The Disney Plus original The Mandalorian takes place after the events of Return of the Jedi, follows a lone bounty hunter in the Star Wars universe with no purpose in his life, until he comes across a nameless creature the world has come to know as “Baby Yoda.” With the child’s life constantly at risk, the Mandalorian makes it his responsibility to take him in and look after him.
The first season blew up upon its release in late 2019 and became a big hit with Star Wars fans and general audiences. A year later the second season finally arrived, expanding upon first with bigger adventures and higher stakes, along with surprise appearances and the inclusion of some fan-favorite characters. Season 2 picks up right after the first, with Moff Gideon, one of the few remaining leaders of the empire, seemingly defeated and the Mandalorian, (Mando) searching for Jedi in order to reunite the child with his people and give him a safe life.
This was a great continuation of the first season’s story. Each of the eight episodes was released one at a time every week just like last season which I really appreciated. I love stretching the show out and having a new adventure to look forward to each Friday and keeping the conversation among fans ongoing.
For the most part, every episode stands on its own. There’s an overarching plot which connects the episodes, but each one is its own adventure and can be easily enjoyed without much context. Most episodes follow a structure of Mando going to a new planet and completing a task for someone in order to gain some sort of information and progress on his journey. In many ways it feels like the structure of a typical video game. While this formula can occasionally be the cause for some episodes feeling a little inconsequential, it very much suits the episodic style the show is going for.
One departure from the first season is how much the world is expanded upon here and the amount of familiar faces we see. Season 1 only featured original characters not seen before in previous Star Wars adventures. This season we see multiple characters from the books, cartoons and even the main saga of films show up. Going in, I was hesitant to this idea as I loved how separated the show felt from the rest of the universe, while at the same time still feeling very much a part of it. Thankfully the featured characters are a great inclusion and are done justice to their creators and die-hard fans.
The relationship between Mando and Baby Yoda is something that continues to develop and grow each episode. We see a true bond between these two and the clear affection they have for one another. It goes to show how far Mando has come as a character, especially looking at where he was in the very first episode and this season finale. In many ways his outlook on life and people have changed immensely, purely because of his fatherly love for Baby Yoda. This is by far my favorite aspect of the show and what keeps me and many others excitedly coming back to watch every week.
While I enjoyed the first season more, this is still some of the best Star Wars entertainment out there. Season 2 of The Mandalorian provides another thrilling adventure led by the most famous and beloved father-son duo in a galaxy far, far away, accompanied by some familiar faces along the way. I can’t stress enough that even though this is a spin-off from the main series of films, you need to know absolutely nothing about Star Wars in order to enjoy this show. I’ve seen first-hand this show resonate with non-fans who aren’t very familiar with the movies. But especially if you’re a fan of Star Wars, I can’t recommend this show enough.