There are a lot of reasons why Star Wars fans love The Mandalorian so much and they do have something to do with how the most recent trilogy played out. But without trying to denigrate the trilogy let’s say that The Mandalorian introduced a new lead character with a host of supporting characters that people weren’t invested in and could have taken or left as they would. But then a great thing happened, people started to care about the characters, and how they would develop, and what they could continue bringing to the show, and when familiar faces were finally brought in, people became even MORE invested and couldn’t help but continue to watch as they grew even more interested in the show. In other words, The Mandalorian didn’t immediately raise our expectations and then dump something on us that we weren’t ready to accept as Star Wars fans, as the most recent trilogy did this in numerous ways that were infuriating since the movies didn’t really feel as though they aligned with the main idea of the original trilogy considering that keeping Palpatine alive for so long kind of undid the whole sacrifice that Anakin made at the end of Return of the Jedi. It was a giant slap in the face to a lot of fans and something that said ‘yeah, we don’t care what you know, this is what you get’.
To be fair, the recent trilogy did have its moments when it was highly entertaining, but there were so many gaffes that didn’t work in the favor of the movies that it simply gave too much ammunition to the fans, who are always on the lookout for something negative to say, to work with. The Mandalorian had plenty of questions attached to it the moment that Grogu came into the picture since we were given a great number of familiar elements to work with, and it was fun to see new worlds and experience new things from the point of view of a bounty hunter, but it’s also great that the series didn’t focus on Boba Fett right away, since it feels as though this might have been a little too forced, as though the fan service might have been a hasty but also a lazy apology for the trilogy. The Mandalorian was none of that. It was easy to become invested in the character because right away it was obvious that he was tough, but he wasn’t the baddest character on the block as was established by the fact that there were others like him that had the same skill sets, and in some cases were likely even more skilled. Meeting Din was like meeting someone in the middle of his training, he was tough, but he’s still not perfect and can experience setbacks.
When other familiar elements started to come in, such as the Imperials, the X-Wings, the darksaber, and many others, the excitement became even greater since it was obvious that this was Star Wars, but we were also being given something different that didn’t focus on the Jedi so much. The finale to season 1 was great since it pitted the heroes, who were antiheroes, let’s be honest, against overwhelming odds that they somehow overcame without the use of the Force or anything other than their skills and a good deal of luck. The finale to the second season was just as great since it included the Jedi Master that we wanted to see, but in a way that didn’t show him as an uncertain and essentially broken man. Granted, this was Luke only five years after the Death Star had been destroyed, but it was still a great bit of fan service since everyone had to know that Grogu was going to end up departing at one point. But watching Luke walk through the dark troopers and dismantle them was an epic moment for many people, and only reaffirmed that this show is still in fact great since it led up to this moment, and didn’t start out with the Jedi being an important part of the show. Now, with season 3, everyone is already wondering just what will happen now that Grogu is no longer there, and there’s no reason to engage with the Jedi.
It’s hard to say really since there’s no way to know if Din will ever see Skywalker or Ahsoka again, and it’s fair to state that while he might trust the Jedi he’s met, he won’t extend that trust to everyone with a lightsaber. Then there’s the matter of the darksaber to figure out since Bo-Katan can’t take possession of it until she defeats Din, which is a fight he’s not eager to have. Season 3 should be every bit as good, but that’s a ways off yet, and there’s plenty to talk about between now and then.