The central story of Star Wars is the multi-nationalist Skywalker family, but the epistle – like the American economy at the same time – is based on the work of self-employed people: smugglers, gun-makers and gunmen, most recently the named Mandalorian for the new Disney + drama of the same name.
Money is therefore important in Mandalorian and to Mandalorian. His paycheck, when they come, covers his own costs and the cost of living and must sustain him through the lean times. He is an Uber driver or freelance writer with a cool helmet. In the first section, he considers payment in two forms of currencies ̵
I used to be a freelancer myself – admittedly in a job that involves less gun play than bullet hunting – and felt constant anxiety about the safety of my next paycheck in an uncertain industry. Salary checks would come late, or irregular, or sometimes not at all. I cannot imagine working so in an economy with such an unstable monetary situation as depicted in The Mandalorian .
Star Wars has always been pretty about money, but the value of some goods or services has never really added. In the second act of Section IV Han Solo talks to Obi-Wan Kenobi about the cost of a discrete charter flight from Tatooine to Alderaan: between 10,000 and 17,000 points, and the first sum is almost enough to buy one's own vessel with hyperspace. We later learn that Luke expects to make somewhere near 2,000 credits by selling his landspeeder, and we even see imperial currency shortly thereafter when He throws a coin to the bartender Mos Eisley Cantina to cover the cost of taking remove Greedo's smoking corpse from corner booth. (It's a big coin, for the record, which raises the question of where Han, a noted wearer of extremely tight pants, keeps his change.)
What we don't learn is what the average moisture farmer or Imperial Navy official, or the smuggler , earns per year, which would provide some context as to the value of the imperial credit. To use an example from the expanded universe (may it rest in peace), a new Republican officer can have 10,000 credits in his bank account, while $ 10 million is enough to buy a few dozen X-Wings. That's not true with our experience, where Luke's speeder corresponds to a high school's first car, but a modern fighter jet can cost as much as $ 100 million. (We never learn how much it costs to clean up the results of a rifle fight in a Tatooine bar, but I don't know how much it costs 2019 US dollars either, and I come from New Jersey.)
But it's important to remember three things. The first is that it is probably too much to ask for monetary consistency in a story about telekinetic space samurai. The other is that the technology in the Star Wars universe works differently than ours, and owning a spaceship can be the same as owning a pickup here. The third is that Star Wars takes place in a state of constant upheaval by the government. At the time The Mandalorian just nine years after the Battle of Yavin, the Empire has collapsed quickly after the Battle of Endor, and although the credit is not worthless, it is in a near Weimar-like state of inflation. When 10,000 would once buy a spaceship, 5,000 are now barely buying enough fuel to get here and there.
Although it does not improve well for the Russian imperial government, the New Republic is clearly on the rise, as evidenced by the credit-to-flan exchange rate. Calamari flan, except that it sounds like the most horrific food show imaginable – just imagine that the seawater mollusc flavor in a custard topped with caramel – is a positively pleasing currency. It comes from the Mon Calamari civilization, an amphibious octopus-like breed that produced the largest capital ships and naval chiefs in the rebellion, the New Republic and the resistance – notably Admiral Raddus of Rogue One and Admiral Ackbar of Jedi's return  and about 100 million subsequent memes. The flan coin, reproduced in The Mandalorian is irregularly colored and vaguely luminous, making it look positively water-soluble. And it is so much more stable than imperial credit that the mandalorian is willing to accept half his premium if paid in flan.
It's not very strange. Here on earth, there are places where the euro and the US dollar are accepted and relied on above local currency, and the Star Wars universe is not entirely driven by neither the empire nor the New Republic; there are dozens or even hundreds of unaffiliated local governments with their own currencies and no desire to interfere in the struggle for governance of Coruscant. Even The Phantom Menace Qui-Gon Jinn tries to buy a hyperdrive for 20,000 Old Republic credits, only to be rejected by Watto, who does not require credit but "money." Since our hero hangs in the kind of places where street tough gets deadly by salon doors, it is fair to assume that these worlds operate outside the strict control of Imperial Remnant or New Republic law. What is strange however, is that it is not the flan of the Republic, but the Calamari flan. Mon Calamari is a hugely influential species in the government of the New Republic, but they are not the only show in town. The new republic is multicultural in design, ruled by (among others) Sullustans, Botanists and members of countless human civilizations. So why would Mon Calamari have its own currency?
A government without a single currency is dangerous and unnecessarily unstable, which was one of the major failures of the Articles of the Convention in the early days of the United States, and a reason why the European Union created the euro. A single currency allows the government to establish a centralized monetary policy and erases barriers to trade and commerce within the government's jurisdiction. Since the New Republic has been in power for several years at the time Mandalorian it would have had plenty of time to mint its own currency and phase out existing alternatives.
Given that the New Republic managed to lose peace just a generation after losing the Galactic Civil War, perhaps the chaotic currency situation is an indication of how difficult it is to win a democratic mandate in such a large, diverse body politic. Or maybe if Mon Mothma and her conferences had made sense to set a strong monetary policy from the fluttering tree, the first order would never have risen.