Season 2 of “The Mandalorian” is an amazing continuation of the first

Even with a pandemic stopping many people from seeing new movies, “Star Wars” fans are able to enjoy the thrilling sequel to the first season of the hit series “The Mandalorian.”

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Image from Lucasfilm.

Mando and Grogu travel to Tatooine in the premiere episode of season two.

Video from Lucasfilms

Warning: potential spoilers ahead, read with caution

I have had mixed feelings about most of the additions that Disney has made to the “Star Wars” franchise since purchasing Lucasfilm. I was a little disappointed by the sequel trilogy. They continued a story that was meant to be over without adding to the original story, leaving more questions than answers. But the first season of “The Mandalorian” blew me away completely. Unlike some other recent installments, it followed its own storyline, while still existing in the universe. It was different enough to be original, but similar enough to be “Star Wars.” Since last year, I had been counting down the days until Nov. 30, the release of the premiere episode of season two. 

Since last year, I had been counting down the days until November 30, the release of the premiere episode of season two. ”

— Vivian Polgreen '23

While the whole show follows one overarching story, many of the episodes seem independent. Throughout the first two seasons, Mando has been trying to unite Baby Yoda, whose real name is discovered to be Grogru late this season, with his kind, the Jedi. However, he is not very good at this and does not make a lot of progress, especially at the beginning. Mando follows multiple leads that turn out to be dead ends and often gets sidetracked. There are also very few recurring characters and planets. Even when they do come up, most are only present for a single episode. Because of this, each episode feels like its own story, as the show takes after classic western shows from the 50s, where each episode was not meant to be part of a bigger story. However, the longer the show goes on the more the episodes start to come together, and become more connected to each other and the greater Star Wars universe.

Unlike the first season, season two has several characters who appear in other stories, such as Bo-Katan Kryze, Ahsoka Tano and Boba Fett, who have already played very influential roles in the “Star Wars” canon. Even the darksaber (the black lightsaber) that first appeared in the last episode of season one, has a long and complicated history. I really appreciated how these characters connected this show to the expanded universe. However, it might be more difficult to follow for less devout fans, who have not explored the greater universe and have less context for what is going on.

I really appreciated how these characters connected this show to the expanded universe. However, it might be more difficult to follow for less devout fans, who have not explored the greater universe and have less context for what is going on.”

— Vivian Polgreen '23

Picking up only five years after “Return of the Jedi” ended, “The Mandalorian” also acts as a good sequel. Many events that happen are a direct result of the original trilogy. The main protagonists of the story are officers and stormtroopers who are remnants of the Galactic Empire, who want Grogu for reasons yet to be explained. Although not as powerful as they were when they were united under the Emperor, many of these officers still cling to power in local areas. And in some places, the crumbling of the empire has led to a power vacuum that has worked to create more unrest and chaos than before. 

Although we are given more context and information than we were given in season one, season two poses more questions then it answers. Season two does give some background about where Grogu came from and what happened during the Great Purge on Mandalore. We get a few more scenes with Moff Gideon, the antagonist of season one, but we still don’t really know very much about him, why he is after Grogu, and how exactly he came into possession of the dark saber, although there are many theories and speculations.

Although we are given more context and information than we were given in season one, season two poses more questions then it answers.”

— Vivian Polgreen '23

 

There is also more character development with Mando, as he learns to fight more powerful enemies, and becomes more skillful, facing giant spiders, a krayt dragon and even a Jedi. He is also faced by other Mandalorians who are different from him, and he is confronted with the knowledge that, even in his culture, not everyone has the same beliefs and follows the strict rules that he does. 

One problem that I had with this series is that it starts out a little slow. There are multiple episodes where no major plot developments occur, and Mando ends up back where he started. Especially episode two, which to me felt like a filler episode. Even so, the show has so far been spectacular. In addition to Grogu being adorable and some pretty spectacular action scenes, each episode is engaging from start to finish. Episodes are filled with detailed world-building and littered with Easter eggs that long-term viewers will appreciate. More importantly, the show follows a clear storyline that new fans will be able to follow and enjoy.

Score: 9/10