The Mandalorian is a special kind of Star Wars content for many reasons. For one, it doesn’t deal with the Force or Jedi vs. Sith at all, which is new for this galaxy of content. It also is very much a Space Western as opposed to a Space Opera. But it also digs into a time period in the Star Wars franchise that hasn’t been touched on very much, and never in live-action.
And now fans get a bit more insight into the New Republic after the Empire, and why the First Order was inevitable. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 2].
‘The Mandalorian’ takes place in a world that just got rid of the Galactic Empire
Just to recap, The Mandalorian’s first season started about five years after Return of the Jedi, when the Galactic Empire fell. As stated above, this time period isn’t touched on often, and this is the first time we’re seeing a live-action look at life in this galaxy post-Sidious’ reign.
Star Wars Rebels takes place not long before the original trilogy, even showing Princess Leia at one point, even though she’s a younger teen. And the epilogue goes until right after the Second Death Star blows up. But there’s a lot that needs to be done in order to create a governing society once they overthrow the old one. And, unfortunately, fans know that another version of the Empire — The First Order — is already in place and very powerful by the time The Force Awakens comes along a few decades later.
There are comics and books that do fill in the blanks here. So fans know a little about how the Rebel Alliance tried to make a new order and The Mandalorian gives a glimpse. For example, last week’s premiere showed how miners on Tatooine celebrated the Death Star’s demise. This week showed a little bit of the New Republic.
The New Republic isn’t shown on screen often, and ‘The Mandalorian’ gave a closer look
As Mando — aka Din Djarin — travels to take the Frog Lady to her husband on a distant planet, he’s pulled over by some X-Wing fighters. This might give audience members a jolt of nostalgia because they’re Rebel fighters in their orange jumpsuits and familiar helmets. However, now, they’re acting as space cops of sorts.
They ask Mando a lot of questions about his ship, which is pre-Empire. They’re suspicious, and they can’t get a read on it without Mando’s approval. Mando really doesn’t want to be arrested or stopped further because he knows he has bad things on his record. He’s a bounty hunter after all. Plus, having a transponder beacon would be like a massive spotlight on him and his ship, and that’s not ideal for him.
He outruns the New Republic officers, but also crashes onto an ice planet.
The New Republic didn’t last long, giving way to the First Order, because it was too much like the Empire
If the New Republic X-Wing guys annoyed you, odds are it was on purpose. As Inverse pointed out, they’re acting as stricter regulation, similar to what the Empire was enforcing. Especially when it comes to the transponder thing; they want to know where everyone is and make sure no one is an Empire sympathizer hiding in plain sight.
And, as Inverse also reported, them pulling Mando over shows that the New Republic has a similar problem to that of the Empire. They policed the people of the galaxy heavily while also trying to round up anyone that wasn’t exactly on their side. It’s not accurate to say that the New Republic is just a second Galactic Empire, because that wouldn’t be true. The Empire was a fascist regime based on fear and dictatorship. But, having a ton of regulation and harassing ships that aren’t outwardly pro-Empire is a bit much.
The way these New Republic officers struggle and then let Mando off shows that they never really got a grip on the galaxy. Because, again, by 34 ABY, the First Order is thriving with Snoke and the Rebellion is not. Also, the X-Wing cops can do all they want with Mando, but the fact that there are literal troops of Stormtroopers still in the galaxy with people like The Client and Moff Gideon is not good.
And, of course, that inability to squish Empire sympathizers is what leads to the First Order, which grows and comes back.