The Mandalorian: Season 2 cements itself as the new age of “Star Wars”



Above, Baby Yoda/Grogu is shown on the left, and the original Yoda on the right. Characters and scenery are the some of the best aspects of the shown having intricate and varied designs throughout the season.

“Star Wars” has always been a Western of outer space, and The Mandalorian: Season 2′ is the quintessential modern Western TV show. The legacy of that foundation is on full display in “The Mandalorian: Season 2.” However, the issues with western shows, specifically the frequent deviations from the main plot, persist within this new show, making large parts of the season feel disconnected from the rest.

Season 2 of “The Mandalorian” is far more engaging than the first and highlights the experimentation of the show after solidifying itself in Season 1. This comes mostly as a result of a structure in which each episode introduces a new planet with it’s own inhabitants. Each planet contains its own smaller plot, which all build up to the protagonist’s overarching goal. This goal, as Din Djarin (the protagonist, mostly referred to as Mando) was given at the end of the last season, is to reunite Baby Yoda with the Jedi.

A consistent strong point between the two seasons is that they just feel like “Star Wars.” The sense of adventure is pervasive as the characters move from one planet to another in each episode. The TV show format heightens this further, as suddenly each episode can be its own, relatively isolated exploration of a new planet, and allow more interactions that would otherwise be shelved in a movie.

The main issue with having the “western” show model is that certain episodes feel disconnected, with the Din Djarin seemingly doing other people’s chores to further the plot. It all eventually comes together, but the first half of the season feels less united.

The show also has the usual issues that come with “Star Wars.” The voice acting is mediocre and stale, a “Star Wars” tradition at this point. Lines are heavily forced, with the best coming from the array of mumbling characters such as the Mandalorian himself.

The characters express themselves best physically. This is especially seen in characters such as the now-famous Grogu, more well known as Baby Yoda, maintains a funny and developed personality without speaking once in the entire season.

These characters and the scenery they inhabit are the most impressive elements of the show. The design is varied, even between the separate Mandalorian seasons. Each character fights differently, has different body language and feels altogether distinct. Every episode sports a planet with scenery on par with the movies, and it’s honestly breathtaking.

The 5th episode of Season 2 is by far the best in this regard. The brutish small town run by an authoritarian magistrate is metallic and dull, surrounded by foggy forests that make it even more ominous. Better yet, the final battle scene of this episode takes place in the Magistrate’s garden outside of their palace, and the tranquility of the garden is kept even as battle ensues.

Finally, the most important component of the season and “Star Wars” itself: combat. Fighting appears in pretty much every episode in some form, though that form does vary. Sometimes it’s just Din versus a bunch of monsters and sometimes it’s teeth-clenching one-on-ones against more humanoid opponents. The fighting is slick, and almost makes the characters appear to be in a video game with their fast thinking and creativity.

Altogether, The Mandalorian: Season 2 builds on the first season to truly cement itself as the beginning of a new age of “Star Wars.” The show has the usual good and bad of both “Star Wars” and western TV shows, but pushes everything forward with quality and finesse. If you’re a fan of adventure TV shows, “Star Wars” or just bored and want something fun to watch, The Mandalorian: Season 2” is very likely to please.