The Mandalorian Breaks One Of George Lucas’ Original Star Wars Rules
Pershing, a character that appears in episodes one and three of Disney+ series The Mandalorian, has a costume design detail that breaks a rule George Lucas reportedly set for the Star Wars universe. Pershing is a doctor and scientist employed by the remnants of the Galactic Empire around the time of The Mandalorian‘s first season, tasked with performing some kind of experiment on The Child, a.k.a. „Baby Yoda.“
Being Star Wars‘ first modern live-action TV series, The Mandalorian was bound to bring new changes to the franchise. The show, for instance, changed the Mandalorians‘ history, recontextualizing elements of their culture. There were also several surprise reveals in The Mandalorian, such as the first appearance of a baby of Yoda’s species and the return of a Mandalorian artifact originally introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Even episode one had a few significant additions to Star Wars lore, including one much subtler than an adorable green baby.
Besides being the center of one of The Mandalorian‘s biggest mysteries (what does the Empire want with The Child?), Pershing is notable as the first live-action human in Disney’s Star Wars canon to wear glasses. Prior to Disney’s franchise takeover in 2012, there were only two instances of live-action Star Wars characters with glasses: Noa Briqualon of the Ewoks: The Battle For Endor made-for-TV movie and Saun Dann of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. Even before those two stories were struck from Star Wars lore as a part of Disney’s Expanded Universe canon purge, however, they were considered part of the relatively low-ranked „C-Canon“ (less official than the main movies and TV shows) and „S-Canon“ (below C-Canon material, like comic books and video games), respectively. Glasses made their current-day canon debut in the 2009 Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode, „Blue Shadow Virus.“ A few more animated series and comic book characters have worn them since then, but no live-action Star Wars character sported specs until Pershing.
There are, of course, plenty of goggles and other eyewear in Star Wars movies and TV shows, but very few traditional glasses. This is because, when first creating the original Star Wars trilogy, Lucas reportedly did not want glasses to appear in the films, according to Wookieepedia, citing a now-deleted article on the old Star Wars fan club site, Hyperspace. But this seemingly odd rule tracks with Lucas‘ other costuming decisions. He reportedly required there to be no buttons or zippers on Star Wars costumes, and he infamously told Carrie Fisher she could not wear a bra because „there is no underwear in space.“ The decision to not feature glasses was likely meant, as these other decisions were, to help sell the idea that Star Wars takes place in a fantastical world removed from Earth’s everyday technologies.
It’s entirely possible that Pershing’s glasses are not the sight-enhancing spectacles modern-day Earth humans use. They are tinted, after all, suggesting they could serve some alternative purpose, but also wears them in at all times, even in indoor, dimly lit environments, meaning they probably aren’t used for sun or dust protection. This leaves only corrective lenses as a possibility. That, or Pershing is just very fashion-forward.
The Mandalorian Season 2 is set to launch sometime in fall 2020 on Disney+.
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