The Mandalorian – Season 2
The Mandalorian (2019-) Season 2 review
The second season of The Mandalorian on Disney+ has come to a close, and what a wild ride it has been! I am still getting over the reveal in the season finale that not only is Jar Jar still alive, but he’s been training as a Jedi this whole time! Okay that obviously didn’t happen, but in order to keep potential spoilers under wraps, I will be saving my in-depth stuff for the second half. So this will be a SPOILER FREE review of Season 2 of The Mandalorian. Let’s jump right into it!
Overall, I thought this was a very good season, but I would hesitate to say a great one. It is a bit hard to know just how much in this season is leading to future stories in the series, and how much is in the show simply to introduce spinoff shows. So I am going to go with what I know right now, and what I know right now I have some mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I really love the inclusion of more existing Star Wars lore. Not only does this season bring to life some Star Wars Legends material that I have been dying to see, but thanks to Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, this season is richly tied to other Star Wars properties somehow without weighing the series down too much.
That said, a few bits and pieces do really feel out of place. I don’t want to get into some specifics, but there are at least a few moments that exist just to introduce ideas that seemingly go nowhere by the end of this season. I know, I nitpick. It does help that many of those complaints I had throughout DID pay off by the end. I am hesitant to complain at all, since these Star Wars legends (Favreau and Filoni) definitely know what they are doing. But alas, I’ve got to pick on something! Might as well nitpick.
So one thing I really have to praise this series for is how is retrospectively gets better. I thought the first season was good, but there were elements I just didn’t care about. Some of the one-off episodes seemed fairly weak, and I just didn’t care for some of the hammy supporting performances like Bill Burr’s. Now Mayfeld is like one of my favorite smaller characters in Star Wars. Bravo Mando, bravo. And for the most part, I really liked the supporting performances in this season. That said, I still don’t like Gina Carano’s acting, and Moff Gideon honestly isn’t a very strong villain. I don’t think it’s Giancarlo Esposito’s fault, they just still haven’t given him a ton to do outside delivering exposition or making threats.
The quality of the series rarely dipped below the first season for me; in most cases it was even better. Some of the lighting in Robert Rodriguez’s episode ‘The Tragedy’ was a little fan-fic-y, but aside from that I have few complaints outside one terrifying and very questionable effect near the end of the season. I- kinda don’t understand this choice. (More on that later.) The biggest step-up in quality for me was Ludwig Goransson’s score. Not only was the orchestration much more diverse with the inclusion of certain elements of the show, but hearing a few familiar themes every now and then goes a long way.
So my absolute favorite thing about Season 2 is, well the same thing I loved about Season 1. Mando and the Child. Their growing bond as well as Mando’s character arc as he learns more about the world continues to drive this series both thematically and emotionally. And it bleeds over into the supporting characters and their growth, as many also become more and more willing to put their lives on the line for Baby Yoda. That said, I do wish there would have been some stakes. The one emotion I rarely felt this season was tension. I laughed, I got all emotional, and I jumped out of my seat more than once! But I never got nervous about the fate of, well, anyone really.
In the end, I did really liked this season! I had some problems, and a few of them will just have to linger until other shows come around to help calm me down. But I think if you happen to be the one person out there who hasn’t watched this season or even series, you should check it out. I thought it was a good step up from the first season in alot of ways, even if that means the show is growing up into something more than I wanted it to be. Overall, I think I would give this season an 8/10, and to be fair, I bumped my entire rating for the show up to an 8/10 as well. Now, on to some SPOILERS!
Chapter 9: The Marshal:
Might have been the best episode in the season, if not the series. Loved the small scale story, loved Cobb Vanth; it was a fantastic episode. 9/10.
Chapter 10: The Passenger:
Meh. Spiders were cool, but that’s about it for me. 6/10.
Chapter 11: The Heiress:
BO-FREAKING-KATAN. I was so excited, and Bryce Dallas Howard’s direction for action was second to only one this season… Great stuff. 9/10.
Chapter 12: The Siege:
Another one of the best in the season for me, this one was the PERFECT balance in one-off storytelling and larger narrative. Bravo Carl Weathers. (Plus we get to see Din pull off a move with his ship that Boba Fett does in Tales from the Bounty Hunters in Legends. Sweet!) 9/10.
Chapter 13: The Jedi:
Love Dave Filoni, love Rosario Dawson, love the Akira Kurosawa inspiration that went in to this episode. Didn’t love this episode as much as some others. It was great, but the heavy exposition for Grogu was a little unwanted, and hearing Thrawn namedropped kinda took me out of it a little bit. I did not want Rebels Season 5 in my space western. 8/10.
Chapter 14: The Tragedy:
A lot of fan service. Robert Rodriguez direction for action was really awesome, and as much as I didn’t NEED to see Boba Fett back, it was pretty nice to see him in action! So this was a decent episode. I enjoyed it. Why do Dark Troopers gotta be so slow? 7/10.
Chapter 15: The Believer:
Freaking Bill Burr stole the show for me. Mayfeld is a great character, and that finale with Richard Brake was super tense! I loved seeing Pedro Pascal’s face as a growing part of his character arc, as he is willing to question his own beliefs for Grogu. Powerful stuff. 9/10.
Chapter 16: The Rescue:
Ah, it was okay. Glad Bo is back. Makes sense. Loved the beef she has with Boba! Actually loved seeing Katee Sackhoff fly a ship again! Anyway I thought the Dark Trooper action was a little disappointing overall. I get it, but they don’t do very much. Aaaaand then there’s Luke. I get it, it makes sense. But I do wish they would have just recast. I think Luke looked very ‘video game,’ and this is coming from the guy who thinks Tarkin in Rogue One was really good. I don’t know, I guess I just expected something like this to happen. I’m happy to see things starting to connect even more with the Legends material that exits in the gap between the Original Trilogy and Sequel Trilogy. I was also glad to read that Boba’s series will likely be a different show, not Season 3. That really had me worried. So overall, I thought this was a very good finale. 7/10.
(Which actually does average to an 8/10!) Anyway The Mandalorian? Are you all caught up? What are your thoughts on the season and the season finale? Be sure to leave a like or a comment or both below and let us know! And if there’s anything else Star Wars you’d like us to talk about, let us know in the comments!
-review by Ryan Prince