The Mandalorian season two review (spoiler-free)

David Eckstein-Schoemann, Reporter

It took a while, but season two of the Mandalorian is finally available on Disney Plus. Talk about a show that started out as a simple premise but just exploded in popularity. Everywhere you look there are t-shirts with Baby Yoda or fans saying “This is the way,” — everyone has heard of it. Naturally, this led to a lot of hype for the new season, but does it deliver? Let’s find out.

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

The series continues with the Mandalorian on his quest to return The Child (Baby Yoda) to his people, namely the Jedi. There’s danger around every corner as Moff Gideon and his Imperial forces from the last season are still on the hunt for the Child to use for their own plans. As you’d imagine this leads the Mandalorian to take a lot of missions helping people during times of crisis, while also obtaining pieces and clues of where to go next. Along the way, he comes across multiple characters both new and familiar who aid him on his journey while he navigates the galaxy. 

Despite the series being out for a few weeks, there are still a lot of people who have not seen it in its entirety. This is why I choose to keep this as spoiler-free as possible. To give my overall opinion, I really enjoyed this season. Both as a Star Wars fan and a critic there are a lot of things to appreciate here. One of the things I love about this season is how this felt like classic Star Wars but with a new edge. While the first season took place in this universe, a lot of its inspirations came from classic works such as spaghetti westerns and old samurai films. While those classic inspirations are still here, this season definitely has a heavier lean on the universe itself with how they wanted to expand more on the lore and characters. Like any good season, it chooses to continue the adventure while also upping the ante rather than repeat itself. This ties back to a George Lucas quote from years ago, where he said that he didn’t want elements in his films to repeat, but he wanted them to rhyme. In that even though certain aspects of his films feel similar to each other, he changes up certain elements while adding a new spin to them so that when people look at them, they connect them to each other while also seeing each one as its own thing. Here it really felt like rhyming as there were a lot of elements that while familiar they were used in a way that made it seem new.

When the season starts it plays out a lot how you’d expect with the Mandalorian going on a variety of side missions while also protecting the child. This formula does begin to feel repetitive when you count the number of times where he goes to a planet and works with colorful characters to overcome certain enemies or obstacles. While that’s something that keeps repeating, they change up enough elements each time to where you still go along with it. If I’m being honest you can call this “Side Quest: The Show” and I mean that in the best way. While some of the side missions aren’t as interesting as others, a lot of them are so impressive to witness that you feel like you’re watching a mini-movie.

Even elements like the Child’s character are still done really well. You’d think they did all they could with this character after the first season, and they would just have him look at the camera, be cute and that’s it. But they do a great job at having him push the plot forward and making him fun to watch. On paper, the idea of a lone bounty hunter taking care of a baby would likely drive some people away. But it surprisingly works because not only is it done in a way that keeps the narrative engaging, but the mystery surrounding this character is so interesting that you want to know what happens next. Rather than treat him like a glorified MacGuffin, they treat him like an actual character. And yes, even someone like me finds him adorable. 

I’m also still impressed with the technology. Even though a lot of the sets in this are blue screens with some real things in the foreground, they look so real and lifelike that I could have sworn that they filmed it on location. This is interesting because the settings for the most part are generally simple. But they give them such unique feels and atmosphere that they look incredible. While some of them may seem too similar to our world, they still find that balance of making them both look familiar and otherworldly. It’s interesting because I recognize this as the same technology used in films like “The Jungle Book” (2016) and “The Lion King” (2019). But while those films are mostly computer-generated, here they still have enough real stuff to where you believe what you’re seeing in front of you — not just with the set designs, but also with the costumes and makeup they use on these characters. I feel like this type of filming is the best of both worlds in that even though a lot of it is done in a sound studio, they have enough real elements to where this show has that balance of both technical and practical. 

With all the hype surrounding this season, this leads to fans making theories on which character is gonna pop up. This brings us to the most talked about part of this season — the characters they bring in. In my personal opinion, when the show first began I thought that it didn’t need to bring in any classic characters as I felt that what made it so unique was that it was allowed to stand on its own and be its own story. 

While I was thinking about this I looked back on other shows like Clone Wars and Rebels and how they started out small with their own original characters. But as time passed the stories got bigger which created the opportunity for more classic characters to come into the picture, with some even making comebacks and becoming mainstays in the lore. This season plays out a lot like that which is understandable from a story writer’s point of view. While some of the characters may seem unfamiliar to a lot of people who haven’t seen the other shows, they do give audiences a good idea of what they’re about and how they play a part.

Even though a lot of it can feel like fanservice at times, which is something Star Wars fans should be too familiar with by now, they do give the characters a reason to be here. Though, I can’t help but feel that some of them were put here just so that people could see how fans would react before giving them their own spinoff shows. This is exactly what happened as a ton of Star Wars shows have been announced and are well on the way. I understand that strategy, but I feel that with Star Wars a lot of the best things that have come out were the things that fans weren’t necessarily asking for but were surprised to see upon seeing it for themselves. Even the Mandalorian show itself was something a lot of fans weren’t expecting to love right away but here we are now. With that said, I understand a lot of the excitement as it’s all these characters being brought into live-action. I’m not gonna lie, there was that part of me that did feel giddy every time a character made a reference or alluded to something that was going to happen in the near future. I’ll even admit their appearances here are a testament to how much they’ve grown not just with fans but in the lore in general. If this exposure leads to more stories in various media to be told, what’s wrong with that? 

To sum up my thoughts, I think the Mandalorian season two is an excellent season to check out even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan. It uses familiar elements while also breathing new energy into them. It answers questions while also leaving enough mystery as to where you want to continue watching the story. If you are the least bit interested and want to see it for yourself. I’d say check it out, it’ll definitely take you to a lot of surprising places.

Rating: 4 /5 Sails.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].