Commentary: The Best ‘Star Wars’ Eras
by Frank Martin
A great thing about Star Wars is that its stories are organized into eras. Star Wars branding does this specifically in terms of the Age of the Republic, the Age of Rebellion, and the Age of Resistance. However, the best times in Star Wars are when its political machinations are on full display. This is how Star Wars: The Clone Wars was able to increase a lot of fan interest in the Prequels. The Clone Wars expanded upon a lot of the political elements the films touched on, thus shining more light and context onto an often maligned time in the franchise. That said, the best era of Star Wars is shared between two of its shows that take place years apart: Star Wars: The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian.
Fans might not connect these shows together at first glance. After all, they deal with completely different characters during completely different points on the Star Wars timeline. The Bad Batch is all about a group of clones who evaded Order 66 as they try to find a way to live in a galaxy that’s being completely turned upside down because of the growing Empire. The Mandalorian is about a religious fanatic of the Mandalore culture as he deals with remnants of the dying Empire trying to use a young Jedi for their own nefarious schemes.
What these two shows have in common, though, is a time of transition in regards to the Empire. The Bad Batch takes place as the Empire is starting to grow and insert its tendrils of influence across various planets. Meanwhile, The Mandalorian is about the New Republic dismantling the Empire’s apparatus in order to install something new and just in the galaxy. Even though one era is supposed to be a time of fear while the other is a time of hope, there are many similarities between them. The galaxy is a bit chaotic and uncertain, leaving plenty of opportunities for criminals and others to exploit. It’s these shows, both set in times of political turmoil, that create the most interesting and fertile ground for stories to developed in the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian stream Wednesdays on Disney+.