“The Mandalorian” makes a strong return in second season

Noah Grabianski, A&E Editor

In November of 2019, Disney joined the ever-growing group of at-home streaming services with Disney+, which has since boasted an impressive catalog of older and lesser-known Disney films and shows, as well as their own original content. Among these was Disney’s first-ever live action show taking place in the Star Wars universe. “The Mandalorian,” which centers around the titular Mandalorian, Din Djarin, played by Pedro Pascal of “Narcos” fame. Din is a bounty hunter who finds himself in trouble when he goes against his orders to save a child wanted by the falling Galactic Empire. This child is better known by his fan-given name, Baby Yoda, due to his resemblance to the character from the original Star Wars Trilogy. After a strong and suspenseful finish to its first season, it finally returned for its second on Oct. 3. Three episodes have been released from then to the time of this article.

Season two premiere, “Chapter Nine: The Marshal,” brings the Mandalorian back to screens with a bang as the Mandalorian finds himself at Mos Pelgo on Tatooine in his continued search for more Mandalorians. There he comes across Cobb Vanth, the “Marshal” of Mos Pelgo, played by Timothy Olyphant. While he is not a Mandalorian, his armor reveals more about the fate of Boba Fett, whose status was unknown at the end of the original film trilogy. While he’s there, the Mandalorian learns of the Greater Krayt Dragon, who has been terrorizing the people of Mos Pelgo and, with the help of Cobb and some Tusken Raiders, sets out to kill it once and for all. “The Marshal” is the first episode of “The Mandalorian” directed by writer Jon Favreau, who was unable to direct any season one episodes due to his work on “The Lion King.” It contains a perfect balance of action and creative, plot-moving dialogue, keeping the audience engaged throughout.

The Mandalorian’s journey continues in “Chapter Ten: The Passenger.” Peli Motto, a mechanic from season one played by Amy Sedaris, gives him the potential location of more Mandalorians. However, if he wants to go there, he’ll also have to bring along a Frog Woman of indeterminate species, who needs to find her husband so she can save her kind. However, the Mandalorian’s ship, Razor Crest, gains the attraction of two X-Wing pilots. As he tries to escape, the Mandalorian crashes on a snowy planet and must fight off a large infestation of deadly spiders, while also keeping the Child, the frog woman, and his ship safe. This episode drags itself out for a bit but the fight between Razor Crest and the X-Wings is exciting and done with incredible animation, making it by far the best moment of the episode. This episode also gained some strange controversy after the Child shocked some people by getting himself into the frog woman’s eggs and eating some, despite him not knowing what they are.

The most recent episode of the series is “Chapter 11: The Heiress.” The Mandalorian crash lands at his destination, the moon of Trask. As the Frog Lady reunites with her husband, the Mandalorian finds a Quarren who offers to bring him to other Mandalorians. However, it’s a trap in order to get his Beskar suit. After falling victim to the trap, The Mandalorian is saved by three other Mandalorians, the leader of which is Bo-Katan Kryz (who also appeared in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars), accompanied by her teammates Koska Reeves and Axe Woves. In this episode we also learn that Din was raised by a group of “religious zealots” due to his refusal to remove his mask in front of others. The four Mandalorians then attempt to take over an Imperial cargo ship, as Bo-Katan is looking for a Darksaber that belongs to her but is instead in the hands of Moff Gideon, who we see in season one. The showdown with stormtroopers on the cargo ship are an exciting callback to the original trilogy films, with familiar sets and costumes now appearing in modern-day. This fast-paced episode is undoubtedly one of the best in the series, combining impressive directing from Bryce Dallas Howard, writing from Jon Favreau, and cinematography from Matthew Jensen, as well as some amazing graphics once again. 

This beginning promises an impressive and outstanding season for “The Mandalorian,” which audiences have grown to love over the past year as a shining relic of the modern-day Star Wars franchise and will hopefully be releasing new episodes in the following few years.