One of the first movies I saw in the theater was when I wasn’t even old enough for kindergarten. I was just four years old when Star Wars premiered. My uncle, then all of 16 and a newly licensed driver, took me to see what was becoming a cultural phenomenon. I became a massive science fiction fan at that moment, a genre I still love all these many years later.
Then the prequels came, and they were…not good.
Then we got the new movies. While I liked The Force Awakened, The Last Jedi was freaking awful. Rise of Skywalker was better, but that was a low bar.
Disney had all but destroyed my beloved Star Wars.
Then Disney Plus launched and premiered The Mandalorian. It showed that the issue wasn’t Disney, but something else.
What I noticed, though, were just how many of my fellow Second Amendment lovers also loved The Mandalorian.
Now in its second season–which premiered this past Friday–the show is continuing where it left off, and I think the show’s popularity with the Second Amendment crowd will continue to grow. In fact, I expect to start seeing Mandalorian-themed stuff begin to replace Punisher skulls any day now.
But the question is, why? Here are a few reasons I’ve seen.
Weapons are part of my religion
In one season one episode, the Mandalorian has to talk to jawas about parts for his ship. He’s advised to leave his guns behind. The character, Din Djarin, simply replies that he’s a Mandalorian and that “weapons are part of my religion.”
While guns aren’t religious for most of us, the refusal to leave our guns behind speaks to a part of the Second Amendment supporter’s soul. Guns are for self-defense. Leaving them behind exposes you to danger. While Djarin has more reason than most of us to be concerned–he’s a bounty hunter, after all–but at this point, no one is actively hunting him so far as he’s aware. He simply won’t leave his weapons behind.
It’s kind of hard not to look at that and think about how similar it feels to how many of us approach things. A “Gun Free Zone” sign is basically telling us to go away, conduct business somewhere else. An espoused anti-Second Amendment opinion is much the same thing.
While guns aren’t part of our religion necessarily, they’re a part of our life and we recognize that people danger doesn’t go away just because you wish it would.
Bad people do bad things to good people
Over the course of the show, there are a couple of episodes that show evil people preying on the peaceful but disarmed folks just trying to get by in life. It takes someone with a gun to make armed bad guys go away.
Of course, while this is fiction, the reality of it appears everywhere in real life. Criminals prey on the innocent citizen unless that citizen is armed. Some who can afford it hire private security to bring their guns, but many of us can’t afford to outsource it.
Whether it’s protecting a village as Djarin did in season one or watching a would-be marshal put slavers down, the only thing that really stops bad people with guns is good people with guns.
I mean, I don’t have to lay out why that appeals to the Second Amendment crowd.
Oh, yeah. It has great stories
More importantly than the symbolism, of course, is the story. One of the worst things about much of modern science fiction is the idea that politics should trump telling a good story.
In The Mandalorian, story doesn’t play second fiddle to anything. The plot is engaging and entertaining. It fully embraces the idea of it being a space western in a way that no show has since Firefly. In fact, there’s some debate as to which is better, but since I absolutely love both, I’m staying out of that one.
For fans of westerns, you’ll recognize the similar themes. For example, there’s the episode with MMA legend Gina Carano which is reminiscent of The Magnificant Seven. Episode one of season two gives a bit of a shout-out to Justified and Deadwood with guest star Timothy Olyphant showing up.
And through it all, there’s a weapon on his side.
See, while it tells great stories, it doesn’t beat you over the head with all the ways you suck like so much of modern media tries to do. Instead, it just entertains you while, admittedly, showing all the things that Second Amendment fans have been saying for years.
I know that a lot of people aren’t fans of Disney, and I get that. However, let’s be better than the other side and not try to destroy businesses that disagree with us on stuff.
Instead, support good fiction that maybe shows a bit of what we believe. Do that enough and they’ll start making more of it, especially when so much of their other stuff isn’t getting that support. You win the culture war surrounding the Second Amendment by making sure to support stuff that might not be intended to be pro-2A but actually is.