'The Mandalorian' Season 2 fills several plot holes and disappointments left behind by 'The Force Awakens'
The sequel trilogy left a lot of fans disappointed in a number of major ways, but 'The Mandalorian' is picking up the slack
Spoilers for 'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Episode 4 'The Seige'
The original 'Star Wars' trilogy was much loved and the fans were so invested in the story that they were dying to find out what happened next. Several books, comics and video games had their own takes on how the 'Star Wars' galaxy went forward after the fall of the Empire, but that continuity was messy at best and utterly disregarded by much of the public and the movies themselves. When the official new 'Star Wars' canon was finally created, it was, disappointingly a prequel, covering the events that happened decades before the Empire's fall, but still nothing that happened after. With 'The Force Awakens,' many fans were excited to see a new era of the 'Star Wars' galaxy that had rid itself of the Empire...only to find that the Empire had somehow risen to power all over again and the Rebels were still on the run.
It didn't take much longer than the opening crawl to establish that the hard-won victory in 'Return of the Jedi' was for nothing, as the First Order was in charge of the galaxy like nothing had happened, with even bigger and better weapons at their disposal. To add insult to injury, very little explanation was given to how the First Order came to be in the first place or how the Rebellion managed to so quickly lose control of a galaxy they'd fought so hard to liberate.
'The Mandalorian' may not be able to stop that grim and tired future, but in one aspect it does scratch a certain itch that 'Star Wars' fans have been waiting for decades - it shows glimpses of all the ways the Empire changed after its leader was taken out and how the Rebels tried to bring about a lasting peace. Season 2, especially, has given us glimpses as to how the rest of the galaxy reacted to the fall of the Empire. We see the Republic trying to establish new laws, to restore a sense of peaceful order to a galaxy that for too long had known nothing but tyranny.
It's also doing a lot of important work in undoing the massive tangle of conflicting continuity that was the sequel trilogy. With each new film trying to outdo the previous one, the final three chapters of the Skywalker Saga were anything but coherent, leaving the writers the 'Star Wars' books, comics, and additional material in charge of making it all make sense and 'The Mandalorian' is doing the same, with a much wider audience. The show manages to take all the extensive 'Star Wars' canon and subtly make it seem reasonable within the setting in a way that the movies simply failed to. It sets up major Easter eggs, it explains motivations and it incorporates the lore smoothly and naturally.
'The Mandalorian' is the 'Star Wars' story we've been waiting for after 'The Last Jedi'. It took far too long for the franchise to figure out just how to do it right, but every episode, it's only getting better and better at being able to do so.
The next episode of 'The Mandalorian' airs November 27, on Disney+.