There are only four more episodes left of the Baby Yoda Show, but so far it’s fun but slow
[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for The Mandalorian, Season 2, Episode 4, “The Siege”]
With the midway point of Season 2 of The Mandalorian, now’s a good time to see how far the breakthrough Emmy-nominated drama has evolved over the past few weeks. And the answer, at the plot level, happens to be “not far away.” Over the course of four episodes, all of which last over half an hour, if not longer, Mando did a great job blowing up his ship, grappling with a savage assortment of alien creatures, making new friends, reconnecting with some old ones, and keeping Baby Yoda alive while trying to track down someone who knows where the people of Baby Yoda might be
It’s understandable if you’re frustrated with the show as it is now; it sure doesn’t feel as electric as it did in its first season.But a lot of the frustration with The Mandalorian comes down to who we want the show to be, not what it is. Certain patterns were set, including a much more leisurely pace than, quite frankly, we’re used to in our stories from Star Wars: Every Episode Has No Lack of Action: Chapter 9’s Krayt Dragon Showdown, The Chapter 10 Leak of the Ice Spiders, The Chapter 11 Heist Adventure, and the Chapter 12 attack on the Imperial Base were all more than skillfully crafted action centerpieces to frame an episode around but their varying degree of essentiality is the problem
I’m not the first to say that the story structure can’t help but recall traditional video games (“Mando, I need you to do me a favor” has become such an often-repeated trope that drinking game players, beware) – in particular, side quests that technically take the plot a step further thanks to a new nugget of information.But the reason the quests are compelling is that there has strong characters at their core Our protagonist Din Djarin (in case you forgot, that’s Mando’s real name) was always going to be hard to bring to life as more than a number, and until now, this season has missed some notable moments like his surprisingly loving connection with hot widow Omera (Julia Jones) last season His only notable personal growth – he didn’t trust the droids until IG-11 sacrificed his life for the hers in the season finale 1 – is not much to hang on, especially when you can’t see her face
Of course, his unwavering loyalty to Baby Yoda makes him our precious Space Daddy, but while some of the best comedies in the series come from him grappling with his parenting duties, there’s also a much overlooked subplot so far. on Mando’s physical form as a parent – like why he thinks it’s a good idea to ask his young ward to help him with dangerous repairs on the ship
Look, it’s so easy to get tied into the details of The Mandalorian, which is to the credit of the series, as existing as it does on the edges of the Star Wars universe, figuratively and literally, these details are a fascinating look at a world story we usually only understand on an epic scale One of the highlights of this season so far has been the chapter 9 flashback on the night the Second Star of death was destroyed, as the inhabitants of Mos Pelgo experienced it: a moment of triumph, seen from a distance, to be cast into the shadows thanks to the Mining Collective rushing to ruin the party – a reminder that the power always hates a vacuum
But sometimes that sense of scale is felt Our own Vinnie Mancuso expressed it best when he tackles the most controversial issue of our time:
By now we all understand Baby Yoda’s mighty and mighty popularity (and memorization ability), but it’s not something you can hang on to for a whole story. Again, the question is: how cute should Baby Yoda be so that I don’t get super disappointed, he’s just devouring the unborn children of a woman who is just trying to get home? with her husband? Apparently, somehow, much cuter than that!
Suitably enough for the halfway point, Chapter 12, “The Siege,” offered real and substantial information on why exactly Baby Yoda is a point of interest for the Empire (yes, we’re back to talking about midi-chlorians, y’all) And the second half of the season could accelerate the action, now that Mando appears to have the key elements he needs to get closer to his one goal: reuniting Baby Yoda with his people.
And let’s talk about it, by the way, because it’s probably the one big decision coming soon to our friend Din who could define him as a character: he has clearly fallen in love with the child, because the series will always insist on it. call, but will it be hard for him to let go? Of all the likely things to come this season, including the arrival of Ahsoka Tano and a one-on-one with Moff Gideon and his Dark Saber, this is the one that intrigues me the most, as this streak keeps us going. will say more about that person than a thousand stormtrooper slaps
It’s also one of many moments completely disconnected from the main Star Wars narrative, which seems to be a big part of its appeal to its creators. Anyone who comes to play in a sandbox as well established as this knowing that they are playing with someone else’s toys at the end of the day However, Mike Ryan from Uproxx this week brought up the idea. that creator Jon Favreau is literally influenced by toys – especially the Kenner Star Wars line that made Boba Fett a childhood obsession for so many in the late 1970s Executive producer Dave Filoni also plays his way with toys – especially pre-set characters like Bo-Katan and Ahsoka Tano from last week’s animated series.
And it’s good! Despite awkward rhythms, lines of dialogue you can see coming millions of miles away, and the occasional case of a toddler attempting genocide, I have to say I’m having fun here! After months without theaters, it’s hard to get mad at a show that delivers, on a smaller scale than usual, space battles and sagacious aliens and Timothy Olyphant doing things Olyphant Hell, that was even nice to see Gina Carano return this week (despite her social media antics lately giving me plenty of reason to wish Cara Dune would shoot a Poochie, although I guess she can’t return to her home planet. ‘origin too early?)
Most importantly, the calm manner in which this version of the Star Wars universe manages to feel a little more wild, dangerous and inclusive than anything that came before is to be commended. But to really embrace it, it seems like settling into the idea of just playing with Space Lone Wolf and Cub, patiently waiting for the few things we know are going to happen, and in the meantime just enjoying the view, be it beautifully digitally rendered views, Timothy Olyphant doing Olyphant things, Landspeeders diving over cliffs or Baby Yoda misbehaving It’s hard to be so excited about the destination right now But it isn’t is not difficult to enjoy the trip
New episodes of The Mandalorian season 2 release every Friday on Disney
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Liz Shannon Miller is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor and has been talking about Internet TV since the very early days of the Internet She is currently the TV editor at Collider, and her work has also been published by Vulture, Variety, The AV Club, The Hollywood Reporter, IGN, The Verge, and Thought Catalog. She’s also a produced playwright, podcast host, and “X-Files” trivia repository. Follow her on Twitter at @lizlet
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