Those of you who have watched The Mandalorian’s first season will be familiar with the series’ premise and approach. There is the overall broad plot of our lone ranger Mandalorian who uncharacteristically gets himself attached to a baby Yoda and ends up trying to get him to his rightful place. In the process, each episode is more or less presented as a standalone adventure which the Mandalorian and baby Yoda encounters along their way to their admittedly vague destination.
I have to admit that I did not really like Season One that much. Apart from the wonderfully loving details of the Star Wars landscape that provided the backdrop to the stories, the episodes just felt too formulaic. Baby Yoda looked too much like something out of a Toys R Us shelf. Hence, it was a pleasant surprise for me to find Season Two to be a vast improvement despite it following more or less the same route taken as the Mandalorian continues his journey across the Star Wars galaxy with baby Yoda. Somehow the stories and new characters seem more interesting this time and with a reported whooping average of USD15 million budget per episode, the special effects and sets look absolutely cinematic. It really feels nostalgic to be trusted onto terrains, creatures, dialouge and props that look so familiar to the original Star Wars trilogy.
Our main star Pedro Pascal whom most of us would know in his unforgettable role as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones, does an amazingly effective job all covered up as The Mandalorian. In one of the season’s exceptional episodes, we get to finally see Pedro unmasked as he undertakes a dangerous mission to gather some data from an Imperial base. This season, each episode feels epic as it would have at least one standout action sequence. All of these were very well choreographed and executed giving the series a truly Star Wars feel and a level of satisfaction that I dare say none of the recent movies did!
Baby Yoda also seem to have more expression this time although movement wise, he still reminded me of what a toy in Toys R U would do. This becomes less of a problem since he is always surrounded by a host of wonderful characters. They are all trying to either capture him or protect him. An exciting character to appear this season is the return of an aged Boba Fett, who we are told managed to survive the Sarlacc pit in The Return of the Jedi. Seeing Boba Fett’s unique space ship (the Slave I) that looks a bit like a flying cloth iron not only take flight but to be taken inside as well is stuff Star Wars fans can only dream about. Another weekly treat are the beautiful end credits concept art work that depicts sequences from the week’s episodes. These are so beautiful they should become collectors’ items!
Despite having a relatively short running time of less than 50 minutes, with some episodes just over 30 minutes long, they still put in a wallop and blockbuster feel. Season Two is a winner and has set the bar very high for any Star Wars movie and series. It’s finale episode had a surprise visitor or two which will set the social media in a frenzy talking about it. This exciting cameo and rather fitting closure to the story really elevates the series to new heights. While it appears to have ended its main storyline nicely, a teaser at the end of the credits for the finale episode implies a shift in storyline to Boba Fett. It also asks we to keep a look out for its follow up in December 2021 which right now seems like a very very long time away.