There has not been as much hype surrounding a “Star Wars” project as season two of “The Mandalorian” since “The Force Awakens.” Season one took fans by storm and everybody was instantly on board for a second season. While I was certainly as excited as any other fan, I was skeptical because of all the rumors about other characters joining the show. I wanted the show to stay as far away from the Skywalker saga and other eras as possible. We are supposed to believe that this “Star Wars” universe is enormous, but if older characters are constantly running into new characters, it makes it feel very small and I didn’t want the story or attention to detract from Din (Mando) or Grogu.
That is undoubtedly my biggest gripe with this season, but probably most people’s favorite parts. We see Bo-Katan, Ahsoka Tano, Boba Fett, and even Luke Skywalker show up. With all of the rumors circulating about most of them showing up, I was hesitant of wanting that, but I trusted Filoni and Favreau and, for the most part, they did good with the characters. Boba Fett is finally able to live up to the expectations that legends made him out to be. Temuera Morrison is amazing as Boba and is absolutely brutal in a lot of scenes. I am incredibly excited to see what they have in store for Boba. Bo-Katan is on the hunt for the darksaber, so she can rightfully rule Mandalore. Her appearance gives a nice contrast to Din and the different cultures of Mandalore and is set up for a really interesting conflict with Din, as he is in control of the darksaber now.
However, I am not a fan of Ahsoka or Luke’s appearances. It was inevitable that Ahsoka would show up in live action, especially when Filoni is a producer on the show. She does fine in the show, but due to Filoni’s average direction on the episode and a fairly bland story, it leaves a bad taste in my opinion. And at the very end of the season, Luke Skywalker comes and rescues the crew from Gideon’s dark troopers as they attempt to rescue Grogu and eventually takes Grogu to train with him. He was probably the one character I desperately didn’t want to show up that was rumored to. We have had ten movies, one show, and tons of books and comics to focus on the Skywalker’s. At this point, I really want to get away from them and introduce new characters and stories. There is a big gap between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy, but we can get written stories to bridge how Luke built the new Jedi temple or a movie or show that is supposed to be that. I really wanted “The Mandalorian'' to focus on new stories and characters and introduce new ideas, instead of relying on what we already know.
Besides the characters, almost everything else this season was amazing. Aside from one filler episode, all of them contributed to the story and had some much needed character development for Din. He is a really cool character with a unique background and set of ideals that was explored deeper and put to the test this season. The extent of development from season one was that he wouldn’t take his mask off. This season, he is willing to do that and anything else to help Grogu and it was great to see. I am incredibly intrigued to see where Favreau takes this character next season. The action and production the entire season was mind blowing. Season two had the production of a movie and it pays off with incredible action set pieces and hard hitting fights.
The main storyline of getting Grogu to a Jedi to train him, took a few episodes to get going. While only one filler, there were episodes that were obvious side missions just to get Din from one place to another. However, the episodes and transitions were very smooth and fun. “Chapter 14: The Tragedy” was my favorite of the season, which showed Grogu reaching out with the Force to other Jedi and eventually getting captured. “Chapter 12: The Siege” gave some amazing insights into what Gideon and the Empire want with Grogu. We see some sort of figure in a tank and hear Dr. Pershing on a hologram talk about Grogu’s “M count.” They are attempting to develop Snoke, a force sensitive clone, which will eventually ignite Palpatine’s The Final Order, showin in “The Rise of Skywalker.” It was very exciting to watch and was the type of tie-in to the overall story that I like.
I am not sure if I would go as far to say season two was better than season one. The action was elevated, but I am not sure if as many episodes in season two were better than season one episodes. I don’t think any were as good as chapters three, seven, or eight, but the majority of the episodes matched season one’s level, which is better than most TV shows’ second season. There is a lot that Favreau and Filoni can do with season three, as Gideon should play a bigger role, Din and Bo-Katan will have to delve into Mandalorian lore, and if we will see Grogu again. If Grogu stays with Luke, then I think we know what will happen to him, due to what Kylo Ren did to Luke’s temple in “The Last Jedi.”