5 Things The Mandalorian Borrows From The Original Star Wars Trilogy (& 5 Things It Ignores)

The Mandalorian is proving itself a big success, and that's only partly attributed to its influences from the original Star Wars trilogy.

The Mandalorian is the newest hit from the Star Wars universe. This stylish and gripping tale of bounty hunters, shady deals, and deception is definitely one of the best series to be featured on Disney+. As wowed and impressed as we are with this series from a galaxy far, far, away, we can't help but notice a few creative liberties.

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It's not that we're upset or anything, we understand this is a new story in the Star-Wars Saga, but we'd be lying if we said we didn't notice a few things outside the canon. Board our transport as we look at some clashing elements of The Mandalorian.

10 Ignores: Battle of Light Side and Dark Side

Stormtrooper in The Mandalorian

In the original series, a common theme in the realm of Star Wars was the neverending battle of the Light Side and Dark Side of the force, represented by the Jedi and the Sith. It's the common conflict that dictates the fate of the galaxy, but in The Mandalorian, it's barely present.

Yes, the Force is still a big part of the universe, but its presence is only revealed at the end of the first episode, then only slowly explored after. We're sure it's building up for later in the series, but right now it's rather vague as to how this conflict will affect the characters.

9 Calls Back: Familiar Setting and Universe

There are dozens of sci-fi universes in our modern media. From Star Trek to Serenity everyone has their choice of star system to explore. Everyone has their own preference of spaceships, robots, and extraterrestrial life, and we're thankful for it. There might be some overlap here and there between franchises, but there's only one Star Wars.

From the designs of the architecture to the various Droid models cavorting about the streets and ships, you can tell what universe you're visiting from first sight. Though The Mandalorian is a different story seen through different eyes, it's still that same familiar setting we've come to love.

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8 Ignores: Direct Force Involvement

Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars A New Hope


Without going into spoilers, this is one Star Wars property you actually forget about the Force, at least until the last few seconds of Chapter 1. Honestly, it's really kinda strange not to focus on the energy that binds the universe together. Though there is a Force-sensitive character in the show, it's not at the forefront like it normally is.

From the episodes we've seen, there's only one where the Force plays a major part in the bounty hunter's journey, and we find that quite unusual from the franchise that spawned "May the Force be with you." It's still early, but we'll put it on the list.

7 Calls Back: The Threat of the Empire

The discharged troupers and the Imperial sympathist Client are proof enough that the shadow of the Sith still lingers in this newly freed galaxy, despite the events of the original trilogy happening before the series begins. When the Storm Troopers answer the door, our blood runs cold.

Werner Herzog's performance as the mysterious Client doesn't help calm our fears much, but he does make us wonder how strong the embers of the old regime are at this point in the Star Wars timeline. It's not how far we are from the Empire, but how close we are to the First Order.

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6 Ignores: John Williams Absence

A huge part of the Star Wars experience comes from the ingenious intergalactic compositions of the great John Williams. Williams is responsible for crafting some of the greatest melodies ever heard in the Star Wars Universe from the opening theme to his triumphant and powerful marches to help set the mood for the series. So it's a little jarring to find him absent.

Ludwig Göransson is responsible for the wild-west inspired tracks that follow our masked mercenary and we actually have kind of a soft spot for him. This is a different sort of story, just set in the Star Wars universe. Ergo, we need a different soundtrack to set the mood for us.

5 Calls Back: The Array of Bounty Hunters

Darth Vader Bounty Hunters in The Empire Strikes Back

Okay, we can't be the only one thinking about the bounty hunter scene in Empire Strikes Back whenever we see the bar full of mercenaries in chapter 3, right? Seeing that the Mandalorian isn't the only one in the business definitely throws us back to the days of the original trilogy.

It's hard to decide which is more impressive, the different species and skills of bounty hunters from the cantina or the armored tribe of Mandalorians that appear in the third chapter. Either way, it definitely makes for some impressive scenes and sequences. And no, there are no disintegrations.

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4 Ignores: More of a Western than a Space Opera

The Mandalorian in The Mandalorian Season 1 Disney+

Star Wars was the biggest space-opera the sci-fi genre had ever seen. With its intergalactic conflict, phenomenal and varied cast of characters, dramatic elements, and stellar presentation, it was a game-changer for what the genre could be capable of. The Mandalorian however, works on a smaller scale.

The series is more of a space-western than a space-opera. It focuses its attention on one guy and his mission for a fistful of credits. With his sharp-shooting, gruff voice, and questionable moral character, the titular Mandalorian is more of a western gunslinger than sci-fi antihero. Not that we're complaining, mind you.

3 Calls Back: Similar Samurai Motifs

Rey with the lightsaber in Star Wars The Last Jedi

Just like the Star Wars trilogy before it, The Mandalorian not only uses western inspiration for its imagery and storytelling but samurai flicks too. Specifically, it pays homage to the films of prolific Japanese director, Akira Kurosawa. There are also notes of Lone Wolf and Cub with the introduction of "Baby Yoda" at the end of chapter 1.

Think about it, the Mandalorian is a wandering warrior for hire, has an iconic and recognizable armor, as well as a reputation. Starting to sound familiar? Think about how many flicks about lone samurai warriors or ronin have graced our screens. We wouldn't mind seeing a sci-fi version of them on Disney+.

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2 Ignores: A Battle of Good and Evil

Anakin Skywalker vs Obi Wan Kenobi lightsaber battle in Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

We've touched on this lightly before, but mainly on the Light Side or Dark Side of the Force. In the original Star Wars, you knew who was good and who was evil. It was the standard good vs. bad conflict we're all familiar with, but with this series, it's more or less a grey area just which side is which.

Bounty hunters by reputation and vocation don't have the cleanest hands in the business. And because of their recent collaboration with the Empire, the Mandalorians aren't exactly the shining examples of morality either. It definitely makes things more interesting for us viewers.

1 Calls Back: The Beacon of Hope

Mandalorian Baby Yoda concept art

There's a reason Episode IV was called "A New Hope." With the first film in the sensational sci-fi series, the new hope in question was the infamous Death Star plans that brilliantly shifted the tide of the war for the Rebellion. With The Mandalorian, it's not a little digital storage unit, it's a little green alien.

The appearance of "Baby Yoda" marks the first presence of a Force-sensitive or Jedi-related character in the series. With him, we see not only the supposed return of a familiar face, but the shining spark of the Light Side of the Force in an environment of scum and villainy. The question is, what will the masked mercenary do about it?

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