Let’s just cut to the chase with a simple inequality.
The Mandalorian > The Rise of Skywalker
I wish there were some sort of magnitude enhancer that I might use on that inequality to show how much or how many times better The Mandalorian is. Perhaps an exponent would do the trick. Alas, it would not matter, because it would still be true. In fact, another Star Wars aficionado recently told me, “I will never watch SW9 again, unless my youngest asks me to and then it will only be once.” Quite the opposite of a ringing endorsement.
We all know why SW9 is so bad. Too much fan service. JJ Abrams and the whooshing camera. The list goes on and on. But why is The Mandalorian so good? One of the main reasons for me is that I felt empathy with “Mando” almost instantly. The guy is a bounty hunter, akin to the Biblical version of a tax collector. Not a likable character no matter which side you’re on. But somehow Mando’s lot in life becomes real to the viewer fairly quickly and we realize that he is just doing the best he can to survive.
Enter The Child.
People who haven’t watched The Mandalorian call this creature Baby Yoda. But based on the time frame, this can’t possibly be baby Yoda, unless Yoda is reincarnated, which seems unlikely since he keeps appearing to Luke in a hologram force ghost of his wrinkled old self.
The Child works its way into our hearts even faster than Mando. First of all, it’s adorable. Secondly, The Child is constantly getting into stuff that it shouldn’t (like pulling wires out of the dashboard). Finally, The Child has a supernatural strength and saves Mando’s life. So there’s that relationship formed where they are both alone, living in a parallel universe, but end up together in the last episode. I can’t wait for Season 2 to come out later in 2020.
At one point someone asks Mando a rhetorical question: Bounty Hunting is a complicated profession, don’t you think? So much multi-tasking, so much alone time, so many surprises. How surprised was Mando to learn that the bounty would be a young creature and then even more surprised to witnesses the child’s unimaginable strength. Same can be said for teaching. Teaching is a complicated profession, don’t you think? It’s never what you imagine it to be. Even after 30 years I am amazed and surprised by what my students say and do both while in high school, and more importantly after graduation. Sometimes the students who make us the most frustrated end up saving us — I can think of an electrical lineman in particular.
Then there’s the whole “rules of the game” that change. Who would have thought back in November 2019 that on May 4, 2020 we would be going on week 7 of distance learning due to COVID-19? Not me. I was completely blindsided, and I’m a math teacher who understands exponential functions!
In any case, it’s time to wrap tis blog post up and get back to preparing for the rest of the week’s AP Calculus Live sessions.
You might like my other Star Wars Day posts: