The Mandalorian Season 2 ★★★★
Jon Favreau (Peyton Reed, Bryce Dallas Howard, Carl Weathers, Dave Filoni, Robert Rodriguez, Rick Famuyiwa)
Starring Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Rosario Dawson, Temuera Morrison
DANGER: Some minor spoilers may lie ahead!
With incredible set pieces that could have been taken straight from a new multi-million pound Star Wars blockbuster, loads of new characters and so much Baby Yoda (sorry, Grogu) this series couldn't really go wrong.
The first few episodes dipped us into an Alien vs Mando set up, in which The Mandalorian in question (Pedro Pascal) takes on different beasts and beings, not particularly furthering his journey to delivering The Child to its' destined location. Though as the second season goes on, it becomes more clear that perhaps Mando doesn't want to deliver The Child, and he is buffering for a while. And this approach is so much fun and makes later scenes so much more heart-wrenching.
Unlike so many others, those earlier episodes were my favourites in the line-up. The ones wrapped in high stakes short term, but not especially long term. They felt like a lot of fun without a desire to force the narrative forward. What this show does so well is finish an episode when it feels finished, instead of dragging it on for an hour, and I feel the story does the same. We can't just keep having plot that's relevant to The Child, this is still Mando's story.
As the episodes go on, the stakes are raised progressively, until eventually, in an action-packed finale, the landing is somewhat anti-climatic. New (and old) elements are introduced in the last episode which are fun and exciting, but I couldn't help but feel that they'd forgotten to focus on the characters we'd been taught so much about through all of the previous episodes (especially Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) who was extremely underused.
With highlighted moments coming from Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) utilising her on/off button on her lightsabers, Bill Burr being just as nosey as the rest of us ("just take the mask off man") and The Child eating and then throwing up some delicious macaroons, this really was such a fun series. The world is open, and with spin-offs and new shows surrounding Mando and friends, Jon Favreau may have just saved Star Wars and its recently damped reputation.
This is the way!
The Mandalorian available now on Disney+