That Man… dalorian

the_mandelorian_-_publicity_still_-_h_2019_The Mandalorian is cool. We all know that. But he’s also a character as old as time. He’s what I would call an “Uber-Male.” Strong, silent, gruff, he squints a lot. He’s never used a beauty product in his life. Probably drinks Scotch. He’s a man’s man. Oh sure, he might have an energetic young sidekick or a wide-eyed kid to protect. He might be saddled with someone who talks too much, or  “experts” who know all the answers. But he chews his toothpick silently and puts up with it. Because he knows he’ll be the one left standing. He’ll be the one who has to do the hard thing that those chatter boxes couldn’t do.

That man.

1680x1050_px_Clint_Eastwood_western-592360Some would say that in this day and age that “That Man” is too outdated. There is a new sensitivity to the traditional, male-centered stories we’ve always told. And rightly so. The dark side of a man like this is toxic, abusive, and allows no emotional connection. Let’s be honest, the bad version is an a-hole. That said, there’s something to be gained about keeping the positive version of him around.  There’s something comforting and exhilarating we feel when “That Man” shows up on the scene. Even in these modern, #MeToo times, we keep coming back to him. We need him.

Andy-Lincoln-Rick-Grimes-1024x681Don’t get me wrong, we need him to evolve too. We need him to use his strong Alpha status to reach down and help the weak. We need him to listen to the feminine point of view and fight for it. But in his best form, we still need him. You can put a badass silver helmet on him, but “That Man” is still the same guy he was in “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.” He’s still Rick Grimes, standing up to evil in the zombie apocalypse. If you’ve got a problem, and no one else can help… maybe he can.

harrison_ford_indyHe’s Steve McQueen, he’s Indy Jones, he’s staring us down with that 100-yard stare. Maybe he smokes, even though he’s not supposed to anymore. Maybe he’s been kicked out of a few places. Maybe he did the kicking. He’s dangerous!

But when the bad versions of him come around, when the bad Alphas abuse their power in some low-life bar, we’re happy he’s there. And he’s as cooooool as a cucumber. He just walks up to those guys like Denzel and calmly says something we all wish we could say. Then he takes them all out the way we wish we could.

equalizerKids have their own “wish fulfilment” movies, but a lot of grownups have a man like this. Women like to live through this kind of Alpha hero too. It is cathartic to watch him. He has power we don’t, and gives us a release from all the stuff we can’t conquer in our own world. Even though he’s currently showing up in a Galaxy Far, Far Away, he’s still someone we recognize. Even in a silver helmet.

Welcome back, buddy. We missed you.

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