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The Mandalorian

The Child (The Mandalorian - S01E02) - Live Action Series

Series: The Mandalorian

Title: Chapter 2: The Child

Season: One

Episode: 2

Original Air Date: November 15, 2019

Runtime: 31 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Thomas; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

"You sound like a Wookiee" SPOILERS.

One man and a little baby

The Mandalorian had a very good start. Critics and fans agree that the first episode was a lot of fun. But what really makes or breaks a show is the second episode. Sometimes pilot episodes are very different from what follows, sometimes it takes a while before a show finds its tone. But The Mandalorian has no such issues. While this episode is a disturbingly 31 minutes short, it's another great one. Action filled, with beautiful camera work once more, we are treated to sweeping vistas and, despite all the action, serenity and calmness in between. While the runtime is very short, nothing feels rushed.

Chapter 2 begins where Chapter 1 ends, the Mandalorian is still on the desert planet on which he found the baby "Yoda": Arvala-7. The Mandalorian with the baby in its hovering crib in tow is on his way back to his ship when he senses danger. Just as he reaches for his blaster three Trandoshans attack him. What follows is a short but well-choreographed fight scene with the enemy bounty hunters who are trying to kill the baby. The Mandalorian makes short work of them and saves baby "Yoda". But this begs the question who else but the Imperial remnants is after the baby. And why it's so important.

The Mandalorian is vulnerable

What follows is a camp scene. The Mandalorian, while a very competent and extremely skilled fighter, tends to a wound in his arm and tries to cauterize it (Rambo would be proud). But while doing so, something happens... baby "Yoda" walks up to the Mandalorian and apparently wants to do something, but he simply puts the baby back in the crib. This does not happen once, but twice. The mystery deepens, what is up with the baby? You do get strong ET vibes here and you are literally waiting for a glowing finger that heals the Mandalorian's wound. Something is certainly going on here!

The long walk to the Razor Crest

What follows are some beautiful landscape shots as the Mandalorian walks back to his ship with the baby in tow. It once more gives off a strong western vibe and it is in these short moments that the episode is allowed to breathe. It has to be pointed out that we are several minutes into the episode now and not a single line of dialogue has been spoken, underlining the fact the Mandalorian is not a man of many words, neither does he talk to himself, not does he talk to the baby. He's certainly one stoic hero. It's also highly unusual to have so little dialogue, but it works, because the action scenes and the beautiful imagery tell you all you need to know, words are not necessary.

When unwanted mechanics service your ship

When the Mandalorian finally arrives at his ship he finds some Offworld Jawas who discovered his ship and have begun to scavenge it. The Razor Crest is indeed a sorry sight, stripped down to the bone, more or less. The Mandalorian really doesn't like that and begins blasting the Jawas with his rifle. And the show doesn't shy away from showing you how the Mandalorian kills several Jawas with his rifle, it's still PG-13, no blood is visible, ever, but it's still very brutal when the shots from the gun literally explode when they hit their targets, blasting them into oblivion.

The Jawas flee and the Mandalorian runs after their sandcrawaler, trying to get back the parts for his ship the Jawa's scavenged. What follows is the next action scene in the episode. The Mandalorian manages to catch up with the crawler and uses his rope to climb up the fuselage, disposing of several Jawas on his way up. He climbs on top where is greeted by several of them, blaster ready...

Utini this!

And what may be a subversion of the scene in A New Hope in which Han encounters dozens of Stormtroopers who are too dumbfounded at first to do anything, the Jawas don't hesitate to shoot the Mandalorian all at once. The stunned Mandalorian falls off the sandcrawler and lies in the dirt - defeated by Jawas. Now the Jawas are clearly played for fun here too, I had to think a little bit of the Minions, but the show also makes absolutely clear that the Jawas are no joke. They may be odd, quirky and funny, but certainly to be taken seriously.

Defeated and without a working ship, the Mandalorian walks back to Kuill, who once more agrees to help him. The very agreeable Ugnaught suggests the Mandalorian trades with the Jawas for his ship parts. While the two talk baby "Yoda" once more climbed out of his crib and discovers a tasty snack. A frog creature which he swallows whole.

Where is my baby "Yoda" toy?

It is short scenes like these that point out that the baby, or child, is not a mere prop. The baby gets a few short scenes here and there, and the sense of mystery is growing, something is certainly up with that baby.

Kuill and the Mandalorian finally travel to the Jawa camp. During the negotiations, we find out two very crucial details about the Mandalorian.

Jawas have a sense of humor...

First we learn that the Mandalorian speaks miserable Jawa and then we find out he also has no sense of humor when the Jawa negotiator makes fun of it. Because right after the Jawa tells the Mandalorian that he sounds like a Wookie he tries to roast him with his flamethrower. Oh, the hilarity! After some debate, the two parties finally agree on a trade. The Mandalorian is supposed to retrieve the "Egg" in exchange for his space ship parts.

Max headroom 4 feet

The Mandalorian and Kuill travel with the Jawas to the location the egg is supposed to be. We get to see a sandcrawler in great detail, including several scenes inside the cockpit. And yes, the Mandalorian, of course, bangs his head on the ceiling to much of the Jawa's amusement.

What follows is the last act. The retrieval of the egg. We get another very intense action scene, an action scene with yet another twist that will certainly be talked about for days and weeks. What we witness in the final act is a huge, huge thing for Star Wars and also the one huge spoiler for the episode. But first, the Mandalorian finds the lair where the egg is located. Too bad the egg belongs to a huge woolly rhinoceros, a "Mudhorn". And it's not very happy about getting it's equally woolly egg stolen. The Mudhorn brutally hurls the Mandalorian through the air, several times. It's soon getting obvious that the creature may be too much for him. And while he tries and tries, using his various gadgets, he is more or less defeated and finally lies close to unconsciousness in the mud.

His damaged breastplate (we got to see the inner workings of the plate earlier in the episode) gives him a jolt of electricity to wake him up, but it's more or less over. The Mandalorian pulls his pocket knife, and it's really a very, very small knife. It's obvious this is pure desperation. The Mudhorn begins to charge and it's evident it will not end well for the Mandalorian, when we suddenly see a little green hand raised in the air...

There is another one...?

And then we are treated to the money shot of the episode, the scene that will certainly raise all kinds of questions and will be talked about a lot in the coming days.

The Force is strong in this one...

Baby "Yoda" lifts the Mudhorn with the Force up in the air. Now, this is not a complete surprise perhaps, the show hinted at baby "Yoda" to be very special, but I think not everyone would have thought we get to see a Force using baby in The Mandalorian. Now that raises all kinds of questions the show will hopefully answer in due time. Is every member of Yoda's species powerful in the Force? We talk about an infant here, a mere child, that cannot even talk yet, but can already lift huge creatures through the Force.

The Force at work...

Anyway, the Mandalorian is stunned at first but then seizes the opportunity and buries his knife in the creature, killing it. Baby "Yoda" meanwhile passes out from all the exhaustion. But Mandalorian and baby "Yoda" were victorious. The beast is slain, the egg is retrieved! All of this took some time and the Jawas are about to leave when a battered and utterly exhausted Mandalorian finally arrives, with the egg.

It's party time!

The Jawas crack open the egg and eat it with great delight. What else would they do? The Mandalorian gets his parts back and Kuill helps him put his ship back together. The Mandalorian offers him a job in his service, promising to pay him very well, but Kuill rejects, he is happy he is no longer in service to anyone. The two part as friends and the Mandalorian heads off into space. Baby "Yoda" regains consciousness and the episode makes it clear that some bond has been woven between the bounty hunter and the child. It will be interesting to see what happens when he has to deliver it to the Imperials. Next week can't come soon enough!

So that was Chapter 2. Another very strong entry. The show is off to an excellent start, in my opinion. I believe that virtually any longtime Star Wars fan will absolutely love the show. And it's also very, very exciting that Jon Favreau (and Dave Filoni) are willing to expand the Star Wars mythos. It's becoming clear that this show will most likely explore Yoda's species. George Lucas was consulted, and it's absolutely certain that anything we learn about Yoda's species will come from him or will at least have approval by him. Rumors say Lucas even has a co-writing credit for an upcoming episode that will name Yoda's species. And there is much to explore and many questions need to be answered! Are all members of Yoda's species strong in the Force? Where are they from? What is the deal with them? Also, eagle-eyed viewers have noticed that the scientist in Chapter 1 had a Kaminoan logo on his sleeve, is cloning involved? Are the Imperials planning on cloning baby "Yoda"? Or, even if I find that unlikely, is baby "Yoda" actually a Yoda clone? Did the Republic have DNA samples of Jedi somewhere? Did the Jedi keep DNA samples somewhere?

The wait for the next episode will be long now. Also, what is up with the ultra-short runtime? 31 minutes? Of which 1 minute was a summary of the previous episode and then almost two minutes of end credits? But then again, there was not a single boring moment in the show. If the show is all meat and no filler at all then the short runtime is ok.

So, what do you think is the deal with baby "Yoda"? Did you enjoy the episode as well? I think this is Star Wars at its best. It has action, it has humor that works and it has mystery, a mystery that will hopefully and most certainly get a satisfying conclusion! So anyone who is still not subscribed to Disney+ (if available in your country) should do so, in my opinion. The Mandalorian is worth the price of admission all of its own. It's less than $1 per episode, and you will rewatch them several times and maybe you will find yourself grinning, smiling and just being happy that Star Wars is back to form with The Mandalorian.

Added: November 15, 2019
Category: The Mandalorian
Reviewer: Thomas
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