The latest episode of The Mandalorian on Disney+ gave everybody what they wanted: We finally got to go back to the dusty desert homeworld of Luke Skywalker, the planet Tatooine. Mando hit up the old cantina, and we even bumped into some infamous Tusken Raiders out in the Dune Sea. But what a minute! Did Mando just reveal that both Luke Skywalker and his father, Anakin, were total morons when it came to dealing with the Tusken Raiders? Yep.
Mild spoilers for The Mandalorian, episode 5; “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger.”
After Mando reluctantly teams-up rookie bounty hunter Toro Calican (Jake Cannavale) the two set-out on speeder bikes across the plains of the Tatooine desert. And just like Luke Skywalker before them, the pair run into a few Tusken Raiders; sometimes known by what Luke Skywalker once called them; “Sand People.”
In the original Star Wars film, Luke has a rough time with Tusken Raiders and is only saved by Obi-Wan Kenobi showing up and making bizarre animal sounds that frightened them away. In Attack of the Clones, Tusken Raiders are described as “vicious monsters” by Anakin’s stepdad, Cliegg Lars, and after they kidnap Anakin’s mom, he famously goes on a killing spree where he takes out an entire village. But, now, it seems like, Luke, Anakin, and Obi-Wan could have avoided all of this if they just gave the Tusken Raiders a pair of binoculars.
In “The Gunslinger,” the Mandalorian seems fluent in the Tusken Raider language, which, apparently, is a kind of sign language. By chatting with them this way, Mando figures out that the Tuskens only want to trade something to give him and Toro safe passage, and so, Mando gives them a pair of binoculars. Now, this is funny, partially because, Luke Skywalker was looking through a pair of nearly identical binoculars when he was attacked by Tusken Raiders in A New Hope. Are these Tuskens just really into binoculars? Could Luke have avoided all the trouble by just handing those suckers over? And what about Anakin! Sheesh! That guy freaked out on a whole village of Tusken Raiders! Surely he had something shiny he could have traded.
Weirdly, both Luke and Anakin were pretty good at talking to Jawas, but in the second episode of The Mandalorian, Mando had a really hard time making a deal with those creatures. Maybe there’s some kind of bias at work here, but if you’re going to be good at communicating with one or the other — Jawas or Tusken Raiders — it seems like knowing how to speak Tuksen is pretty useful.
I’m not saying Mando is a better person or more powerful than Luke or Anakin Skywalker but at this point, I gotta say, he is a lot savvier. If you meet a bunch of dangerous dudes who can beat the crap out of you, and sneak up on you in the desert, maybe it’s a good idea to make a deal with them, rather than freak out, or bust-out the Jedi mind tricks. Sometimes, a small gift can go a long way.
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