Last week, The Mandalorian gave its titular character a destination and a name to look for once he gets there. In true Mandalorian style, we don't head straight to Corvus to see Ahsoka Tano. With his ship battered and unable to make said voyage, Mando first stops in good old Nevarro to get the Razor crest repaired and meet old friends. It leads to your usual adventure for the week and it's all fun and enjoyable and stuff. I just have one problem.
I can not withdraw my enjoyment of this episode from what I know about Gina Carano.
For those who don't know, there has been a bit of controversy lately over Carano, who played Cara Dune in the first season and returns in this episode alongside Greef Karga. It started with a Twitter Profile many have been shown to be transphobic and continued recently when Carano announced that she was joining Speak, the festival of sectarian and alt-right whining meant to challenge Twitter. She also tweeted conspiratorial and racist talking points about this month's presidential election here in America and anti-mask propaganda regarding COVID.
So it goes without saying that Gina Carano has spent much of the past 3 months posing as a really shitty person. Maybe I could, maybe have looked beyond the transphobic Twitter profile if I felt she really didn't mean to be insulting and apologized adequately. The fact that she did the opposite and then continued to appear even more as an alternative right-wing fanatic inevitably marred my image of her as a person.
And so we come to this most recent episode of The Mandalorian. Mando joins Cara and Greef Karga in a raid to destroy an Imperial base, they find some secrets, they blow up the base and Mando continues his journey. It's a good episode of the series to start with, and it feels like a slight step back from the first 3 episodes of Season 2.
Knowing who Gina Carano not only actively disinterests me, but it may even affect my opinion of the episode.
Any fictional story requires the audience to feel an emotional investment in the characters. They are an escape from the real world, even when offering real world commentary. To escape properly, you can't see the actors or their real life. We cannot be influenced by their outer life. Unfortunately, we're finding out things about the creators and the team that influence our opinions. I certainly avoided even watching shows made by ugly Hollywood characters. I avoided movies starring horrible actors.
When they appear on shows you already watch, it's hard to just ignore what you know about them. I will not forget that Johnny Depp is a terrible person, and I will not forget that Gina Carano spent 3 months saying a lot of things that make me want not to look at her.
Cara Dune deserves better than this. Yes The Mandalorian recast it tomorrow, assuming they picked a better person, I would immediately be invested in the character again. Instead, I spent most of her screen time wishing she wasn't on screen because I don't see Cara Dune anymore. I see Gina Carano mocking the trans community and pushing racist conspiracy theories.
This problem will not go away anytime soon. The Mandalorian. I think Cara Dune will be back this season. Rosario Dawson was cast, presumably as Ahsoka although this is not explicitly confirmed, and she has her own really terrible transphobic accusations. I am having this problem every time one of them pops up on the screen. Considering how important Ahsoka can be, not being able to escape in the episode because of the person playing her will make me particularly badly enjoy any episode she plays in.
I wish I could have spent this space just talking about the merits of the episode. While this is my least favorite episode of Season 2 so far, it was still an entertaining episode that continued The Mandalorian solid television streak.
The other M word
Certainly the biggest thing to take away from the episode was the revelations within the Empire base that Mando and the crew are destroying. We wondered why Moff Gideon wanted Baby Yoda so desperately, and now we see that the Empire was conducting experiments involving the transfusion of Baby Yoda's blood into subjects for… reasons? There are currently dozens of theories out there, from Palpatine clones to Snoke to Moff Gideon trying to find a way to create Force powers for himself and / or others.
We also see Moff Gideon towering over what appeared to be Dark Trooper costumes, so it's clear the man has big plans. Tie it all up to this season's insistence on showing us the struggles of the New Republic to consolidate power, and it's very possible that The Mandalorian shows us the beginning of the rise of the First Order. I doubt Moff Gideon has long for this galaxy, considering he wasn't exactly in power when The Force Awakens arrives, but who knows? There's kind of a blank check on the current state of the Star Wars universe and how we got there.
There were so many fun moments too, but the best was probably Mando playing daddy as he tried to teach Baby Yoda how to handle the wiring on the Razor Crest.
One minor thing that struck me was the scene of Mando and Baby Yoda eating soup, and how Baby Yoda kept watching to see Mando's face. It's a minor thing but, considering the fact that we rarely see Mando removing his helmet in any way, I wonder if this is the start of a conflict in his feelings over his Code. It is impossible that his experience with Bo-Katan did not shake his faith in some way.
As has been the case all season, there was so much to enjoy The Mandalorian this week. I don't want to give the impression that I didn't like the episode, or that everything was ruined by an actor who may or may not reappear in season 2. Now it looks like this show is going to do some more. hard to retroactively justify the most recent films on top of everything else. The Mandalorian continues to expand the Star Wars TV universe and establish it as the best thing about all IP.
It's just a shame that I can't fully enjoy this episode because of things that have nothing to do with the episode itself.
We'll probably see Ahsoka next week. Moff Gideon has a tracking device on the Razor Crest and may be waiting where she is, and if not, he won't be far behind. We're watching some big episodes in the second half of season 2. Hope they don't lose their shine because of awful people.
Images courtesy of Disney
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We all know that talking about others behind their back is bad. Gossip should be abhorred. I remember reading in a spiritual text that “backbiting extinguishes the light of the soul. ” DEEP. And it is.
Gossip is incredibly detrimental to any organization. And, what I think often gets missed is why people gossip. But, before we answer the question, “Why do people gossip at work ? ” let’s clear one thing up. I truly believe it is the rare person who chooses to gossip simply to be mean and hurt the reputation of the person or entity being talked about. Often gossip occurs for one of four reasons :
1 ) People fear the unknown. If people don’t have information that they want, they fear the unknown and will try to garner it from others – especially if that information appears to be hidden. This is why closed door conversations are so detrimental.
2 ) People want to belong and be included. If people believe they don’t have information that others have, they will feel excluded and on the outside of the “inner circle. ” Information is power. Everyone wants to be part of the team, to be included and the easiest way to identify those who are part of a tribe are those who are “in the know. ”
3 ) People crave intimacy and a sense of connection. I would suggest that because of the rampant pace we real at and the lack of real deal authentic communication with one another, many people crave a sense of genuine human connection and intimacy. Gossip is one of the quickest and easiest ways to connect with another human being. The secrecy, forbidden and exclusive nature of confiding in someone something that’s a bit subversive or judgmental is social super glue. Through the veneer of momentary vulnerability and trust, the two are bonded. Unfortunately gossip is a very sloppy second to real, meaningful connection.
4 ) People want to work with people they think of as peers. Meaning, if someone isn’t carrying their own weight, isn’t competent or capable enough to do their emploi or simply isn’t a good culture fit, then there will be gossip. Rather than being a “narc, ” employees will talk both about said individual and leadership’s lack of awareness/action. And they will talk often. The longer said individual goes unaddressed, the louder and more embedded the gossip becomes.
When it comes to gossip, these four reasons : fear, belonging, intimacy and the desire to work with others who carry their own weight, are all things that can be handled with some focused time and attention.
How do you want your employees to talk about your company ? How do you want them to feel when they walk in the door ? While this touchy-feely stuff may make you feel a little light-headed, when it comes down to it, company culture matters.
Many business owners are taking a deuxième look at their company culture to make sure it’s the one they envision – one that supports their company’s tâche, vision and values.
Insperity has spent the past 30 years building a human resources company committed to helping businesses succeed so communities prosper. In that vein, our leadership team offers these tips on having a great company culture.
You might think that trying to cultivate a positive workplace as an elusive, time-consuming waste of important resources, but studies show that the opposite is true. Creating a positive company culture begins with fostering happy employees.
Happy employees are 85 percent more efficace, experience a 60 percent drop in absenteeism and stay twice as long in their jobs as their less happy colleagues, creating a measurable impact on engagement, retention, safety, wellness, employer brand and even cost control goals, according to the study, The Science of Happiness, conducted by Globoforce.
Happiness is a habit that needs to be modeled. As a manager or leader, your demeanor and attitude in the office has an effet on your employees. When you demonstrate happiness you’re training your employees to follow suit.
Get in the habit of being grateful and showing gratitude for what you have. It can be a small thing – I am thankful for this cup of coffee, for the sun coming out today. When you make an effort to find things to be grateful for, you’re training your brain to be on the watch for more of what is good in your world. By making gratitude a habit, you will set the example for others and create a positive work environment. Focus on the positive when interacting with your employees. Point out their accomplishments and abilities. Remind them that they are a positive force within your company and that they have much to offer. This is a powerful motivation tool and it will help to create a “can-do” attitude in your workforce.
As a leader you’re influential – your opinion matters, especially to your employees. Make it a goal to compliment people. Recognizing even small accomplishments and praising your team members in meetings or in an mail can make a big effet. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture.
We all know that sometimes work can get monotonous and overwhelming. Say for example that Mike is feeling a bit underappreciated and is frustrated with his current project. He comes to a meeting feeling defeated and unmotivated. Then you, as his directeur, compliment his exercices and praise him for a job well done. The effet is immediate – he feels valued. His demeanor changes, he becomes engaged and leaves the meeting with a newfound energy to tackle his project.
People need to have a sense of purpose at work. Their happiness is directly connected to knowing that they make a difference. It’s not enough for a directeur to dole out tasks. Take the time to explain why the individual task is important to the company as a whole. This will give your employees a sense of purpose and belonging that will motivate them to strive for more. Engaged employees are efficace, enthusiastic and are willing to do what it takes to help your organization succeed. Creating a sense of purpose for your employees is an investment in developing a positive workplace.