Surprise! Disney wants to make sure that you have the opportunity to see the entire first season of ‘The Mandalorian’ before the calendar year ends, so they are releasing episodes on a schedule that ensures all 8 installments of this season are on Disney+ by December 27th – which is a just a few days after the premiere date of ‘Star Wars, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.’ Will the TV show and the film tie in together somehow? Fan theories are already a-brewin’…
WARNING: Spoilers for this episode of ‘The Mandalorian’ lie ahead, obviously. If you haven’t seen the episode and don’t wish for any of its content to be spoiled for you, the time to turn back is NOW!
RECAP: This episode is fairly straightforward and “linear” in its action. All taking place on the surface of Arvala-7, the same planet we left off on at the conclusion of the first episode, the still-yet-unnamed Mandalorian is taking “Baby Yoda” back to the Razor Crest, ostensibly to hand it over to The Client and collect his beskar bounty. As with most things in the Star Wars universe, however, the plan is not as easily-executed as all that, and Mando is jumped by two other bounty hunters – Trandoshans, who have presumably come for the kiddo.
Once the other hunters are successfully fended off, the Mandalorian finally is able to return to his ship – just in time to find Jawas having stripped it down for parts! Our fearless bounty hunter vaporizes a few with his weapon and chases down the Sandcrawler on foot, but the Jawas get the better of him and he’s tased off the transport.
Fortunately, our title character has a friend on this planet: the Ugnaught we met last episode, Kuiil. The latter has an uneasy alliance with the Jawas, and he helps the former strike a deal with the hooded aliens: all the parts of the Razoe Crest will be returned, if the Mandalorian can procure “The Egg” for the Jawas.
What is “The Egg,” you ask? Well, it wouldn’t be much of a narrative tale if the show didn’t answer this question for you: it’s the apparently-delicious-to-Jawas product of the Mudhorn, a vicious beast that’s best described as a cross between a rhinoceros and a unicorn on steroids. There’s a hard-fought battle, and the Mudhorn seems to have our man Mando on the ropes – until Baby Yoda casually steps in and uses the Force to lift the animal off the ground, allowing the bounty hunter to kill it and procure the egg.
After a fun montage of Kuiil and the Mandalorian putting the Razor Crest back together again, the bounty hunter offers to pay Kuiil for his help and then offers him a job as his first mate – both of which the Ugnaught politely declines. “I have spoken.” Off goes the Mando and the baby, to the next chapter of their adventure!
- Boy, I thought the first episode felt short at about 37 minutes – episode two clocks in at a brisk 31 minutes from start to finish, including the end credits (beautiful though they might be). At this rate, the entire 8-episode first season will run about 4 hours total, which if you put them all together is about the length of a Star Wars film if someone let Peter Jackson direct one.
- In my review of the first episode, I mentioned the musical score and how much it subtly added to the overall vibe of the show, and composer Ludwig Göransson once again delivers in an amazing way in this installment as well.
- The show sometimes feels like showrunner Jon Favreau and company just filled a box with scraps of paper that have Star Wars’ greatest unused/as-yet-underdeveloped tropes on them – more Jawas! Landspeeders and funny-talking robots! Aliens using the Force! Cantinas! – and just picked out of the box to build their story. This is 100% NOT a complaint.
CLOSING THOUGHTS: The show definitely has me hooked so far, as I suspect it does of many, many other Star Wars fans as well. A combination of cinematic-level effects and presentation coupled with enough Star Wars universe in-references to shake a stick at and a very intriguing central premise that may or may not tie directly into the upcoming theatrical Star Wars release, all comes together to build quite the anticipation for the next six episodes to come.
PRINCIPAL CAST FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE:
Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian
Nick Nolte as Kuiil
‘The Mandalorian’ features new episodes weekly via Disney+ in an 8-episode first season.