When Disney announced that their new streaming service would launch with a Star Wars show called The Mandalorian, no one thought how much of a colossal success it would be with its first season. The fandom was fractured like never before because of the sequel trilogy and the choices that were made or lack thereof. The sequels had no plan for the films creating a divisive outlook from fans all across the globe. Either you love them, or you hate them. There is no in between and if you voice those opinions online, people will go out of their way to forcefully tell you why you’re wrong and why their opinion is law.
People make it hard for others to care about something they like and its frankly a shame because the sequels aren’t all bad – a lot of it is but forcing your beliefs and opinions down other’s throats isn’t the answer. With The Mandalorian, things are way different. A show has unexpectedly brought back the fandom and healed it when season one aired. Disney decided to make a smart decision and release episodes weekly instead of dropping the entire season all at once. It keeps the conversation going well after every episode has been dropped and has made it fun to talk about the galaxy far far away.
Never has a civilization come together to obsess and swoon over a character until The Child was rescued by Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) a Mandalorian bounty hunter who’s only purpose in life was to collect bounties. Din’s new purpose became protecting The Child as he searches the galaxy to find his people simultaneously fending off Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and the destroyed empire. Season two picks up with Din and The Child presuming Moff to be dead while searching for other Mandalorian and answers of who The Childs family is and if they can protect him. In Din’s search, he comes across new characters whom he forms alliances with and old friends who help him protect Child and get the answers he is searching for.
“I am Bo-Katan of Clan Kryze. I was born on Mandalore and fought in the Purge. I am the last of my line.”
Mandalorian season two picks up right after season one focusing all of its energy on Din and The Child (dubbed “Baby Yoda”) as they float through space in the Razorcrest. Their relationship is unique, it’s the main focus of the entire story. Before The Child, Din was alone, set in his ways and his only worry was himself and his next bounty. The Child changed everything – Din and The Child form an inseparable bond similar to that of father and son. The same kind of unique bond Luke had with Vader, but Din doesn’t want to destroy The Child. Watching Din interact with The Child is special because he will do whatever it takes to protect him.
Being with The Child has allowed Din to evolve and change his thinking and perspective about the galaxy. Din is more compassionate and open to others help. He even changes his mind about taking his helmet off in front of others – something that his Mandalorian “Cult” has deemed basically illegal according to Bo-Katan (Katee Sackoff). Mandalorian season two highlights and strengthens their bond together making it unbearable to think that they may have to split up for at some point. The show isn’t called The Mandalorian & The Child – we should all brace ourselves for that inevitability.
The Mandalorian has become a videogame of sorts. There is the main overall story and mission Din is on – return The Child back to his people, but along the way Din’s attention needs focused elsewhere. All of these side quests lead right back into the main one as new information is shared on who may be able to help find the right people. Those people in reference are the Jedi – guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. Din seeks these answers and gets the pertinent leads. First, he must find other Mandalorian in exile and he does in Bo-Katan and Kosta Reeves (Mercedes Varnado). These characters have crossed Star Wars mediums from the shows Clone Wars and Rebels connecting the universe.
“I’ve only known one other being like this. A wise Jedi Master named Yoda”
This connection although good for the universe building still feels like a universe trapped in a bubble. Din helps Bo-Katan and Kosta with a mission of their own and upon completion give Din information on where to find an actual Jedi. Din meets another character from Clone Wars and Rebels in Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). Din helps her in a side quest and more information is shared about getting Grogu back to his people.
That’s right, The Child has a name and when the name is said he answers. Will we all as a civilization call him Baby Yoda? Yes, but there is a small percentage of us who will call him Grogu.
Mandalorian as a show relies heavily on the fact that it is a space western as it should. That is where George got his inspiration from as well as Japanese Samurai films. The Mandalorian has adopted those themes more than the sequel trilogy has making it feel like it is the best new piece of Star Wars content Disney has put out. From the spectacular accompanying score by composer Ludwig Göransson. The music is easily as important to any Star Wars show or movie because of the tone it sets and the emotion it gives off. Ludwig has captured the perfect sound for Din cementing the western genre. With John Williams retiring from Star Wars, Ludwig is the perfect successor to the throne because of Ludwig’s dedication to every project he’s worked on.
With all the good Kathleen Kennedy has done for Star Wars, one can argue that her time is up. There have been countless failures amidst the success. Dave Filoni is the Lucasfilm heir apparent. Known for the creation of Clone Wars & Rebels and Ahsoka Tano, Dave directed his first live action anything in season one (both the weaker episodes of that season). In season two however, his progression as a live action director is noticeable with the lone episode, he directed titled “The Jedi”. The improvement and Jon Favreau’s guidance alone – with his knowledge base of Star Wars and being hand-picked by George himself, Filoni should be the head of Lucasfilm.
Season two of The Mandalorian answers a lot of the questions season one asked but one major question this season asks itself is where does the show go after the finale? Season 3 has been confirmed so the speculation is back to Mandalore to regain control of the planet. Mandalorian although a perfect show does have its faults. There is some bad CGI in this second season, and it can make you wonder how everything fits in to the galaxy as a whole. Even with many new characters introduced, the galaxy still feels self-contained and in a bubble with older characters returning including Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and others. Boba Fett brings the sheer brutality with all his scenes – some of the most brutal action we’ve ever seen in any Star Wars show or film.
The Mandalorian is the best Star Wars content released since Disney bought Lucasfilm. The Western/Samurai feeling is perfect for the character and show to make it feel grounded and grittier than the films. The highlight of the show is still on the relationship between Din and Grogu and the impact Grogu has on Din cannot be understated. There are many questions going forward but The Mandalorian has satisfied the Star Wars fandom in ways the sequel trilogy promised. If I were to rate The Mandalorian season two, I’d rate it a 5 out of 5.
The Mandalorian season two premiered in 2020 and can be streamed on Disney Plus. The Mandalorian season one has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96%. The Mandalorian was created for TV by John Favreau and stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Katee Sackoff, Temuera Morrison, Giancarlo Esposito, Ming-Na Wen & Rosario Dawson.
So, tell me, have you seen The Mandalorian season two and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.