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The Mandalorian: The Marshal

"I've never met a real Mandalorian. Heard stories, I know you're good at killing.”

Chapter Nine

The bounty hunter known as the Mandalorian begins his task to reunite the Child with others of his kind. Starting with a lead on the desert planet of Tatooine he encounters the Marshal, wearing the armor of the infamous bounty hunter, Boba Fett...

Diving into the second season of The Mandalorian, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This first episode is the longest in the entire season, and it does almost nothing to propel the plot. At least on the surface. It may be a bit too early to delve into the overarching plot of this series, but starting with this episode it is clear the central focus is defining the relationship between Mando and his charge.

We get some fun set up as Mando travels to a fighting ring featuring two Gamorrean’s fighting with giant ass axes. This centaur guy is clearly a hustler, and shady as hell. So it isn’t surprising that he attempts to double cross Mando at the first opportunity. Of course Mando has his trusty little blue homing darts which quickly give him the upper hand. I loved The Child’s reaction, immediately closing his little floating capsule for protection. He also kept his promise to the guy in a way, although you could argue leaving him strung up like that was a death sentence.

Before diving too deeply, I want to talk about the format of this series. The division of episodes into chapters denotes that the storytellers are framing this as a book. The book of the Mandalorian. They didn’t reset the chapters for this season either, so they must consider this episode as a direct continuation of the previous season. No separation, no division, simply Chapter Nine. That’s interesting because it speaks to the serialized nature of this story and how they can be strung together as one cohesive whole.

So back to the episode, because this was a relatively straightforward affair. Mando tracks down the armor rather easily, and finds something rather iconic… Timothy Olyphant playing a Marshal. I kid, but seriously how many times has this man been in this kind of role, I mean he almost doesn’t have to do much acting at this point to pull off the swagger and confidence of a lawman. Which is good because beyond a little backstory, we don’t learn too much about this character.

Instead we are given some basic character building short hand. The Olyphant watched this small mining town fall prey to some predatory asshats after the Empire fell, wandered into the desert and ended up being rescued by Jawas, I mean that’s some freaking insane luck. He happened to have stolen something valuable that the Jawas wanted, and in turn he took some salvaged armor which should’ve been sitting in the belly of a Sarlacc near the Dune Sea.

Just two Mandalorians hanging out

Of course I’m talking about Boba Fett, who is a character that I personally never understood. I guess he looks kinda cool, and the armor is like a story unto itself. Yet beyond the cool factor, he never really appealed. So of course Mando cannot stand this interloper with a set of Mandalorian armor, so he demands it be handed over. Enter the hook of the story, a Krayt Dragon. I doubt many would track what that is until watching this episode, but we caught a glimpse of the skeleton of one just after R2D2 and C3PO crash landed on Tatooine in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

What follows is one of those comedy of errors montages as Mando, the Marshal and a bunch of Sandpeople (more on that in a bit) try to take this down. Eventually roping in the townsfolk in a battle that is appropriately epic and solved by Mando pulling a Tony Stark and getting himself swallowed so he can blow it up from the inside. Having won the day Mando and the Child (he really needs a name) head off for further adventures toting the recovered green Mandalorian armor that belonged to Boba Fett, as some mysterious guy watches them from a distance.

So the only real take away from this episode, beyond the fun adventure story and getting to see Timothy Olyphant play a space lawman, is the rather impressive evolution of the Sandpeople. The Tusken Raiders were always depicted as almost mindless, aggressive opportunistic monsters. Easily fooled and murdered without much consequence (I’m calling you out Anakin!). So it is such a pleasure to see another side to them. They weren’t fundamentally changed, but given some much needed depth, and are treated with the dignity an entire race of intelligent aliens deserve. Now we just need the same kind of advancements made for Droids.

Bits:

The Olyphant was driving a speeder which looked an awful lot like it was fashioned from one of the engines of Anakin’s podracer.

I don’t know if the sphere found by the Sandpeople was a pearl or an egg. I’m guessing an egg.

There was a return of Peli Motto and her pit droids. Let's hope it is for the last time, she kind of annoys me.

The cloaked figure was played by Temuera Morrison who played Jango Fett in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the father of Boba Fett. I wonder who he is playing?

All in all this was a fun episode but didn’t really do much beyond minor set up and a bit of nice world building.

2.5 out of 4 Sand Dwelling Monsters Who Could Eat a Town

Images sourced from StarWars.com.
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Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

To be honest, this show hasn't done a lot for me and I haven't seen all of season one, but I have to give them big points for Timothy Olyphant. :)

Thanks so much for the review, JD.

percysowner said...

@#1 I sort of agree Billie. This is fine, I guess,but when it comes to laconic, magically trained heroes from mysterious orders, who end up suddenly being responsible for children of immense power, I prefer The Witcher.