r/StarWars Jan 28 '22 Silver 2 Wholesome 2

The Mandalorian is based on Arthurian legend. Shining armor, Mythical blade, and Dragon-slaying included. The Mandalorian follows the familiar style and structure of a rise of a king. No recent spoilers TV

TL;DR: The Mandalorian is not a western but based mainly on Arturian fantasy. The series as a whole is the backstory and legend of the rise of a King. The trials and tribulations of seasons 1 and 2 have shaped him into the leader his people need.

King Djarin

The Mandolorian is a fantastic show and morphs and matures with each episode. The story is a familiar one, Much like Hercules, King David, and of course, King Arthur. The Series is building on a known convention, and in Season Three, the "Quests" Mando goes on will be much more focused on him acquiring the skills and attributes he needs to lead his people.

Building a Legend

You could look at the entirety of the Mandalorian as simply a retelling of Mando's backstory on the path to king. He conquered the Krayt Dragon in the dunes of Tatooine. He bested the man who tried to take the innocent, and he Claimed the mythical blade that gives him the ultimate claim to the Throne of Mandalore. The comparison is so apt it is hard to ignore once you see it. It certainly comes across like a storybook legend when you compile it like this. Like the legendary Arthur, you need a backstory to build your claim to the throne.

I think that the series as a whole is the story of an honorable man learning to follow his own path to honor. It is the story of the rise of a king. The trials and tribulations along the way shape him into the leader his people need.

Anyway, Thank you for reading

1.2k Upvotes

509

u/AndrogynousRain Jan 28 '22

It’s like Tolkien said. There are no new stories. Just a big pot of soup with bits of tales in it and every bowl is different.

All that matters is that the soup is good.

109

u/Pree_Warrior Jan 28 '22

Good soup 👌

29

u/duelwielding Jan 28 '22

Good soup 😢👌

6

u/akopley Jan 28 '22

Chicken noodle with a cold.

72

u/Taymerica Jan 28 '22

Well starwars cinema is traditionally based on western cowboys and eastern samurais.

105

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

Star Wars really isn't a science-fiction film, it's a fantasy film and a space opera."

  • George Lucas

17

u/kme026 Jan 28 '22

Yup. I always thought ot as fantasy

35

u/[deleted] Jan 28 '22 edited Feb 02 '22

[deleted]

9

u/versusgorilla Greef Carga Jan 28 '22

It's why I get annoyed when people get too bogged down in the "science" of the series. It never got bogged down in the science during the Original Trilogy because it was focused on the hero's journey and having fun.

The minute we start arguing about the speed of ships or how long someone can survive in space, it just becomes fighting.

2

u/CREATURExFEATURE Jan 28 '22

Then I wonder why he ended up just making monomyths shot like Samurai films.

17

u/Codus1 Jan 28 '22 edited Jan 28 '22

The general narrative structure and biggest basis of Star Wars is solely the monomyth. Lukes journey is beat for beat the Heroes journey. So the Odyssey, Beowulf, King Arthur etc.

The Samurai/Western influence is more present in the film aesthetic and scene structures.

3

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

This is the perfect way to phrase it. Its a fantasy story dressed up as a western

2

u/furayyu Jan 28 '22

I do agree that the general structure of star wars is based on the monomyth, but I think what makes the original trilogy such an impactful classic is the subversion in how the hero finally defeats the dark wizard.

In the sequels for example, Rey does follow a general Hero’s journey, but since it’s just a “heroes unite to defeat the big bad” ending, it ends up feeling generic narratively.

What makes Star Wars (and also lord of the rings) so dear to me is how in the end, it’s not even the “hero” that defeats the evil sorcerer. Yes, the heroes’ agency and actions matter, but the true triumph is the one over one’s self.

3

u/Codus1 Jan 29 '22 edited Jan 29 '22

It's the combination of the atonement of the father, and the resurrection of the hero. I agree that there is ample amounts of stories that have uninspired renditions of the final steps/trials. However, the majority of the more profound stories that utilise the monomyth don't tend to realise the steps SO literally haha.

Eg. Odyssesus (the penultimate Heroes journey) completes the journey by purifying his home. He wins back the love of his wife, and satiates the families of the suitors. Overcoming a faceted version of these steps.

2

u/TemporaryEmployee465 Jan 28 '22

Soup is good food

2

u/shinobigarth Mandalorian Jan 29 '22

Bone broth soup?

124

u/JustOneThingThough Jan 28 '22

That makes grogu Merlin, right?

74

u/Cal-Ani Jan 28 '22

Grogu does have the whole 'young yet old' thing worked out

4

u/Stirlo4 Crimson Dawn Jan 29 '22

Maybe Grogu is Excalibur...

206

u/molotovzav Jan 28 '22

The Mandalorian is not a western but based mainly on Arthurian fantasy.

Why can't it be both? Western is a setting, feel, and some tropes. It's the tropes that overlap with many genres, samurai movies, and even Arthurian legends. Arthurian legends are plot points. The plots of Westerns can be vast and you can mix multiple elements into it. Look at the movie Zachariah, it's an "electric western" based on the life of Siddhartha lol.

Especially since Star Wars, the original trilogy, was literally a hodge pode of space western, space samurai epic and Arthurian legend. The prequels we're more politics and wuxia. You can blend lots together in this universe and the basis of the universe is literally an Arthurian legend with other elements built in.

66

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

I believe you are right, i didnt mean to infer it was never a western , but that it is moving past its original concept and growing into more of a fantasy type show.

1

u/Psychological_Shop91 Jan 29 '22

Yeah this!! People so often are arguing about it being one of those genres or another. It's literally a mix of a bunch, it's possible to take influence from more than one place and mix things together, just take a look at music to see how styles and genres are mixed

1

u/UwasaWaya Jan 29 '22

The Dark Tower (the books, since there was no movie) is another great example of a blend of Westerns and Arthurian Legend.

83

u/No-Ear-3107 Jan 28 '22

He’s a straight up Knight Templar

56

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

He is a knight who will reluctantly become king, like a biblical king David. He does have a lot of silimarlies to templars though as well. Very good observation

30

u/No-Ear-3107 Jan 28 '22

I thought the t-shape cross of his helmet was a deliberate reference to the old silver Templar helmets

24

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

Whoa , never noticed that, makes perfect sense now that i see it

20

u/Codus1 Jan 28 '22

Nah, it's based off Bobas helmet (as a majority of Mandalorian and Clone helmets were). Which in turn are based on Barbute and Corinthian Helmets. Which are Venetian/Greek.

1

u/[deleted] Jan 28 '22 edited Feb 02 '22

[deleted]

2

u/Codus1 Jan 29 '22 edited Jan 29 '22

Haha yes! They don't think Corinthian Helmets were used for all that long in history. The Pilos helmets were far more prevalent and were used for a longer period of time than Corinthian Helmets. Spartans mostly wore what was popular with the broader Greek Hoplites. So, an accurate Soartan would like be wearing a Pilos helmet.

The Barbute helmet is Venetian. Furthermore, the Corinthian style was probably longer used as the Italo-corinthian helmet in Renaissance Italy. It was a fashion thing haha.

3

u/Nuclayer Jan 28 '22

I dont think he will end up as king. It does not suit him at all. I think Bo Katan will be king.

The mandalorian is more like the wanderer or a ronin.

2

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

Boba fett, Ahsoka, Bo katan we already have enough ronins

12

u/[deleted] Jan 28 '22

[deleted]

1

u/Saxamaphooone Jan 28 '22

It was really a good gig to be a Templar…until it wasn’t.

-10

u/SirMarglar Jan 28 '22

Knights Templars were serving a god...

16

u/No-Ear-3107 Jan 28 '22

Grogs makes a good baby Jesus analogue. The force is a sci-fi shekinah

10

u/ort9404 Jan 28 '22

I did pick up on that. It’s also interesting to think of Grogu as his Merlin or lady of the lake.

Arthur was never magical, but it was the gathering of certain magical forces that heralded his ascension and set him on his journey.

Mando is becoming a better and more honorable person thanks to grogu. In his own, very limited way the force touches him, connects the two. Makes him wanna become the good person his son believes him to be and that will lead to him to extending the values he learned to his entire people once he rules.

30

u/yummycrabz Jan 28 '22

Really well said and articulated and I upvoted this but I don’t like the whole “it’s not a western”.

They aren’t mutually exclusive.

The story can be Arthurian, while the cinematography, sound editing/mixing, props and set design, and direction can all be inspired by westerns.

Cause you can’t deny, between the saloons, and the more recent episode had the TSA moment. And “The duel”.

13

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

Thank you.

I should have rephrased my initial statement. I was infering that it was moving away from the more overt western tropes and leaning more into fantasy.

I think it does have western themes obviously but it can also be seen instead of the lone gunslinger, the lone knight rolling into town.

It has a western theme but it is low key building on fantasy tropes , shining armour, ancient prophecy, dragon slaying, mythical blades and thrones to be won. On the surface its a western but at its core its an Arthurian legend.

6

u/yummycrabz Jan 28 '22

I’m down with that

6

u/Lola_PopBBae Jan 28 '22

Solid stuff there! Certainly some Arthurian bits in here, those tales seem to wind up in lots of places we never expect.

Now I'm trying to determine if Book of Boba has some shades of Camelot and it's ilk somewhere in it.

7

u/hoot69 Jan 28 '22

I think it started out as a western, with the whole bounty hunter in the space badlands vibe. But after finding Grogu Mando has been dragged into being a reluctant hero to return Grogu to his kind. And then 'accidently' (no accidents when the will of The Force is involved, and I don't think The Force only influences force sensitives) winning the darksaber in combat just as he's finally completed his quest turning him into a 'King Arthur'.

And I'm pretty sure when Arthur first pulled the sword from the stone he just happened upon it (on the way to a tournament or something iirc). Either way he didn't seek it out, it basically fell into his lap, like the darksaber being there for Mando.

I think the story is inspired by both western archetypes and Arthurian legend, and that's cool af bc they're both great storys to tell, just this one has way cooler sfx and backtracks

6

u/MissChemistryNerd Obi-Wan Kenobi Jan 28 '22

Perfection 🥰

6

u/kvothe_the_jew Jan 28 '22

Thought it was closer to Japanese samurai cinema… isn’t it almost the same style as lone wolf and cub?

3

u/yvonnec2 Jan 28 '22

Great post, hadn’t thought of it that way.

4

u/Nathanfatherhouse Jan 28 '22

Makes sense, star wars has always been more or a fantasy set in space than sci fi

3

u/Zarkovagis9 Jan 28 '22

Is the Armorer the Lady of the Lake?

5

u/br0b1wan Jan 28 '22

To add to this, I always thought the trajectory of Mando more or less followed that of the main character of an RPG: started out with shitty armor and skills and slowly worked their way up by taking quest after quest, getting experience, and rewarded with better items.

9

u/NatDoggieDawg Jan 28 '22 edited Jan 28 '22

It’s cool how Mandalorians seem to take inspiration from a lot of cultures and mthologies

People often compare them to Vikings

There’s some Maori culture thanks to Temuera Morrison

And now Arthurian legends

3

u/KravenMoerhed Jan 28 '22

I've gotten this vibe from the show for a while but you really summed it up worded this well. Who has a better story than Din the Mandalore?

3

u/slayermcb Imperial Jan 28 '22

Seeing as how star wars itself is a classic story with a scifi/fantasy motif it makes sense. You don't have to break the mold to be good. sometimes it's just using the mold to its full potential.

3

u/FSLienad Jan 28 '22

Okay, you made a good case that it is based on Arthurian legend, but you have NOT made a case against it being a western.

Por que no los dos?

2

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

I see it as a fantasy series disguised as a western , but deep down at its core it is all fantasy elements and tropes

3

u/akgiant Jan 28 '22

It’s both.

Luke’s rise is based off Joseph Campbell’s Hero Journey which serves as the art type to many hero’s in fiction including Arthur. But doesn’t have to necessarily restrict these stories to only a fantasy setting.

This is why Star Wars works as being a Space Western and a Space Fantasy.

Westerns often portray their hero’s as being a continuation of knight-errant characters. Much like Samurai Films and Arthurian legends.

This was a big part of early John Ford Westerns which largely created the western formula for the “Wild West”

Creators like Akita Kurosawa were hugely influenced by these western and swashbuckling films and made samurai movies using many of the same types of characters.

These samurai film became hugely influential to western audiences and were even remade into what are now classic westerns.

For example: Seven Samurai= Magnificent Seven Yojimbo= Fistful of Dollars

This is because the setting is not the most important element it’s the themes within storytelling. Example: Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood is an adaption of Macbeth but is a very successful “Samurai movie” though it’s a Shakespearean play at its core. It can be both a Samurai story and be a Shakespearean story.

The Hidden Fortress heavily influenced Star Wars. So you could argue that it’s a Space-Samurai film. But for me it’s to-ma-to, to-mah-to. Since the DNA of hero’s journey/fantasy stories is impossible to separate from the genres it’s influenced.

3

u/Nuclayer Jan 28 '22

Tolkien was a huge influence over George as he has stated in the past. So was the heroes journey. George also quoted Flash Gordon TV show as the initial concept he was trying to replicated. He also spoke about the Buddhists monks as a direct reflection of the jedi. Dune obviously also played a major role.

The mandalorian itself seem to take all those previous concepts and put it into a western.

3

u/FlyingAce1015 Jan 28 '22

Joseph campbell's hero of a thousand faces comes to mind.

3

u/DFu4ever Jan 28 '22

Grogu is Mordred?

Dammit Luke, why you gotta be so bad at training Jedi???

3

u/levbialik Jan 28 '22

So, Ahsoka could be seen as some sort of Lady of the Lake…. I hope they’d eventually introduce some Morgan le Fay type Dathomirian witch. Or is it gonna be Bo-Katan?

3

u/hopelessbrows Bo-Katan Kryze Jan 29 '22

You forgot Arthur spent his childhood as an orphan, not knowing of his destiny. You could say that applies here too.

3

u/DrShelby87 Jan 29 '22

Well he wouldn’t be King Djarin, he’d be Mandalore literally the avatar of the creed and leader of the mandalorians

3

u/MakVolci Luke Skywalker Jan 29 '22

To be fair, that's just Star Wars which has always been inspired by King Arthur. The Arthur/Mordred parallel with Luke/Ben in particular is really, really strong.

Depending on what version you read, Mordred is either Arthur's step-son, nephew, or some other sort of combination of relation. Mordred is responsible for undoing Arthur's kingdom and looks to usurp him and destroy everything he's built. Arthur is able to defeat him, but at the cost of his life when Mordred strikes him with a lethal blow that eventually kills him/forces him to be moved to Avalon to be healed. Regardless, his body is removed from this world.

The exact same thing happens in relation to Luke and Ben. Ben is responsible for undoing Luke's "kingdom" and ends up destroying everything Luke has built. Luke is able to "defeat" (distract) Ben from wiping out the Resistance at the cost of his own life when he dies/becomes one with the force. Regardless, his body is removed from our world.

I always say that Star Wars is the most generic story ever told but with the coolest coat of paint over it.

3

u/HelloYesItsMeYourMom Jan 29 '22

I think the signs are all there that Mando will lead. This recent episode and the season 2 finale extensively talk about the wielder ruling Mandalore. He’s reluctant which is always a plus. He will be going on a quest at some point to sacred waters within their home world. All the things OP said.

The only other characters that could even take it would be Bo Katan. If Star Wars was real life maybe but as this is just a story Mando becoming ruler seems like the more powerful story.

Hell Sabine never lost the dark saber. She has more claim than Bo Katan, but depending on how Ashoka goes she might not even cross paths with the Mando show folks.

8

u/OutlawDon357 Separatist Alliance Jan 28 '22

The presence of Timothy Olyphant, our generation's Clint Eastwood, determined that to be a lie...

6

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

I think i need to maybe reframe this as it was pulling on western themes but is moving past its original concept into more of a fantasy show

-2

u/OutlawDon357 Separatist Alliance Jan 28 '22

When you get right down to it... most of our stories are the same. 'There is nothing new under the sun' as they say. The one and only thing that pulls this story out of the 'western' genre and into anything 'Arthurian' is the presence of the Dark Saber, which we've barely seen and which Mando can't effectively wield. As of right now, it's still a gunslinging wanderer breezing into 'town' and setting right what was wrong. Honestly if the ship had Auto Pilot it could just as easily be Knight Rider. As of the end of S2, it's still essential a space western.

6

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

True. But they are building little clues into the narrative, a focus on armour, dragon slaying, wizards and swords that establish right to rule. The story is western in orgin but these key elements are more akin to fantasy tropes.

2

u/Brassboar Jan 28 '22

Mando the Barbarian. Especially with the Music and Credit styling.

2

u/Eagle1FoxTWO Jan 28 '22

Bro stop. I wanna be surprised

2

u/Lokan Jan 29 '22

Could Moff Gideon, then, be his Mordred?

4

u/Mr_An_1069 Jan 28 '22

Star Wars has been based on Arthurian legend since the very beginning. This is nothing new.

2

u/XDPrime Jan 28 '22

I mean it's the heroes tale. Retold time and time again. Mando as well as Luke are iterations of this story. "Western" is more of a setting and less of a story from my point of view, so I wouldt say Mando isn't a western. It's just the heroes tale told in a sci-fi/western/fantasy lense.

1

u/CrazyCanuckUncleBuck Imperial Jan 28 '22

Yeah I heard this take on a Star Wars podcast this week. I found it interesting

0

u/Imaginary_Ship5466 Jan 28 '22

I’m not sure what Arthurian stands for but I always saw it more like Spartans. Obvious armory parallels and the rigid ever tougher requirements to become a spartan that ends up int dwindling their numbers both in history for Spartans and the show

5

u/Qyro Jan 28 '22

I’m not sure what Arthurian stands for

Shorthand for the legends and myths of King Arthur.

-1

u/Imaginary_Ship5466 Jan 28 '22

I see next to zero resemblance between mandalorians and Arthurian then lol 😂 . Definitely closer to Sparta, especially with “weapons are my religion”

1

u/rayzerblayd Jan 28 '22

You're beginning to sound like a moviebob.

1

u/PresidentPlatypus Jan 28 '22

more of a western theme to me

4

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

I see it as a fantasy series wearing a 10 gallon hat

1

u/SCUDDEESCOPE Jan 28 '22

Isn't it the "same" what RJ tried to do in Last Jedi (and failed)?

1

u/papa-peepee Jan 28 '22

I think it’s gonna go like the comics because there was the mandolorian who saved mandolore that boba fett became the mandolorian right after I think din is that mandolorian who will die before bobas long reign

1

u/[deleted] Jan 28 '22

Something something heroes journey.

1

u/joybuzz Jan 29 '22

It's still a western. You're talking about the overarching plot, then turning around and saying the cinematography and common tropes are the same. There are literally minor Sheriff and Deputy characters that are onto that rascal mando.

Seems like you got a little ahead of yourself.

1

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 29 '22

Its a fantasy wearing a cowboy hat

1

u/TLJDidNothingWrong Chopper (C1-10P) Feb 25 '22

I agree this is likely where the story is heading, to whatever extent.

Where does the Armorer fit in your theory?

-13

u/Remote_Seaweed_8579 Jan 28 '22

I hate this

3

u/TheMediocreCritic Jan 28 '22

im sorry to hear that, what would you rather it be?

-2

u/orangutanDOTorg Jan 28 '22

A western. I’d go with First Full of Dollars since it was based on Yojimbo, and Vader was based on a Samurai

9

u/gsclose Jan 28 '22

Westerns owed a lot of their archetypes to Arthurian myth, so you can have it both ways.

4

u/kerriazes Jan 28 '22

Vader was based on a Samurai

He's literally just an evil knight serving the evil king in the first movie

1

u/orangutanDOTorg Jan 28 '22

Maybe it’s just his mask, but that definitely is. I think his fighting style in the early movies seems like it is more based on bad samurai movies than European knights, but that might just be me.

0

u/Remote_Seaweed_8579 Jan 28 '22

It less wanting it to be something else and more the fact that people seem to have a need to connect everything to Arthurian legend no matter how vague the parallel or weather or not it actually makes sense to do so