Three Highlights from The Mandalorian Season Two
On Friday, we all settled in for the latest and last installment of The Mandalorian season two. We were expecting awesome space adventures. We were expecting surly space cowboys in Beskar armor fighting Gus Fring for the honor of their little green buddies.
What we weren’t expecting was to shed a literal tear over a man and his animatronic puppet friend.
To call this season a massive win in a galaxy far far away would be massively underselling it. Instead, join me, now, as I bring you my three highlights from The Mandalorian season two.
Just…The Whole Show, Right?
There would be no way to start off a list like this without saying the Mandalorian, as a whole, sets a new standard for television.
No, wait, come back!
Look, I know it’s cheesy to wax sappy about new standards in film, scriptwriting, and special effects in TV. But for God’s sake, look at this show! Season one did a lot of things right, creating a world in which Din Djarin could have adventures that were just captivating to watch. From force levitating rhinoceros monsters to the canon-introduction of the freaking darksaber, it’s safe to say we were treated to more than many of us were expecting.
But season two took the whole thing into hyperspace in terms of quality. We got things this season that almost felt naughty with how satisfying they were. A few honorable mentions include:
- stormtroopers in a cinematic downhill speeder chase in episode 4
- gorgeous Jedi wifi rock things and a movie-grade blue sky beam in episode 6
- the Krykna, that blue spider thing from season 2 that was based off of concept art from the original movies
And just so many more. If you’re tired of people giving this show a reacharound for its outstanding quality, by this point, you may want to take a step back and stop complaining about all our new Christmas presents. The Mandalorian is an absolute treat and we are lucky it’s already been renewed for season 3.
Those Guest Appearances
Not only is the Mandalorian a tour-de-forcechoke to watch on its own, but the amount of fan-ready guest appearances in this show is almost irresponsibly awesome. For everyone from casual watchers (like me) to hardcore superfans (like you, undoubtedly), these nods to the greater universe show a depth that, frankly, many of us were worried Star Wars simply wasn’t interested in.
One of my biggest complaints about the new movies is their stodginess when it comes to looking back. I remember watching The Last Jedi with my wife and turning to her during the Canto Bight escape scene with a dumb question.
“Why not make the alien horses they escape on tauntauns?” It wouldn’t have made the scene any better or worse, and these aren’t even native aliens to the world of Cantonica, but they could have done it. “They were abducted from their icy home on Hoth and forced to partake in these races. Isn’t that terrible, Finn?” Done, and now you have a reference to the established world so we know we’re still here. I mean, for God’s sake, we’d already seen people riding them in much the same way in Empire.
It was a dumb question, even looking back on it now. Maybe it would have even been described as lame fan service, but it still bothered me because I saw them missing opportunities like that everywhere. With The Mandalorian, we see the opposite of that, with characters, ships, aliens, weapons, and concepts being reused across the board, and used so freaking well.
Some of my favorites included:
- Tusken Raiders
- Boba Fett (played by Tamuera freaking Morrison from the prequels / animated series)
- Ahsoka Tano
- Matt Lanter, a.k.a Anakin Skywalker from The Clone Wars
- Boba Fett’s Slave One ship
Oh, and one Jedi Master Luke Skywalker himself, for anyone wondering how the season could send us all into a reference-addled stupor before the closing credits. This show is absolute bliss and we do not deserve it.
That Post-Credits Scene
If you stayed to see the after-credits scene (a tradition I’m happy to see director Jon Favreau managed to bring over from his formative time with Team Marvel), The Mandalorian season two hit us with even more intrigue than we were ready for. It answered one important question:
Once we get past some still-unexplained Sarlacc Pitt escapes, what does a newly returned Boba Fett do once he is armored up and free of his obligation to Din Djarin?
The answer? Go right the hell back to Jaba’s palace and kickstart his career as a ruthless mob boss. Because he’s an asshole at heart, you guys, and that’s part of what we love about him! It was great to see him following a code of honor this last season, but with one blaster shot to the face of now-Hutt-in-chief, Bib Fortuna, he’s back to being a bad guy! Or a good guy in a bad situation! Who knows?
This, once again, goes to show the love and care this show’s creators pour into their world-building. We would have been fine with Boba riding off into the sunset and popping back in for future installments whenever necessary. As a fan, I would have thought that was pretty great, in fact. But, with one scene, they gave us a bit of world-building that gave us so much more than just “fine”.
Will “The Book of Boba Fett: Coming December 2021”, as teased at the end, be a new spinoff show of Space-Sopranos style galactic mobbery? Will Boba be the new antagonist of season 3? When was the last time a show genuinely left you with some questions, instead of just directly setting up the next movie in the franchise?
As far as I’m concerned, these are all questions I don’t even want to consider. I’m just happy to have them. Jon Favreau and his team knocked this out of the galactic ballpark, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
Disney: let Jon Favreau play in this toybox for as long as he wants to. We’re all here for it. If The Mandalorian season three is anything like The Mandalorian season two, we’re all really here for it.
Like what I said? Have anything to add? Sound off in the comments. You can catch more of my writing here, if you enjoy gaming, and I’m somewhat active on Twitter, as well. Thanks for your time, and Happy Holidays.