In a special guest post, the writer of The Hidden Jewel Series, author Elisabeth Gabriel, reflects on the smash-hit Disney+ series, Star Wars: The Mandalorian.

In the latest chapter, titled “The Jedi,” written and directed by executive producer Dave Filoni, it’s safe to say that this was the series most significant episode yet. The episode marked the first live-action appearance of fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano, played by Rosario Dawson. She was origainlly seen in stories from the animated television series The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, respectively.  The Mandalorian series continues to expand its storytelling scope, answering some long-standing questions and introducing cherished figures from the franchise’s more extensive lore. 

It’s no secret that some Star Wars fans had issues with the recent Star Wars sequel trilogy. It sparked a new, unprecedented firestorm of anger from the Star Wars fandom that resonated throughout the internet. Star Wars fandom is one of the oldest, and it is undoubtedly the most popular, so fans voice their issues a little louder than most franchises. So, because of this, the Star Wars franchise needed a reset, and the all-new The Mandalorian televison series has delivered in a big way. 

The series itself appears to be a step in the right direction, but it’s still way too early to call it a cure-all. However, it may be what fans need right now, at this very moment, for several reasons explained below.

               1. God so help us, the sequels caused nearly a civil war between fans. New, old, casual, and devoted fans alike have displayed the good, bad, and ugly sides of one of our most modern disputes: “my opinion fact.” Whether or not you believe that my statement alone means I’m wrong, or whether you are one of the die-hard Reylo shippers, we can all (mostly) agree on one thing: The Mandalorian is incredible. Back when The Clone Wars was one of the most fun thing to talk about in the community, we didn’t know what was to come when The Force Awakens was unleashed. Some of us wish we could go back to those days. That being said, when we talk about The Mandalorian, it seems like there’s a breath of relief, heard sighing across the community, like the force. We can all like something again!

               2. It’s the open world we need. The same way Skyrim appeals to so many people, even people who don’t usually play video games, The Mandalorian has expanded the world in a way that invites us in, like open-world role-playing games. Yes, there have been many books that open up the world of Star Wars, as well as games, fan-made films, and all sorts of projects. But those weren’t on universally-appealing platforms like live-streaming. Now we are seeing a live-action, in your face culture, a rich world that isn’t a grand, epic space battle but rather the up close and personal of everyday life. And not just everyday life, but life after the Empire fell. There are so many possibilities that looking to the future is back to being hope-filled, rather than the sequel storylines’ doubtful prospects.

               3. Live-Action Clone Wars and Rebels! I think the excitement sometimes goes away, simply because we are afraid of being tricked again by nostalgia. The Force Awakens had the original characters, a familiar story, and ties to the originals in order to appeal to what “works.” But it’s still just awesome to see live-action characters that we’ve only seen on the shows. This itself opens up even more possibilities of who we’ll see next. I, for one, am excited, and I can’t wait to see where the creators take our beloved Star Wars. And I’m sure most fans can agree.

What did you think of the The Mandalorian? Let us know in the comments below!

Elisabeth Gabriel is the author of the The Hidden Jewel Series. You can also check out her personal blog here, including some more personal insight on Disney’s The Mandalorian.

May the force be with you….