The Mandalorian is doing the impossible in Season 2: winning back jaded Star Wars fans - Dexerto
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The Mandalorian is doing the impossible: winning back jaded Star Wars fans

Published: 6/Nov/2020 3:06

by Isaac McIntyre

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The Disney era of Star Wars has been a rollercoaster, but after eight years of divisive franchise flicks and a warring fanbase, The Mandalorian seems to be doing the impossible in Season 2 ⁠— winning back jaded Star Wars fans.

Disney has had a few more misses than hits since acquiring Star Wars for $4 billion in late 2012; no matter which side of the fanbase’s ‘civil war’ you sit on, that’s something everyone can agree on. No one seems to like every single movie.

For some, Rian Johnson’s subversive The Last Jedi was the greatest thing since The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. For others, only Rogue One holds a candle to pre-Disney Star Wars.

There have been a few releases everyone seems to agree on. Star Wars fans that watch The Clone Wars celebrated the show’s Season 7 revival ⁠— that Martez sisters arc aside ⁠— and The Force Awakens is still looked upon fondly.

Only one of Disney’s entries has truly landed with every fan of the mega-franchise: The Mandalorian. The story of Mando, Baby Yoda, and their adventures in a post-Empire world is doing the impossible: winning back jaded Star Wars fans.

The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian Season 2.
Disney Plus
The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda are winning back Star Wars fans in droves.

I’ll be the first to admit Star Wars has been a mixed bag for me since 2015. I loved The Force Awakens, but had my excitement dampened by The Last Jedi in 2017 and all but flattened by the struggling ‘saga-ending’ Rise of Skywalker two years later.

Talk to die-hard Star Wars fans, and it was the same. The Last Jedi, Solo, Rise of Skywalker ⁠— a string of divisive Disney releases had torn the Star Wars fandom down the middle.

Except, come Oct. 30, as The Mandalorian Season 2 began, my living room was full. Equally, across Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube, social media was dominated by Baby Yoda, whispers Boba Fett may well return, and more.

The numbers don’t lie either.

The Mandalorian Season 2 premiere clocked in as Disney Plus’ biggest episodic premiere, blowing the last eight episodes out of the water. According to Disney, viewing metrics were up a whopping 5.7% over Chapter 8 in late 2019.

The Mandalorian Season 2 premiere smashed Disney Plus records.
Disney Plus
The Mandalorian’s Season 2 return smashed Disney Plus records.

As chapter 9, “The Marshal,” played out, the internet exploded.

Take a look at /r/starwars, or the emoji-branded #TheMandalorian hashtag on Twitter. The hype machine is already churning up for Chapter 10, airing early on Friday, November 6, and at this stage, it’s pretty well deserved.

There’s plenty of reasons for this about-face. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni ⁠— the latter of whom helmed the much-loved Clone Wars ⁠— have both proven masters of balancing nostalgic references with brand-new Star Wars storytelling.

Dave Filoni already has Star Wars experience from his wildly-popular Clone Wars animated series.
Disney Plus
Dave Filoni already has Star Wars experience from his wildly-popular Clone Wars animated series.

You can rattle off the wink-wink references from Chapter 9 ⁠— the second Death Star falls, Krayt Dragons from Knights of the Old Republic. Anakin’s podracer made an appearance. Boba Fett’s armor, and the man himself, return.

None of it seems forced; it all makes sense for The Mandalorian’s story.

Then there’s the new stuff too. Baby Yoda, of course, is at the forefront; the little green fella has won over fans across the world. Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin ⁠— the titular Mandalorian ⁠— is another big win. His character is riveting, but fun too.

It’s all a mix of one thing: Disney has found itself two showrunners who love Star Wars. They respect the series and want to keep telling its story.

Mando's popular Star Wars story continues in "Chapter 10" on Nov. 6.
Disney Plus
Mando’s popular Star Wars story continues in “Chapter 10” on Nov. 6.

There are no new Star Wars films on the horizon any time soon, so for now, The Mandalorian is the franchise’s flagship series. That isn’t a bad thing at all, especially not if Favreau and Filoni are spicing in big characters like Boba, and later Ahsoka Tano, Bo-Katan Kryze, and more.

As every episode passes, The Mandalorian Season 2 wins back even more jaded Star Wars fans ⁠— Disney has got a winner, and long may it reign.

Gaming

Spider-Verse producer wants Spider-Man: Miles Morales glitches in sequel

Published: 28/Nov/2020 19:29

by Theo Salaun

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The transformational glitches in Spider-Man: Miles Morales are pretty hilarious. So hilarious, in fact, that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s producer, screenplay and story writer, Phil Lord, wants to use them in the hit movie’s sequel.

Lord and his filmmaking duo, Christopher Miller, are no strangers to animation or comedy. With titles like Spider-Verse, Lego Movie, and 21 Jump Street under their shared filmmaking belt, it’s no wonder that the two are unafraid of getting a little weird with the animated Spider-Man flick’s sequel.

And if you want inspiration for red and blue weirdness, look no further than the Miles Morales game. Playable on PS4 and PS5, the title has apparently been a massive success, with 97 percent of Google users enjoying it. While people are typically annoyed with launch day bugs, the issues with this one are just too funny to chastise. 

With weird, viral videos of players transforming into various inanimate objects, it was actually a transformation of a patio heater that caught Lord’s eye. Now, it appears that “Heater Parker” could become a reality in Spider-Verse 2.

Since the original Spider-Verse movie was chock-full of absurdities and goofy odes to different genres or pop-culture references, invoking a video game’s glitch should be no problem. And, as far as content goes, few things evoke comedic surrealism as much as a patio heater using a web to swing from building to building in New York City.

For Lord, at least, the randomized development mistake appears too funny to ignore as film inspiration: “We’re putting this in Spider-Verse 2 if we have any self-respect at all.”

Hopefully, he and Miller have as much self-respect as the title’s developers, Insomniac Games, have humility. In response to Lord’s tweet, which has since gone viral, the game’s makers couldn’t help but acknowledge their imperfections with a pun.

While we were under the impression that patio heaters were meant to heat patios, not hearts, the Insomniac reflection remains accurate: this silly, inanimate object glitch is “equally as embarrassing as it is heartwarming.”

But, above all else, they’re just funny. It could legitimately be one of gaming and cinema’s greatest, most randomly inspired crossovers if Spider-Verse 2 involves an alternate dimensional Heater Parker.