Western Themes and Baby Yoda Memes

The Mandalorian with no name. (Image: Lucasfilm/Disney Plus)

The Mandalorian is so fun to watch, you almost forget that it’s an excellent example of how a corporate entertainment behemoth can freshen up an IP and sell a whole new product along the way.

For this week’s issue of Sequential Tart, I wrote about The Mandalorian‘s ties to the genres that inspired George Lucas, and the secret to Baby Yoda’s success as a pop culture figure.


Baby Yoda is an open signifier, practically invented for memes. Within the context of the show, Baby Yoda can mean a fresh start for the Star Wars franchise. It can symbolize a new generation that prompts older, jaded generations to act against the resurgence of fascism. It can represent renewed appreciation for artisan handicraft in a digital age (the enthusiasm for the mostly puppet creature is a marked contrast to fans’ refusal to warm up to the mostly CGI characters of the prequels).

Even the storytelling style of The Mandalorian seems designed to clear a path for this adorable new overlord.

Suzette Chan in the Sequential Tart Roundtable about The Mandalorian, Season 1

(This was for a roundtable. My piece is spoiler-free. My colleague, Wolfen Moondaughter, got into the spoilery details.)

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