The Mandalorian: Chapter 2

Hello there!

Welcome to my latest episode review for The Mandalorian. I’ve really enjoyed writing my episode reviews of Resistance so there was no way I was going to miss the chance to do the same here. The reviews will take on the same format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole.

I have been looking forward to this show so much, so there was no way that I wasn’t going to watch this as soon as I could. Unfortunately, living in the UK, Disney+ is not going to be available over here for a while, so I’ve had to channel my inner Hondo Ohnaka to see this! Today, we’ll be looking at Chapter 2: The Child.

Star Wars The Mandalorian Disney+ Poster

Plot Summary

The Mandalorian is making his way back to the Razor Crest with the Asset through a canyon, when they are attacked by a trio of Trandoshans. The Mandalorian knocks out 2 of his attackers and disintegrates the final one. The Mandalorian finds that they were following him using a tracking fob.

“You speak terrible Jawa. You sound like a Wookiee.”

Arriving back at the Razor Crest, the Mandalorian finds a band of Jawas stripping his ship. He disintegrates a few Jawas then chases after them when they escape on their sandcrawler to get the parts of his ship back, but is unable to catch them. Returning to the Razor Crest, he tries to take off but the ship is too badly damaged. Taking the child with him, he goes back to Kuiil, who agrees to help him trade with the Jawas.

The Jawas initially want the Mandalorian’s beskar, but they eventually agree to give his possessions back if he gets an egg for them. At their instruction, he goes into a dark cave (leaving the Asset outside) to look for the egg, but finds a Mudhorn. The Mudhorn throws him out of the cave and comes out to attack him. The Mandalorian tries to shoot the Mudhorn but the mud has jammed his rifle. The Mudhorn continues to attack the Mandalorian, who struggles to find any way to defeat it. As the Mudhorn charges again, the Mandalorian braces himself and holds his knife out in front, but the Mudhorn suddenly levitates into the air just before reaching the Mandalorian. The Mandalorian looks round to see the Asset is using the Force on the Mudhorn. The Asset exhausts itself and passes out, but the Mandalorian is able to kill the Mudhorn before it can react.

“Explain to me again, I still don’t understand what happened.”

“Neither do I.”

The Mandalorian retrieves the egg and returns to the Jawas with the Asset. The Jawas feed on the yolk from the egg and allow the Mandalorian, Kuiil and the Asset to leave with the parts they stripped from the Razor Crest. Kuiil and The Mandalorian repair the ship. Once done, The Mandalorian offers Kuiil a share of the reward and also a role on his ship, but Kuiil politely declines both before leaving. As the Razor Crest leaves orbit, the Asset wakes up.

Review

So I’ve gotta come out and say it: I’m really mixed on this episode and I really hope that I look back on this as the weak point of the season.

If I was surprised to see that Chapter 1 was just under 40 minutes, I was even more shocked to see that this one was even shorter. I had been expecting episodes to be close to an hour, but it looks like we will be getting a more contained story than I first thought. I imagine that the finale will be another ~40 minute episode with the rest of the episodes being the same length as this one. Therefore, I find my self a little nervous about how little the story appeared to progress in this episode. At this moment, it feels like the only developments in the story were the growing bond between the Mandalorian and the Asset (who after listening to Star Wars Explained discuss Chapter 1, I will now be calling Yoddle until we hear otherwise), more bounty hunters looking for Yoddle, the pair leaving Arvala-7 and the reveal that – as well as being incredibly cute – Yoddle is Force-sensitive. That could have all been easily covered without the whole Jawa plotline in this episode and taken just 10-15 minutes. If the season was longer, I wouldn’t mind as much, but I’m already beginning to wonder and worry that some of these characters (like Cara, Greef, Moff Gideon and the Client) aren’t going to get the screen time or development they deserve.

“Thank you for bringing peace to my valley.”

The music again feels good on the whole, and I felt that it wasn’t changing as abruptly in this episode, but there is one theme that I heard a couple of times in this episode (and also in the first episode, when the Mandalorian and Kuiil were riding the Blurggs) that felt like it belonged in the Rocky/Creed franchise (Ludwig Göransson wrote the scores for Creed and Creed II), which somewhat threw me out of the scenes. I think that the more I listen to the score though, the more I will enjoy it, similar to how the score of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story really grew on me over the space of a year.

As I’ve already mentioned, I could have done without the entire Jawa plotline, but I also feel that if it was to be included, it could have been done better. While there was something fun about seeing the Mandalorian sniping them from the top of a ridge, the ensuing chase scene just felt unnecessary. I also felt that, given the Mandalorian was already set to take a beating at the hands of the Mudhorn, having him bested by Jawas made him seem too goofy and seemed somewhat at odds with the fighter who had looked so dangerous in his previous fights.

My final gripes relate to a couple of moments in the fights themselves. I get the feeling that the opening fight was originally longer but was shortened in post-production. If so, I think that director Rick Famuyiwa needed to go over it again in the editing bay as I found it hard to follow – it took me quite a few watches of the scene to realise a third Trandoshan joined the fight, and there is also a moment when the fight cuts from the Mandalorian using one of his opponent’s weapons to his two assailants each having a weapon and the Mandalorian being unarmed and blocking the attacks on his armour. If this fight was cut down to fit in the sandcrawler chase, I will be so gutted! I also felt that the Mudhorn was defeated a little too easily given how short the Mandalorian’s blade was compared to the creature’s size; how lucky was he that there must have been a crucial blood vessel that close to the surface in the Mudhorn’s neck.

“I’m a Mandalorian, weapons are part of my religion.”

While that’s a lot of negatives and worries, I certainly didn’t hate the episode and there were a number of things that I really liked. Let’s start off with the obvious talking point: baby Yoddle is Force-sensitive! I’d speculated that this could be the case in my review of Chapter 1, so I’m very excited to see where things go from here. From the way the Mandalorian and Kuiil spoke, it isn’t clear if either of them realise exactly what happened, but I think that will likely be expanded upon in the next episode, especially given the history between Mandalorians and the Jedi. I really like how an early scene at the campfire suggested that there was something special about Yoddle as it certainly looked like he was trying to heal the Mandalorian (as far as I know, we have not seen any healing Force abilities in canon so far) while the music felt somewhat mystical, only for the music to cut out as the Mandalorian noticed him but – not realising what he was doing – just put him back in the crib. I really enjoyed the way that the Mandalorian’s relationship with Yoddle grew as the episode went on, and with Kuiil’s reminder at the end of the episode that Yoddle is his bounty, I think that we will see the Mandalorian struggling to decide whether he hands over Yoddle to get the beskar to help his people or whether he looks after Yoddle. After Episode 1, I had a feeling that he would hand over Yoddle and that he would come to regret it, but with just 6 episodes left, I now feel that the Mandalorian will refuse to hand him over.

Once again, the visuals look great and are very reminiscent of the Original Trilogy, while it’s good seeing familiar beings like the Jawas expanded upon. It was fun seeing the Mandalorian try to negotiate with the Jawas and it was a great moment to bring out more of his personality, especially considering how much of the episode has no dialogue due to it being just the Mandalorian and Yoddle – I love how they were willing to have the silent scenes rather than have the Mandalorian talking to himself or saying things to Yoddle to explain to the viewer what he’s thinking. I really liked the camaraderie between the Mandalorian and Kuiil and wish we had a bit more time with them over these first 2 episodes to explain why Kuiil is so willing to help and how he knows so much about Mandalorians. Sadly, I can’t imagine the Mandalorian will be returning to Arvala-7 in this season, so this is likely the last we have seen of Nick Nolte as Kuiil… for now a least.

“They really don’t like you for some reason.”

“Well I did disintegrate a few of them.”

A few other thoughts from the episode:

  • The Mandalorian’s rifle may just be the best weapon in Star Wars, after a lightsaber. I love how not only does it have a great stunning ability when used as a melee weapon, but seeing how thoroughly it disintegrates an enemy is brilliant
  • I also really love how the Mandalorian can remove the scope from his rifle to use like a telescope. It makes perfect sense so that he can travel and fight without being overly bogged down with extra tech like macrobinoculars/electrobinoculars
  • After a couple of quick teases, I hope the Mandalorian’s flamethrower has a more successful use later in the season
  • We’ve now had the Mandalorian, IG-11 and a group of Trandoshans all being sent after Yoddle at the same time. Are these all being sent by the Client or are numerous parties trying to get “the Asset”? Perhaps the Client is willing to accept proof of termination as he would rather nobody else get hold of Yoddle
  • Though I think the first fight needed more editing, I loved us being able to see the Trandoshans preparing their attack by seeing their shadows on the canyon and their reflections in the Mandalorian’s helmet. Subtle moments that could easily be missed

Moments in Canon

  • The Mandalorian is able to speak Jawaese… kinda
  • All of Yoddle’s species that we have encountered have so far been Force-sensitive

star wars the mandalorian 2

What did you think of the episode?

Thanks for reading. I have spoken.

4 thoughts on “The Mandalorian: Chapter 2

  1. That is one bad@ss rifle indeed and I love the flame-thrower he carries too. This is one guy who doesn’t want to mess around but sometimes has to put up with things that annoy him. Your honest review is a breath of fresh air. I’ve read some other responses that are also mixed, coming down to how short these episodes are so we don’t know much about the characters.

    But I *love* the “show-don’t-tell” quiet of 10 minutes between the Mandalorian and Yaddle. It just lets the atmosphere sink in while the audience can speculate what’s going on inside the Mandalorian’s mind. So far I’m impressed with the atmosphere and style; minimal CGI so the show doesn’t look too slick or like a mainstream superhero film. You have some good points about editing the fight scenes. There’s so much to glean from 2 episodes and yet so much mystery hangs in the air. Don’t let us down, Faverau.

    Like

    1. Thanks for reading! Yeah it’s hard not to love a Mando and all their gear. I do really enjoy how much time we’re getting without dialogue and I think it’s a real credit to the cast that they can pull it off and the directors that they trusted the cast to do so

      Like

        1. I’m trying not to get too many expectations right now, Baby Yoda threw my initial theories out the window so now I think they could do almost anything!

          I’d quite like to see the Mandalorian have a small team personally, I’m loving the lone wolf and cub aspect but I thought the interplay with him and IG-11 was brilliant and I’d love to see more of that. I am a huge fan of the show Firefly and I love how the crew work so well together despite often having differing intentions.

          Thanks for reading!

          Like

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