Mandalorian Season Two: The Force is With This One/by Bryan Matthews
Quick disclaimer: there will be a lot of spoilers for “The Mandalorian” TV show and a few other Star Wars properties moving forward. If you wish to avoid spoilers, go watch everything you can from a galaxy far, far away and come back. Without any further ado, let’s get into it.
Star Wars nerds – like myself – from around the world screamed with glee several times during this holiday season. Many might’ve thought this glee came from an undying love for our families and time well spent with those we deeply cherish. Others may assume it was because we were able to go places or receive new gifts from jolly Saint Nick. However, we nerds know the reason why we screamed for joy. From the moment we saw our masked hero and his tiny green companion, we knew that things were looking up despite the presence of an all-too-real pandemic out there.
This recent season of “The Mandalorian” built upon the previous with ease, showing us development of newer characters, plenty more adventures, and fan-pleasing moments that served the course of the narrative. Season one of “The Mandalorian” established a new side of the galaxy and a new format for Star Wars. The episodic storytelling – in the same vein as “Gunsmoke” or “Bonanza” of yesteryear or “Rick and Morty” for nowadays – gives “The Mandalorian” show a lot of galaxy to work with, nothing really hogtied to one planet or set of characters.
The adventures of season two were a lot of fun. From daring chases to elaborate heists to fighting galactic spiders, this season had it all. The action set pieces from fighting a Krayt Dragon to swimming with a sea monster to hopping around on top of tanks were all well-utilized and added more thrills that did not disappoint. The canyon chase, the fight with the Krayt Dragon, and two bad-to-the-bone fight scenes with characters that many of us have longed to see in action were definitely pivotal points this season. They rose to the occasion and set new highs for every episode.
Fan-pleasing moments and easter eggs were everywhere this season – some a little more obscure than others. As a super nerd, I soaked it all in and used every possible opportunity to show off my Star Wars lore knowledge. Just to hit the highlights, Boba Fett was revealed to be alive, Bo Katan returned after having already appeared in “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” TV shows, Ahsoka was busy being … well, one of the greatest Star Wars characters ever, and last not but not least, Luke Skywalker went complete beast mode on the dark trooper brigade. While some may say that fan service is lazy storytelling, I will say that it could have been, but the attention to the main narrative and only using existing properties when necessary to serve the plot was the best way to utilize it.
The character development between Mando and little Grogu (Baby Yoda’s real name; I know, it still sounds like a crime to not call him Baby Yoda) was very well done. Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau, and company did a superb job deepening their relationship amongst all of the big moments and action set pieces. After the sixth episode of the season when Grogu is captured, you feel Mando’s ambition and drive to get him back. I’m very excited to see where these two characters end up following this season. After the final episode, will we see Grogu’s training at the hands of Luke Skywalker played in contrast with Mando and Bo Katan retaking Mandalore? For now, we can only speculate.
After the show’s end, Disney released news of ten – yes, I said ten – new Star Wars projects. The soonest project will occur this December with the release of “The Book of Boba Fett,” a TV show following that character as he seeks to rule the criminal underworld. Many other shows like “Ahsoka” and “Obi-Wan” are also drawing a lot of attention. Meanwhile, our Mandalorian and his little green friend will be returning sometime in 2022 for season three. Only time will tell if these new properties will live up to the hype. As far as I’m concerned, I’m happy to be visiting a galaxy far, far away while also being a bit wary that Star Wars fatigue may set in earlier than anticipated. But until that happens, I guess we can all just look back while we wait and remember that the force will be with us … always.