Thursday, February 18, 2021

is "The Mandalorian" now doomed?

The scuttlebutt, which I'd started hearing some weeks ago, is that actor Pedro Pascal, the star of "The Mandalorian," has been getting antsy.  According to one rumor, he's unhappy with playing a constantly helmeted individual; he'd like to show his face more often.  According to another rumor, Pascal has accepted a starring role in the HBO series "The Last of Us," a TV show based on the post-apocalyptic video game of the same name.  The rumors have only intensified since then, and it looks as though Pedro Pascal is definitely going to be leaving "The Mandalorian."  The timing is interesting, given that Disney only just fired fellow co-star Gina Carano from the Lucasfilm series because she had written a slew of tweets deemed politically incorrect.  Supporters of Carano immediately brought up the fact that Pedro Pascal had tweeted that the US and Nazi Germany were morally equivalent for putting kids into cages.  (I discussed that incident here.)

As much as I like and respect Pascal for his acting ability and easy charisma, I have zero sympathy for him regarding his supposed complaints.  Surely he knew, before he signed on to "The Mandalorian," that his character would be wearing a face-covering helmet almost the entire time.  That's got to be a sweaty, miserable experience for any actor (and I've heard many complaints from actors who have to wear masks, helmets, and molded-latex coverings about what a chore it is to be buried under a costume all day, every day, for months at a time), but the dude signed on, anyway.  Some are accusing Pascal of having a massive ego:  he wants the world to see his face.  I don't read it that way; I suspect he is legitimately miserable because he has to wear that damn helmet all the time.  Ego might play a role—almost all actors have massive egos—but I doubt it plays that much of a role in this particular case.  But as I said, Pascal knew beforehand what he was getting into.  (And all of this assumes that the rumors about Pascal's complaints are true.)

Anyway, awesome YouTube ranter Mannix is on the case.  The two videos embedded below both deal with Pedro Pascal in some way:

The way Mannix frames the issue, it sounds as if Disney knew Pascal's departure was coming, and that's why, according to Mannix, Luke Skywalker was placed at the end of Season 2:  the story's arc had been about the Mandalorian's attempt to get little Grogu back to "his own kind," i.e., back to Force-sensitive Jedi who could train him, so Season 2 basically ends with the Mandalorian having completed his quest:  Luke saves the day and takes little Grogu with him to be trained, presumably at Luke's new Jedi academy.  That's one reason why I wrote in yesterday's series review that I felt this was a good point at which to divorce from Disney Plus.  While "The Mandalorian" still has some loose ends that haven't been tied up, and while the series hints at the arrival of yet more Star Wars-related spinoff series (they're following the Marvel model of series proliferation, which might not end well, given how all the Marvel-Netflix series ended up being canceled), the main thrust of the plot has been fulfilled:  Grogu is now where he belongs.

Mannix also surmises that Pascal might view Gina Carano's departure as cover for his own:  he could, in theory, leave "The Mandalorian" in a show of solidarity with Carano.  I don't buy that, though:  Pascal is a dyed-in-the-wool leftie, so I have to wonder how much solidarity he actually feels with Carano.  It's possible, I suppose, that Pascal is the rare type of leftist who also seriously advocates for free speech, including speech he disagrees with.  If so, then good for him, but color me skeptical.

One way or another, "The Mandalorian" appears less and less likely to have a third season.  I feel sorry for Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, who put a lot of work into the series.  I feel sorry for the fine co-stars who brought their talents to a very well-written story.  But all it takes is one stupid incident to ruin everything for everyone, and it was Disney's "woke" stupidity that led to the firing of Gina Carano, and to the current mess the company is in.  Not that I expect the Mouse to care all that much:  Disney is the Empire, after all, awash in cash and supported by millions of equally "woke" fans.  I can't call the whole thing a waste, but it really is a shame that the show probably won't go forward... unless, as Mannix suggests, major roles get recast.

UPDATE:  this three-day-old Inside the Magic article reassures us that Pedro Pascal is not leaving "The Mandalorian."  Not only that, but he has voiced support for co-star Gina Carano on more than one occasion.  (This article affirms that Pascal and Carano are, in fact, friends.)  If that's true, then my respect for the man goes up a notch.  If he's pro-free speech and not part of the Cancel Cunt Club, then that's a mark in his favor.  Other articles say that Pascal's work schedule will prioritize "The Last of Us," but he will still work on "The Mandalorian," possibly by having stuntmen replace him in the armor while he provides voiceover material remotely.  Talk about phoning in a performance.  Not that any of this matters to those of us who've quit Disney:  we'll have to find a way to watch Season 3 without handing more money over to the Evil Rodent.

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