Futurism made the argument last week:

Now while many believe that Disney’s takeover of the franchise wasn’t the best decision, there are also many that believe that it has turned the otherwise tired franchise to new direction. Perhaps the greatest thing in live action Star Wars since the original trilogy is The Mandalorian.

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This is a story about a new, Clint Eastwood style character in a space western style story – its not about Anakin, or Obi Wan, or any of the other characters from the existing fiction, that automatically come with huge fan expectations and baggage attached to them. By creating a new character, we are shown a cool new badass to invest in, but also an indepth look at the lore that exists in the Star Wars universe that is merely hinted at in the movies. In The Mandalorian, much like Rebels, we’re shown the gritty, down-to-earth and often dust and grime-covered existance of ordinary, relatable folk.

The first episode of season 2 dropped on Friday on Disney+ and it was a fantastic opener. The Mandalorian and The Child return to Tatooine and soon fall into a traditional, episode-length adventure very much in the Western tradition. The episode is also filled with goodies – cameos, exciting action scenes, and thrilling answers to long-wondered questions in the Star Wars mythology.

Star Wars has been almost a dead franchise to me for years. The Force Awakens was so mediocre and disappointing to me that I still have not seen The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. I try to pretend that the prequels don’t exist. The standalone Star Wars films Rogue One and Solo are actually both quite good, however.

It’s nice having the original trilogy on Disney+ (albeit with the unneeded special effect additions and changes) just a few finger swipes on the iPad or clicks on the remote away. I can still throw those films on and appreciate them anytime as the glorious pop art that they are.

The Mandalorian does something special beyond just being a great and entertaining show in and of itself. It has proven that the Star Wars universe can still survive even if its previous major flagship films disappointed so deeply, and it has shown how to do it.

Maybe it’s just time to let it go? That the story of the Skywalkers is over and now if Disney is wise they will look to The Mandalorian as their model, that they can figure out other creative opportunities for storytelling within this universe, fleshing out further cultures and characters in conflict in the ashes of the empire. Generations have been wanting to know what happens directly after The Return of the Jedi and so far it’s really only The Mandalorian which has had the courage to do it. Here’s hoping Disney will realize that, as The Mandalorian is fond of saying, This is the Way.