The second chapter of The Mandalorian dropped today, and it was another stunningly brilliant episode!
From here on out new episodes will drop each Friday through the end of the year, with the exception of the week The Rise of Skywalker comes out, in which case The Mandalorian will drop on Wednesday. So we were blessed with two episodes this week, and I absolutely can’t wait for next week to see the next chapter!
Let’s dive in to our review of this week’s installment – and, as always, ***spoilers are ahead!***
The Mandalorian heads off with the child of Yoda’s species, but soon stops, sensing something. Trandoshan bounty hunters spring upon him, and he must fight them off. As the last one charges at the child, the Mando disintegrates him with his rifle – and discovers that the Trandoshans are after the child as well. So he continues on toward his ship, only to discover Jawas are scavenging it for parts. From his perch he disintegrates several of them, but they retreat to their sandcrawler and take off. The Mando pursues them and scales the outside of the sandcrawler, but upon reaching the top the Jawas meet him with several stun blasts, sending him over the edge. He wakes up to find the Jawas nowhere to be found.
Upon returning to the Razor Crest, he takes in the damage and finds that it can’t fly. So he and the child return to Kuiil’s farm, and the Ughnaught takes him to the Jawas to trade for the parts they took from his ship. They arrive the next day, but the Jawas aren’t happy to see the Mando after their previous encounter. So Kuiil has the Mando leave his weapons behind and attempt to barter wit the Jawas. They initially want his beskar and then want the child, both of which he refuses to give up. So they instead ask for the egg.
The Mandalorian and the child head off to a cave in search of this egg, and the Mando ventures in alone… only to discover an angry Mudhorn. The rhinoceros-like creature knocks the Mando outside and charges at him, and in quick succession all of the Mando’s attempted attacks fail. He readies himself, exhausted, for one final charge, drawing his knife and waiting as the Mudhorn charges… and is stopped. The child uses the Force to life the Mudhorn into the air and prevent him from attacking the Mandalorian, and once the Mudhorn is set down the Mando kills him with the knife.
He retrieves the egg and uses it to trade the Jawas for the needed parts, and the Mandalorian and Kuiil spend the night working together to fix the ship. It is repaired, and the Mando offers the Ughnaught a job working as his crew. Kuiil declines, however, saying he had worked a lifetime to escape servitude, and he rides off on his Blurrg. The Mandalorian powers up the Razor Crest and takes off, at which point the child awakes in the cockpit and the two of them fly off together.
I honestly couldn’t be happier with the first two episodes of this show. They have both been fantastic.
One of the things that is evident right away in this episode is just how well director Rick Famuyiwa, showrunner Jon Favreau, and the geniuses at ILM are able to tell a story without dialogue. The Mandalorian doesn’t say a whole lot (which I think adds to his character rather than detracts), but the visuals are stunning and the story is carried along just fine even when there’s long stretches without any words uttered.
Of course, there are some pretty great action sequences in this episode as well, as the Mandalorian fights off Trandoshan bounty hunters and then later fights the Mudhorn. As you’d expect, they’re incredibly well-done. And the whole sequence with the Jawas was just a lot of fun, from the playful yet intense musical score to the desperate pursuit of them. I mean, seriously: you take the sandcrawler from A New Hope and then make a thrilling action sequence out of it, sprinkling in elements of Star Wars and Indiana Jones. How cool is that? And as one other tidbit: it’s a great touch that the Mando’s rifle disintegrates enemies, a sure callback to Darth Vader’s warning to Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back.
But the biggest takeaway from this episode was a pretty massive one that could have big implications for the direction of this show, and it’s all about the child. He’s adorable and very cute, and I think it’s pretty clear the Mandalorian won’t just turn him in and collect the bounty. I’m sure that will drive much of the plot in the coming episodes, but we learn that this child is strong with the Force. Other Star Wars (in particular The Clone Wars) material has made it very clear that one doesn’t need training to be able to use the Force, and this child uses it as an act of saving the Mandalorian’s life. It seems to be pretty draining, however, as the child falls asleep for the rest of the episode until the Razor Crest is flying away, but I wonder if this is why the child is such a sought-after asset in the first place? I also found it interesting that the Mandalorian didn’t really understand what had happened (and Kuiil didn’t either), which makes me wonder whether he has ever seen the Force up close before. I’m sure he’s heard of it, but is he a believer? Maybe him not knowing what happened will set us up for him coming to realize the Force is real? I think that might be a cool touch.
I’m really excited by the possible implications of this, and it’s also worth noting now that every single person of this species we’ve seen is Force-sensitive: Yoda, Yaddle, and now this child. Is that a coincidence, or is this species especially strong with the Force? I hope we’ll learn more about this as we go on.
Just two episodes in, I’m totally hooked. The Mandalorian is an awesome protagonist, the child is a super intriguing asset and a brilliant storytelling decision, and the way the action, cinematography, and score have all come together – combined with great supporting characters like IG-11 and Kuiil – make for an incredible show. I can’t wait to see the next episode!
My grade: 10/10