With the Mandalorian Season 2 all wrapped up, it looks like Disney is struggling. People want the Mandalorian and with not much else to offer their new market, the fans are dying off like a colo claw fish without any water. Sometimes songs about flowers, true loves kiss and cute forest animals just don’t cut it.
And besides, even with it’s singing chipmunks, nothing could ever meet up to the standards of adorable that is Baby Yoda. Okay, we know he’s called Grogu, but he’s still the cutest thing to hit the franchise since LucasArts tried to persuade us that Jar Jar Binx was a serious politician. (His name is Baby Yoda, and we will call him Baby Yoda. So, (Voice over note: This needs to be sung in the same way that Burton Guster sings it to Shawn Spencer in the TV show Psyche) Suck it!
Seriously, the Baby Yoda memes alone were enough to save Disney+. It doesn’t stop there though. Today we’re counting down the top ten reasons that the Mandalorian saved Disney+.
And don’t forget to give this video a like to make our faces light up like Baby Yoda being offered food! You know you want to.
The Mandalorian Is NOT A Disney Prince Charming
While often the focus is given to Disney’s dated portrayal of women – don’t worry we will get to that as well – less discussed but equally as important, is Disney’s dated portrayal of men. Disney men lack depth and are just plain boring. They’re either dumb, OR rich, OR dumb and rich – we’re looking at you Prince Eric – and are never characters that boys or men aspire to be. They’re mostly relegated to sword-swinging, princess-saving side characters, who all closely resemble Prince Phillip from Enchanted.
Enter, The Mandalorian. Played by Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian is nothing like any male character that has ever come out of Disney. In fact, it’s like somebody took the Disney Male Character checklist and went, “This is perfect! This is exactly what we need. Now, let’s do the complete opposite.”
“Disney men should have shiny hair, perfect features…. Excellent! The Mandalorian will wear a helmet. The entire time. NOBODY will see his face and it won’t even matter!”
Disney men go around rescuing women and… yep, good enough! – The Mandalorian will be focused on 2 things, armor upgrades and Baby Yoda. The women he encounters will be completely self-reliant, and at times he’ll even call on THEM for rescue.”
Disney men are charming. They sing all the ti…. yuuup got it! – The Mandalorian will never sing. Better yet, he will hardly ever speak and when he does he’ll discard all charming rhetoric, and instead, take the verbal route that leads to the shortest path back to silence.”
And it worked. This is the way. The Mandalorian is brilliant. It saved Disney+ by giving it a lead character that is relevant, relatable, imperfect, and someone we can all get behind. Plus, the man has no idea how to raise a small, green, mischievous, 50 year old baby, and we don’t care! Together, Baby Yoda and Mando are magic. The chemistry between the quiet character and his silent charge is a credit to both Pascal’s acting and Jon Favreau’s creativity.
The Mandalorian Scrapped the Disney Princess Playbook
When it comes to properly representing women and creating relatable female characters, Disney has struggled. Sure the whole princess, true love’s kiss, Prince-forking-Charming had it’s appeal. Don’t give us those dirty looks, we didn’t write the history books – Disney has been successful, and not because people hated their princesses.
The issue now is that Disney, like all parents, is slowly having that ah-ha moment – the moment they realize we, their audience, are all grown up now and We. Are. Over. It. Gone are the days of Princess Barbie and the Unicorn Rainbow World of Yesterday. We’re done with dolls. We want female role models that are awesome! We want Wonder Woman. We want Black Widow. We want Harley motherforking Quinn in all her insane glory.
Enter again, The Mandalorian. A show that didn’t even bother trying to pull from the dated Disney playbook. They tossed that playbook out the window, wrote a new one, gave it to Disney, and said: “Here. This is how you do it right. This is how you make a successful TV show without those damn Disney princesses. Ya welcome.” The Mandalorian saved Disney+ by making them relevant again with the women of this era. It gave us female characters who are fun, quirky, and cool.
Cara Dune – a bad-ass Alliance shock trooper warrior. Fennec Shand – a clever, capable assassin & elite mercenary. Peli Motto – quirky, cool, funny mechanic who, as an added bonus, just loves Baby Yoda. The way she looks at him with blind adoration, is exactly the look that we give our own Baby Yodas and don’t pretend like you didn’t get one quote-un-quote for your kid.
The Mandalorian gets people talking.
It would be impossible to do a list on the Mandalorian without some Baby Yoda. And it would also be impossible not to mention that disgustingly adorable egg eating controversy.
Baby Yoda eating eggs is, quite possibly, the funniest thing we’ve seen all year. In a year as dark as 2020 can anyone really be offended by a tiny swamp monster getting peckish? Well, apparently, they can.
You have Baby Yoda stealing eggs, and Baby Yoda eating more eggs, then stealing the ones he really shouldn’t be eating and spitting out a frog. Love it or hate it, it got the world talking. And as they say, all publicity is good publicity, right?
And there’s nothing cuter than watching baby Yoda chase a frog… oh, until he eats it. Oops. Forget that one, we don’t need an egg eating controversy on our hands. After all, he did spit one of them out…
There’s also that time where Baby Yoda tries to eat the ship control stick. What can we say? He’s a hungry little guy, and the controversy got lovers and haters alike hungry for more – and how did they get the content they could sink their keyboard warrior teeth into? By paying Disney+ for it, of course!
The Mandalorian is just part of the puzzle.
Once the Mandalorian finished, Disney+ subscriptions plummeted, but they’re more than likely going to go back up again. This is because, the Mandalorian isn’t the only part of this intergalactic puzzle. Fans are eagerly awaiting some spin-offs. The Believer and Rangers of the Old Republic, featuring fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano, are set to hit screens soon. There’s no point hanging around for $6.99 a month for Star Wars fans when they’ve finished the Mandalorian, but when the new content hits, they’ll certainly be back. The Mandalorian will be saving Disney+ in the next generation too.
And like Baby Yoda just casually watching fights from his crib, we’re just waiting for the right kind of action to sign back up.
The Mandalorian gave birth to Baby Yoda.
We might have mentioned that. Maybe. But from a business perspective, Baby Yoda gifts are topping the Christmas sales. Even big-name celebrities like Tiger King’s Doc Antle has brought one for his chimp’s birthday! The sales outside of the subscriptions are keeping Disney+ on its feet.
And did we mention, it has Baby Yoda? We did? Oops, well since we brought it up again, how adorable was that scene where he won’t stop flicking switches like a cat by a water glass?
The Mandalorian brings the balance between action and plot
As much as we love Avengers (And oh yes, we LOVE Avengers), Black Panther and Captain Marvel, as Disney+ members we were getting a little bit sick of all that hard hitting action. Sure, the Mandalorian has some great fight scenes (and there’s not much more satisfying than IG-11 breaking the arm of that dude who bullied our Baby Yoda), but we wanted to feel something other than adrenaline.
Disney+ has some great options for that, especially in the Marvel Universe, but we wanted to cry, rage, laugh, scream, fall in love AND have that rush. The Mandalorian met all of those needs. Once fans started watching this series, they soon forgot about suspending their subscription for another month.
The Mandalorian beat covid boredom
It could be said that the Mandalorian helped keep people indoors and so was part of the rebel force that kept people safe, but we wouldn’t want to undermine the phenomenal work of doctors, nurses, carers, food delivery drivers and all of the other outstanding key workers and scientists that kept the world running by agreeing.
What we do believe though is that it was a breath of fresh air to our over binge watched isolation to have something that wasn’t a replay or cartoon. There’s nothing wrong with those things, but it was so nice to see some fresh, human (and alien) life. With not much being produced with the covid restrictions, thousands flocked to Disney+ for a glimpse at what life behind a screen was like before the pandemic. A good majority weren’t even existing fans, thus proving that the Mandalorian saved Disney+ by bringing the force of fans and apprentices alike.
The CGI isn’t bad either. There’s also that time Baby Yoda pressed one too many buttons and nearly crashed the ship killing everyone. He’s just too cute to stay mad at… or even be mad at really.
The Mandalorian is a blank slate for fans
Earlier we mentioned how the Mandalorian compares with Marvel (they’re both awesome) but there’s something in particular that stands out in regard to the Mandalorian’s outfit.
Up until season 2, episode 7 we never see the Mandalorian’s face. In part we think this contributes to the same theory that made Spiderman so loved. The incredible Stan Lee said that by keeping the Spidey suit covering the face, he allowed the readers to envision themselves in the hero’s position. It didn’t matter what race, class or age someone was, they could see themselves as Spiderman. We argue that the same goes for the Mandalorian. His attire gives him that “everyman” element so we can all step into his shoes. That deep connection saved Disney+ from becoming an unrelatable jumble of special effects and flat characters. And who wouldn’t want to be the Mandalorian if they could? Unless they could be Baby Yoda. Always be Baby Yoda.
The Mandalorian kept it real
As much as we love Kylo Ren and Rey, there was just something not quite there with Disney’s original efforts at making a Star Wars product. It definitely felt like a different franchise for a while, losing some of that LucasArts charms. Those films, although arguably decent, were rife with cameos, gimmicks and inconsistencies – which was fine for the new audiences, but original fans were boiling like the blood of a frog lady when she realizes her eggs are decreasing in number. Get over it, even the directors are trolling the haters now.
What is exceptional about the Mandalorian is how is pays such accurate homage to the history, while still pushing on with the story. That $4 billion Disney paid for Star Wars a few years ago would have been buried as deep as Palpetine’s darkness without the Mandalorian pulling back the fan’s approval.
Before we move on to first place, here are some honorable mentions: being a series when we usually see movies, Baby Yoda, bringing new fans on board, Baby Yoda, stellar casting, Baby Yoda, hidden gems, Baby Yoda, a new generation of gear and obviously, Baby Yoda!
If you don’t realize how much the Mandalorian saved Disney+ by now, where in the sweet Mandalor have you been?
The Mandalorian was made by the fans, for the fans
Well, not entirely, but it has been made such a sensation by the fan made spins offs, and in turn, Disney+ has been dragged up with it. A lot of the hype around the series came from fan projects.
The original time line was inspired by a Boba Fett inspired cosplay, which is partly why the Mandalorian looks how he does. One of the most successful pieces of advertising came from a fan made poster, even topping the popularity of Disney’s attempts. Possibly most exciting is a fan made film called Raising Baby Yoda! There’s also a fan created anime, tons of fanfiction, artwork, cosplays and even some mini-series. We always knew that Star Wars fans were a tight knit community (you only have to look at the 501st legion to see that) but it comes on a whole new level when it’s the fans that basically did all of the advertising for Disney.
There you have it, 10 reasons Baby Yoda, we mean the Mandalorian, saved Disney+!
And remember to follow us like Baby Yoda tracks the Mandalorian after being told to stay! And just in case you haven’t hit that like button yet, do it. Do it for Baby Yoda.
… Baby Yoda.
Writer: Laura Townsend
Editor: AB Scarlett
Voice: Scott | http://bit.ly/3bD679R
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See Hosseinzadeh v. Klein, 276 F.Supp.3d 34 (S.D.N.Y. 2017); Equals Three, LLC v. Jukin Media, Inc., 139 F. Supp. 3d 1094 (C.D. Cal. 2015).