Great Britain

Disney, The Mandalorian and the fight for streaming supremacy


s that from The Mandalorian?” the medical professional asked, spying the hat I’d just taken off before getting down to business on Zoom (of course). Among my growing collection is one featuring the likeness of Baby Yoda, or the Child, or as viewers of the show now know, Grogu, bought for me by my kids.

She was indeed right. The artwork featured on the beanie, which has come in very handy given how unfriendly the cold weather is towards my follicly challenged head, was indeed inspired by what’s become a global pop culture phenomenon. When random people you bump into know the character and the show featured on your woolly hat, and talk delightedly about it before getting down to business, you know that the property has pushed way beyond geek-dom and moved squarely into the mainstream.

The Mandalorian has pulled off the trick in an age when new streaming services, each with their own roster of new shows fighting for attention alongside the output of more traditional broadcasters, seems to launch every couple of months. The Star Wars spin-off, which has just finished its second season on Disney Plus, is avidly discussed everywhere from schoolyards to American football podcasts (I listen to them, and I’ve heard it there).

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