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The Mandalorian Discussion Thread - * SPOILERS * — Page 30

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The Mandalorian Season 2 – Chapters 1 & 2 review

As cinemas around the world close their doors and major movie releases are shunted to 2021 the Mandalorian returns to bring a bit of big screen entertainment direct to our homes.

And wow, do the first two episodes of The Mandalorian’s 2nd Season feel cinematic. ‘Made for TV’ used to mean something like ‘direct to video’ but no longer is it a sign of being subpar. I am prepared to go out on a limb and say that the first two episodes of The Mandalorian are the best a TV show has ever looked.

Star Wars is of course known for spectacle, and the visuals on offer in the new season of The Mandalorian are quite simply gorgeous. The train of Bantha’s winding across the Tatooine desert (the Bantha’s look absolutely real in both longshot and close up). The Krayt Dragon bursting through the mountaintop. The X-Wing pursuit through salmon-pink cloud and majestic ice canyons. Baby Yoda’s face pressed against the frozen glass. These are images that take their place proudly alongside the very best of the Star Wars series, and in some cases look even better (the Special Edition enhancements and the Prequel Trilogy both used fairly early CGI and could look at odds with the live action, so it’s nice to see some of that iconography – such as the pit droids and a podracer being rendered with 2020 standard fx, we also get to see a very believable Praying Mantis previously only glimpsed in the far background during the ’77 Cantina sequence).

The opening episode of Season 2 continues where we left off and no significant time seems to have passed since IG-11’s sacrifice at the end of last Season (in a seemingly throwaway line IG is acknowledged - the Mandalorian has warmed to droids a little more). Mando seeks information from a cyclops (who couldn’t but help remind me of a miniature version of Bernard Bresslaw’s character from Krull) and when he’s double crossed ends up beating down some low rent thugs in a well-staged fight scene.

The lead takes him back to Tatooine, which despite Luke’s assertion “If there’s a bright centre to the universe, you’re on the planet it’s farthest from” really does seem to be the centre of the Star Wars universe. Nothing says old-skool Star Wars like dusty robes, Tusken Raiders, and twin suns. Presumably the Obi Wan series, due to shoot next year, is also going to be Tatooine set and I hope the creative minds behind the franchise manage to keep it feeling as fresh as it does here.

When the Mandalorian rides into Mos Pelgo it wonderfully marries the fantasy genre with the Western, and the saloon shoot out with rival gunslinger (Cobb Vanth wearing Boba Fett’s armour) is only avoided by the arrival of this episode’s villain – the Krayt Dragon. The dragon bones were set dressing for the Tatooine dunes back in 1977 (they originally represented a Diplodocus in the Disney comedy One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing), and are just one of several ‘deep cut’ references or easter eggs that knowledgeable fans might pick up on. Sometimes I find easter eggs a bit cutesy and they prick the bubble of believability that has been steadily building, but as a vintage toy collector this first episode had so much to delight that I didn’t begrudge any of it (Weequay! Yak Face Staff! Rocket firing Fett!!).
Suffice to say that the enormous dragon is too much for the Mandalorian alone, and so he teams up with the likable Cobb, the townspeople, and the Tusken Raiders to find its lair and take it out. This all happens at an absorbing unrushed pace, and it’s a measure of the series’ confidence and quality that it doesn’t limit itself to a specific run time, and that each episode can be as long or short as the story requires.

Episode 2 is almost 15 minutes shorter and gives considerably more screen time to the most adorable character that has ever graced Star Wars, Baby Yoda. After an absolutely kick-ass little confrontation with would-be ambushers (death by jetpack is Mando’s most creative kill yet), Mando and Baby Yoda take on a frog-like alien as a passenger aboard the Razor Crest. The frog is transporting a precious cargo of frogspawn eggs, which Baby Yoda keeps eating throughout as a running gag – bad baby!

On the journey Mando falls foul of an X-Wing patrol (one piloted by showrunner Dave Filoni in a cameo) and they have a wonderfully visual pursuit through clouds and ice canyons (no music, but a treat to listen to through a soundbar for the incredible sound design). After crashing into an ice cave the survivors of the Razor Crest discover they are not alone, they’ve wandered into Ridley Scott’s ALIEN and before you can say facehugger they’re being pursued by a horde of superbly rendered CGI spiders. This is another wonderful ‘deep cut’ from the art of Ralph McQuarrie. He painted the ‘knobby white spider’ as concept art for Dagobah, and it’s just brilliant to see it brought to life so vividly here. The action is really well staged, as Mando makes a tactical withdrawal, retreating but maintaining contact with the enemy and keeping just a hairs breadth between him and the encroaching spiders. It’s edge of your seat stuff, an amazing set piece.

If these first two episodes are an indication of what’s to come then we are in for a massive treat. It may be a while before Star Wars reappears on the big screen but when the TV series is this good then the wait will be easy.

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To me, The Mandalorian feels like a great Dungeons & Dragons campaign. You have this epic main quest, but during the journey, you have random encounters that lead into session-long tangents.

With Chapter 10, Mando is our player character who has an encounter with a New Republic patrol while on his main quest journey. His charisma check failed, leading to a session-long fiasco.

I’m surprised by some people’s urgency to move the main plot forward. Part of the problem with the films was that they had no time to breathe and just spend time in this sprawling universe. With The Mandalorian, the galaxy feels alive, and BIG. Getting from point A to point B doesn’t take 5 seconds, like it does in the movies. Space travel takes time, and you can run into problems. If I wast running a Star Wars tabletop game, I would have my players constantly deal with their ships mechanical problems. As soon as they earn a few credits, they have to spend that on their piece of junk that keeps falling apart. These kind of situations add immersion and depth to the story.

I saw someone say that they felt it was a wasted episode, that didn’t expand the world or develop the characters. I feel like this person didn’t actually pay attention to this episode, since we got a new planet, new aliens, more world building for the New Republic, as well as developing Mando more by exploring his sense of honor and keeping his word (with the alien that took the Child hostage, as well as Frog Lady).

I also liked how we saw our beloved Baby Yoda do something as bad as eating Frog Lady’s last batch of eggs. I jokingly said to my dad that Baby Yoda probably wants to eat those eggs, and when he actually did our jaws dropped! I’m sure he doesn’t understand the implication of what he’s doing, but I think Mando is starting to realize that he is not only responsible for protecting the Child, but the longer he has him in his custody, he is a role model for him. His behavior will rub off on the Child, whether it be for good or ill. He will have to start actively teaching him good lessons, otherwise the Child’s constant exposure to violence will be reflected in his own behavior.

Anyway, I suppose the nature of modern television turns some people off to the episodic nature of The Mandalorian, but I really enjoy it.

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I completely agree with RogueLeader. One of the things that I really like about the OT, especially ANH is how it lets the environment sink in. It’s one of the reasons why the SW universe felt so alive and believable (despite its blatant abstractions). The Mandalorian has done a fantastic job with this so far and I think it’s one of the more elusive things about the show that has made it so popular and why so many people fans says that it just “feels right.”

I’ve probably mentioned this before in this thread, but I really feel that people have been spoiled a lot by modern TV series which tend to be 100-hour long movies chopped up in multiple smaller parts. F.ex. I tried watching Game of Thrones a while back but I got so bored as I never felt like there was an end in sight. All the subplots just kept piling up and each episode only gave me a few minutes of each with endless cliff-hangers and twists. One overarching story is fine of course, but I think shows need room to breathe. Individual stories should be concluded in one or a few episodes, while the throughline can continue in the “background” until its brought to the forefront every now and then. Plus, when you have the SW universe to play with, why not tell smaller side-stories? Chapter 10 actually reminded me a lot of Chapter 2 where they both relied more on visuals over story (though obviously there is a plot). It reminds me of 1970’s filmmaking and its a style that unfortunately has been mostly abandoned and replaced with more fast-paced and streamlined narratives. Which isn’t a bad thing, but I don’t think its necessary for all movies and TV shows. Mandalorian for me has been a pretty good balance between the old and new ways of storytelling, in that it’s episodic but also has a good throughline to keep it all together.

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ZkinandBonez said:

Am I the only person that gets a bit of a Al Williamson-vibe from the design of the “Frog-Lady”? The creature design reminds me of the Chubbits from the SW Newspaper comic.

I think you and I might be the only ones to think this, BUT YES! I’m hoping so hard that they confirm that they’re Chubbits.

For years I’ve had a bone to pick with the EU over labeling Gribbet (also from the comic strip) a Rybet instead of a Chubbit. He looks nothing like any other Rybets. It was a stupid retcon created by someone at Star Wars Galaxy Magazine that didn’t do their research. Anyway yes, I’m on the Chubbit train. =P

ZkinandBonez said:

Weird. Chapter 10 really seemed to be a cost cutting episode as far as aliens go. The cantina aliens and the droid from Chapter 5 were re-used (incl. the Frog Lady). And there’s Moroff from RO + the TFA alien shown above. I can’t imagine season 2 having anything but a bigger budget than season 1 though, so I wonder why this is the case. Maybe the episode was rewritten at a late stage or something like that? Or I guess they might just have really wanted to reuse costumes and MU effect elements and we’ll see even more familiar modern era aliens in future episodes. Not that I’m complaining, these are all great designs, I just find it fascinating.

In the online red carpet premiere for the season Favreau mentions that they now have access to the costumes and props from Elstree in addition to the stuff they had access to at Skywalker/The Presidio. And if you go back and pay extra attention to the background aliens in season 1, there are a fair few original costumes but they also recycled a lot from the films as well. The Constable Zuvio guard among them.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Stepping softly in a danger zone…

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Wookieepedia says Chubbits are reptilian, but this lady is definitely amphibian. So…maybe not.

Also, interesting to note that Mando knows “May the Force be with you” is a thing that the New Republicans like to say, but doesn’t know what Jedi are.

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Not everyone who says “bless you” after someone sneezes knows what a seraphim is.

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timdiggerm said:

Wookieepedia says Chubbits are reptilian, but this lady is definitely amphibian. So…maybe not.

Hutts are no longer hermaphrodites in the new canon, so I think Chubbits could survive reclassification to amphibian.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Stepping softly in a danger zone…

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Tobar said:

timdiggerm said:

Wookieepedia says Chubbits are reptilian, but this lady is definitely amphibian. So…maybe not.

Hutts are no longer hermaphrodites in the new canon

How many other lies have I been told by the council?!

You’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Am I making Carrie Fisher’s ghost proud?”
Well, are ya, punk?

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Tobar said:

timdiggerm said:

Wookieepedia says Chubbits are reptilian, but this lady is definitely amphibian. So…maybe not.

Hutts are no longer hermaphrodites in the new canon, so I think Chubbits could survive reclassification to amphibian.

“Life finds a way.”- Ian Malcolm

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I’m going to just choose to ignore that. I love the idea that Jabba actually carried and gave birth to his son. It’s an idea that adds some interesting nuance to such a despicable villain.

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ZkinandBonez said:

I also think its a nice little detail that both the “Frog-Lady” and “Dr. Mandible” (as Peli called him) both appeared in the season 1 Tatooine episode, implying that there’s not much happening on Tatooine anymore.

I felt like Peli calling him Dr Mandible was a fun nod to the same sort of less-than-respectful attitude of Solo when he refers to C3PO as the professor. Peli isn’t exactly cheating him outright, but she is getting one over on him to win the game. She’s similar to Solo that way. She’d have to be to survive in that same harsh environment.

Speaking of which: I’m extremely happy that the show has restored Tatooine to its original version. There isn’t much happening there, just as there wasn’t when we first discovered it in 1977.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

So shines a good deed in a weary world.

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It tells a lot about the strengths of “The Mandalorian” that a breather episode where very little happens to progress the main narrative still manages to be pretty good overall.

Maybe I got a bit too hyped with the prospect of the ice planet being Ilum, but having gotten over that debunked theory, it was a well-made episode with a surprising amount of focus on subtle character development.

I liked the more nuanced aspects of this chapter, with Mando questioning his adherence to his code and diving more into its “nature vs nurture” theme, probably foreshadowing how Baby Yoda is going to follow the steps of his “step-father” whether that’s a good thing or not.

All the visuals were breathtaking and the CGI work on the krykna spiders (or at least I’m gonna pretend it’s a subspecies of krykna, seeing how they are inspired by the same concept art as the ones from Rebels) was so well done that at some points I couldn’t tell if the creatures were fully digital or practical with CGI enhancements.

As a small detail, I liked that Jawas have yellow eyes again.

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Theory time: The other “mandalorians” that the frog lady’s husband claimed to have seen are actually Sabine and Rex.

Theory 2: Mando learns (probably through Sabine) that not all Mandalorian sects keep their armor on 24/7 and that the armor shouldn’t define them. Then at the end of the season Boba catches up to him and explains the sentimental value of his armor (since it used to belong to his dead dad and whatnot), and then Mando gives it back to him, which would be a solid setup for the Boba show that was recently confirmed.

EDIT: Ah wait I forgot that Bo-Katan is already confirmed for the show too. Add her to my theory above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Budu1ux09Rs

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Was that Boba show confirmed? It honestly just looked like it was running around the different parts of the internet notorious for non-sense

TPM ROTJ ESB TFA TLJ TROS ROTS ANH SOLO RO ATOC
TFA:R https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/TFA-A-Gentle-Restructure-Released/id/50117
TLJ:R https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/The-Last-Jedi-Rekindled-Released-V3-UPDATE/id/61939
TROS:A https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/The-Rise-of-Skywalker-Ascendant-WIP/id/71835/page/1

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I quite enjoyed Chapter 11 and thought they handled introducing the Filoni characters quite well. And, at least now we have an explanation of the whole never removing their helmets thing. I was really curious if they would address it in the show or just leave it for the EU to explain. I’m always a bit skeptical when they bring in familiar characters from other shows, even if I do like those characters, but I think they handled the reveal quite well for those who aren’t familiar with the animated shows and it seems like they’ll explain thing further down the line as well. Treating Din as a bit of an outsider gives them a good excuse to explain the lore to “newcomers”.

If they can keep a good balance as they’ve done so far (incl. season 1) and go back and forth between standalone adventures like the past two chapters and episodes like this with familiar characters and expanding the lore then I think this season will turn out quite good.

Also, as a side note; I thought it was really funny seeing Mon Calamari and Quarren dressed like old fashioned fishermen with knitted sweaters and everything. The whole planet had a really fun nautical vibe to it.

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By the force that was a doozy of an episode.

Peace is a lie
There is only passion…

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I’ve never wanted the next episode of anything more than I do right now.

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Here’s my speculation on what shows/movies The Mandalorian could be setting up.

-Boba Fett
-Rebels live action (Ashoka-Rex-Ezra-Thrawn)
-The MANDALORIAN JEDI War / KOTOR
-Luke’s Jedi academy

The Mandalorian, while following its own story, will have episodes that affectively work as backdoor pilots for these shows / movies.

Peace is a lie
There is only passion…

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idir_hh said:

Here’s my speculation on what shows/movies The Mandalorian could be setting up.

-Boba Fett
-Rebels live action (Ashoka-Rex-Ezra-Thrawn)
-The MANDALORIAN Jedi War / KOTOR
-Luke Jedi academy

The Mandalorian, while being its own story, will affectively have backdoor pilot episodes for these shows / movies.

I’m up for anything, but I’d say the first two are most likely.

Really nervous about what Rosario Dawson will look and sound like as Ahsoka. The amount of scrutiny leveled that day will be enormous.

Noticed the voice cast of Resistance look very much like their respective characters, so the idea of potentially transitioning animated characters to live action must have been on their minds. I’d actually like more of this series in animated form on Disney+.

With the state of theaters right now, I’m glad there was already so many Disney+ projects in the works. Sounds like that is only increasing now.

This type of content is what I’ve waited decades for!