Review: The Mandalorian season two, episode one

Chris Burdick, Podcast Editor

Back in November 2019, in what now feels like eons ago, Disney sent us to a galaxy far, far away and introduced us to two of the most popular new characters in Star Wars lore with their hit spin-off series “The Mandalorian.” 

The series follows a bounty hunter known as the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), AKA Mando, who after a job gone wrong and a change of heart finds himself honor-bound by his clan to assist the most adorable force user in the universe “the Child”, or baby Yoda as he has been named by the fanbase, and return it “to its own kind.” 

The only problem is, nobody, including the biggest “Star Wars” fans watching at home, have any idea where the child came from. And with the Jedi now mostly dead and seen as a myth, Mando must find someone from his clan that may have some idea where to begin looking. 

“The Mandalorian” season one received mostly positive reviews from fans and critics but was criticized at times for being slow paced and some episodes were generally better received than others. It seemed to take on a different mission every week. Which works out for the most part but can steer off casual viewers at times if there wasn’t something a new and exciting to bring to the table. But in his typical fashion, director Jon Favreau has answered these criticisms by packing the debut full of action, old western cinematography, and plenty easter eggs for longtime “Star Wars” fans to enjoy and geek out over. 

The plot and cinematic styles of this season premier named “The Marshal” mimic that of old western movies. The darker and grittier scenes, flashbacks of sentimental stories while riding through the vast wastelands, and the classic western movie plot twist of a Native American tribe and Cowboy team-up all help give the episode the perfect John Wayne western movie feeling. Pairing those cinematic styles with the incredible practical and special effects gives the series the ability to steer away from traditional ‘Star Wars’ storytelling while still staying inside it’s continuity. 

From the start you feel the old west inspirations that have made this series so popular. The clink of spurs with ever step Mando takes while walking through the dark depths of the galactic underworld with the child by his side makes you feel like you’re watching John Wayne headed for a standoff.  

The setting for the episode is a perfect complement the overall mood of the show as well as they send viewers back to the desert planet of Tatooine in search for the long-forgotten mining settlement of Mos Pelgo. 

It’s here we are introduced to a new character played by actor Timothy Olyphant named Cobb Vanth, the marshal of Mos Pelgo. The name of the character maybe new to most but his appearance can be immediately recognized by most fans, because he is wearing the armor of fan favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett from the original “Star Wars” trilogy. 

Only issue here is that Vanth is no Mandalorian, and it does not sit well with our hero that he is using armor made for his people. Mando demands Vanth return the armor which does not go well, but the standoff is ultimately stopped by a much larger and more menacing issue a subterranean behemoth known as a Krayt Dragon. So the two strike up a deal, Mando helps kill the monster that is terrorizing their town and the armor is his to take.  

As simple as this plan may seem, it’ll take more than just Mando and Vanth to take this creature down. So they have no other choice but to join together with the natives of the land, the Tuskan Raiders, and must convince the townspeople put their differences with the raiders aside and participate as well so they can finally draw the beast out and in return a peace treaty is created between the two sides.  

Overall, the episode is an exciting and entertaining start in what could be an eventful journey for Mando and ‘The Child’. And if this episode is any indication of what is to come in this season, then Favreau and company are headed down the right direction and Star Wars fans know “this is the way.”   

If you want to hear more about this series and what to expect in season two, check out our podcast The Runner on Air; Where we breakdown the season 2 preview trailer and all the information that was leaked before the season’s release.