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Andrew J. Rivas responds to an op-ed about the politicization of The Mandalorian which featured on episode 561 of ROBSERVATIONS, and takes issue with some of the assertions made by the writer.

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Hello Robert,

I hope this finds you well. So the subject of this email is a bit tardy and I hope if you see it perhaps you will find it something worthy of discussing further with your audience.

So, firstly, I do admire you greatly, particularly your wonderfully calm demeanor talking about issues that you do not agree with, (I know that’s hard at times!) and I must confess watching you in a way brings me closer to Jon Schnepp, who’s untimely passing I say in all honestly shook me to my core. I know that people such as ourselves come from vastly different worlds, in the context of America, and yet as Americans we have a common ground we can circle back around to find our footing on. I personally believe this is why pop culture and our mythologies create so much passion within their various fanbases and for that reason I find myself so drawn in to it.

And so with all that said that brings me to the subject of the email. I was recently watching your video of Season 2 Episode 4 of The Mandalorian, which you read the opinion piece that the show has gone political in the contemporary sense.

While I agree with you that there is significant food for thought in the op-ed, I would also say much of the author’s opinion strikes me exactly as to why people voted for Trump in the first place. I would add I completely understand you did not read it with malice or anything like that in mind. I would hope that you read this as a critique with the understanding that there is no malice in me towards you.

I would not “cancel” you or anything of the like. We must be adults and communicate if we are going to function.

As to the article itself, some thoughts.

I would argue that the analogy of the “Outer Rim” with “Middle America” is incredibly tone death. As you know, The Outer Rim of The Star Wars Universe is generally considered to uncultured and “backwards”, irrelevant, etc. I’m not even a Mid-Westerner and I can comfortably say that if one was going to reach out to people this is a poor first step.

I would also add that the writer uses words like “cult” in the article and specifically mentions “MAGA” by name. I think this is all emblematic as to why people who tend to be on the coasts are so greatly despised, and I don’t believe I’m overstating it with the use of that word, by many Americans.

My thoughts on the episode in and of itself are quite simple; I do not see what the author is alluding to as something that is the driving thought process of the show. I believe we put our own thoughts and beliefs into what we perceive, and I believe the writer from The Hollywood Reporter is doing that with this episode.

Personally, I have found the show to be stagnant, and yet I know that is a product of the process of world building (although I believe its building for other series which I find to be annoying). After Its first season, any fan of The Expanse can attest to that! I think to read into the show this deeply is folly and shows a great level of projection, and I must admit that I believe for a writer who clearly has a particular political ideology, he did quite a good job wrangling his thoughts into a coherent opinion. And yet its very depressing to find that one side of America, the apparently “winning side”, is still so dead set on, in what I can only call, lambasting the other.

The name calling of “cult like behavior”, which I can say I have seen from both sides, is not a good sign for the progress of America. And this is not to say the one side is saintly, while the other fiendish. Quite to the contrary. However one side claims to be set on “healing things” and in that spirit I object to the structuring of the article.

As to demonstrating that people read into things however they like an example is this; The Rebels came from the mid and outer-rim supported by elites from within The Galactic Core. They could do so again..

Something that is self-affirming can be found in anything, and I personally read the article as just that, reinforcement of how the writer see’s the world.

Funny enough I saw from the writer a sense of understanding of his opposition even if I personally believe he doesn’t really understand it. He states that government doesn’t appreciate these particular people and yet he goes out of his way to label them “MAGA” when all he needed to do was to describe them as disaffected people.

I personally believe that if there isn’t reconciliation, true reconciliation, not one forced upon one side now that they think they won, this Republic is certain to fail. My belief is, don’t overthink it. The people of The Rim are right in this case, and they are being ignored… and that is not wise in the long run. We need to be better to one another, and maybe get off the high Bantha we rode into town on while we do so.

Wishing you the best in all things,