This winter is rich on new Star Wars TV series. The Mandalorian came as the first Star Wars live action series, while Resistance is finishing its second season about now, filling the gaps between the sequel trilogy episodes. And in a few weeks, we are anticipating the renewed project of The Clone Wars, its seventh and final season.
How do all these shows compare to each other?
Resistance started as a classic story of a young man going on an adventure. In this case, joining the Resistance against the First Order. The show has met criticism from “hardcore” fans for its cartoonish, “childish” and low-quality graphics. This, in turn, led to many automatically assuming that it was bad and not worthy of their attention.
The criticism of graphics is certainly valid, even though the same could be said about earlier series of The Clone Wars, which majority of audience eventually came to terms with. Besides the visuals, the other thing about Resistance may be a occassional filler episode with adventurous and indeed “childish” plot or elements. However, that is something present also in all other cartoon series, like Clone Wars, but also in all Star Wars films, starting with Return of the Jedi‘s Ewoks. In that sense, Resistance is no worse than any other story from the Star Wars universe.
Resistance‘s story, on the other hand, has something unique about it: it is portrayed from the perspective of “common people” as opposed to heroes with special powers. The conflict of good and evil is also presented the way a normal person would see it. The show utilises this wonderfully when explaining the motivations of some of the main characters to join the “bad” side. In a short amount of time, Resistance has managed to present very lifelike and relatable characters.
If Resistance got undeservedly dumped because of how it looks or the impression it gives, I daresay The Mandalorian got undeservedly praised for the same reason. Make no mistake: The Mandalorian is good and in time, it will likely become amazing. But if we take a step back and forget “Yoda baby” for a second (yes, I refuse calling it “baby Yoda” because it’s not. Not that it is Yoda baby either – I hope – but it may still be more accurate description, given that we don’t know the name of the species), the way it is, it is really nothing that special, objectively.
We must not forget that this is only the first season. Still, if I use the comparison to Resistance, season 1 of The Mandalorian falls way behind on characterisation (most characters can be simply described as “I am a tough fella and that’s it” until the final episode), and the individual episode plots are no different from what we have seen a hundred times over in TCW, Rebels or Resistance (go to the desert, kill something, rinse, repeat). However, the execution of some is great (such as episode 4, which is otherwise just a ripoff of one old TCW episode, and both are obvious homages to The Magnificent Seven/Seven Samurai), and of course, it’s all live-action.
The Mandalorian has great potential and it is highly entertaining, and with the finale, it also promises to tie into the rest of Star Wars lore – to me, the most important aspect of all.
Clone Wars Saved
The remaining series coming to Disney’s channel this February (and finally closer to the channel’s official release in more countries) is the seventh season of The Clone Wars. The newest trailer (see below) further teases what we can expect from the story. The bulk of it is already known: the plot revolving around Mandalore, Maul and Ahsoka, as well as perhaps the explanation of how did Commander Rex circumvent Order 66 – basically the arcs that had remained open in previous seasons.
From the looks of it, we can expect it to be grim and very emotional. Revenge of the Sith is almost at hand. Most of all, especially since this show is Dave Filoni’s baby through and through, we can look forward to plots tying together on the large scale. I bet that we are going to learn something that crosses over to The Mandalorian, as well as we are going to get (I hope more than) a glimpse of Depa Billaba’s young Padawan Caleb Dume aka future Kanan Jarrus from Rebels (see the trailer).
Many expect TCW to be the best series of this time and I tend to share that anticipation. TCW has a wealth of lore and six-seasons-old characters as opposed to Resistance‘s fairly young universe and The Mandalorian‘s slowly starting first season with characters whose background we have only started learning about. I am pretty sure it won’t disappoint, let’s just see how great it is going to get.