- Episode two of “The Mandalorian,” titled “Chapter 2: The Child,” launched on Friday on Disney Plus.
- The episode indicates the series is unlike the “Star Wars” movies.
- Business Insider broke down how the series is less hard-edged and catered more to teens (and that’s not a bad thing).
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Warning: Spoilers below if you have not seen episode two of “The Mandalorian” … or episode one, for that matter.
George Lucas always said that “Star Wars” was made for young teens, and it’s becoming more evident as we get deeper into the new Disney Plus series “The Mandalorian” that its creator, Jon Favreau, has taken that as the guiding principle of the show.
Episode two, titled “Chapter 2: The Child,” which launched on Disney Plus on Friday, picks up right after the conclusion of episode one. The Mandalorian has the asset, which turns out to be a baby Yoda (by the way, we have no clue if this baby is related to Yoda, but seeing as his species name is unknown, it’s honestly the best way to describe the child) and is heading back to his ship with it. Thankfully, the crib that baby Yoda is in hovers, so it’s not a struggle to travel with.
But Kuill (voiced by Nick Nolte) was right when he told Mando in episode one that riding a blurrg is the best way to get around his planet, because the trip back to the ship is long — and treacherous. It seems The Client (Werner Herzog) wasn’t confident that Mando could pull off the job and hired a bunch of bounty hunters, not just IG-11, to get the asset. So while getting back to his ship with baby Yoda, Mando has to take them out.
That leads to Mando and baby Yoda setting up camp for the night — and to the first indication that “The Mandalorian” is much more than a shoot-’em-up bounty-hunter story: It’s a tale with a lot of heart.
As Mando tends to his wounds from his battle with the bounty hunters, we see that baby Yoda has an interest in what he’s doing. The cute little thing climbs out of its crib, and suddenly we see it extending its small hand, closing its eyes, and almost trying to heal Mando’s wound too.
Is this just a child trying to emulate someone it looks up to? Or does baby Yoda think it has powers?
Mando has no time for thoughts like this. He snatches baby Yoda and places it back into its crib.
The scene could be thought of as just a silly aside, but it’s actually the first real clue about the show’s tone. It becomes more evident by the end of the episode. So let’s continue.
We’ve already seen many familiar things from the original “Star Wars” trilogy in episode one alone, and that continues in “The Child” when Mando comes face-to-face with Jawas. The little scavengers of space have stripped Mando’s ship of all its parts. Now grounded indefinitely, Mando goes after them as they drive off in their huge Sandcrawler transport. Mando gives chase but eventually gets zapped by their stun guns (the same weapon the Jawas in “Star Wars: A New Hope” used on R2-D2) and is knocked out.
Now stranded on the planet, Mando heads back to Kuill’s land with baby Yoda. Kuill agrees to bring Mando to the Jawas to discuss getting the parts to his ship back. The Jawas want Mando to retrieve a giant egg for them in exchange for the parts. Unfortunately, it’s in the cave of a rhino-like beast that doesn’t really like that Mando has disrupted its slumber.
With baby Yoda a clear distance away, Mando and the creature battle, and Mando is not doing well. Then suddenly, with Mando holding only a knife to defend the creature’s charge, it freezes. It’s the next major reveal in the show.
Baby Yoda is using the Force, and it doesn’t just freeze the creature from charging into Mando, but makes it levitate. After a moment, baby Yoda passes out from exhaustion, but it’s enough time for Mando to kill the creature with his knife.
Mando is in shock from what just happened. (We also have to discuss how this bounty hunter is not great with creatures charging at him. Remember episode one where Kuill had to save him when blurrgs charged him? Anyway, for another day.) Baby Yoda is still asleep as Mando and Kuill spend a night repairing the ship. The next day, Mando leaves with baby Yoda, who finally wakes, and heads back to hand it over to The Client and receive his payment.
But it’s evident a bond has been made between bounty hunter and asset.
Episode one of “The Mandalorian” did what all good pilots do: It gave a little introduction to the main character(s) and grabbed the viewer with something exciting or intriguing to make them return to watch more. Director Dave Filoni (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Star Wars: Rebels”) pulled that off perfectly. But with “The Child,” director Rick Famuyiwa (“Dope,” Showtime’s “The Chi”) really shows us what the series is all about — and in a brisk 30-minute running time.
“The Mandalorian” is not as hard-edged as the feature-length movies. There’s definitely action, but the story is a lot more hopeful in its tone. It’s about a bounty hunter who makes a connection with his bounty because he can see himself in it. Mando lost his family, and baby Yoda doesn’t have one. It has exposed the soft spot in this Mandalorian, which affects his actions going forward. (Business Insider has seen up to episode three in the series.)
That brings us back to Favreau continuing with Lucas’ sentiment that the “Star Wars” stories are for teens. And Favreau uses the talents of Filoni (both have executive-producer credits on the show) to help solidify that vision. Filoni, who was hand-picked by Lucas to continue on the “Star Wars” saga in cartoon series form, has been telling these stories for years to that core base. In many ways, that audience has grown into now watching “The Mandalorian.”
That’s not to say adult audiences can’t enjoy “The Mandalorian.” I certainly am. But from episode two, it’s becoming clear that this is a very different story being told to us than the “Star Wars” you’ve been watching since “The Force Awakens” on the big screen.
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