Here we are already with the second episode of The Mandalorian, the new, live action Star Wars series on Disney +. I was immediatley smitten with the pilot, and found the atmosphere, characters, and music perfectly compelling and oh-so Star Wars. The only concern I had is whether Jon Favreau and company could keep up the level of quality from episode to episode. With The Child, we have our answer.
And that answer is an enthusiastic yes. Yes they can.
I am going to throw up the Spoiler banner now, because we really can't get into this episode without any.
The Child is in reference to the 50 year old baby that the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) was contracted to find for the Client (Werner Herzog). That baby just happens to look an awful lot like a certain muppet of a jedi, so we'll call it a Yodling. The Yodling's contract was also given to just about every other bounty hunter in the galaxy, so the episode opens with our Mando being attacked by a couple of transdoshans hoping to steal his prize.
After the attack, the Yodling tries to help the Mandalorian, but he just wants to get to his ship and get the hell off of Dodge. Unfortunately, some jawas have stipped the Razorcrest down to its frame. This kicks off a high-stakes chase scene between the main character and the jawas on their sandcrawler that is just about the coolest, most entertaining thing I have ever seen— at least it's the coolest thing my inner seven year old has ever seen. Sandcrawlers chase! Ha!
These jawas are insanely handy at evasion, making the Mando's attempts to best them laughably futile. The culmination of the confrontation between the Mandalorian and the crazed little hillbilly traders had me laughing out loud. It was so perfect, and found our bounty hunter in desperate need of help.
Luckily, he's made an impression on Kuiil the Ugnaught (Nick Nolte), who decides to step in and negotiate on the Mandalorian's behalf. The jawas ultimately decide to trade all of the scrap they stole off of the Razorcrest for an egg.
A giant monster egg. Oh, hell yeah. Here comes the giant monster fight. And it works, because The Mandalorian doesn't care about costs. The Mandalorian is here to put a real, bonafide Star Wars experience in front of your happy eyeballs, and cheap effects won't cut it. The mud-horn is amazingly fierce, and the Mandalorian gets messed the freak up.
Seriously, The Mandalorian has just about everything that a major theatrical release does. The show obviously cost a bajillion dollars to make, and it has the look of a major motion picture. When I saw the run time of this episode only clocked in at 30 minutes, I was a little let down. There was no way that The Child was going to deliver on that short of a run time.
I couldn't have been more wrong. Stripped down and lean, The Child managed to be thrilling in all the right ways, and still had plenty of heart and a few surprises. Plus, I would never mess with jawas now that I've seen them in action. The Mandalorian may only have played two episodes so far, but it's an absolute blast.
Episode director Rick Famuyiwa kept the entire episode spare, light, and trim. There is an economy to The Child that isn't often seen on television, but Famuyiwa knows exactly how fast this episode needs to move.
We're a week away from episode 3, and I can't wait to see where The Mandalorian takes us next!