For those of us who are Star Wars-obsessed, the biggest holiday of 2020 came the morning of October 30. The hit live-action Star Wars series for Disney+ came back for its second season, giving us more stories with Baby Yoda, Din Djarin, and host of Star Wars characters new and old. The season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian shows that the series is just hitting its stride, and it’s starting to play much more of a fan-service game. Yet, the story itself was perfectly in keeping with the style the series established last year. Someone who never saw a Star War before could enjoy this 50-ish minutes of television on its own merits. But, for those of us who live and breathe Star Wars, it had (almost) everything.
What’s evident in The Mandalorian season 2 premiere is that Disney+ and Lucasfilm are all in on the joint creation of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. The scale of this first episode feels much more epic. Also, the storytellers are taking full advantage of the sandbox (literally) they get to play in. The first season was very much its own thing. The trappings of Star Wars were there, but these folks didn’t even know what Jedi were. With that context established, the Mandalorian takes his first step into a larger world in the season 2 premiere. This series is finally going to fit into the larger saga we know, just like the show’s animated cousins The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Star Wars Resistance.
The danger, of course, is that the series shifts its focus away from the central characters in favor of character cameos.
We’ll be getting into spoilers after the jump, so beware.
The Mandalorian Season 2 Premiere Wastes No Time In Getting to the Star Wars of It All
Image via screengrab
We open with action seen in the trailer above, the Mandalorian getting into a fight at a fighting ring. Unlike most of Mando’s fights, he doesn’t get his ass kicked. This scene is simply some red meat for the audience and the way they kick off the real story. The Mandalorian is looking for others of his kind, and a one-eyed alien voiced by John Leguizamo sends him to Tattooine where he’s seen a set of armor. And we realize that means exactly what we expect before you can even shout at your screen “Boba Fett!”
We get a brief appearance by Amy Sedaris as her character from last season’s episode on the planet farthest from the bright center of the universe. Then the Mandalorian and the Child are coasting into a very small, desolate city. A few minutes later, we see the armor we all knew were going to see. As was leaked earlier this year, Timothy Olyphant guest-starred and wore the iconic armor of Boba Fett. Like we guessed at the time, he was playing Cobb Vanth. The character from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath Trilogy set in the year following Return of the Jedi found Boba Fett’s armor.
Interestingly, Vanth’s story changed from the book. This represents a problem in the “it’s all canon” approach to the EU. However, fans willing to forgive them for not adapting a complicated backstory in live-action can tell themselves Vanth lied to make hist story more sympathetic. Mando was going to kill him for the armor, after all.
Then, the real treat came at the end of the episode. The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda shot off on their speeder back to Tattooine with the iconic armor in tow. In the foreground of a shot, we see a robed figure with Sand People weapons watching them go. Around he turns and its Temuera Morrison, an older scarred Boba Fett.
Oh Yeah, They Also Killed a Krayt Dragon
Image via screengrab
The problem that the Mandalorian had to solve during the episode was that a Krayt Dragon terrorized the small town of Mos Pelgo. Vanth promised the armor to him in exchange for his help slaying the beast. The Mandalorian then handled the problem in a way that would make the Jedi Order of old proud. He not only took down the beast, but he got sworn enemies to work together and established a diplomatic truce. Also, when there plan went awry, he was willing to sacrifice himself in order to save lives.
This is the first time we’ve seen a Krayt Dragon in live-action, save for the very cool skeleton in A New Hope. Like much about the planet Tattooine, Krayt Dragons share some DNA with Robert Herbert’s sandworms from Dune. (Also, your move Dune movie.) It’s a giant beast that terrorizes anything smaller than it, which is most things on Tattooine. In fact, it’s such a ridiculous enemy that it typically only appears in video games (as well as its “pearl” which also made an appearance in the episode). This sequence was as cinematic as anything Lucasfilm ever put on screen.
All in all, The Mandalorian season 2 premiere was a perfect Star Wars story. It had all sorts of Easter eggs for the fans. Yet, it also told a story about heroism and wild sci-fi frontier struggles solved by bringing people together.
What’s Next for The Mandalorian in Season 2? Probably Everything We Think.
Image via screengrab
The appearance of both Morrison and Olyphant in Boba Fett-related instances gives a lot of credence to the other leaks and reports that broke through the Disney wall of silence. We are now all-but certain to see Katee Sackhoff as Bo Katan (she is a Mandalorian after all, though she takes off her helmet all the time). We’ll also probably encounter Ahsoka Tano as played by Rosario Dawson. (And where she goes, so will Sabine Wren another Mandalorian possibly played by Sasha Banks.) Though, once Ahsoka sees the Child, the mystery will be all but over. She will know, to a degree, who he is and what he can do.
Also, there is the real Boba Fett. It’s possible he will want his armor back, or even to take our Mandalorian’s armor as it looks more like his father Jango’s armor. A rumor says that story carries over into season 3, which is possible. Because along with Boba Fett, there is also Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon to contend with. There will also surely be other surprises along the way.
The real tension here is how well the show will be able to balance the adventures of Mando and Baby Yoda with tying in these other characters. It’s likely this show is just a springboard for spin-offs. Dawson is almost too big of a name to not play the character again. Though, it seems strange to make a live-action sequel to Star Wars Rebels, but with Filoni on the project it makes more sense. Either way, the future of Star Wars on Disney+ is bright.
The Mandalorian debuts new episodes weekly on Fridays only on Disney+
What did you think of the season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image via Lucasfilm
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.