Geopolitics is a term mostly applied to foreign policy or international business. It is a study of the influence of factors such as geography, economics, and demography upon the politics and foreign policy of a state. Geopolitics in Star Wars plays out with the location of planets from the Core Worlds. For context, the Core Worlds are at the center of the galaxy, literally and figuratively. The most well-known Core World is Coruscant. In the prequels, it is the location of the Republic Senate and the Jedi Council and, in the original trilogy timeline, it is the location of the Royal Imperial Academy and home of Emperor Palpatine. It is an overdeveloped planet, being completely covered with city landscape and known for its high skyscrapers and is the cultural, economic, and political center of the galaxy. At some point between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy, Hosnian Prime became the location of the New Republic Senate. Hosnian Prime was another Core World in the Hosnian System, which was destroyed by the First Order in The Force Awakens. I have featured the Star Wars galaxy map below for context for this post:
We know that The Mandalorian takes place in areas within the Outer Rim, with the first season largely dealing with the Imperial remnant presence on Nevarro. Lucasfilm has not yet released any updates on where Nevarro is on the galaxy map but some clues are highlighted by Star Wars 7×7 that it is located somewhere in between Mandalore and Mon Cala in the Outer Rim. Throughout most of the first season, we don’t even see a New Republic presence until Chapter 6: The Prisoner, and that was because their prisoner transport was attacked. In season two, we get more New Republic in the form of Paul Sun-Hyung Lee’s Captain Carson Teva. And it really is only Carson Teva, who seems to be a one-man X-Wing patrol in that section of the Outer Rim. This lack of attention reflects the need and reliance of Marshals in places like Tatooine and Nevarro.
In fact, we can look at Nevarro, Corvus, and Morak as locations that were all exploited by Imperial remnants taking advantage of the New Republic’s lack of dedication towards protecting the Outer Rim. In Chapter 12: The Siege, Greef Karga sets out to rid Nevarro of the last Imperial base but stumbles across something bigger (specifically a cloning facility). Greef chooses not to divulge this information to Carson Teva because he doesn’t think the New Republic has the power to do anything (or maybe he wants to keep his own interests protected). When Teva questions him about the Razor Crest in his ship log, Karga quips “the control droid can’t tell apart from anything pre-Empire. This isn’t Coruscant.” Digging in a little deeper when Teva asks if there is anything else, Karga adds “if something comes to mind, I’ll be sure to send you a ‘gram. That is if you’re ever out this far again.” Teva walks away with no pertinent information and tries to appeal to Cara Dune:
Teva: “There is something going on out here. They don’t believe it on the Core Worlds, but it’s true. These aren’t isolated incidents. They need to be stopped before it’s too late. But we can’t do it without local support.”Chapter 12: The Siege
Obviously, there is a lack of trust between citizens of Outer Rim worlds like Nevarro and the New Republic stemming from lack of support and it is completely justified. Mando, Karga, and Dune are responsible for clearing Nevarro of Imperials, not the New Republic, which doesn’t even seem to believe that the Empire is still a threat. Similarly, it is up to Mando, Dune, Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, and former Imperial Migs Mayfeld to take down an Imperial mining base on Morak, which the New Republic also doesn’t seem to know anything about. A base that was mining rhydonium to commit more chaos in the galaxy and undermine the New Republic. While the New Republic does not deploy fighters to the Outer Rim often because of the distance from the Core, the Imperial remnants can exploit resources in that area in places like Nevarro and Morak (I am assuming for now that Morak is in the Outer Rim). On Corvus, an Imperial Magistrate and remnants of Thrawn’s 7th Fleet have taken control and have mined the planet of its resources for reasons that are still unknown.
One thing that doesn’t quite add up is the location of Tython. In Chapter 14: The Tragedy, when Boba Fett sees the Imperial Cruiser and says the Empire is back, Fennec Shand claims that that can’t be because the New Republic has jurisdiction in the Outer Rim territories. However, Tython is a Deep Core World and much closer to Coruscant than any of the Outer Rim planets. We’ll see if that is retconned or if there is a reason for that inconsistency.
Before the first episode of The Mandalorian aired, there probably was an assumption that the Empire was completely gone because the second Death Star was destroyed. The sequel trilogy on its’ own doesn’t clarify where exactly the First Order came from and so the novels, games, and comics have carried the load for context. The end of the Galactic Civil War did not officially end until the Battle of Jakku, which is depicted in Aftermath: Empire’s End and played through in the Battlefront II: Inferno Squad story mode. In Empire’s End, a document called the “Imperial Instruments of Surrender” was signed between the New Republic leaders and Mas Amedda (whom we’ve seen in the prequels and Clone Wars as Palpatine’s advisor). The terms included ceding the capital of Coruscant to the new government and restricting Imperial vessels that were located in the Core and Inner Rim to pre-determined boundaries. Imperials that did not surrender retreated to the Outer Rims. Apparently, the Imperial remnants were gone from the minds of most of the New Republic leaders and citizens of the Core Worlds. It is a lesson for our world that just because one battle over evil is won, evil can still remain and grow powerful in other forms.
The Mandalorian is bridging that gap on how the galaxy went from a defeated Emperor in Return of the Jedi to the destruction of the Hosnian System by the First Order in The Force Awakens. History often repeats itself and Star Wars history is no different.
That wraps up my discussion of themes from The Mandalorian season two. Of course, there were other themes within the show but I wanted to take a closer look at themes that are likely going to be explored more within future seasons of The Mandalorian as well as the spin-off shows. The future of Star Wars is bright indeed.