The Mandalorian: Season Two, Episode One Review


Photo by Walid Ahmad from Pexels

A desert scene such as the one Mandalorian takes place in

When The Mandalorian first debuted last November on Disney+, the reaction was immediate. Within hours of the show’s release, the Internet was flooded with photos of a small green creature with large, soulful eyes who appeared in the final minutes of episode one. The creature, known to much of the world as Baby Yoda, is everywhere now. There are t-shirts, backpacks, lunchboxes, posters, and one cannot open any social media app without finding memes of him absentmindedly drinking soup. But what is so interesting about the entirety of the Baby Yoda hysteria is that Disney very clearly had no idea it was coming. For months after season one of The Mandalorian dropped on Disney+, Baby Yoda merchandise could not be found anywhere. Because nobody predicted a global obsession with this tiny puppet, the numbers of merchandise items were completely underestimated. And when watching season one of The Mandalorian, it was made obvious: Baby Yoda is always present, but the show never draws attention to his adorableness. He just sat in the corner of the screen in his floating sphere, watching the action intently, and it was fantastic.

But now, after the first episode of season two has dropped on Disney+, I fear this is no longer the case. Because of the massive success of the show’s first season, the immediate reaction from Disney is the need to make everything more elaborate. Remember in season one where Mando engaged in hand-on-hand combat with his enemies? Well, now he has a jetpack. Remember when Baby Yoda famously drank soup that one time? He has at least thirteen “meme-worthy” moments in this episode alone. Season one was not as popular in the Star Wars universe, and that is what made it so special. Now, I am worried the show will not stay like that forever, as the plot of the season two premiere mainly revolved around Mando slaying a giant, evil space worm.

The plot of the first episode, titled “The Marshal,” is fairly detached from the show’s overarching story. After finding out there is another Mandalorian on Tatooine, which is the desert planet that is always showing up in Star Wars, Mando travels there to find him. His search eventually leads him to the ancient town of Mos Pelgo. The design of this town fully embraces the show’s western theme; it is a small, sandy place with aged buildings and dust blowing around everywhere. Mando enters the bar, an obvious replica of the infamous cantina from the original Star Wars, to find out that the resident Mandalorian is somebody called “The Marshal.” The Marshal himself then enters the bar, and what follows is easily the best scene of the episode. Any long-time Star Wars fan immediately will recognize the man’s Mandalorian armor as that of famous bounty hunter Boba Fett. When he casually strolls into the bar, it is tense, unexpected, and exciting, three things a good portion of the episode lacks. We quickly find out the man behind the mask is not Boba Fett, but Timothy Olyphant, from Fargo, Justified, playing a man named Cobb Vanth, who acts as the sheriff of the deserted town. What is so fascinating about this scene is how easily it entertains every level of Star Wars fan. Even someone who has never seen a Star Wars movie will find it very entertaining. Moreover, someone who understands the significance behind this certain body of armor, and Cobb saying he “bought it off of some Jawas,” has a large meaning to any viewer. 

After the confrontation between Mando and Cobb, the episode falls into familiar territory. Mando wants the armor, as Cobb is not a real Mandalorian, but the Marshal is not willing to give it up that easily. A deal is then made: Mando gets to keep the armor if he kills the giant sand monster that terrorizes the town. The design of this monster, the Krayt Dragon, is incredible. Much like Jaws, one does not get to see the full beast until the final showdown, which only builds up the suspense. But when he does finally make a full appearance, the wait is well worth it. The massive, slithering body is absolutely horrifying, like a bottomless pit of a mouth that swallows up anything in its path. Watching Mando face off with the creature one-on-one is certainly enjoyable, even if things get a little ridiculous towards the end. But what keeps “The Marshall” from being a truly great episode is the length. I realized, about a half hour in, that this episode is strikingly similar to the season one premiere episode, “Sanctuary” because both feature Mando working with an enemy-turned-friend to defend a small town from some immortal beast. But the biggest difference is that “Sanctuary” told its story perfectly in 30 minutes. For some unknown reason, “The Marshall” is 55 minutes long; that is almost twice the length of the show’s pilot. And one can feel the length, too. There were multiple conversations and montages in the episode that could have easily been cut without affecting the story whatsoever. For a show that so wholly embraces its episodic format, this one felt too much like a full movie.

Overall, the episode was not bad. Cobb Vanth was a great addition to the show’s cast, and he helped keep the plot going when the pace got too slow. The final battle, however overdone it may have been, was still enjoyable, but the whole episode just felt off. There were some excellent parts, but none of them ever really came together by the end. It was also strange that after ending season one on a great cliffhanger, the season premiere is an hour-long detour to Tatooine. Was it fun? Yes. But was it necessary? As much as I enjoyed most of “The Marshall,” I would have preferred an episode that sets up the plot of the season. I look forward to the next episode, and I do believe things are going to get better; I just hope that the rest of the season is not as “big” as the premiere was.

FINAL GRADE: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

3 out of 5 Stars


  • Where was Carl Weathers?
  • Besides a couple of inserted “cute” moments, Baby Yoda did not really do much this episode. I am hoping that episode two will give him more to do besides fall into different-sized pots.
  • Amy Sedaris’ return as the sassy engineer Peli Motto was a welcome one. Certainly, one of the coolest things about The Mandalorian is how we watch Mando slowly build up an army of pals across the galaxy that can pop up at any time to say hello.
  • I genuinely loved the Sand People storyline. The Mandalorian has been great, so far, at adding layers to previously one-note Star Wars characters and humanizing an alien group, previously thought to do nothing but yell a lot, was interesting and original.
  • I’m 99% sure that the old, bald man on the hill at the end of the episode was the real Boba Fett, but I could be wrong.