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James Tarr

Okay, now that I’ve snagged your attention with the clickbait headline, hear me out, as I haven’t lost my mind.

Everyone is saying that The Mandalorian is amazing, awesome, wonderful.  And it is very good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not as good as everyone is saying it is.  It just seems so much better than it is, because almost everything else Star Wars (since The Empire Strikes Back) has been utter and complete garbage.

George Lucas lost his mind during pre-production on Revenge of the Jedi (original title) when he decided to replace the Wookiees on Endor with glassy-eyed murderous teddy bears, Ewoks.  This turned what could have been an awesomely amazing movie into something which was just okay.  Since then every property he’s touched has been shit.  All three prequels and sequels to the original trilogy have been somewhere between not good and astoundingly bad.  In the Star Wars Special Edition he had Greedo inexplicably and illogically shoot first (which is about the time Steven Spielberg digitally replaced the guns in the hands of his federal agents in E.T. with radios, so apparently those two old friends lost their minds together).  George Lucas even ruined Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with a script that was absolute trash, but which Steven Spielberg felt obliged to use over the reportedly awesome script done by Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Shawkshank Redemption, etc.)

The only things in the Star Wars universe which haven’t sucked since Return of the Jedi have been Rogue One and The Mandalorian, both of which were created away from Lucas.  And so we come to Dave Chappelle.

Dave Chappelle is currently the king of comedy.  His specials on Netflix are drawing huge numbers, and a huge amount of press.  Some people are calling him the GOAT.  But if you look at his act and compare it against some of the best that ever have been in stand-up (Bob Newhart, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and yes, even Bill Cosby), Dave Chappelle is merely as good as them on his best day.

The thing is, he seems so much better than he is because modern comedy is a wasteland.  There’s no comedy in modern comedy.  The problem, mostly, seems to be political correctness.  The only comedians who are actually funny are those who dare to attack any- and everybody, which right now is a very short list—basically Dave Chappelle and Bill Burr.  If you watch late night TV, the lack of anything funny in the hosts’ comedy bits is physically painful.

Dave Chappelle is good, but he’s not that good—he just seems to be in comparison to everything around him.  The same is true of The Mandalorian.

And in a weird bit of synchronicity, Bill Burr’s turn as a former Stormtrooper in The Mandalorian, specifically the five-minute scene in season two which explores his backstory and provides his redemption, is better than Star Wars Episodes V, VI, and VII put together.