Disney Plus has most likely taken over our nostalgia brain, but original content like The Mandalorian shows that the new service is much more. Here’s our review of Chapter Two: The Child.
Spoilers for The Mandalorian below!
The first episode of The Mandalorian was met with questions, lots of questions. Most importantly, was that YODA?
No, it wasn’t. It can’t be since this series is set after the fall of the Empire and before the events of the latest film trilogy. Some creature that resembles Yoda did appear as the Mandalorian’s bounty in the last minute of Chapter One and can only pique our interest for the upcoming episodes of the Star Wars series.
We were also treated to some more Nick Nolte alien-speaking. He might be my favorite character thus far. I have spoken. However, we finally got to see our bounty hunter fight a little more and show how resourceful they are.
The Mandalorian Doesn’t Waste Any Time
This chapter started off right where the previous left off, exiting the encampment where the bounty hunter, still nameless, found his target. A moment of morality puts us on the side of the hunter for now and we’re left wondering if this Yoda look-alike is force sensitive?
Upon their return to the ship, it’s revealed that a slew of Jawas have stripped his ship down for parts and are making off with the scrap. The Mandalorian quickly turns that morality back around by evaporating these Jawas from existence with a high-powered laser rifle as the young alien looks on questionably.
In a tense chase scene, the hunter finally gets his just desserts by being shocked off the top of the Jawas Sandcrawler. This is where we are treated to Nolte’s return as Kuiil, who is enlisted to help the Mandalorian get his parts back.
Many of the reviews of the first episode focused on the odd feeling the pace had where the audience didn’t know what to make of the setting or what even was going on. Werner Herzog shows up with an ultra-secret mission that pays extraordinarily well and then we’re off.
Seeing how the second chapter opens up, this series begins to feel more like a cinematic experience rather than a normal television drama. The issue I take with that is this show is being released weekly, which clearly defines it as a television show, so each week should be revealing more about the episodic plot and the over encompassing story arc. This feels more like a movie or a limited series where each chapter is just another segment of a story. I wouldn’t be affected by this if this followed normal streaming convention, and the first season was available on the streaming service day one, but it’s not.
In all honesty, it’s best for this show to release weekly, but it seems like the storytelling doesn’t match up with the release schedule. Regardless of what anyone thinks about that specific complaint, the show is still awesome.
This chapter stayed small in that the characters really only traveled to three or four places mainly. That made for a large portion of time watching the Mandalorian work or fight the horned beast on Arvala-7.
Our “hero” fights a three on one battle against Trandoshans looking to steal his bounty, evaporates previously mentioned Jawas, and ultimately accepts his death against the horned beast until his bounty interferes. More on that in a bit. This all collects and rattles around to ask, who really IS the Mandalorian?
We know he’s not “good” or “bad”, but we can see pieces of morality inside that could influence later decisions in the fight against the First Order. However, perhaps he doesn’t know these things yet either. His past is not explained and we’re set to believe that he is very good at his job, but doesn’t exactly have much to show for it. Is he the best around or one of the best ever? The fall of the Empire may have claimed the most respected bounty hunters from the universe and perhaps this Mandalorian is the best left.
Now, again the biggest moment of the episode comes from our small alien Yoda look-alike. In the Mando’s fight with the horned rhino beast, he is beaten badly and seems destined for a smashing as the beast charges one last time. As the hunter lowers his head in acceptance of his death, the beast begins to float barely above the ground and we see the small creature holding its hand out like a force user seemingly controlling what’s happening. This gives the Mandalorian time to finish off the beast and complete the mission while seeing that his bounty is exhausted from the display of magic power and has passed out.
He doesn’t know how to explain this, and we have to remind ourselves that in the universe Jedis and Sith are long considered extinct as it’s been decades since the Jedi ruled the galaxy before being wiped out the Emperor. The Force isn’t something that people just know about in places like Arvada-7.
A Step in a Great Direction
All in all, The Mandalorian found a better footing in this recent episode. This isn’t to say that the first was bad, just unsure of where it was headed. Now with a bottled episode that stayed in one place with some big revelations about our mystery character, the show can build on the excitement.
There is still a need to see Pedro Pascal out of the helmet and seeing how he emotes this character. The voice and physical performance are top-notch and really double down on how bad Pascal needs to appear. However, the allure of a “faceless” hero is captivating as well.
Overall, the series still has a long way to go in pleasing Star Wars fans, but it’s safe to say that the interest of the galaxy is now at a high point for this series in the build-up for Episode IX.