Right, I’ve been watching quite a few new shows in the last few months or revisiting further seasons of shows that I used to watch. That being said, after asking what show I should review next, my sister said that I needed to watch the second season of the Mandalorian which had been out for quite a few months now. I thought about it and decided it was a decent suggestion. The first season of the show had impressed me in that every episode felt like it was a separate film and to be honest, each of those episodes was better than most of the Star Wars material out there, especially some of the later films! The only qualm I had was that I found there to be a weak thread of storyline connecting each episode.
Season 2 of the Mandalorian starts where the previous season finished. The Mandalorian, aka Din Djarin, has been tasked with delivering the Child, commonly known as Baby Yoda, to his kind; The Jedi. Din, who has literally no knowledge of who these people are sets out to locate other Mandalorians who may be able to guide him in the right direction. His first encounter, however, on Tatooine, ends up being a Marshall who has salvaged some Mandalorian armour. To the keenest eye, this armour looks extremely familiar. From there The Mandalorian’s mission takes him to a fishing planet where he encounters three other Mandalorians, but when they take off their helmets, he’s immediately apprehensive. Their leader, Bo-Katan, wishes to claim the Mandalorian throne for herself and is hellbent on finding Moff Gideon, the Empire Leader who wanted the child in the first season. As their paths go separate ways, Bo-Katan tells Din to find Ahsoka Tano, a long lost Jedi who will help train the child. Finding Ahsoka is easy, but Din is told that Grogu (Baby Yoda’s real name) has formed a connection to him and that he will not relent to teaching from another. She instructs him to take Grogu to a place where his Jedi mind may reach out to others. Whilst on that mission, Din encounters legendary bounty hunter, Boba Fett, who wants his armour back. Cut to an epic team-up, that unfortunately leads to Moff Gideon’s troops being able to take Grogu. Din now puts together a team, formed of Cara Dune, Fennec (another bounty hunter from season 1) and Boba Fett to rescue Grogu! Will their team do this successfully? Well, you have to watch to find out!
Right, so remember after I had watched the first season, there was some hesitancy in me in accepting that this would be an epic show? Well, that hesitancy came from the fact that I felt there was no overarching plot. That problem was definitely not present in Season 2. The storyline was amazing in my opinion and each episode not only linked in with the previous but also there were a lot of loose ends that were tied up from Season 1. Characters that were introduced seemed to have a greater scope of character development and some of the newer ones were awesome. I actually really liked the Marshall and also Boba Fett. I thought the chemistry between some of these characters was also a step-up from the first season. Moments like Bo-Katan’s team explaining why they did not keep their helmets on all the time, and Din’s reluctance to listen, led to him realizing that in certain situations he would have to adapt in order to get the job done. All these aspects of the development of the show lead me to think that it’s probably one of the better shows that I’ve seen recently.
Pedro Pascal returned as the titular character and does a fantastic job as usual. These days it seems that Pedro’s career has been going from strength to strength and The Mandalorian is the prime example of why. Despite the fact that we see his face for all of 2 minutes, he brings a nuanced performance to screen, showing emotion in ways that were extremely difficult. The supporting cast also helped in raising the standard of this season. Performances by Timothy Olyphant who plays the Marshall and Katee Sackhoff do an excellent job in getting you invested in newer characters. But for me, bar Pascal, the standout performance was by Temura Morrison who plays Boba Fett. Years after played Jango in Star Wars Episode II, Morrison is able to play the infamous bounty hunter so well. There is a calmness to his performance, which is contrasted with scenes where it’s evident that Fett is extremely unhinged mentally. Well done to this cast. That’s all I can say.
Disney+ clearly has the capabilities of giving its shows a remarkable budget, but I suspect that given the success of the first season, many of the creators had a larger scope in what they were able to bring to the screen. I’ve always said that the make-up departments for these sci-fi shows do a fantastic show, and the Mandalorian is not an exception. Some of the sets were excellent and then to top it all off, the CGI added all makes for an impressive watch. The stunts and the fight choreography was also a step-up! And finally the music. During the first season, I don’t think I paid that much attention to it, but the theme music is so ridiculously awesome that I have been listening to it non-stop for the past few days.
I think before the Mandalorian I wouldn’t have said that I was a hardcore Star Wars fan. I had certainly enjoyed the films, but this is fast becoming Star Wars’ hot property. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have done a remarkable job in creating this story and lore and making it one of the few Star Wars projects that everyone loves. It has quickly become one of my favourite shows and I hope that they continue making this show for a long time! This is the way.
Integral vs Filler Episodes: ★★★★