm no longer that giddy kid, eking out Star Wars lore between long waits for new movies. No longer the kid sitting in my kitchen, drinking a cold glass of cloud juice (my mum's name for water) wondering if Han will survive being frozen in carbonite.
Star Wars has hit children's birthday party levels of excess. This is "kid in a candy store" stuff. We are horfing Star Wars directly into our gobs like the pop culture addicts we all are.
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Not only do we have the sequel trilogy films delivering a steady hit to our bloodstream (with more to come), now we've also got anthology films like Rogue One and Solo to keep us pepped up between servings.
Feel a crash coming? Don't worry: Rian Johnson, writer/director of The Last Jedi, is also working on a new spin-off trilogy, while Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have yet another spin-off series to hook to our veins. Then there are the teaser trailers, the Comic-Con announcements and the steady drip of announcements that keep us overfed and positively pre-diabetic with fandom.
No wonder your Finn-sulin levels are all over the shop.
And then there's me, a kid for whom All-Bran was considered too sugary growing up and for whom the Star Wars films were elegant and singular works to treasure, I can't process it all.
You could have dangled a Boba-Fett-inspired Mandalorian spin-off in front of me as a kid and, Sarlac like, I would have bitten.
But now, with my sci-fi taste buds blasted out, it just doesn't seem as sweet.