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For five episodes now, Disney+'s The Mandalorian has been showered with nearly universal praise across the industry and the internet, and those good vibes are an extreme rarity, even within the Star Wars universe. If forced to consider how The Mandalorian could be lacking, however, one might argue that the streaming action-adventure's locations and effects are quite a bit too pristine compared to those seen in the three films that preceded Mando's TV run. Thankfully, a faux trailer was created that connects Mandalorian with Return of the Jedi through the power of crappy '80s visual aesthetics.
As seen below, The Mandalorian's bounty hunter and the beloved Baby Yoda are perfect suited for wildly varying contrast levels, especially when combined with the TV classic "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now," more famously known as the theme to the TGIF sitcom Perfect Strangers. Check it out!
Okay, so to be more realistic, this '80s-skewed Mandalorian video doesn't technically look like the version of Return of the Jedi that has been remastered 17 times for Blu-ray and 4K releases. Rather, it looks like the version of Return of the Jedi that played on TV all the time in the years before Star Wars became such a lucrative franchise for entertainment collections. With lots of deodorant and battery commercials splitting things up, probably.
Clearly fans would incite riots if The Mandalorian actually did look like this, considering how much money has been poured into the Disney+ original series. Sure, the Star Wars Holiday Special still stands out as the epitome of shortsighted TV projects, but a splotchy and over-exposed version of The Mandalorian would possibly usurp that distinction.
Thankfully, creator Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni put together an extremely talented crew of directors, special effects teams, set designers and everyone else that could guarantee The Mandalorian looked every bit as good as not only Return of the Jedi, but also Revenge of the Sith and The Rise of Skywalker (and whatever Star Wars trilogy-cappers will exist in the future). I don't think anyone would claim that The Mandalorian is heavily weighed down with plot, but the series is indeed filled to the prime with familiar and lovingly crafted visuals that put '80s network sitcoms to shame. Not that it's a competition.
Let's play a little "Six Degress of Mando" here. This Mandalorian fake trailer utilizes the Perfect Strangers theme. That theme was also used in a bizarre way for an episode of HBO's The Leftovers, which Perfect Strangers star Mark Linn Baker made an appearance in. The Leftovers was co-created by Damon Lindelof (wait, he's more Star Trek) and starred Justin Theroux as one of its leads. Theroux played the weirdo Master Codebreaker in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi. We could just end it there at the Star Wars wraparound, but we'll go one step further to say that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson told our own Sean O'Connell and the ReelBlend team that he would be down to direct an episode of The Mandalorian Season 2.
The Mandalorian has just a few episodes left, and considering how many franchise tie-ins have been used so far, it's likely that the final three installments will make other direct connections to the various film trilogies. Fans are likely hoping for clues about what's to come in The Rise of Skywalker, though the relatively large span between the two timelines might make such a connection difficult.
Tune into Disney+ on Friday for another rousing episode of The Mandalorian, which is already in the process of getting Season 2 underway, then check out our regular list of questions about what's coming next.