Jon Favreau and Co have promised fans that The Mandalorian would be something completely fresh and new to Star Wars, and if Chapter 2 and 3 are any indication as to what they meant, we may be in on the best thing to ever come out of Star Wars. Kicking the series into full gear, Chapter 2, entitled “The Child”, and Chapter 3, entitled “The Sin” have some of the best direction and action choreography in all of Star Wars. They cement my earlier belief that this show would be more than pure fan service and watching a cool guy do cool guy things. Rather it is a series set in an unknown corner of the vast Star Wars galaxy with heart and some truly kick-ass action.
Chapter 2 and 3 of The Mandalorian serve as two huge milestones for Star Wars behind the scenes. They are the first pieces of live action media to be directed by a person of color, and a woman, respectively. Rick Famuyiwa burst onto the indie film scene with his 2015 comedy Dope and Deborah Chow has made a huge name for herself by directing some of the most popular TV shows on right now such as Better Call Saul, Mr. Robot and Westworld. They display some truly incredible directorial skills with The Mandalorian, particularly Deborah Chow, who crafted what is now one of my all time favorite Star Wars scenes, and who has also been selected as the sole director of the upcoming Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi series. What makes their episodes so special is that in addition to die hard writer and creator, Jon Favreau, the team of directors he has selected are truly passionate about Star Wars and are willing to take risks and do things that have never done before.
Chapter 2 follows the Mando immediately after he finds internet sensation and Star Wars icon “Baby Yoda” as he deals with Jawas, Mudhorns and the responsibility of caring for a baby. Throughout this episode, we get the vibe that Bounty hunting is almost beneath the Mandalorian, and that he can be and is so much better than what he is forced to go through. He is battered, beaten, dragged through the mud, and humiliated all throughout this episode. Rick Famuyiwa favors the closeup in this episode, focusing on the quiet faces of the Mando and Baby Yoda. This is done to incredible effect, as we understand more and more through that they are growing closer, and by the end of the episode, we question whether or not the Mando will turn Baby Yoda or not. The Mando has another huge problem when Jawas raid his ship, and he has to trade a mysterious egg to get them back. The egg belongs to a Mudhorn, who is close to killing the Mando before Baby Yoda uses the force to stop the Mudhorn and Mando gets his chance to kill it. Baby Yoda’s interference shocks Mando, and he begins to like him. Kuiil helps the Mando repair his ship, and the Ugnaught bids his farewell and thanks to the Mando. Chapter 2 is an episode with little dialogue that shines due to its marvelous direction and character moments.
Chapter 3 solidifies the show as something truly spectacular. Deborah Chow injects a sense of intensity and dread never before seen in Star Wars. The Mando returns Baby Yoda to the Client and uses the Beskar reward to refurbish his battered armor, much to the other Mandalorians chagrin. The Mando is seeking to get a new job so as to forget Baby Yoda and what the Client may be doing to him, but eventually the guilt is too much for him. The Mando raids the Clients facility, kills all his stormtrooper guards and takes back Baby Yoda, effectively breaking the Bounty Hunter code. Greef Karga and the other Bounty Hunters, all of whom despise Mando for being the Hunter who got to Baby Yoda first, attempt to stop him, but the Mando doesn’t give up too fast. A shootout ensues and when all hope seems lost for Mando, the other Mandalorians arrive and help Mando out. Greef makes one last attempt to stop Mando on his ship but is shot by Mando. Luckily Greef survives due to the Beskar reward in his pocket. With this, Mando and Baby Yoda leave the planet to who knows where.
I was hoping that Star Wars would continue to evolve in new and exciting ways with fresh, risk takers like Rian Johnson, and with these two jew chapters from Rick and Deborah, I’d say that’s most definitely happening. These two episodes are outstanding. Seeing Mandalorians partake in a shootout in live action is something I never thought I’d see, but my the grave of Jon Favreau, we got it. The series is only getting started, too. With five more episodes left to go, we still haven’t even met the characters played by Gina Carano and Giancarlo Esposito, and I’m still holding out hope that IG-11 and Kuiil return. The Mandalorian is doing things never before seen in Star Wars, and once again…I cannot wait to see what happens next.