The Mandalorian: A review of the first season before you start season 2.


The premiere of the second season of the Mandalorian is only a few hours away. Disney+ recently announced the very unusual premiere times for each episode, as every Friday at 12:00 Pacific, 3:00 East. So if you’re not staying up late on the East Coast, you can wake up with it in the morning.

A lot of action and story was put into the first season, with some episodes turning into independent adventures. So much happens that it’s even very easy to forget that the series is part of the Star Wars universe for a while. Not much information has been published about the new season. There will be some new faces, including Timothy Olyphant from Deadwood, Rosario Dawson and WWE star Sasha Banks, who has a rather prominent yet mysterious appearance in the first trailer. But before you start thinking about what you’re about to see, here’s a reminder of what’s already happened.

If you want to make it easy on yourself, you can watch this minute-long summary of the first season, courtesy of Disney. Really, but it will only remind you of some familiar faces. Continue after the video for a bigger breakdown.

The first episode begins with our anti-hero bounty hunter Din Djarin, better known as the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), catching someone on the run in a cantina. Soon he collects the bounty from his more or less bookable agent Greef Karga (Carl Weathers). From him he takes over the task of working for the so-called client (Werner Herzog), a former Empire official with his own storm troopers. This nefarious character assigns Mando the task of tracking down a target identified as 50 years old and sending a chase signal. (It is important to remember the events of the show, which take place after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi and before the latest trilogy, which begins with The Force Awakens). The Mandalorian, or Mando for short, arrives on a fairly empty planet, where he meets “I have spoken” Kuiil (spoken by Nick Nolte), who leads him to his destination.

Mando finally gets to the bottom of why the world fell in love with the show – the unlikely phenomenon of pop culture known as Baby Yoda! Only that’s not his name… not at all. (Yoda belonged to the same green alien race as this “baby”, who is actually 50 years old but is slowly aging. But “Yoda” was Yoda’s name. Disney tried to brand this younger creature as “The Child”. But everyone calls him Baby Yoda).

After a little side story with some Jawas – those annoying camouflage figures from the original Star Wars – the child’s powers are revealed when he rescues Mando from a large beast, even though it leaves him so exhausted that he has to take a nap right away (in the most endearing way possible).

Mando makes his way back to the client and delivers the child. He upgrades his armor with the bounty he has collected, but he can’t take his mind off the little green beast. In a very un-bounty-hunter-like manner, he returns to the client’s hiding place and saves the child and his floating egg/nursery just before a doctor was about to conduct some undoubtedly cruel experiments. However, Greef and a team of other mercenaries are on his trail because he broke their deal, but other Mandalorians show up to help Mando escape.

This puts Mando and the child on the run. The next following episodes unfold as independent stories. In a way, it reminds us of the original Star Trek show, where Kirk and his crew arrive on a planet, deal with some aliens and then set off on another adventure the following week.

The duo makes a short stopover on a planet with a picturesque little village. Mando meets Cara Dune (Gina Carano), a tough former rebel shock troop, and she helps him to hide. In the village, Mando seems to get along with an attractive widow, while the child there becomes an object of fascination for the children, but Mando realizes that they are not safe if they stay there, and they disappear.

A stopover in Tatooine is necessary for some ship repairs. Mando takes on some work to track down a female mercenary, but is betrayed by the person who hired him to help find her. The next episode is another side adventure, this time when Mando is hired by an old acquittal to break someone out of prison. The shady crew that accompanies him leads to another betrayal after their escape from prison, but Mando returns to the ship of the old acquaintance and destroys it and everyone on board.

Greef reaches out to Mando and offers him a truce if he eliminates the client and his storm troopers. Mando reluctantly agrees, but because Greef is not trustworthy, he brings help – Cara, Kuiil and a reprogrammed bounty hunter robot (a IG-11, to be exact). The group gets into a big skirmish with the stormtroopers, in the course of which Greef gets injured, only to be healed by the child. (If he intended to betray them, he wisely decides not to do so at this point). The client is killed in the ensuing shootout, but not before he receives a call from a Moff Gideon (Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul’s Giancarlo Esposito), a former top officer of the Empire. Gideon soon arrives with a huge battalion of assault troops to surround the client’s hideout where our heroes are trapped. Gideon sends in two soldiers who succeed in retrieving the child and killing Kuiil.

This brings the plot to episode 8, the finale of season 1, entitled “Redemption”. It begins with the soldiers who have taken the child, played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally fooling around… and, uh, beating the baby baby baby Yoda, uh, the kid! But soon the reprogrammed IG-11 appears, kills the moronic stormtroopers and steals one of their speeders.

The scene goes back to the customer’s hideout, where Mando and his friends are still stuck with the stormtroopers who surround the place. The IG-11 returns with the child, and they all manage to escape through the sewers, but not before Mando is badly injured. The IG-11 treats Mando’s wound, removing his helmet in the process. (Mandalorians, like the Lucha libra wrestlers, are not allowed to show their faces. But since the IG-11 is a robot, it’s okay)

In the underground, they meet the armor manufacturer of the Mando, who had hidden in the Mandalorian colony. (The colony was massacred by the imperial forces.) She, the armor maker, sees the child and tells Mando to reunite him with his people. Before they leave her company, she presents Mando with a mudhorn signet and a jetpack, not unlike Boba Fett’s.

But the storm troopers are still hunting. Fortunately, the gang finds a boat to go down a molten lava river. The IG-11 sacrifices itself at the end of the journey to save them all from the stormtroopers in one of the saddest deaths of a robot in recent times. Just when it looks like they are safe, Moff Gideon appears in a fighter plane. The jetpack becomes crucial here, as Mando flies up to place a bomb on Gideon’s store, which blows him up.

Greef tries to recruit Cara, while Mando takes the child on a search for the boy’s family (middle age?). The season doesn’t end on a relaxing note, however, as it is revealed that Moff Gideon has lived, and he has a super cool dark saber that viewers can be sure to see more of in the coming season.


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