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Review: 'The Mandalorian' season 2 is off to a clever, yet underwhelming, start

The season premiere of the Disney+ spinoff is sure to delight die-hard 'Star Wars' fans and disappoint answer seekers

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"The Child, better known as Baby Yoda, has found the adoration of many 'Star Wars' fans." Illustration published on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. 


After waiting 10 very long months since the release of the last episode, fans of "The Mandalorian" can finally rejoice. The "Star Wars" spinoff on Disney+ premiered "The Marshal" on Friday, which marks the first episode of the second season.

Die-hard fans of the "Star Wars" franchise are in for a major dose of nostalgia in the latest chapter. For those who are new to the universe — or those who watch solely to see more adorable scenes of The Child (affectionately known as "Baby Yoda") — this episode might feel a bit underwhelming and anticlimactic with one shot of the lovable green creature poking its head out of a pot. 

Warning, this article contains spoilers.

Baby Yoda hiding in a pot

Viewers hoping to learn more about the mysterious backgrounds of The Child and caretaker Mando won't find that in "The Marshal."

To those wondering what the deal is with Moff Gideon's black-bladed lightsaber, or questioning the identity of the mysterious cloaked figure that appeared at the end of "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger," forget about it. There are no answers to any of the pertinent questions in this latest installment.

Instead, what fans get is an action-packed 49 minutes of fun, aided by a treasure trove of Star Wars easter eggs and a battle that will have viewers on the edge of their seat.

The episode opens with the titular character going into a fight club located in the heart of the city in order to interrogate interplanetary crime boss Gor Koresh (John Leguizamo) about the locations of other Mandalorians.

Naturally, things don't go as planned. When all is said and done, however, Mando and The Child find themselves back under the binary suns of the desert planet Tatooine, where our hero teams up with an unlikely ally to protect a defenseless town against a massive and unconquerable predator.

If that sounds familiar, you're not alone: The storyline of "The Marshal" is essentially a rehashing of elements from several episodes in the first season. Mando's ability to build unlikely friendships, defend a small village, and conquer foes many times his size were all explored in the first season, so the episode comes off as exhaustingly familiar.

However, the season premiere is saved from being a boring reiteration by its clever injections of nostalgia. R5-D4, the astromech droid with a bad motivator that Luke Skywalker almost purchased in "A New Hope," makes an appearance, as do pieces of Anakin Skywalker's podracer from "The Phantom Menace."

Most notably, Sarlacc-devoured Boba Fett's armor plays a large role in the plot of the episode, which itself is enough to stir up excitement in even the most casual of "Star Wars" fans. In "The Marshal," writer and director Jon Favreau does an excellent job of reminiscing on "Star Wars" lore that the lack of plot and character development is easily forgiven.

While the episode's reliance on the nostalgia element works well for a season opener, viewers can only hope that the season's remaining episodes provide some answers and provoke some new questions instead of reinventing the l̶i̶g̶h̶t̶s̶a̶b̶e̶r̶ wheel.


Reach the reporter at bdoemel@asu.edu or follow @brockdoemel on Twitter.

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