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The past, the present and The Mandalorian

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Drawing on the notion that nostalgia enables a continuity of identity, this article explores how the aesthetics of the Disney+ lynchpin property, The Mandalorian (2019‐present), facilitate a return to, and continuity of, masculine heteronormativity in the face of rapid and widespread change within the Star Wars cinematic franchise. Focusing on the excess of style, the reduction in scope and scale of the narrative aesthetics, the role of the star as an agent of the past, the conceptualization of hypermasculine fatherhood and the role of the feminine in the articulation of narrative, this article reveals how The Mandalorian constructs a narrative concerned with fatherhood. Moreover, this article demonstrates how, by appropriating nostalgia in the restorative mode to allow a continuity of idealized masculine identity, The Mandalorian is positioned as the would-be masculine heir to the legacy of the original trilogy.

Keywords: Disney+; Star Wars; The Mandalorian; heteronormativity; masculinity; nostalgia

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 000000011091500XUniversity of the West of Scotland

Publication date: September 1, 2020

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  • The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social and cultural meanings that are produced and circulated through everyday media and practices as products of consumption. It explores popular narratives and iconographies as intellectual objects of inquiry, and as integral components of the dynamic forces that shape societies and identities. The journal publishes articles that focus on Australasian examples, as well as broader critical and comparative topics viewed through a global lens.
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