For layered world-building from a single, unconfusing perspective and timely characterization scenes amidst breath-taking action, with awe and a natural sense of humor, this is the way.
We're probably close to the Casual Fans end of the spectrum, but Star Wars has definitely touched our mindset.
Here's our real time reaction to the Season 2 Finale : https://youtu.be/6f1HxiqqJxcI don't criticize people who realize there's many fantasy elements they won't find in day-to-day life, and so have consumed the novels, video games, animated series and movies. I guess in our case, we were inspired by the original inspirations of the Force and Star Wars material, and sought some of those out, even taken an interest in the history and practices. I think it's even cooler to look into the spiritual traditions of actual cultures and collecting some dust on your boots, so to speak. We did go see Revenge of the Sith in the theater- that was very dark, but entralling drama- and after we caught up with the first two sequels by Disney, I did go see The Rise of Skywalker. Maybe because I wasn't as deeply steeped in fandom, I probably had a better time watching it. (Even I was disappointed by the side characters falling way in the last chapter.)
But the enthusiasm around this series meant I had to catch up with The Mandalorian this year.
Mando's- Djin Djarin's- allies are complex, and open interesting questions, themselves. Bill Burr's character (Migs Mayfeld-I miss or forget the names, sometimes, and am not a usual denizen of the discussions) in Episode 15 embodies the survivor's cynicism about any attempt to solidify political power. Even the idealistic story behind the New Republic, the revolutionary Rebels, will have a hard time becoming an institution capable of moral government. His story, however, underlines the fundamental difference in what elements make a government oppressive. Djarin finds 'others of his kind'- the armored warriors, not a race so much as practitioners, rather like Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (Ninjas). The ones he finds expose him to questions about the practices that have defined his life, including the constant concealment of his face from others (inside that truly Boss helmet). They have their own agenda for re-establishing the Manadalorians after they are driven from their 'cursed' home planet. His ally Boba Fett, already shown as a cold-blooded bounty hunter in Empire and Return of the Jedi, may well become an intergalactic crimelord in his own right, alongside enforcer Fennec Shand! (We'll see more in The Book of Boba Fett a new show coming in 2021, hopefully crossing over in The Mandalorian, Season Three.) His enemies, however, are either part of the monolithic oppression of the Empire, or self-serving and vicious, themselves. Even the mission to protect the Child and take him to safe harbor and guidance requires an efficient ruthlessness on Djin Djarin's part.
All of this characterization comes together to motivate the mixed band of Mandalorians and their friend, the lady weight-lifter, Cara Dune, who's now a deputized member of the New Republic, and bounty hunter Fennec Shand, versus an Imperial cruiser of lethal opponents helmed by Moff Gideon. The Finale is a straight-forward, non-stop action piece. Not that the series has suffered for any lack of action- its video game-quest-type chapters always lead to a good action piece- but there are less moments devoted to dialogue intended to build character. The show has used dialogue so economically that you have to give the editors major props for keeping it so lean. We don't veer off into romantic complications at any point, and we don't lose a minute developing side characters too much outside of the movement of the main plot.
I feel like a detailed synopsis is somewhat unnecessary. Here's our real-time reaction to the episode, too. "https://youtu.be/6f1HxiqqJxc">
I want to make note of set-up building out of the sub-plot, revolving around the Dark Sabre. Its rightful possessor can only be determined by combat- and in the process of his quest, Mando's defeated Moff Gideon, throwing a wrench in the plans of Boca Tan to become ruler of the re-established throne of the Mandalorian people. Himself an adopted foundling, Djin Djarin' single-minded pursuit of The Quest has incidentally placed him as the unwilling ascendant ruler. As Moff Gideon aptly puts it, you can't simply surrender the Dark Sabre out of disinterest, because the Story is the basis of the real power, symbolized by possessing the Darksaber.
We also get a bit of closure concerning Gideon's kidnapping of the child, which kicked off this arc and also concluded things. If he has already achieved his purpose, we're sure to see repercussions. From the start it was established, the blood was being taken, but we wondered if there was an ongoing use for a supply of it, which I also thought meant the child would be protected in-story (to say nothing of the wrath of planet Earth if the storytellers let him die).
I dearly appreciated Jon Favreau's efforts to bring Iron Man to the non-comics-reader public. I would love to read the story behind the writers who were recruited to tell the episodes, too- it's often the director. What can you say: they held closely onto a single over-arching plot for 16 episodes and essentially wrapped it up, while laying out subplots to put into future play. If you don't think it's a clinic in serial storytelling, please leave me a comment on where you've seen it done better, OK? If you have another favorite, feel free to comment, too. I know sign-ins complicate the matter. I'll edit-in an email for contact, soon, too.
As for The Book of Boba Fett, I assumed it was the new chapter of Mandalorian, and it seems instead to be a point of speculation. IF Book is a separate series, this new show is apparently a complete surprise announcement, and not simply the name of the Season Three chapter. (Update: seems very much like this IS a new series, so mentioned in an interview with Jon Favreau: https://deadline.com/2020/12/the-mandalorian-jon-favreau-reveals-details-of-the-book-of-boba-fett-1234660041/ Boba Fett's redeemed himself by helping Din with Grogu, so he won't necessarily become a similer crimelord like Jabba or his replacement, Bib Fortuna. The sign things will be different is Fennec Shand's freeing of the slave girl. So, a new bounty hunter guild? That could be interesting!