The Mandalorian Chapter Two
I’m glad the Disney+ powers-that-be released this second episode pretty much on the heels of the first one. With the episodes arriving as short as they are, these two make up what I’d consider the first episode. Truth be told, I liked The Mandalorian Chapter Two MORE than I like Chapter One!
This episode only has one big story goal: Get the Mandalorian and diminutive charge off-planet. Picking up pretty much where Chapter One left off, the main character (I can’t keep typing the Mandalorian -every- time) and the creature the Internet has dubbed “Baby Yoda” make their way back to their ship. I have to say, Baby Yoda and his floating baby-pod make me smile, every time I see his tiny, mogwai face poking out of his over-sized robe. On their way, they run into other rando bounty hunters, looking for Baby Yoda.
Always With The Questions
Last episode, we saw the client give this job to the Mandalorian and kind of kiss his butt a little in the process. Remember? He was all about saying how good Greef (Carl Weathers) told him the Mandalorian was. He also said that they couldn’t run this job the way the Bounty Hunting Guild prefers by using “pucks” and basically had a handshake agreement. I bring this up because last episode, we had IG-11 on the scene and in this one, we had some canyon-randos trying to jump the Mandalorian.
This raised the question of who sent all these guys? Did the Client hedge his bets and just send everybody he could hire? If so, then why would he have the beskar (the metal block he handed over which obviously has some ceremonial importance to Mandalorians) on hand as currency? If the Client DIDN’T send those randos, then WHO did? Could other galactic baddies want a piece of the sweet Baby Yoda action?
Back to the Story
Soon as you see a Baby Yoda, you wonder if he has the Force. Turns out, yes, he does. A LOT of it, just waiting for an excuse to come out. He first tries to demo a little of the old Force-healing on the Mandalorian following the rando skirmish. Although Force-healing hasn’t been shown in other movies, longtime readers of Star Wars novels and players of Star Wars games will recall the power appearing several times over the years. Papa Mando has no idea why the little guy would hobble out of his baby-pod, so he locks Baby Yoda up for the night before we see any Force magic.
The next day, the Mandalorian discovers Jawas stripping his ship for parts. What a great scene! The Mandalorian starts blowing away Jawas disintegration-style while the survivors hurry inside their crawler. The crawler-drivers Tokyo-Drift that thing outta there as best they can, but the Mandalorian catches up and attempts to board. After throwing a few more Jawas to their deaths, they gang up on him and stun his armored butt off the roof. All along this awesome chase, Baby Yoda in his baby-pod followed.
A Word On Jawas
Is this planet Tattooine? It’s tempting to think that because of the presence of Jawas. After all, do they really seem like a space-faring race after how they’ve been depicted in the other Star Wars movies? Not to me. Look at these Jawas a little closer. These guys have reddish-orange eyes. The Tattooine Jawas have yellow or amber eyes. Using some Google-fu, I’ve learned that we are on planet Arvala 7 and these are the kind of Jawas that live there. This makes me wonder if at some point in the history of Jawa-dom, were they ever space-faring? Perhaps they were and seeded little colonies of Jawas on planets like Arvala 7 and Tattooine and then over time, their societies devolved into the scavengers we know them as now. Either way, these guys are thieving little dicks, just like the ones Luke met.
On Arvala 7, the Mandalorian only has one friend: the Ugnuaght (Nick Nolte). Luckily, this one friend knows how to get the Mandalorian’s parts back. All they need is an “egg”. The scene with the rhino-monster sealed the deal for me on this series. That thing KICKED The Mandalorian’s butt! His guns? Thrown or dropped far from the fight. His flame thrower? Rhino Monster eats flames for breakfast. His coveted Mandalorian armor? Ain’t shit. On the monster’s final charge, the Mandalorian only held his vibroblade and very little hope. Without Baby Yoda’s Force-fed intervention, the galaxy would have been down one Mandalorian.
That’s why I liked this episode so much. Yes, we got to see Baby Yoda show us how strong the Force flows through him. The bigger deal to me is that we aren’t going to watch a story where a does-no-wrong hero just marches through the plot without ever really having his life at stake. Sometimes I want that. When I do, I’ll watch John Wick, post-puppy scenes. For a TV series though, I want to know that the hero has some work to do. An arc.
They’re All Engineers?
The Mandalorian hands over the egg to the Jawas and it turns out to be a large, Cadbury Creme egg. The Jawas all grab a pawful of goop and send the Ugnaught and the hero off with all the stolen parts recovered. Now here’s where we see that Favreau isn’t afraid to lean on old-timey Star Wars tropes to move the story along. In Star Wars, large groups (planets, societies, religions) all get painted with one brush. Jawa? Filthy scavenger. Mandalorian? You’re a bounty hunter. Ugnaught? Well, you’re good with your hands and make a good mechanic or engineer. Lucky for our guy that he doesn’t stumble upon the one poet Ugaught that was cast out by his people. In one montage, the two allies get the Razor Crest put back together. Will it hold? Why would it? Something has to be missing or loose after all that.
What Happens Next
Next week, I bet the Mandalorian takes Baby Yoda to the Client. Does he hand him over? If he does, will the Client make good on his payment? There are a lot of preview clips of the Mandalorian fighting stormtroopers, so my bet is that something goes haywire with the transaction. What do you think?
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