The films depict most of its animals respectfully—even those that endanger our heroes. The wampa is hungry; the abyssal creatures of Naboo are awe-inspiring; the rathtars are certainly not meant to be on a spaceship. Who knows what the dianoga is up to in the trash compactor, but we assume it serves a purpose. When an animal is killed or maimed to rescue a character, it is clear that there was no other choice.
The rancor’s keeper crying when Luke kills the “monster” is in stark contrast to Luke’s relief after the intense fight. These little details are Star Wars at its storytelling best. Those few seconds in Return of the Jedi with no explanation or payoff later invests us in the whole universe, not just the one storyline we’re following. The (no longer canon) book
So what to make of chapters nine and ten of
But why did the dragon need to die? Because the resilient residents of Mos Pelgo built their town on its habitat? Or because the Tusken Raiders value its pearls? Because we needed to see Timothy Olyphant as a cowboy at least one more time? Historic enemies coming together in a shaky alliance for a common purpose makes for an inspiring tale… if you ignore that the goal is to slaughter a majestic beast.
The second episode of season two plays Grogu’s insatiable hunger for laughs—an infuriating plotline. Eating the eggs of a character (we won’t even get into her being called Frog Lady) desperate to save her bloodline is heartless. Would one so strong with The Force be such a thoughtless troublemaker?
On the ice planet, Grogu takes a break from eating those eggs and wanders off to eat other eggs. This time there are consequences. The ice spiders fight back; this rather quickly devolves into the annihilation of their entire population, from newborn to ancient. They didn’t need to die, and seeing the rangers of the New Republic shooting them like womp rats was unpleasant.
Mando’s ambivalence is out of character for one seemingly intent on respectful travel – the same episodes showcase his ability to communicate with Tusken Raiders and attempts to find a common language with the Frog Lady. Sure, the characters in
In season one, Mando earned his mudhorn signet after killing one, again unnecessarily. While the scene is memorable for the introduction of The Child’s Force powers, all I remember is that a mother protecting her egg is murdered when incapacitation was possible. My least favorite moment of the series is the roasting of a monkey-lizard (think Salacious Crumb), right in front of another one. We know from Return of the Jedi that the species is sentient.
This is a new and disturbing trend, and one I hope doesn’t become more common in
Now imagine a similar scene where a younger Luke takes Grogu to the island for training and has to stop him from eating porg eggs (which you know he’ll do). It is hard to reconcile these moments as being within the same reality. Sure, porgs are probably delicious but we need the acknowledgement of empathy, like Chewie’s redemption storyline after roasting a few.
I love that
The lack of empathy from the characters, even ones as complicated as those in