The Mandalorian is finally back and the premiere certainly kicked things off with a bang- figuratively and literally. So, where are we? Well, Season One didn’t really end on a cliffhanger so it really could have picked up anywhere. I don’t think it’s a spoiler but the opening episode takes place on a very familiar planet. Just revisiting this particular planet alone will have fans incredibly excited. Don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers in this review.
Some time has passed since their encounter with Moff Gideon and Mando is determined to return The Child to his own species. But where do you start when you’re faced with a seemingly impossible task? You have a member of a species that is incredibly rare and the Star Wars canon has yet to provide any definitive answers. Mando is pretty much on his own. However, he hatches a plan. By relying on a network of Mandalorians, Mando will look to travel across the stars for knowledge and, hopefully, a starting point. It’s a start, I suppose. The premiere takes us to Mando’s first attempt at setting up that network.
One of the things I loved about the first Season was how each episodes felt like a singular installment. While there was this overarching narrative, each episode very much functioned on its own. Chapter 9 really cemented that that formula is still in play. So, despite The Child being the focus point once again, we can still enjoy smaller narratives that really enrich and expand the Star Wars universe.
Mando and The Child are ready to cause trouble
This premiere episode, while it didn’t drive the main story all that well, was a fantastic side story that dabbled in lore from the books and expanded on aspects that haven’t really been explored in great detail. It did a fantastic job at widening the universe by providing new details and filling gaps. Not only that but we got to see Mando make some friends and improve as a character. Din Djarin has always been one to stick to his creed but this episode saw him ease those limitations. He became more trusting, friendlier, and open to alternatives. These aspects really flourish is Chapter 9.
But as a premiere episode, it was slightly odd that not much progress was made especially after watching the finale of Season One. Instead of focusing on the larger story at hand, it seemed to focus more on developing Mando as a character and giving us an exciting reintroduction to a very familiar world. That’s not a bad thing. It was just a surprise.
Obviously, seeing The Child will forever be an absolute joy. His little coos and his cute ears. However, after the booming success of The Child part of me grew anxious. Much like Baby Groot, I feared that The Child would essentially steal the spotlight from the title character. Yes, the title character is still Mando. The Marshal alleviated that fear almost immediately. That might make some fans sad but I think it’s an incredibly good sign. Don’t worry, he’s still there but his presence isn’t as prominent. When you look at how much merchandise there is for The Child, it’s pretty surprising just how much of a backseat The Child takes in this episode. Not only does it let Mando and the supporting cast shine, but it also saves us from any potential “Baby Yoda” fatigue. It would definitely take a lot for me to simply lose interest in The Child but I’m relieved he isn’t being forced in.
Not only is Chapter 9 a fantastic exploration of Star Wars lore- You have throwbacks to the Death Star, Phantom Menace and Return of the Jedi., it’s also an epic adventure with some fantastic pieces of action. It really evokes that gunslinger vibe that made us fall in love with Mando while also including massive scenes that indicate a bigger and more spectacular Season. They aren’t messing around. This was just episode one, The Force only knows what The Mandalorian has in store for us later down the line.
It was great to see The Mandalorian back on the screen. It wasn’t quite the introduction I was expecting in terms of story but those feelings were quickly buried. Fans can expect an action-packed opening that is riddled with brilliant Easter Eggs, new faces, new beasts, and a lot of explosions.
There are some surprises along the way that will have fans gleaming with joy. But my lips are sealed and not even a full case of Beskar would change my mind. Trust me. I have spoken.
As most of Season Two has been shrouded in mystery, it is hard to tell what’s next. Regardless, I think it is safe to say that Season Two has already set the bar quite high. What did you think of The Mandalorian? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and make sure you refrain from spoiling anything. This is the Way.
It’s good to have you back, Mando
The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal, with guest stars Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito. Directors for the new Season include Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Carl Weathers, Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez. Showrunner Jon Favreau serves as executive producer along with Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson, with Karen Gilchrist serving as co-executive producer.