‘The Mandalorian’: Creating Sympathy in Alderaan Places
The season finale of The Mandalorian has finally arrived. We finally uncover what the future holds for our favorite Mandalorian Din and Grogu. We had no idea what to expect as we entered the episode, but it certainly delivered on so many levels. Now, there was an interesting trend I’ve noticed while watching this episode that seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore as the season comes to an end.
As per usual, only continue reading at your own risk, as there will be some spoilers for the final episode of The Mandalorian‘s second season.
Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have started to explore an aspect that was overlooked throughout the films. A few episodes back, it was revealed that Gina Carano‘s Cara Dune is a survivor of Alderaan. At first, it seemed like a rather sudden reveal and opened the question of how exactly it ties into the over-arching story. Disney Investor’s Day revealed a new series called Rangers of the New Republic, which seemed set-up when she joined the Empire’s replacement. Now, the final episode in the second season builds on that moment, even if it is only brief. A team consisting of Din, Boba, and Cara try to get their hands on the clone scientist from the first season. Suddenly, one of his bodyguards, who is played by Agent of SHIELD‘s Thomas E. Sullivan, takes him as a hostage to get the upper hand. He starts mocking Cara for the destruction of Alderaan while pointing out how many have died in the death of the Deathstars.
This moment, while brief, once again humanizes those that work for the Empire. Last week’s episode had a strong focus on this, as we saw Troopers support Din and Bill Burr‘s Mayfeld, who were under disguise. We had this surprisingly humanizing moment as we saw a bunch of them celebrate their victory. They even visited a small cafeteria that just gave us a glimpse of their world. Yes, one of the commanders turned out to be pure evil, but that doesn’t mean there are still people behind those iconic uniforms. Some of them may look back at these events differently, just like Mayfeld did when he confronted the before-mentioned Commander.
The only drawback is that they are trying to create sympathy for the remnants of the Empire while having our heroes shoot them down in each episode. This juxtaposition becomes apparent in the season finale, as they have built up Moff Gideon as a pure villain. I am sad we don’t have a series from the perspective of a Storm Trooper. We have the perfect set-up as they started building some sympathy for the once so evil Empire. We don’t know if they are programmed or just regular recruits. The Dark Troopers’ existence may hint at these regular soldiers losing their autonomy at some point. In a way, these teases seem like a way to build-up a connection to Finn, who was a Storm Trooper for the First Order in The Force Awakens. As we have seen throughout the show’s run, they don’t let any stone unturned as they continue the tale of Din Djarin.