“THE MANDALORIAN” SEASON TWO STARTS STRONG

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Joey Delahunty, Executive Entertainment Editor

When the first season of “The Mandalorian” came out, I was skeptical. The promotional material made it seem like a story about a loner hero, which is difficult to pull off, and spin-offs often feel like they only exist to make money. Luckily, I was mistaken. The Mandalorian (called “Mando” throughout the series), while stoic, is able to remain interesting, and always has other characters working at his side. The show is also clearly made by people who really care about the Star Wars universe without just retreading old ground. So when the second season premiered, I was understandably excited. So far, the show hasn’t disappointed me.

At the end of the first season, Mando had been tasked with finding other Mandalorians and reuniting what appears to be a baby of Yoda’s species with its home, and this season picks up soon after that. Much like the first season, the episodes that have come out so far have been semi-self contained stories of Mando helping various groups of people as he works toward his larger goal. The first episode has him following up on a lead of another Mandalorian on Tatooine, and ends up helping a village fight a monster that’s been attacking them. The next episode has Mando transporting a frog-like alien woman across the galaxy with her eggs, in exchange for more information about other Mandalorians.

The second season of “The Mandalorian” carries the same style and charm as the first, only now with more knowledge of the character and a more concrete goal. For those who are deep into Star Wars lore, there are plenty of connections and continuity nods, and for those who are only casually interested in the films it’s still a perfectly enjoyable sci-fi adventure.

The second season is planned to have eight episodes, a new episode every Friday, so there’s still plenty of time for them to mess something up, especially when it comes to the overarching plot. The late-arriving antagonist of last season, Moff Gideon, is yet to show up again after he escaped from his crashed ship using a darksaber. For those who are knowledgeable about the lore, that weapon hints at him having more connection to the Mandalorians than we previously knew. Him returning in a way that doesn’t feel repetitive of last season’s finale might be a struggle for the show, although maybe I should know better than to doubt this creative team at this point.

Although the new season isn’t a guaranteed success yet, the first two episodes are just as good as the first season was. “The Mandalorian” is one of the better pieces of Star Wars media to come out in a while, and even though we can’t binge it yet, it’s well worth watching for a Star Wars fan.