Review of the second season
The second season of The Mandalorian is the flesh of the Star Wars franchise. Only in the difficult year of 2020 did fans finally wait for a piece that does not ignore other products within the framework of the new canon, but, on the contrary, tries to glue completely different stories into a single canvas. Now, for example, the story of Ahsoka – Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice – lies much closer to Episode 9 than just another voice in the crowd.
Lucasfilm’s management sees the first season of The Mandalorian as a great success not only at Disney +, but in general, and this decision determined what the sequel was. Already in the first episode, you can clearly see how the production budgets have grown. Jon Favreau did not limit himself to the role of showrunner and directed the episode himself for a powerful start. His experience in blockbuster production has given the series an unforgettable and mind-blowing scene of the krait dragon hunt in the sands of Tatooine. This desert dweller is not inferior in size to the worms from Dune. Analyzing what he saw some time later, you realize that only Favreau had enough experience and influence to show this in the series.
Warning, this material contains spoilers for the second season of The Mandalorian!
John Favreau succeeded in his plans, because already from the debut episode almost everyone started talking about The Mandalorian. And then the hype wave only intensified, because in each episode of the season there were vivid action scenes, the production of which even attracted Sam Hargrave, the director of the action movie “Tyler Rake: Rescue Operation”. The second season of “The Mandalorian” not only kept the quality bar, “Star Wars” and on television remains a bright entertainment attraction of high level.
But not only this speaks about the recognition of success by the management.
All nine released films ignored what was happening in animated series, games and comics. Taking Ahsoka’s voice among the other fallen Jedi in Episode 9 is difficult to take seriously. The return of Darth Maul in the “Han Solo” finale was a strong move that went nowhere due to the failure of the film (Lando, you are our last hope!).
The scriptwriters of The Mandalorian took a different path.
Cobb Vance in the first episode showed up in the plot straight from the pages of the book trilogy “Aftermath” by Chuck Wading. In the second episode, Dean landed on the ice planet to confront the spiders, the first images of which Ralph McQuarrie made for the great Fifth Episode – “The Empire Strikes Back”. Yes, this is not God knows what, so in the next episode, Bo Katan appears, which previously could only be seen in “The Clone Wars” or “Rebels”! Still not enough?
Then how do you like Ahsoka, a student of Anakin Skywalker, played by Rosario Dawson? The actress has been wooed for the role for more than a year, so this is literally the embodiment of fan desires. It’s a pure fan service designed to ignite the passion in fans’ chests, but it works, and that’s the main thing. Even Marvel Studios’ products cannot boast of such interlacing, so far.
To be sure to close the question of the relationship between films and other products, in the finale, Jon Favreau and Peyton Reed found a way to demonstrate their close connection. The story consists of all these pieces: familiar characters, long-term developments and even plots started earlier. To bring these fragments together harmoniously so that the viewer – whether familiar with the lore of the universe or not – does not lose interest, two factors help.
The first was an excellently selected team. Peyton Reed (Ant-Man) and Robert Rodriguez (Alita: Battle Angel) have joined the big-name directors for this season, each bringing something new to the show in their own way. Reed added some hilarious, if controversial, gags to the story, while Rodriguez arranged for Boba Fett the most striking comeback in the franchise in years.
And the episode, written and directed by Rick Famuyev, can generally be considered a reference for television.
Each director has worked with full dedication and room for experimentation this season. All the same Payton Reed showed the audience what horror can look like in a galaxy far, far away. Filoni clearly got more options this season: his style is felt not only in the episode he filmed, but also in many other scenes. In general, if the fans talked about the fact that the series has two parents before, but now it can be seen with the naked eye. The most impressive scenes were clearly directed by Jon Favreau, with Filoni taking charge of the lore immersion. All this together makes the series more exciting and balanced, any viewer will find something interesting for himself.
Someone will enjoy the development of lore, someone will be pleased with the action scenes, the series works well even as background entertainment during some routine task. Surprisingly, weekly intervals help how you should feel the funds and forces invested in the series. While Netflix got the audience hooked on binge-watching over the weekend, and only fans to build new theories about what was happening serially watch “Westworld”, “The Mandalorian” gave such a powerful charge of emotions that after the end of the credits I wanted to catch my breath and a little later revisit the episode again times, already a little calmer and more attentive. Of course, the fan community did not stand idle and riveted memes, jokes and explanations in the process, built theories and looked for clues, so even without new episodes, there was enough entertainment for a week, right up to the next explosion.
After the final credits of the last episode, it is easy to name the second component of success. Star Wars has always been a family story, and The Mandalorian continues to develop that lineage. Dean and Grogu are two more lost children who are looking for their place in the world. Dean, in the person of the Kid, finds a job for himself that gives his life meaning. He does not immediately come to terms with the fact that now there is someone else in his life, whom he has to take care of. His armor and ship are a shell in which he hides from a world full of dangers. Gradually he gets out of it. From a slight annoyance, he reaches a sense of pride during Ahsoka’s test, and then gives up and gives the Kid a part of the ship as a toy.
After the unexpected loss of Grogu and his ship, Dean uses all his powers to conduct a suicidal rescue operation. In the finale, when the heroes have a long parting, Dean finally reveals himself to his child. The connection between them is so strong that neither the heroes nor some of the audience at this moment hold back tears.
After the end credits, Dean remains the only character that the authors of the show decided to reveal in full. For 16 episodes, we saw the metamorphosis of a soldier with a code, who performed an act for the sake of other creatures. You can’t say the same about his companions and opponents, they have only superficial motivation, nothing more. All the more fun to see how the series about saving Grogu turned into the story of saving the soul of Dean Jarin.
And this has its parallels:
The second season of The Mandalorian has become much more important for Star Wars fans than the first. Just a year ago, being a fan was not so easy against the backdrop of the unsuccessful Episode 9 and the studio’s greedy marketing. Today the situation is radically different: the community is seething, theories are being built, there are heated debates and discussions of upcoming new products, the way for which was opened by the show. There is still a lot of fan service, no depth of characters and an emphasis on entertainment, but now the future of Star Wars, at least television, looks definitely and optimistic again.
Did we ask for something else ?!