After a long year of waiting, the second season of The Mandalorian has finally started and with it we begin an entire new season of Star Wars action. This show is undoubtably one of the most anticipated of the year and just what many of us need to escape the reality that we’re living today. So, let’s start with a recap from last season. Here’s what we know, we know our masked Mandalorian bounty hunter with a heart of gold is named Din Djarin, we’ve seen his (handsome) face, and we see he is now dedicated to safely returning the Child (a.k.a baby Yoda) to it’s own planet with it’s own kind. From the looks of things, this season is set up similar to the first, being that Din is on a mission, and that we’re in for a ride on his journey to returning his (adorable) captive to it’s home planet.
Now, let’s dive into the latest episodes. *Warning : Spoilers Ahead*
The Breakdown: Chapters 13 & 14
Chapter 13: The Jedi may have just been the most highly anticipated episode of the series so far. The episode opened with a heated fight scene between the new star guest Ahsoka Tano and a group of guards who she brutally takes out as they defend the Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth who reins over the town of Calodan. Shortly after this scene and gaining some insight on the situation between Ahsoka and the Magistrate, we watch as Din Djarin and baby Yoda land on the planet in search of the Jedi. While searching, Din has the “pleasure” of running into the Magistrate and being tasked with hunting down Ahsoka in exchange for a beskar spear. He “accepts” this task and begins to seek out the Jedi, who ultimately finds him first and they engage in a brief battle before Mando is able to get a word in about why he is there. Ahsoka being intrigued by the Child starts to communicate with him and that’s where the real fun begins. We learn baby Yoda’s true name is Grogu and that he was raised in a Jedi Temple on the planet Coruscant, and after the Order fell he was hidden away on his own until Mando came along.
Upon learning this, Ahsoka decides to test his strength to determine whether or not she can train him, and from doing so she recognizes his clear attachment to Din as a weakness he already has. As a result, she refuses to train him in fear that this attachment could one day turn him to the dark side (an unmistakable reference). In Djarin’s fashion, he strikes a bargain with Ahsoka that in exchange for her trainings, he will assist her with Calodan. The two make quick work of the city, Mando taking care of the Magistrates right hand, and Ahsoka having a final battle with Elsbeth in which we discover that the Jedi is really in search of Grand Admiral Thrawn. After winning the battle and watching a heartfelt goodbye from Din to Grogu, Ahsoka still refuses to help with his training but instead directs them to a final stop- Tython.
Chapter 14: The Tragedy had us worried right from the start with a title like that. At least it starts us light with some sweet time in the Razor Crest cockpit between Din and Grogu as they travel to (what they hope) is their final destination of their long journey together. Upon arrival, Grogu sits on the stone as directed by Ahsoka and falls into a trance protected by an un-penetrable blue force field. While Grogu is reaching out to nearby Jedi, Din discovers he is being hunted by another bounty hunter who turns out to be none other than Boba Fett- yet another crazy anticipated guest star. Now two for two, the show continues to enthrall us with the inclusion of a series wide characters. We discover that Fett in only interested in having armor Mando recieved from Cobb Vanth returned to his possession claiming that it was his. Of course Mando being the old-fashioned way he is, he refuses and the threats begin. It’s revealed that Fett has a familiar face to us from last season as a traveling companion- Fennec from The Gunslinger. Just before the three ensue in what would have been sure to be an epic fight, a raid of storm troopers invade the planet to capture “the asset” Grogu for Moff Gideon. After an intense battle, the trio is reluctantly defeated as the troopers snatch Grogu from the stone, and we are left with another deal on the table- Boba gets his armor in exchange for his help. In the final moments of the episode we watch as Djarin lands on Nevarro to enlist the help of Cara Dune and friends, and we watch as Grogu sits in captivity quickly worn out from trying to defend himself as Gideon hovers over him with the coveted darksaber.
These episodes were chock full of references to all sorts of Star Wars fandom, in both obvious ways with some very familiar faces we were waiting to see, and in the subtle ways that continue to make the show what it is. In The Jedi aside from Ahsoka Tano finally making an appearance, there was also a reveal of who she is really after- none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn who we recall played villain in Star Wars Rebels. Not to mention where our guest Jedi sends clan Mudhorn next, the planet known as the birthplace of the Jedi Order. My favorite easter egg of the episode however had to be the way Ahsoka described the Force as ” an energy field created by all living things” which was quoted directly from A New Hope as Obi-Wan once described it to Luke.
In The Tragedy we are visited by yet another classic Star Wars character, Jango Fett’s prodigy. Boba actually references not just one, but two movies in his reply “I’m a simple man making his way through the galaxy, like my father before me” to Din asking about whether or not he is Mandalorian. The first part of his answer is precisely what his father said in Attack of the Clones and the second is similar to Luke’s phrase “I’m a Jedi, like my father before me” in Return of the Jedi– a double whammy! And as if this isn’t enough to reminisce upon, he even utilizes a classic weapon known as a gaderffii stick (commonly used by those pesky Tusken Raiders) to fight off a herd of stormtroopers.
I was once again, thrilled with the last two episodes. I definitely had my hopes up to see both Ahsoka and Mr. Fett included in this season and to have the two back-to-back like this I felt was more than bold, it packed quite a punch. I was also so excited to find out more about baby Yoda– well Grogu, old habits- and his travels before being adopted by our favorite Mandalorian. I like that while we know his official name and a bit about his past, there is room left for discovery of his potential and what will come of his future. Favreau really has put the work in to impress fans by giving us what we want in the most satisfying way, with just the right amount of suspense incorporated.
The Mandalorian season 2 continually surpasses all expectations with everything from classic movie references, the western twist coming more into play, and the ability to keep us constantly on our toes. With just a few episodes left, a missing child, and a very pissed off Mandalorian, there’s just no telling what is to come. I still love the ties that it draws in through all sorts of Star Wars creation and I’m impressed with how they just keep doing it. As the show goes on it becomes more and more involved with what is going on during the time period that it was so perfectly placed in, and it’s done so in a way that never leaves you feeling like they’ve done too much to make this possible. With every episode that passes it’s clear that the time spent building a new story into the franchise has paid off, and I only grow more eager to see where it will take us next in the final few episodes of the season.
Thanks for reading!
Late to The Game 12/30/20