The Mandalorian And The Bad Batch Make It Official: Star Wars Pirates Are Awesome

"Star Wars" is going through what many kids go through at some point in their life: putting on an eye patch and pretending to be a pirate.

Between "The Mandalorian" and "The Bad Batch" this season, the galaxy far, far away is really focusing on its "long time ago" setting by giving us memorable new scoundrel characters who also partake in a bit of swashbuckling and treasure hunting. So it only makes sense that we now want a proper, full-on "Star Wars" version of "Pirates of the Caribbean." 

Frankly, we're already getting close to that, and it cannot be a coincidence. Forget "Heir to the Empire" being adapted in "Ahsoka," forget the Old Republic being canon, if there's one thing "Star Wars" should be building towards is a "Pirates of the Outer Rim" series.

"Star Wars" has always had good characters operating outside of the law. Everyone loves Han Solo, the smuggler with a furry first mate, and let's not forget that Lando did refer to Han as a pirate. The original trilogy also brought us bounty hunters as the ultimate cool profession. However, it wasn't until "The Clone Wars" that we started seeing legitimate, old-school pirates in the franchise, with characters like Hondo Ohnaka stealing, robbing, and kidnapping their way through their galaxy — and into our hearts. While the Jedi were naturally powerful and the Clone Troopers had numbers, pirates like Hondo had only their wits and swagger to get by during the war.

In recent years, characters like Enfys Nest, the Crimson Corsair, and Kragan Gorr have kept that tradition alive, providing us with figures who are untrustworthy and ethically ambiguous, but charismatic and even funny, usually with the most memorable character designs. Plus, they are just so much more fun compared to the usual gloom of your typical "Star Wars" character.

A space pirate's life for me

When Wanda Sykes' Phee Genoa joined season two of "The Bad Batch," it brought a different dynamic to the cast, showing a character free and adventurous, someone who didn't live by a regimen or by a military code or care about the Empire. Instead, Genoa wanted to find the coolest treasures. While the titular Batch is usually rather serious and focused, Phee offered a breath of fresh comedic air, one that recognized that "Star Wars" can be fun in addition to thrilling and dark.

Likewise, when we first laid eyes on the pirate king Gorian Shard, also known as space Swamp Thing, it was a jarring sight, one that had instantly memorable iconography on the same level as Boba Fett, with about as many lines of dialogue. Shard doesn't do much, but he looks damn good, and he commands a fleet of pirates on board a massive pirate ship.

With "The Bad Batch" over for the season and Shard now dead, "The Mandalorian" introducing yet another band of pirate-coded characters has to be more than just a coincidence, right? Either we're heading towards a massive crossover, or someone at Lucasfilm is finally recognizing that pirates are simply the best.

The next age of the franchise

In the latest episode of "The Mandalorian," Bo-Katan leads a small group of Mandalorians to the surface of Mandalore to find their ancient forge. While there, they meet a group of survivors of The Purge, all sailing on a big sand ship, a proper pirate vessel with massive sails. Making matters even more obvious, one of the Mandalorians is played by Charles Baker (Skinny Pete in "Breaking Bad") who also did voice acting of multiple pirates in "One Piece," a show that is literally all about pirates.

One of the reasons "Andor" was so special was that it didn't need lightsabers to show its characters as heroes, and the franchise needs more of that. Between "The Mandalorian" and "The Bad Batch," we are now seeing a possible future for the franchise, one with big coats and hats, with sails and ropes that permit long voyages, with swashbuckling saber fights and fancy names. 

With the future of "Star Wars" being full of Jedi (current or former), from "Ahsoka," "The Acolyte" and "Skeleton Crew" on Disney+ to the Dawn of the Jedi origin story and the New Jedi Order movie led by Daisy Ridley as Rey, it is time to look elsewhere for compelling characters. The age of the Jedi is over, the time of the pirate is here.