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The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian: Season Two

After the disappointment of the last three Star Wars films, season one of The Mandalorian had rejuvenated my love for the franchise. The Child became a fan favorite for practically everyone, so I eagerly anticipated the return of this season, which is an adaptation of Lone Wolf and Cub. Warning- some spoilers. 

The Marshall

The Mandalorian (aka Mando) wishes to return The Child to his own people, and when he hears of a Mandalorian in the Tatooine town of Mos Pelgo, he goes to investigate. But when he arrives he discovers the town’s marshall, Cobb Vanth, is simply wearing Boba Fett’s armor that he bought years ago. Mando and Cobb strike a deal, that Mando can get the armor if he helps defeat a krayt dragon that is terrorizing the town. This opening episode had a simple monster of the week storyline, but Timothy Olyphant as Cobb was easy on the eyes. 

The Passenger

Mando takes on a passenger, the Frog Lady and her eggs, who needs to travel to her husband who can fertilize her eggs, in exchange for intel on other Mandalorians. The Child views the eggs as tasty treats and was slyly swiping at them all episode. While escaping capture, they crash land on an icy planet and barely escape from ice spiders before being rescued by some pilots from the New Republic. 

The Heiress

Mando, the Frog Lady and The Child finally arrive on the planet Trask where the Frog Lady’s husband awaits. He directs them to an inn where Mando meets three Mandalorians, led by Bo-Katan Kryze. He discovers they follow a looser Mandalorian creed, as his sect is considered very extreme and others do not follow his rules of not showing his face. Bo-Katan Kryze wishes for the Darksaber that Moff Gideon acquired at the end of the first season to help her reconquer Mandalore. Lots of epic fighting scenes! 

The Siege

Mando and The Child take a detour to Nevarro where they are reunited with their former allies Cara Dune and Greef Karga who have taken law-keeping roles there. Mando helps destroy a remaining Imperial base and a laboratory from the scientist in the first season who wanted to do experiments on The Child. I loved the chase scene with the Stormtroopers on speeders. 

The Jedi

Ahsoka is alive!!!! Found on the outskirts of the city of Calodan on the planet Corvus, she is helping fight the evil magistrate, and her Jedi skills are evidently still quite strong. Mando believes she can help train The Child. It is revealed after a Jedi meld that this Baby Yoda creature’s name is Grogu and he had been in training as a Jedi before the Empire rose and he has been in hiding since, masking many of his powers. While Mando helps Ahsoka defeat the town’s cruel oppressors, Ahsoka declines to take on Grogu as his attachment to Mando is too strong and she wishes to track down Grand Admiral Thrawn (plot for her spin-off!). Rosario Dawson played the live-action Ahsoka beautifully and I was very happy with the character’s portrayal. 

The Tragedy

Following Ahsoka’s advice, Mando takes Grogu to the ancient temple on Tython. There Grogu connects with the Force sending a signal out to any remaining Jedi in the universe. But of course, it all goes to hell when Moff Gideon arrives and deploys stormtroopers to capture Grogu. And who shows up but an older and scarred Boba Fett with his sidekick Fennec Shand and he wants his armor back! The three end up working together to fight the Stormtroopers but alas they are not successful. 

The Believer

The evil Empire better not hurt my darling Grogu!! Mando enlists Cara Dune, who is now working as a Marshal of the New Republic and a prisoner of hers that is an ex-Imperial to help him find Gideon’s ship. Mando has to reveal his face in this episode when he infiltrates a ship that puts him closer to rescuing Grogu. 

The Rescue

To help him retrieve Grogu, Mando puts together a powerhouse crew of Cara, Fennec, Bo-Katan, and fellow Mandalorian Koska Reeves to help him retrieve Grogu (although some have their own agendas). The four women kick some ass on Gideon’s ship while Mando retrieves Grogu and obtains the Darksaber from Gideon. But the battle takes a turn for the worse when Dark Troopers (robots that reminded me of The Terminator movies) attack our heroes. But wait- is that an X-wing ship landing? And who is that robed powerful man who is destroying the Dark Troopers with ease? OMG- it’s Luke Skywalker!!!!! After a poignant goodbye between Mando and Grogu (yes, I teared up), Luke & R2-D2 take Grogu off into the great unknown. 

Thus ends, season two of The Mandalorian. But SO many questions remain! Is Grogu gone for good? Frankly, we all know what happens to Luke’s Jedi school, so did Grogu avoid death by Annakin just to die decades later by Kylo Ren’s hand? What of the Darksaber? What of Ahsoka? Plus, a new Star Wars series The Book of Boba Fett was teased in the end credits that will take place in the same timeline, so will these two series intersect? We also know that yet another series Rangers of the New Republic will be released, and will Cara be part of that (if she doesn’t torpedo her chances with her IRL controversial tweets)? While I have loved this series, I am nervous about the glut of Star Wars spin-offs in the works. Yes, Star Wars is a beloved franchise, but as I have the same worries with Star Trek, sometimes too much of a good thing waters down the original and the franchise becomes too unwieldy. Time will tell. In the meantime- Let The Force Be With You!

-Nancy

*All pictures and gifs are from Disney’s The Mandalorian series*

The Mandalorian aka The Baby Yoda Show

After some recent shaky and uneven Star Wars movies, The Mandalorian has reaffirmed my love for this franchise! In addition to the strong hero’s journey storyline, introducing the new character of Baby Yoda was a stroke of genius. I had put off watching this series, as I’m mostly a fan of the movies and have only watched a few episodes of The Clone Wars and none of Star Wars Rebels. Plus, I didn’t want to buck up money for a new channel. But then I started to hear about the big reveal after episode one, and started seeing memes for Baby Yoda and I had to watch the show for myself.

Warning- Spoilers Ahead!

The Mandalorian

Set five years after the Galactic Empire was defeated in Return of The Jedi, the Star Wars universe is in disarray. We are introduced to a new bounty hunter who looks like Boba Fett, but is a Mandalorian, from a warrior society that adheres to tenets of their faith and has their own unique integrity in regards to being bounty hunters. He accepts a bounty to search for a 50-year-old creature on a desert planet, where he is aided by a vapor farmer and bounty-droid IG-11. When he and the droid find their target they are shocked to find this adorable Yoda-like creature! I’m in love…

The Child

The Mandalorian (name unknown as of yet) fights off others just to discover the sneaky Jawas have dismantled his ship. Kuiil, the kindly farmer, helps him negotiate with the Jawas in getting his parts back that entails him fighting a huge Mudhorn. Right when things look like the Mandalorian will be defeated, Baby Yoda uses the Force to levitate the beast enabling the Mandalorian to kill it. So this begs the question- is this species born with the Force power or are they taught like we have seen other Jedi’s taught? He’s only a toddler and non-verbal, so how did he become so powerful?

The Sin

Baby Yoda is turned in for the bounty to a nefarious trader and scientist, but the Mandalorian inquires about the creature, which is atypical as bounty hunters are expected to turn in their prey with no questions asked. He is given a large payment of Besker steel which he takes to an enclave of his fellow warriors and we learn more about his society. That they seem to be honorable goes in the face of what bounty hunters do, and luckily he feels guilty and goes back to retrieve Baby Yoda. Guess what- it’s not easy getting him back.

Sanctuary

Trying to hide on the sparsely populated planet Sorgan, the Mandalorian meets Cara Dune (love her!) a kick-ass former Rebel shock trooper-turned-mercenary. Their fight for dominance ends in the cutest ever shot of Baby Yoda sipping bone broth. Squeee!  These two warriors end up helping a group of villagers who are being terrorized by raiders, and for a moment the Mandolorian feels as if he could rest and maybe even find love with a hot widowed villager. But when another bounty hunter comes looking for Baby Yoda he knows he and the baby need to leave.

The Gunslinger

After a space dogfight, the Mandalorian lands on Tatooine for repairs. While there the mechanic Peli Motto takes on a mothering role for Baby Yoda while the Mandalorian deals with other bounty hunters. Needing money he agrees to help a young bounty hunter who needs to nab a target to get his guild card. Needless to say, there are several double-crosses and it doesn’t fare well for a few of them involved in the fight.

The Prisoner

Still needing money the Mandalorian agrees to help a former friend of his whom he used to work with. His ship is used by a motley group of mercenaries who want to rescue one of the group’s brothers who is being kept on a prison ship. But everyone is out for themselves and there is betrayal after betrayal from these nasty criminals. There is true suspense when this group seems to get the better of the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda is in danger from an evil droid. But never fear, this duo outsmarts them all!

The Reckoning

The Mandalorian is contacted by the bounty hunter guild leader Greef Karga with an improbable request that supposedly will clear his name, but we all know its a set-up, so I’m kinda pissed when the Mandalorian goes along with it. He does recruit Cara and Kuiill to help him, but in doing so puts them in danger. Not surprisingly, Karga had plans to double-cross him from the start but has a change of heart when Baby Yoda saves him from dying. Moff Gideon turns up with a fleet of troopers and the group is pinned down. What will happen to the Baby?!?!

Redemption

Reprogrammed droid IG-11 redeems himself in saving Baby Yoda- because there always needs to be a good droid in every Star Wars story. He further helps by healing the Mandalorian when he seems to have a fatal wound, and we briefly see his face for the first time and learn his name is Din Djarin, who as an orphan was taken in by the Mandalorians and trained to be a warrior. Sacrifices are made, but most of the group is able to escape from Moff Gideon, setting the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda up for further adventures in season two.

I really enjoyed this series, and despite a few errant distractions, I thought this new series was beyond excellent. It definitely had a Lone Wolf and Cub vibe, as a hardened warrior needs to care for an adorable child and through their interactions, the elder character is redeemed and changed for the better. I’m glad to be so excited about Star Wars again, as the last few movies have been disappointing. I will now eagerly anticipate the next season- so in the meantime, may the Force be with you, readers!

-Nancy

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