I just finished Chapter 3 of Prince Oberyn in Space and (SPOILERS!) something occurred to me as I watched its Mandalorian protagonist eavesdrop on Werner Herzog’s “Client” character before rescuing baby Yoda: The Client, it seems, wants something extracted from the infant and he doesn’t seem particularly concerned with the its survival. Right off the bat this reminded me of harvesting ADAM from little sisters in the Bioshock series…
…and ADAM was essentially stem cells.
Chapter 4 of The Mandalorian has not dropped yet, but I would hazard a guess that the Client wanted Midi-chlorians. MCs are not stem cells per se, but they do some pretty incredible things and I think it’s significant that the client wants to extract them from an infant, as it makes the stem cell comparisons inescapable.
So now we have two assumptions:
1) The Client wants Midi-chlorians from baby Yoda, and…
2) Midi-chlorians are an allegory for fetal stem cells
Let’s run with these assumptions, taking them all the way to their ultimate conclusion and see what Disney is trying to tell us about stem cells through coded messaging.
Harvesting Stem Cells From Babies is Bad
If you listened to Alex Jones’ most recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience (and you definitely should), and if you furthermore believed even half of what he talked about, you would know that harvesting terminated pregnancies is very lucrative in the United States, and agencies like Planned Parenthood are bravely leading the charge. In our little allegory, the Client (a German eugenicist who employs a mad scientist) and his Imperial Remnant faction could be said to be Planned Parenthood insofar as they intend to profit from what they harvest from Yoda.
In the scene where the Mandalorian rescues Yoda we even see him dispatch one of those floating “abortion orbs” which extracted something from Leia (information, but still…) in Episode IV.
In retrospect, this makes me wonder about how many abortion references I missed in the original trilogy. Probably millions…
Yoda for his part seems drugged up and oblivious to the fact that they are about to steal his mojo…
….and this only reinforces his lamb-like innocence.
Man(dalorian) the Fuck Up!
I know the word Mandalorian has been around in Star Wars lore forever, but it’s nonetheless fitting that this male character with such a manly appellation (he’s even called, ‘Mando’ by no less a man than Apollo Creed himself aka Carl Weathers aka Greef) would be the one to rescue the helpless child from the abortionists. After all, protecting the family -born and unborn alike- is a father’s job, and Mando is very heavy-handedly established as a surrogate father.
However there is more than one Mando, and collectively they, the Mandalorians, have been forced underground since the abortionists (a term herein being used interchangeably with ‘the empire’) did away with them in The Great Purge. In their exile they have retained their warrior ways, their honour, and (a few personal flourishes on their armour notwithstanding) a high-standard of uniformity in dress and deportment.
In fact, The Mandalorian’s rebuilding of his armour is a fairly prominent plot point of the first three episodes, and the other, non-Mandalorian bounty hunters seem to resent his highly-visible self-improvement when he walks into a bar in his new threads (more on that in a moment).
But before you reductively think that Disney is making a statement that men are based and all women are abortionists, it bears mention that the Mandalorians are led by a matriarch, and she, as well as being their blacksmith and authority, also seems to be their keeper of traditions, stories and children -or foundlings at least.
Wretched Hives and the Scum & Villainy Therein
Remember how I said that the other bounty hunters all looked like bums compared to Mando in his new dipped threads? A large part of it has to do with their individual deportment; nobody looks particularly well-armoured or strong.
More importantly, they all seem very ragtag -there is no uniformity, just a bunch of poorly-dressed, self-interested individuals about as organized as atheist, godless protestors who have no higher principle to organize behind than a desire to tear down what is good –fashion slaves protestin’ to get in a fuckin’ lookbook as it were (word to Killer Mike!).
Contrast that to the Mandalorians, a tightly-knit, albeit quarrelsome, family who have a higher ethos than self-interest; a higher calling than mere bounty hunting. Specifically, the Mandalorians have a religion referred to as “The Way,” and for better or worse, it keeps them cohesive while underground, it places priority on continuity through the sponsoring of foundlings, and it leads the tribe to come to Mando’s rescue when he is ambushed by the (pro-choice?) bounty hunters attempting to steal the baby away from its newfound father for a reward. And all of this while comporting themselves with a high-degree of uniformity.
So what does it mean? Well I think how we put ourselves out in the world matters. Guy Richie talked about how a man’s suit is his suit of armour -it’s how he openly and honourably shows how he’s part of the game, it shows which game he’s playing, and it furthermore shows how he invites all challenges. Mando does no less, making no apologies for what he is all about, walking into Greef’s hangout, wholly unafraid of making a statement.
And that is how the righteous must always be -nay, that is the only way they can be.
Don’t be virtuous unless you are well comfortable with being hated and schemed on by others.
B A S E D Favreau?
So is the show’s writer and EP, Jon Favreau consciously trying to make an anti-abortion statement? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was his sub-conscious feelings peeking through; as a father, this is his story. Still, it’s important to remember that we’re operating on two assumptions: The unconfirmed assumption that the Client wants Midi-chlorians from Yoda; and the poetically licentious assumption that Midi-chlorians are allegorical for stem cells. However, even if both of these assumptions are incorrect, the fact remains that the Client wishes to harvest something from Yoda and cares little if he survives. This dynamic has real world parallels and I find it difficult to believe that Favreau was not cognizant of those parallels.
On it’s own, I don’t find this story outrageous in light of said parallels -on the contrary, fathers protecting children is about as old and traditional as stories get. That said, I was nonetheless surprised to notice such an allegory in a Star Wars program, as the Star Wars franchise since the Disney takeover seems to have prioritized progressivism and female empowerment. Meanwhile The Mandalorian is at the very least a celebration of older values, and at most, a condemnation of the progressive values which have led the franchise astray.
Still, maybe I’m seeing something that’s not there, but I studied English literature so can you really blame me?
Looking forward to Episode 4: The Abortionists Strike Back!