Is ‘The Mandalorian’ Making the ‘Star Wars’ Fandom Less Toxic?
One of the last times most Star Wars fans universally agreed on something was the moments before seeing the films for the first time. While the most lucrative film franchise in history has some of the most passionate fans in entertainment, they are also among the hardest to please. That said, in Disney+’s The Mandalorian, many fans are coming together to appreciate something beyond the original trilogy. As such, some see this as a step away from the toxic culture that’s often associated with the franchise.
Many ‘Star Wars’ fans agree to disagree
Star Wars might have premiered 44 years ago, but there are still new ways to argue about the franchise to this day. From arguments about the quality of every passing project to detailed rants about historical context inside the entirely fictional universe, fans always have a way to argue. It’s part of what makes the franchise seem so special. Fans love it enough to debate about it like it’s sports or politics.
On the flip side, the disagreements can go overboard. That same passion that drives some fans to theaters for every new project can also cause them to act deplorably. From The Phantom Menace’s Jake Lloyd to the new trilogy’s Kelly Marie Tran, several actors have been bullied to the point of having to take real-life precautions for their safety and sanity.
With every passing movie, debates rage on — not just about the plot, but the casting of the project, the racial makeup, the thematic elements, and the artistic merit of each movie, too. 44 years after the original film premiered, it is still one of the most beloved franchises of all time, but it is also one of the most toxically divisive series in the history of Hollywood.
That said, all of this might have changed since The Mandalorian, which many fans see as a return to the type of pre-internet enjoyment that they loved about the first trilogy.
‘The Mandalorian’ impact on ‘Star Wars’ fandom
Even the most hardened cynics can admit that the way some franchise fans can act, especially in a digital era like today, can bring down the entire culture. However, with The Mandalorian, many see the first Star Wars property that doesn’t entirely eliminate fans and casual observers alike.
Perhaps due to the smaller story or the serialized nature, people wait a week between each episode. Still, to many, The Mandalorian is the closest thing people have to the original film in 1976. It’s a show that embraces the rich history of the franchise and expands on it in interesting ways, and fans are coming together because of it.
Some viewers believe ‘The Mandalorian’ brings fans together
Reddit User u/Prophet_Cornstock took the time to appreciate the way that The Mandalorian appears to bring people together. While nothing has universal praise, this user sees the series as a point where fans can come together and appreciate the opportunity to experience Star Wars together again.
Honestly my favorite thing about this show (other than everything) is how many people love it. It is SO refreshing to go on social media, click on the comment section of a Star Wars post, and see nothing but positivity, excitement, and speculation. It reminds me of when The Force Awakens first came out and everyone was hyped for the future of Star Wars. It’s good to have that back again in the fandom. While the negativity still exists, it is LIGHTYEARS better than it was. Balance has been brought back to the Galaxy. (Per Reddit)
Others agreed. While many fans still have issues with the series, it avoids the vitriol that even 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker harbored, which is a rarity among fans.
Yeah, it’s excited a lot of both long-time fans (including a bunch who hated the [sequel trilogy]) and people who’ve never been into Star Wars at all. This show is really moving the franchise forward. (Per Reddit)
Perhaps Disney and the creators behind future projects can look toward why this is. Is it merely a case of new content that doesn’t require theater viewing pumping the brakes on expectations, or is it because of the content itself? With a whole slew of new shows and films coming, perhaps a new age is on the horizon in which its fans’ abhorrent behavior doesn’t equally define star Wars as it is the films and television series, too.