'The Mandalorian' Finally Fixes An Age Old Problem In 'Star Wars'


The original Star Wars movies are great movies, classic films that spurred on generations of new movies, TV shows, books, comics and video games. But if there is one thing I don't like about Star Wars, it's the use of clichés – something in which the original trilogy is as guilty as sin. Obi-Wan Kenobi is the cliché “wise man” character that is the mentor of the hero – a bearded, elderly gent who gives our young, male, energetic protagonist all kinds of help and advice and ends up sacrificing himself to the villain. At the time, the cliché suited the purpose, but in retrospect, it has dated really badly and highlights a major problem with the Star Wars films – characters' ages. With Bo-Katan's appearance in season 2 of The Mandalorian, things are looking up for the removal of ageist bias.


In Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan Kenobi is 25 years old. So that tracks him to be 57 years old in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. With the other characters making ageist comments against him, that doesn't look good in retrospect, especially as he looks older than he should have looked. Naturally, this was probably to suit the cliché of the wise man trope, but this just highlights one of the flaws of the prequel movies – not adjusting the ages correctly to justify the comments and Obi-Wan's appearance in the later movies. Regardless, The Mandalorian has reintroduced the Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze, who was featured in the animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels. In the former, she is probably in her early twenties. Assuming she's now in her forties or perhaps even fifties, her live-action portrayal by 40-year-old Katee Sackhoff is pretty much spot on.

The Mandalorian subReddit had this post, depicting both characters from The Clone Wars and the relatively similar time period of A New Hope and The Mandalorian. Obi-Wan clearly appears older than he should be. Also, in the sequel trilogy, both Luke and Leia were labeled with the “old person” status. But with Bo-Katan being treated normally and with respect, and with not a single grey hair, hopefully characters' ages will be better respected from this point on. 



Some of the hilarious comments on the subReddit include numerous jokes about not wearing sunscreen, living as a hermit on a desert planet (Tatooine) with two suns, maybe Obi-Wan really did want to buy those Death Sticks, wearing a helmet for half your life can be great for your skin, and even one saying “Sackhoff doesn't crackhoff,” giving the impression that Obi-Wan (and not Bo-Katan) gave in to a vice for certain substances during his exile. Which, to be honest, wouldn't be surprising, given the rough ride the gent's been through. 


Now while it could be argued that Luke, Leia, and Obi-Wan could have been aged prematurely because of their connections to the Force, this is another cliché that seriously needs to go. Please just stop writing this into “wizard” characters. It has long been a cliché that “magic” exerts a toll on “magic-users." So with Jedi being space wizards, it's likely that this is one of the reasons why they tire out and so forth. But in reality, it's just a tired, non-creative trope that needs to be put down and forgotten. Dungeons & Dragons, another massively popular franchise, has done it, so Star Wars needs to do it, too. 


While Star Wars is the biggest thing in pop culture, it hasn't always appealed to everyone. That is not the purpose, but deliberately having a bias against middle aged people seems to have turned off a lot of people who may have otherwise enjoyed Star Wars content. With Bo-Katan's stellar appearance and excellent performance from Katee Sackhoff, this is a good sign that the writers and creators of new Star Wars content have finally realized that not every badass in this universe needs to be a young, hotheaded cliché. 


The Mandalorian streams exclusively on Disney+.

Source(s): The Mandalorian finally fixes one of the worst things about Star Wars