“The Mandalorian” Review

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Note: The following article contains spoilers regarding season 2 of “The Mandalorian”

“The Mandalorian” has continued to deliver on the compelling narrative and visual spectacle established in its season 2 debut as Mando navigates the treacherous universe of Star Wars. Beginning on Friday, Oct. 30, Disney+ premiered the new season of “The Mandalorian,” and the show has followed a weekly release schedule continuing through November and December.

Showrunner Jon Favreau offered, “As we explore new characters and are going deeper with the characters we already have, it’s really been very fun and fulfilling, and I hope people are having as much fun seeing it as we are having making it.”     

This season centers on reuniting Baby Yoda with the Jedi and has been lauded by an international audience for the enduring action and adventure. The first episode, “Chapter 9: The Marshall,” established a considerable number of new plot developments and was loaded with scenes of tension and heroism. Looking to expand on the success of Chapter 9, the second episode, “Chapter 10: The Passenger,” dealt a severe blow to the progression of the show, as it lacked the adrenaline-inducing drama of previous offerings. Mando was simply seen jetting around from planet to planet trying to connect a Frog Woman’s eggs to her husband. 

Following this mundane chapter, “The Mandalorian” aired its third episode, “Chapter 11: The Heiress” on Friday, Nov. 13, a show in which Mando explores a fishing community on the planet of Trask in search of fellow Mandalorians. While he was taken hostage with Baby Yoda, a pack of Mandalorians rescued them from their captors. This scene broadened the Star Wars universe as Mando is exposed to new characters, and it also illuminated the strong emotional connection between Mando and Baby Yoda. This touching bond is revealed in Mando’s first words after being rescued: “The Child. Help the Child.” Here, Mando expresses genuine concern for the wellbeing of Baby Yoda and is looking beyond himself. After the suspense of the scene subsides, Mando is introduced to the crew that saved him, and their leader Bo-Katan. The action of the episode culminates in the moment Mando is tasked to storm an Imperial cruiser. With the support of Bo-Katan’s crew of Mandalorians, they defeat the Empire and succeed in their attempt to seize the spacecraft. In return for Mando’s efforts, Bo-Katan directs him to the city of Calodan, on the forest planet of Corvus, where he will meet a Jedi. As the story unfolds and the world of Stars Wars expands, “The Mandalorian” has satisfied fans with new and engaging episodes.

The season’s fourth episode “Chapter 12: The Siege” does not disappoint. In this adventure Mando detours to Navarro where reunites with season 1 characters, including Greef Karga. In this episode Greef Karga seeks Mando’s help to destroy the last Imperial stronghold in Navarro. Mando agrees and successfully decimates the area. Though Imperial Tie Fighters pursued Mando with heavy fire, he was able to evade the hail of lasers and the scene concluded with an eruption of lava consuming the stronghold. With Navarro secured, Mando heads for Corvus to track down the Jedi, Ahsoka Tano. I enjoyed this episode as it offered a strong balance between non-stop action and addressing significant plot points critical to the advancement of the narrative. The teeming action was exciting, and I, like most others, was mesmerized by the vivid CGI, which brought to life the conflict between Mando and the Imperial Empire.

The subsequent airing of “The Mandalorian,” “Chapter 13: The Jedi,” delved deeply into the origins of Baby Yoda and his connection to the Force. In one of the longest episodes of the season yet, Mando discovers the Jedi Ahsoka Tano on Corvus to learn about Baby Yoda. Ahsoka meets with Baby Yoda and communicates with him using the Force. She reveals that Baby Yoda’s name is Grogu (which was a huge reveal), and that he was raised and trained at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. However, when asked to train Grogu as a Jedi, Ahsoka denies because she believes that his fear and past traumas could turn him to the Dark side. Ahsoka’s unwillingness to help Baby Yoda possibly indicates that if Grogu were to create a strong attraction to the Force he could use it for the Dark side, as did Anakin Skywalker. As the story comes full circle, will the beloved Baby Yoda devolve into the antagonist of season 2?

Nearing the end of the season, “Chapter 14: The Tragedy” heightens the show’s tension by establishing more conflict with the Imperial Empire. In this episode Mando journeys with Grogu to Tython seeking the ruins of an ancient Jedi temple. Upon arrival Mando encounters a new character: Boba Fett, in a tense standoff. Boba Fett approaches Mando looking to strike a deal, if Mando returns Boba Fett’s Mandalorian armor he will vow to protect Grogu. Meanwhile, Gorgu visits the “Seeing Stone.” Suddenly, the Stormtroopers deploy on the planet and seize Grogu. The heart-pulsing action in the episode amazed me and I was on the edge of my seat during the battle between the Stormtroopers and Mando. This final spell of action perfectly set up new conflict to be explored in the next episode.

With Grogu under the control of the Imperial Empire, fans beg the question: What character change of his can we expect to see in future chapters?

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