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The Mandalorian has forgotten what made us fall in love with him in the first place

When James Cameron was pitching his vision for Aliens, many believed that making a follow-up to Ridley Scott’s genre-defining sci-fi horror was the quintessential no-win scenario. The Terminator director did not share his doubts. He was so confident, in fact, that he made his point to studio executives in characteristically bombastic style, writing ALIEN on the back of his script, before adding an S and drawing a couple of lines to turn it into a dollar sign. .

Whether ALIEN$ was the reason the suits greenlit the iconic sequel is lost to history, but there’s no doubt Cameron lived up to his self-generated hype: he didn’t just pluralize the film’s xenomorphic menace original, but also delivered healthy returns at the box office.

Why mention Cameron’s trick here? the recent third season of The Mandalorian (opens in a new tab) seems to have taken a sheet from the same notebook. From the escalating scale of the narrative to armies of warriors in the familiar Mando battle armor, it feels like THE MANDALORIAN$ could have been a buzz phrase in the writers room. But, in stark contrast to Aliens, going big hasn’t necessarily been a recipe for success. Instead, this was the point where the show forgot why we fell in love with it in the first place.

Bo-Katan and The Gunsmith. (Image credit: Disney)

Like the first live action Star Wars TV series (opens in a new tab), the stakes were high in The Mandalorian when it released in November 2019, both for the franchise and the fledgling platform Disney Plus. But, after the divisive The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the even more divisive The Rise of Skywalker debuting the following month, this show had the power to even out the fanbase.

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