It’s been a grim old year, hasn’t it? But we’ve got something to enjoy as 2020 draws to a close: season two of The Mandalorian! We’re actually over the halfway point here, now, and it’s taken me a long time to get round to covering this wonderful series on my blog. But enough preamble, let’s begin!
Chapter 9 begins with Mando beginning in his quest to return Baby Yoda to his kind, the Jedi. He believes that by finding other Mandalorians, he can succeed with this mission. Rumours reach him of a Mandalorian in the Tatooine town of Mos Pelgo, but this turns out to be a dead-end: the Marshal of the town, Cobb Vanth, is using Mandalorian armour that he bought from the Jawas – in exchange for Mando’s help in slaying a krayt dragon that plagues Mos Pelgo, Vanth agrees to give up the armour. Cobb Vanth is a character from one of the interludes in the Aftermath series – he has appearances in all three novels of the trilogy, as we see him bring law to the frontier. The episode is a very enjoyable series opener, and I was particularly happy to see the krayt dragon pearl still being a part of the lore.
Chapter 10 feels quite like a filler episode, as Mando takes a passenger from Tatooine to Trask, in exchange for information about the location of some Mandalorians. In a callback to the earlier season, the New Republic catches up with him and attempts to apprehend him for his role in the prison break, forcing him to ground on the icy world of Maldo Kreis. There has been an ongoing plot point of Baby Yoda being hungry, and his hunger awakens a brood of spider-creatures that are really not for the arachnophobes among us! There are some particularly gross scenes in this one, but I won’t dwell on them! The New Republic X-Wings actually return to help him fight the creatures off, and Mando is able to repair his ship just enough to get him to Trask.
Chapter 11 is… quite something. Mando is introduced to Bo Katan and her group of Mandalorians, and as such he learns something about the history of the Death Watch. Mando assists her in stealing weapons from an Imperial cargo ship to help in the defense of Mandalore. In exchange, she tells Mando that he can find the Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano on the forest world of Corvus. The episode is a lot of fun, which is something that rather took me by surprise, because I had not been a big fan of the Clone Wars cartoon series back in the day, of course!
It’s clear that the series is still very much in line with the first, keeping up the quality of the storytelling. I was a bit concerned, when we first heard that the cast list had expanded so much. There was a low-key quality to the first series that I enjoyed very much, and didn’t think could be maintained by going wide as I feared, but it actually works really, really well.
For sure, there is the feeling of a kind of RPG narrative going through the series, as Mando jumps from planet to planet in an attempt to fulfill his mission, but getting caught up in side quests. But that was kind of there from the start – even more so, really, when Mando was using his payment to upgrade his armour in series one! But accepting that as the kind of plot structure for the show, it does kind of work overall!
I was very excited at Katee Sackhoff as Bo Katan. Hardly what I would call my favourite character from the Clone Wars cartoon, nevertheless it was actually quite exciting to see a respected sci-fi actress bring the cartoon character to life in a convincing manner. What I find very interesting now, of course, is how we have a very intriguing plot thread hanging in terms of the struggle for control of Mandalore. Could this be the next season of The Mandalorian being set up? Heck, could Starbuck be getting a series of her own?! It’s actually blowing my mind to think of the possibilities here!
But speaking of possibilities, we have to talk about this…
At the end of Chapter 9, we see Mando going off with Vanth’s armour, and the camera zooms out onto this fellow: Temuera Morrison. Boba Fett did indeed survive the sarlacc pit, and we cannot be leaving this little nugget un-explored, surely?! Was this the owner of those boots at the body of Fennec Shand last season? We need to know more about this, urgently!
I’m not the biggest Boba Fett fan – I happen to feel like he’s one of the most over-hyped characters in the saga – but this is pretty huge, let’s be honest, and I think we definitely need to explore this some more!
The Mandalorian is definitely maintaining its high production value and quality storytelling with this second series, and I think it’s a real revelation having Jon Favreau at the helm, as the guy clearly not only knows his Star Wars, but he really loves it! We’ve currently had five episodes of this series now, but I want to take the time to properly explore the next two as they contain some truly amazing things that I want to really dive into, so stay tuned for more in the coming week!