The first episode of The Mandalorian was a short, fun introduction into Star Wars’ first foray into live-action TV. Today’s second episode is even shorter (dammit), but it’s still so good.
Spoilers below. I have spoken.
Chapter Two gets a title – “The Child.” The action picks up right where we left off. The Mandalorian is bringing his bounty target, which we learned is “Baby Yoda,” back to his ship. But Bounty Hunting really is a dangerous profession as we see another group of bounty hunters try to complete the bounty before The Mandalorian can deliver it.
It’s interesting that these bounty hunters are once again going for the kill. We still don’t know who else is ordering these bounty hunters around. Maybe The Client is taking the Vader approach and hiring a bunch of bounty hunters until the job is done. Whatever the case, two different bounty hunter elements would rather kill Baby Yoda then take him in alive.
The following scene is where we start to get an inkling that Baby Yoda is as special as Star Wars fans think. As the Mandalorian is fixing himself up from his latest scrap, Baby Yoda reaches out with a three-fingered hand to help. I was on the edge of my couch waiting for Baby Yoda to use the Force to heal him. But we didn’t see Baby Yoda use the Force. Yet.
The Mandalorian, with Baby Yoda, in tow finally make it back to his ship only to find it ransacked by Jawas. But The Mandalorian is more of a shoot first, ask questions later kind of bounty hunter. He incinerates a few Jawas and then chases after their Sandcrawler.
The next moment is pure Star Wars bliss. We get a fantastic action sequence aboard the Sandcrawler with the Mandalorian tossing Jawas off it. Hell, we even get a glimpse inside the Sandcrawler bridge. I love it. The Mandalorian is giving us a deeper look at all the Star Wars stuff I always wanted to see more of.
But Jawas are a scrappy bunch, and they ultimately best the Mandalorian with a volley of stun shots.
The Mandalorian wakes up to find the Sandcrawler and a good chunk of his ship nowhere in sight. But everyone’s favorite Ugnaught, Kuiil, is willing to help him negotiate for the ship parts. After telling the Jawas that trading the Beskar and Baby Yoda wasn’t happening, the Jawas settle on a different prize – “The Egg.”
The Mandalorian agrees to get this egg but meets his toughest foe yet – a Mud Horn. This creature then delivers a beat down on the Mandalorian. And it’s not looking good for the bounty hunter when he’s down to his last weapon – a small knife. As the Mud Horn makes what looks like a final charge that’ll cut through that fancy Mandalorian armor like aluminum foil, it stops in its tracks and floats into the air. The camera cuts to Baby Yoda with an outstretched hand using the Force! I guess size matters not for all of Yoda’s species.
We all thought The Mandalorian was going there, and it is. We get one short scene where Kuiil asks the Mandalorian to explain what happened again because he doesn’t understand. “Neither do I,” replies the Mandalorian.
Does the Mandalorian know about the Jedi and the Force? Maybe he just doesn’t believe they are real? Until now, that is. Rey thought they were myths too, so perhaps folks in the Outer Rim aren’t up to speed on Jedi and the Force.
The week-long wait until next week’s episode is going to be excruciating. There’s so much I want to know. Who is Baby Yoda? What does The Client want with him? Who else knows about him? Does he end up meeting Luke?
The rest of the episode wraps up with the Jawas cracking that enormous egg and gorging on all of its yolk, Kuiil helping the Mandalorian put his ship back together, and the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda flying back to the planet where the Mandalorian received the bounty. I don’t believe for a second the Mandalorian would turn Baby Yoda in for Beskar steel. Not after what he saw. But we won’t find out until next Friday.
Some final thoughts
- Ludwig Goransson’s score continues to be at the top of everything I love about The Mandalorian. It’s hard to dwell on any negatives when music like this is playing.
- Less is more with The Mandalorian’s story. Chapter Two is about the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda getting off-world. That’s it. But within this simple backdrop, we get tons of awesome Star Wars moments with Jawas and a better look at The Sandcrawler, Baby Yoda using the Force, and more Kuiil.
- 27 minutes?! I hate the short episodes because they are so good. Plus, I’m used to shows being damn near double that. But the 27 minutes were awesome, so I guess it works. But man, I was not expecting the second episode to be even shorter than the first. Hell, I’m going to be over the moon if we get anything approaching 45 minutes now. Another 15 minutes could give us another scene of The Mandalorian and Kuiil talking about Baby Yoda and what they think he is. And give us an idea of what the Mandalorian plans to do with the bounty.
- How do the tracking fobs work? It seems like everyone knows right where to look for Baby Yoda. Can you even hide in the Star Wars universe?
- Can we get an art book with all the gorgeous art from the credits?