Season 1 of The Mandalorian highlights several weaknesses within the early years of the New Republic’s regime.
One of the most intriguing things about The Mandalorian is that it takes place in a largely unexplored time period of Star Wars canon. The Aftermath book trilogy took place in the year following the Battle of Endor, much of which focuses on the early days of the New Republic and their quest to vanquish what remains of the Empire. Most stories set after the Aftermath books take place closer to the time period of the sequel trilogy films. This has left the years in between a bit of a mystery.
Fortunately The Mandalorian is filling in that gap by showing the galaxy a few years after the fall of the Empire and the establishment of the New Republic government. While the New Republic is not the focus of The Mandalorian, several moments in the series have already exposed weaknesses in the government.
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One of the first signs comes in Chapter 3 when the Mandalorian–whose name we now know is Din Djarin–asks Greef Karga if he knows what the Client and Dr. Pershing are going to do with Baby Yoda or what they’re doing on Navarro. Greef Karga has no idea and tells Din that if he’s concerned, he can go back to the Core and report the ex-Imperials to the New Republic. Din replies, “That’s a joke.”
This brief exchange speaks volumes about the New Republic’s influence and how they’re viewed by the wider galaxy. At this point Greef Karga doesn’t care what happens to Baby Yoda and he doesn’t want Din to cause any trouble with wealthy clients of the Bounty Hunters’ Guild. He suggests the option of reporting them to the New Republic because he knows the New Republic either can’t or won’t do anything about Din’s report, nor is a bounty hunter like Din going to go through such bureaucratic channels. Din’s response is just as telling, showing the New Republic is viewed as a joke and basically has no influence over this part of the galaxy.
Chapter 6 shows even more weaknesses when Din and the crew he’s working with board a New Republic prison ship to extract a prisoner. Except for a single human guard, the ship is entirely manned by droids, which suggests that the New Republic doesn’t have enough manpower to man their own ships and instead has to rely on droids.
The human guard triggers a distress beacon before he’s killed, but there’s still enough time for the prisoner Xi’an to be freed, for the crew to betray Din and for him to imprison them in return, enough time to fly the Razor Crest back to Ran, plant the distress beacon on Xi’an, and to get paid for the job. That’s not exactly great response time for reinforcements, even if the New Republic X-Wings act swiftly once they arrive at the location of the distress beacon.
The Military Disarmament Act is definitely a significant factor in these weaknesses. In theory, the New Republic significantly reducing their army and their fleet is a good idea for a peacetime government. In reality, though, it makes the New Republic unable to support the galaxy as needed. They have no influence over a planet like Navarro where lawlessness thrives. They have to rely on droids to guard their prisoners and they don’t have the resources to respond to a distress beacon in a timely manner.
The final glaring weakness is the fact that ex-Imperials like Moff Gideon, the Client, and their stormtroopers are still running around the galaxy. The New Republic is supposed to create and maintain safety and peace. They officially defeated the Empire at the Battle of Jakku, but that wasn’t enough given the ex-Imperials who are still operating. The sheer existence of Moff Gideon and the influence he can wield is a clear sign of the New Republic’s failings.
The audience knows that the New Republic won’t last and will meet its end at the hands of the First Order. Even in its early days the New Republic wasn’t an effective government, though, and its doom was arguably inevitable.
Hopefully season 2 of The Mandalorian will provide even more looks at the New Republic’s struggles, exposing the weaknesses that eventually leads to the downfall of the galactic government.
What is your opinion on how the New Republic has been depicted so far in The Mandalorian? Let us know in the comments!