The Mandalorian and WandaVision: The perfect combo

The Mandalorian and WandaVision. Composite: Dork Side of the Force.
The Mandalorian and WandaVision. Composite: Dork Side of the Force. /

Spoiler alert: This article discusses the season finale episode of WandaVision

Maybe because both shows are exclusive to Disney+, or maybe because both shows are building on years of story mythology, or maybe because both shows have massive fandoms — but people can’t help but compare The Mandalorian and WandaVision. The problem with comparisons is that they often pit two creative projects against each other as if they were created to be in competition. The Mandalorian and WandaVision are both such innovative pieces of storytelling, however, that it’s probably better to just enjoy both of them for what each has to offer.

Impossible choices

WandaVision ended with its ninth episode, aptly titled “The Series Finale,” in a way that many Star Wars stories end, including the second season of The Mandalorian: leaning forward into the future. Specifically, in WandaVision’s case, the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Wanda Maximoff’s role in it. After discovering her identity as the Scarlet Witch, Wanda is forced to make the impossible choice between a future with Vision and their two sons and saving the town of Westview from her unintentional spell. She can’t have both, and the choice is as gut-wrenching for the viewer as it for the audience. Mando faces a similar choice at the end of The Mandalorian’s second season when he says goodbye to Grogu, whom he’s grown to love like a son, so that he can follow Luke Skywalker to train to be a Jedi.

Rooted in an expansive mythology

WandaVision spent nine episodes exploring the depths of Wanda Maximoff’s grief over losing Vision in Avengers: Infinity War. Starting as a fun homage to classic television sitcoms, the story evolved into an epic battle between heroes and villains in true Marvel style. Fans of Marvel comics developed plenty of fan theories for the show, and even if most of them remained merely theories, they highlighted the expansive mythology this show and the rest of the MCU are based on, much like how The Mandalorian continues to highlight the deep mythology of the Star Wars universe.

Complex character development

WandaVision didn’t have what many would have considered to be a “Luke Skywalker-level” cameo the way The Mandalorian did, even though such a cameo was hinted at. However, the series ended up strong enough that the hype of a big cameo was unnecessary. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, who also played villain Dryden Vos in Solo, impress in the way they bring the characters of Wanda and Vision to life believably in a variety of contexts because of the way the episodes mimic classic sitcoms from the 1950s on through the next several decades.

WandaVision functions as a celebration of and an exploration of the love story between these two characters, much in the same way The Mandalorian has become a celebration of and an exploration of the father-son relationship between Mando and Grogu. Audience investment is high for both series because they both rely on the development of complex characters more than their high concepts. In addition to Olsen and Bettany, Kathryn Hahn stands out as nosy neighbor-turned-ancient witch Agnes/Agatha Harkness, and Teyonah Parris brilliantly comes across as a strong yet compassionate ally as Captain Monica Rambeau.

Comparisons between The Mandalorian and WandaVision exist because they’re both uniquely powerful stories built on the shoulders of the stories that came before them. Though they exist in completely separate universes, their similarities make them the perfect combo to be enjoyed by Star Wars fans and Marvel fans alike.

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