SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE: S1:E2. “Chapter Two: The Child.”
STARRING: Pedro Pascal, Misty Rosas, Nick Nolte (voice)
WRITER: Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Rick Famuyiwa
PREMIERE DATE: November 15, 2019
SYNOPSIS: After the Razor Crest is stripped for parts by jawas, Mando must retrieve a bargaining chip in the form of a beast’s egg.
By Rob Siebert
The child, a.k.a. Baby Yoda, is a stroke of genius. Walk into a Target, Walmart, or Costco these days and you’ll see why. His diminutive size and not-so-diminutive cuteness appeal make him a marketing gold mine. In the grand tradition of Star Wars merchandising, his visage begs to be put on clothes, posters, and of course toys. Frankly, I’m shocked we didn’t see more Baby Yoda merchandise as the first season was in progress. That’s a giant missed opportunity you’d never associate with a titan like Disney.
But at the same time, Baby Yoda teases at answers to questions Star Wars fans have had for decades: What species is Yoda? Why are there so few of them? Did something happen to them? Did they get wiped out? Are they somehow tied into the Jedi and the Force? When you add it all together, Baby Yoda has that rare combination of geek appeal and corporate appeal.
Indeed, the jawas are back. I remember seeing an “Offworld Jawa” action figure in stores, and wondering what the deal was. The irony is if you came into this episode as a relative newbie, you wouldn’t think they were offworld, i.e. not on Tatooine. Sadly, Arvala-7 is yet another indistinguishable desert planet.
The sequence with Mando chasing the sandcrawler reminded me of a level from Super Star Wars, the old Super Nintendo game. You play as Luke, climbing all over the thing and slashing at jawas with a lightsaber. That’s basically what Mando is doing here, sans lightsaber.
In terms of the Kuiil character, voiced by Nick Nolte, it’s funny to me how once you know what a voice actor in question looks like, you sometimes start to read their face into the character. For instance, Kuiil looks like Nick Nolte to me, even though they objectively don’t share many features.
“I’m a Mandalorian. Weapons are part of my religion.” I love that line. It’s my favorite in the series thus far.
The hero fighting a big monster is a recurring theme in the George Lucas Star Wars movies. You’ve got the snow monster in The Empire Strikes Back, the rancor in Return of the Jedi, the arena monsters in Attack of the Clones. Depending on how liberal you want to be with the concept, you can extend it to various other moments in the Star Wars saga.
Odd as it sounds, I appreciated how muddy Mando got during the fight with the… *checks Wookiepedia*…mudhorn? That’s the name they came up with?
Anyway, the mud added a bit of a grittier texture to the whole thing. I can’t imagine it was fun to film. But it was appreciated.
So Baby Yoda uses the force to lift the mudhorn into the air so Mando can make the kill. Obviously, this only lends credence to the theory that Yoda’s species is somehow linked with the Jedi and the Force.
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