In line with bad things happening in 2020, Disney has digitally removed a lone crew member who accidentally appeared in the background of a recent Mandalorian episode.
The crew member, who the internet lovingly dubbed “Jeans Guy,” appeared at the 18:54 mark in season 2, episode 4. Back flat against the wall, the crew member was not in the shot for very long, but they made an impact on Star Wars fans everywhere. People even made mock designs for action figures based on the crew member! You can’t buy that kind of love. The Verge has reached out to Disney about the digital erasure.
Upon revisiting the scene, however, the crew member is nowhere to be found, something I was worried would happen. The beauty of digital editing technology is that shows and movies can be worked on in homes around the world at a time when it’s impossible to be in a shared office space. The downside is that accidental gaffes we’ve come to love are erased, lost forever in the digital wavelengths of time. Not to mention Disney has a history of doing this — remember the butt coverup in Splash?
There’s a longer essay about this situation regarding the importance of physical media and how annoying and depressing it is that digitalization makes everything impermanent. Studios and networks can go in and change something forever, and, in our current streaming age, it’s not like there are DVDs floating around for people to keep and use to prove to their future children that “Jeans Guy” was real. I could go on a whole rant about how the beauty of imperfections is what fans fall in love with because it’s a reminder that our favorite movies and TV shows came from a group of ordinary people just trying their best.
That’s for another day, though. Today is a day to reminisce about the solitary crew member who became one of The Mandalorian’s most beloved characters — even if it was for a short period of time.
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