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The Mandalorian debuted on Disney+ to widespread critical acclaim last November, and Star Wars fans – who are divided on seemingly everything – ended up coming together to celebrate the first live-action TV series set in a Galaxy Far, Far Away. The reaction to The Rise of Skywalker, on the other hand, was overwhelmingly negative, so what did the show do right?
Well, it managed to find a middle ground appealing to both longtime fans and newcomers to the franchise, something executive producer Jon Favreau explains was their mission statement from the start.
“We wanted to really wind it back to the things that inspired the original Star Wars and really get it small in scale and tell simple stories, because part of what you inherit when you’re going to see Star Wars now is this whole history, because the stories have been told for decades, and it was nice, with the new medium, to be able to start with a new set of characters to introduce a new audience,” Favreau told Deadline in a recent interview.
“But we always knew…and this is something I learned from…over at Marvel and working with Kevin Feige, is you always want to keep the core fans in mind, because they have been the ones that’ve been keeping the torch lit for many, many years, but these are also stories for young people and for new audiences,” he continued. “These are myths, and so you always want to have an outstretched hand to people who might not have that background.”
“And so you’re really telling two stories at once. You’re telling the story for the people who are fresh eyes, and you’re telling the story for the people who’ve been there with the property and with the stories and the characters for so many years, and make sure that you’re honoring them, as well.”
That sounds like the perfect approach, and it’s for that reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies do find so much success. This approach is one the Star Wars sequels could have really benefited from, as the way characters like Luke Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine were handled alienated a lot of fans who had certain hopes for them in the follow-up to the original trilogy.
The Mandalorian returns to Disney+ for a second season this October.
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