The highly anticipated second season of The Mandalorian is finally streaming on Disney+, once again immersing us in George Lucas’ expansive universe. Showrunner Jon Favreau picks things up with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) as he plans to reunite the Child with his own kind, following the explosive showdown with Moff Gideon. With fan favourite Clone Wars characters teased, along with the promise of further delving into the Star Wars lore, season two is shaping up to be a significant chapter for fans – but how do the first two episodes measure up?
In “Chapter 9: The Marshal” (written and directed by Favreau), Din searches for more of his kin to help him with his quest. Thanks to a tip gained at an alien fighting ring, the duo head back to Tatooine to track down the leader of a desolate mining community, who’s rumoured to be another Mandalorian. Wearing Boba Fett’s iconic armour, Cobb Vanth (Justified’s Timothy Olyphant) enlists Din to help rid the town of it’s Krayt dragon problem, teaming up with Tusken Raiders in the process. In “Chapter 10: The Passenger” (directed by Peyton Reed), Mando has to ferry a Frog Lady and her eggs to a planet where her husband is waiting, coincidentally where the Mandalorians are also located. But they have to pass the deadly Outer Rim to do so, could this spell trouble for the Mandalorian and his precious cargo?
Thankfully the series opener is a real cinematic blast and equally impressively in scale. The episode is packed full of action, numerous easter eggs featuring a nod to the wider canon/lore and interestingly, commentary on how the fall of the Death Star affected the wider universe. For Star Wars fans there’s a hell of a lot to enjoy, especially Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth and the greater exploration of the widely demonised Tusken Raiders. I was also very surprised that Favreau decided to tease Fett staight off the bat in THAT surprising cliffhanger.
Whilst I did enjoy it, episode two does slip back into the ‘mission of the week’ format which many criticised in the first season, as a number of ‘filler’ episodes failed to advance the overarching story. For me, I revel in spending time with the two and their wonderful relationship as they explore the wider universe, however I can understand the frustrations of the slower pacing, especially with such a small number of episodes per season. Featuring a spine-tingling horror-esque sequence, along with new aliens and planets explored, there’s still a lot to enjoy here.
With The Child seemingly side lined in the first episode, it was great to see the creature’s relationship with Mando further strengthened in “The Passenger”. Following their attack on Tattoine, it’s clear to see how much Din has stepped into the father figure role, as The Child adorably runs to him for comfort. 2020 definitely needed more cute The Child moments and thankfully there’s bags on offer in the opening episodes, including some “talking” and particularly cheeky behaviour. Amy Sedaris also makes a welcome return as spaceport worker Peli Motto, bringing a certain warmth and charm to the series. However Western poster boy Timothy Olyphant almost stole the show as the charisma filled Marshal, striking a particularly enjoyable chemistry with Din as the two progressed from bickering enemies to fighting side-by-side. Spinoff anyone?
Opening with a real bang, it’s great to be back in the Star Wars universe with The Mandalorian. I really do appreciate how much Filoni and Favreau love and understand the wider canon and lore, wonderfully translating to screen even through the smallest of details and nods. Fingers crossed the next episode will be a bigger plot-driven chapter, as I can’t what to see what Moff Gideon has in store, along with the introduction of Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano.
Episode 1 Rating
Episode 2 Rating