NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “The Mandalorian” are present in this review
The Mandalorian offered a great first episode that in turn presented some immediately strong incentive for Star Wars fans to subscribe to Disney+, assuming the platform is currently available in their region. Thankfully, that standout story momentum is also maintained in the show’s second episode, “Chapter 2: The Child”, which picks up shortly after The Mandalorian comes across the, “Asset” that he was tasked with bringing back to The Client. After becoming briefly stuck on the planet that he traveled to in order to fetch The Child though, The Mandalorian is forced to deal with Jawas, when his ship is stripped down and prevented from moving.
The existence of Jawas on this desert-like planet, alongside some early attackers that appear to be an offshoot of Sand People/Tuskens, seem to vaguely suggest that The Mandalorian may currently be present on Tattooine, the planet on which Luke Skywalker was raised, and eventually taken back from as a young adult during the events of the original Star Wars movie trilogy. This isn’t outright proven though, and in fact, none of the show’s planets have been identified so far. Still, the implication that The Mandalorian may have some currently-unknown influence on the upcoming crop of Star Wars movies is pretty exciting, especially when we already know that Marvel Studios at least will be sharing characters and storylines from their Disney+ shows with their big screen movie releases, starting in 2021.
Regardless, after a fairly cool action scene that shows The Mandalorian attempting to protect The Child from potential Tusken Raiders (this identity as, “The Child” is all that the mysterious ‘baby Yoda’ character is referred to as for now), there’s an interesting hint that The Child may possess some sort of very powerful Force abilities, not unlike Yoda. Despite The Mandalorian initially preventing The Child from interfering with an injury he sustains, he is nonetheless forced to keep protecting it as well, when he comes back to his ship, and discovers that Jawas stole various essential components from it while he was away. This is a fair enough plot device through which to kickstart the episode proper, though considering how dangerous and capable The Mandalorian has proven to be, are we seriously meant to believe that his ship has no defenses to prevent this very thing? Not even a way to alert The Mandalorian remotely that someone is breaking in? I get that this is an old, pre-Empire ship, but the fact that it was so easily broken into and stripped down by Jawas is a little hard to swallow, especially for a lead character like The Mandalorian, even considering his well-known distrust of droids.
Past that head-scratching moment though, the rest of the episode is very strong for the most part. After a failed attempt to break into the Jawas’ Sandcrawler, in another pretty good, vaguely amusing action sequence, The Mandalorian returns to seek the help of Kuiil, who suggests that The Mandalorian can get his parts back if he trades with the Jawas. After some early tension during the subsequent bartering sequence, which involves The Mandalorian refusing to hand over his armour and The Child, The Mandalorian is then presented with a way to get his ship operational again; Find and steal the egg of a huge, highly dangerous alien creature called ‘The Mudhorn’. It seems like another straightforward task, but obviously, this effort is once again much tougher than it looks, with the Mudhorn proving to be too great an opponent for even The Mandalorian at first!
This is where we start seeing the big hints behind exactly why The Child is so coveted though, namely something that quite a few Star Wars fans would have predicted in advance; The Child has incredibly powerful Force abilities, as I mentioned. In fact, it’s thanks to The Child that The Mandalorian is ultimately able to overcome and kill the parent Mudhorn, after The Child psychically holds it up and prevents it from crushing The Mandalorian to death. This in turn allows The Mandalorian to claim the egg, give it to the Jawas (who happily devour the yolk inside), and get the parts for his ship back, which is soon after repaired with some help from Kuiil. Kuill doesn’t even accept payment for his services either, simply agreeing to help The Mandalorian because he brought peace back to Kuiil’s valley. It’s surprisingly touching for a series that’s mostly been fairly dark in tone so far, dealing with the shady and untrustworthy world of Star Wars bounty hunting as its core subject matter. The episode even ends with The Mandalorian simply flying into space with The Child, no doubt sub-consciously affected by his time on maybe-Tattooine.
There was a lot of fun action and character work in, “Chapter 2: The Child”, making it a very engaging and satisfying sophomore offering for The Mandalorian. This episode runs a bit leaner than the first episode did, just barely stretching itself to around the half-hour mark, but this allows the show to keep flexing its action-packed production values very nicely here. This also provided a good chance to confirm that The Child has innately powerful Force abilities as well, which no doubt explains why The Client may want it returned, or killed. It’s still unknown whether The Child has any connection to Yoda at this point, but I imagine that this is something that will probably not be revealed until the end of this season, if even then. Either way, The Mandalorian is continuing to be an exceptional flagship series for Disney+’s original TV programming lineup, and I imagine that it will only get better when the shadowy agenda behind The Child comes to be laid bare.
- The Child being revealed to have incredible Force powers
- Amusing Mandalorian confrontations with the Jawas
- Kuiil's kindness routinely saving the day
- The Mandalorian's ship somehow not having any anti-theft defenses