After the first episode of The Mandalorian I was a little worried that it would be a daunting task to follow up the excellent first episode and there would be no way it could reach the dizzying highs of the pilot. How could they build on the excellent cliffhanger as well as the incredible action and atmosphere throughout? Well, they gave us not just a better episode, but one of the most astoundingly great Star Wars stories that I’ve ever seen, with pure Star Wars goodness in just about every second of runtime and goose bumpingly good moments throughout.
The episode begins with the Mandalorian playing the role of a diligent babysitter, protecting his newly acquired, insanely cute and cuddly baby Yoda (let’s call him Yiddle) from just about everything that is thrown at him. The Mandalorian and Yiddle are attacked by Trandoshan bounty hunters and after barely making it out of the fight alive, find the Razor Crest completely scavenged for parts by Jawas. After chasing them to no avail, the Mandalorian enlists the help of Kuiil to broker a deal between the Jawas and the Mandalorian, going after the egg of a wooly and ferocious beast, the Mudhorn. When the Mandalorian gets some unexpected help from Yiddle in defeating the creature, he gets the parts back to his ship and flies away, unsure what to do with his bounty.
What I appreciated about this episode was just how caring and kind that the Mandalorian is towards little Yiddle. As I said in my initial thoughts, we kind of knew that our main character would be good with a bit of ruthless, but he comes off as kind of sweet and soft, at least when it comes to Yiddle. Taking really good care of him and possibly proving that the Mandalorian may just have a heart of gold. I think it’s an interesting contrast to everything that the world sets up, as this rough and lawless place. The idea that through all that he’s still able to find the ability to be kind and sweet to this little guy is appealing to my sensibilities.
Speaking of Yiddle, what an adorable and wonderful little character they’ve introduced us to. His smaller scenes where he’s walking around and just playing are so sweet and just like the Mandalorian’s care for Yiddle, his playing around in this desolate environment is downright heartwarming. Not to be dramatic, but I would defend Yiddle with my life. He also just kind of looks like Yoda. I know that may sound a little silly because obviously, they would, but even the way they dress is similar. He’s wearing that little robe just like Yoda and even acts like him the way he was when he first met Luke on Dagobah.
If that weren’t enough, they give you that amazing scene where he helps the Mandalorian defeat the beast by using the Force to lift the Mudhorn, and deliver the final blow. It is a spectacularly shot and written scene with the music that ended the last episode swelling in the background as he lifts the beast. Just an all-around wonderful episode for the Star Wars introduction of Rick Famuyiwa, and I completely understand why he’s coming back for season two, he’s fantastic.
Like I said in my initial thoughts, I know people hate the “it feels like Star Wars” cliché when writing a review, but it honestly took that to a new level, because that Sandcrawler chase was honestly one of the most insane Star Wars moments ever. They had been teasing the power of the Mandalorian’s rifle in the previous episode, but to see him disintegrate Jawas, was something else. Let's put it this way, when I woke this morning, I certainly wasn’t expecting to see exploding Jawas. Yet, it all fits in the universe and this show continues to show me new and exciting things every episode.
While I don’ think it necessarily moved the overall story in leaps and bounds, I appreciated the more personal journey that the Mandalorian went on in this episode. The little moments with Yiddle, his continuing friendship with Kuiil, and even the Jawas eating that disgusting egg felt personal. Once again, it’s these little moments that I enjoy the most out of all these wonderful things. Kuiil keeps growing on me and once again, Nick Nolte shines as the sage-like figure.
I do have one small gripe, and I’ve seen this complaint on Twitter a lot. The episodes just feel too short. It’s not a huge complaint, but at the same time I think we were all expecting hour-long episodes, 40 minutes at the very least, and we just haven’t gotten that. Granted, what they’re able to do in that seemingly short amount of time is awesome, but I selfishly want more. When “it’s too short” is my only gripe, you know you have something special.
Somehow, the wizards at Lucasfilm made an even more enjoyable episode than the first, and I adored it. It gives you some specular Star Wars action and even has the Force in it. Each week is going to be a treat and I’m truly excited to see what is next.
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5/12 - Domhnall Gleeson
5/13 - Milton Johns
5/14 - George Lucas
5/16 - Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (2002)
5/19 - Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005)
5/19 - Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999)
5/19 - Peter Mayhew
5/19 - Claudia Karvan
5/21 - Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (1980)