SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE: S2:E1. “Chapter 9: The Marshal”
STARRING: Pedro Pascal, Timothy Olyphant, Amy Sedaris, John Leguizamo
WRITER & DIRECTOR: John Favreau
PREMIERE DATE: October 30, 2020
SYNOPSIS: Din Djarin’s search for the Jedi bring him to Tatooine. There, he encounters a familiar set of armor.
By Rob Siebert
The first minute or two of this episode is fantastic. Like the opening moments of Chapter 1, it’s a tremendous tone-setter. And our hero once again gets an excellent entrance. I particularly enjoyed the graffiti on the walls. Have we ever seen graffiti in the Star Wars universe? I’m inclined to say no. At least as far as the movies are concerned.
Whenever we see the Din Djiarin in some kind of hand-to-hand combat situation, it always feels so hard-hitting. That’s a credit not just to the fight choreographers and the performers, but the sound team as well.
The Mandalorian is great at disguising established actors. I’d never have guessed in a million years that was John Leguizamo. Ditto for Horatio Sanz last season.
Mos Pelgo is a nice addition to Tatooine. It feels like one of those sparsely populated, desolate old west towns, which is a nice way to distinguish it from Mos Eisley and Mos Espa.
Upon seeing Timothy Olyphant’s character, Cobb Vanth, Mrs. Primary Ignition asked me, “Is he a new character, or have we seen him before?” My answer was that he’s new, but apparently that’s not the case. He makes some appearances in Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath novels, which are set closer to the events of Return of the Jedi. I must admit, I’ve read two of those books and didn’t remember him…
Vanth looks like a kid in a Halloween costume in Boba Fett’s armor. But of course, that’s the idea.
So the big monster shows up on screen, and Mrs. Primary Ignition asks me what it is. My answer: “If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a krayt dragon.” Low and behold, moments later they call it a krayt dragon. Now there’s something I did remember from a Star Wars book.
Part of me was disappointed that we started season two out on Tatooine. The Mandalorian has been so good at adding to the mythology of Star Wars, I’d have appreciated them either going somewhere new, or returning to one of the new locations from season one. On the other hand, the show has also been good about breaking new ground with classic Star Wars stuff…
Having the sand people use sign language was a stroke of genius. And yet it didn’t contradict anything from the movies. We’d never seen the Tuskens communicate directly with humans. Not in the movies, at least. But the Tusken language can be learned, as Din illustrates.
The music we hear when the Tuskens arrive in Mos Pelgo, and during their subsequent journey to the abandoned Sarlacc Pit is amazing. Pitch perfect work by Ludwig Göransson.
Boba Fett must have had a faulty jet pack. First an errant strike from Han Solo sends Fett into a Sarlacc Pit. Then a strategically placed strike from Din sends Cobb Vanth flying.
Question: When the dragon swallows Din, why doesn’t he fall victim to the stomach acid, or whatever it was that the monster puked up on to the Tuskens? Some of it appears to be on his armor. Is that what protected him?
So at the end of the episode we see a mysterious figure that is undoubtedly Fett. I give the show credit for not immediately bringing a classic character back in his classic outfit.
It’s always good to come out of an episode with questions that need to be answered. We certainly have no shortage of those here. Based on the few seconds we’ve seen of Fett, it looks like the last five years or so have been rough for him. But how does he have eyes on Din Djarin? Is he masquerading as a Tusken Raider? Is that why he has the gaffi stick? And what will Din think of Fett when they inevitably meet? As Fett isn’t a true Mandalorian, you’ve got to believe there won’t be good feelings there…
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