REVIEW: ‘The Mandalorian,’ Season 2 Episode 1 – “Chapter 9: The Marshal”

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The Mandalorian Season 2 - "Chapter 9: The Marshal"

The Mandalorian Season 2 is off to an amazing start with its premiere, “Chapter 9: The Sheriff”. Following the events of the Season 1 finale, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) seeks out other Mandalorians in order to return the Child to its home planet. A clue leads him back to the planet Tatooine, where he encounters Marshall Cobb Vance (Timothy Olyphant) who is wearing the armor of Boba Fett. Vance enlists Djarin’s help in order to deal with a Krayt dragon, and the two wind up working with the Tusken Raiders.

Series creators Jon Favreau tackles directorial duties as well as writing. Favreau continues to adhere to the Western tones of the series, especially during the Tatooine sequences. The sandy plains and the dusty, worn down buildings feel like a Sergio Leone western set in space, and Vance and Djarin engage in a standoff that would make Clint Eastwood proud. This vibe also extends to the Tusken Raiders, as Favreau showcases their culture and customs. In the original Star Wars trilogy, the Raiders were depicted as little more than mindless brutes. Under Favreau’s direction, they actually feel like people with their own struggles and goals which helps flesh out the universe even further.

The setting continues to evoke the vibes of the Star Wars universe while bringing new elements. In the opening sequence, Djarin and the Child travel to a shadowy planet. Graffiti covers the walls, and shadowy beasts slouch in the corner with their red eyes trained on their prey. Also, unlike “The Gunslinger” the scenes on Tatooine feel fresh and energetic-especially the scene that takes place at a Sarlacc’s grave.

Yes, Sarlaccs can die.

Favreau also excels at action sequences. A solid example is in the opening sequence when Djarin is cornered by a group of scavengers out to take his armor. He takes them out in rapid succession with a combination of weapons and fists, finally cornering their leader and tying him up. It’s a brutal yet brilliant sequence that reminds viewers of Djarin’s skills and even has a rather hilarious moment where the Child shuts his floating cradle.

The bulk of the action features the Krayt dragon. The beast is massive and serpentine, and its saliva is acidic-literally melting its victims into puddles. When it emerges from the sand, its roar literally shakes the earth and it dwarfs everything in sight. The classic David VS Goliath story is in play here, which helps up the stakes for Djarin and Vance when they battle the beast.

Pascal returns as Djarin and continues to deliver a great performance using nothing more than his body movements. This is especially evident when he communicates with the Raiders, using sign language. Pascal also shows off Djarin’s skills, as he manages to forge an accord between the villagers and the Raiders and also comes up with the plan to destroy the Krayt dragon.

Olyphant also gets a chance to shine. He is no stranger to Western stories, having a long run on Justified. As Vance, he leans into the same rugged lawman vibe that he brought to Raylan Givens. Olyphant and Pascal also have a great rapport, going from potential enemies to battle-forged friends. And Olyphant’s facial expressions are priceless, ranging from disbelief to determination. It helps to balance out Pascal’s performance, as Djarin’s face remains shielded behind his helmet. I hope to see more of Vance in future episodes, as he and Djarin’s friendship was a highlight of the episode.

The Mandalorian Season 2 features all of the action and atmosphere that made Star Wars fans, myself included, fall in love with the series. With the introduction of a long-lost Star Wars character and a new mission, Din Djarin has his work cut out for him.

The Mandalorian will air new episodes Friday on Disney+.

'The Mandalorian,' Season 2, Episode 1-"Chapter 9: The Marshal"
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

The Mandalorian Season 2 features all of the action and atmosphere that made Star Wars fans, myself included, fall in love with the series. With the introduction of a long-lost Star Wars character and a new mission, Din Djarin has his work cut out for him.