The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1 review: The Marshal

The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child in THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+
The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child in THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+ /

“There’s no such thing as an empty Sarlacc Pit. There is if you eat the Sarlacc.” Minor spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1 follow.

After coming to final blows with the Empire, the titular Mandalorian has gone separate ways with his crew. In doing so, he begins searching for more Mandalorians who may help him find a home for The Child in The Mandalorian season 2 premiere.

His journey brings him back to a rural, obscure part of Tatooine where he encounters someone wearing a set of Mandalorian armor as the Disney Plus show kicks off with a memorable start in “Chapter 9: The Marshal”.

The Baby Yoda show returns

Yes, yes, the show is called The Mandalorian, but we all know whose show it really is. It’s Baby Yoda’s and he’s back and just as cute as ever in The Mandalorian season 2 premiere. Truly, it feels like you could take out every other character and the show would be just as interesting.

In all seriousness though, this is a great season premiere. It picks up almost right where the first season ended and immediately brings you back into the world with ease. By world though, this doesn’t just mean the Star Wars universe, it genuinely means the world of The Mandalorian. There’s a specific tone and style that the show has that is completely different from the rest of the Star Wars universe and it’s not afraid to show you show so from the first couple of scenes on. There’s some fantastic action early-on and it immediately sets the scene for the season.

Beyond once again setting the tone of the season though, this episode wears its Western genre influences on its sleeve, which isn’t a bad thing. This episode follows a classic Western trope of enemies becoming allies to fight a larger enemy and it pulls it off incredibly well, especially when building upon the culture of the Tusken Raiders.

Back to Tatooine

One of the most interesting things about this episode though is how quickly we go back to Tatooine after going there last season. Whereas that episode, which was the fifth episode of season 1, felt like it was simply there for nostalgia purposes, this episode forgoes that almost completely. This episode brings back a couple of elements from that episode and kind of redeems it.

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We go to a part of Tatooine that has never been show in any film or tv show until now, which makes a lot of things possible in this episode. It brings forth a monster, which is a terrifying giant sand worm named a Krayt Dragon, which has only been seen in skeletal form up until this point. It allows us to see different sides of the Tuskens than has been seen before. They aren’t simply portrayed as monsters in this episode, but rather as a genuine culture.

This episode does a really great job of building on a corner of the universe that we’ve seen a lot of at this point and it does so in a way that feels very organic to the story being told.

Cobb Vanth

The biggest addition to this episode though is Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth. First introduced in the interlude portions of the Aftermath novel trilogy, this episode does a really solid job of introducing him to a wider audience. It recounts the story told in the Aftermath novels, but is very succinct about doing so, and builds from there.

Vanth, although he hasn’t been in much, is a very interesting character and that continues in this episode. His early interactions with the Mandalorian feel very natural and this episode has a nice, organic progression to get where the Mandalorian feels like he can trust Vanth. And honestly, it’s highly unlikely that this will be the last time we see Vanth.

A lot Vanth’s charisma in this episode comes from a great performance by Timothy Olyphant though. He straddles the line of “chewing the scenery” and genuine incredibly well and it often gives Vanth a “larger than life” vibe. When the episode calls for him to be serious though, he does so in a manner that feels very natural for the character, which makes it easy to see why the Mandalorian, like the townspeople, trust him.

The Mandalorian is off to a great start for its second season with the introduction of a new face and the reintroduction of an older one in the final moments of the episode.

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Did you enjoy The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1? Let us know in the comments below!