Following the debut of the third season of The Mandalorian, Star Wars YouTuber EcksToo recently theorized one of the show’s primary messages will be that the destruction of tradition is a good thing.
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The YouTuber first asserts that he believes the first episode is a powerful start to the third season. He goes on to assert, “It’s all thanks to this final scene with Bo-Katan.”
From there the YouTuber rewinds explaining, “The episode starts with a child being christened into the Children of the Watch sect. We get a glance into the traditions set by these Mandalorians. We know Din Djarin is, well, was part of this ultra orthodox group. Bo-Katan bluntly explains this in Chapter 11 “The Heiress.””
“Despite Din saving the day against the giant beast, he is rejected by those he cares about simply for removing his helmet,” the YouTuber continues. “But this episode shows us he’s not the only one. We see Bo-Katan sit on a throne of an empty Mandalorian castle as she explains her forces melted away when she returned without the Darksaber. In the same scene she believes the Children of the Watch gave up on Mandalore and splintered and fractured the Mandalorian race.”
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The YouTuber does point out this characterization is not consistent with previous depictions of Bo-Katan, “Which is actually quite the hypocrisy as she was a part of the Death Watch, which was a separatist Mandalorian group that attempted to take over and lead Maul’s rise to power.”
His description here is a little misleading. The Death Watch and its leader Pre Viszla actually double-crossed Maul after he teamed with his Shadow Collective to take control of Mandalore. Viszla would imprison Maul and his brother Savage Opress.
However, the two would eventually escape, Maul would challenge Viszla to a duel, defeat him, and claim the leadership of the Death Watch and throne of Mandalore. Following Maul’s execution of Viszla, Bo-Katan and her Nite Owl faction within Death Watch immediately rejected Maul’s leadership and rebelled against him. A significant portion of the Death Watch did remain loyal to Maul upon winning the Darksaber.
The YouTuber continues, “The beginning and ending scenes of this episode are a juxtaposition that the showcases that the Mandalorians are shattered by their tradition. The Darksaber and helmet-wearing being the prime examples.”
“This sets up the season for Din to come to the realization that his need for acceptance by his clan and the traditions by his people are fundamentally keeping the Mandalorians united. So perhaps by the end of the season we could see the return of inhabiting Mandalore, the Mandalorians reunited as a whole, and Din no longer needing to hold traditions so close to heart,” he concludes.
If this theory is indeed the case, it follows the philosophy laid out by Kylo Ren in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi and the philosophy that Lucasfilm has seemingly embraced with their management of Star Wars: “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.”
The company started their Star Wars trilogy by character assassinating Han Solo and turning him into a deadbeat loser dad. He’s then killed off by his own at the end of the film. The entire New Republic forged in the wake of the Rebel Alliance’s victory over the Galactic Empire is destroyed by the First Order.
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In The Last Jedi, Luke follows in the wake of Han Solo and is seen his character completely butchered so much so that he’s willing to murder his nephew based on a vision. Yoda then destroys the Jedi temple albeit Rey has already stolen the Jedi manuals before he destroys it with Force Lightning, a Dark Side ability.
In The Rise of Skywalker, the Skywalkers are effectively killed off with the death of Ben Solo and Leia. The Emperor’s goal to kill off the bloodline is achieved through Rey, the daughter of a cloned version of himself. The past is effectively killed off.
While this theory does indeed follow on the themes Lucasfilm has primarily explored in the sequel trilogy, from a narrative perspective it doesn’t really make any sense. Bo-Katan’s claim that Mandalore was broken because of various factions splitting off doesn’t make a lot of sense given the entire planet was depicted as quite united before the manipulations of Darth Sidious, who initially funded Death Watch’s resistance to Duchess Satine.
Even if Bo-Katan never knew about Sidious’ role in deposing her sister, she knew full well that it was the Empire that ravaged the planet and was pitting Mandalorians against each other as showcased in Star Wars Rebels when Gar Saxon became an Imperial puppet.
In fact, in previous episodes of The Mandalorian, Bo-Katan notes how she even fought in the Purge, when the Empire began eradicating the Mandalorians from their own planet.
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None of this really has anything to do with traditions breaking up the Mandalorians. Rather her comments towards Din about putting the blame on the differing factions of Mandalorians was more about herself than anything else.
This first episode shows Bo-Katan as both mentally and emotionally defeated. Her character has completely transformed from when we saw her in season two where she was determined, full of strength and grit as she went about gathering an army, weapons, and supplies for a mission to retake Mandalore.
However, this brings us back to Lucasfilm’s storytelling philosophy. “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.” They don’t want you to remember the past even if it was just the previous season of The Mandalorian. And if you do remember the past, well they are going to kill it or at least completely change it so its completely unrecognizable moving forward.
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