The Mandalorian 2×01 Review: the explosive return of Djin and Baby Yoda

How long we had waited for the return of The Mandalorian? Come to think of it, not even so much. The live-action series of Star Wars debuted just a year ago in the USA, when Disney + was nothing more than a mirage for the public outside the States, and only in March 2020 (in short, just seven months ago) the public of our Paese was able to look at the splendid project of Jon favreau.

The new season of The Mandalorian is a crucial product: it is for the brand of Star Wars, especially after the too many basses of the New Trilogy (compared to which this series, it has been said several times, is much more effective), and it is also vital for Disney +, as a digital container that has the task above all of proposing exclusive weight to its audience. The streaming numbers so far prove the company right, but there is no doubt how much original products are needed to ensure a long and lasting service life cycle in purely economic terms.

Returning to the Mando, Season 2 is available October 30 on Disney +, precisely from 9:00 am. We saw the episode in the morning, just like you, because the company had decided not to send any preview episodes to the press. A declaration of intent that, in our opinion, confirmed the feelings of the eve: of precious contents, and important for the lore of Star Wars, there are some in this product. Whether they are nostalgic or even crucial to the future of the franchise. So, how is this premiere of The Mandalorian 2?

Tatooine, Sandpods and a dragon

A very long first episode, much longer than any other episode of the last edition: The Mandalorian 2×01 lasts 54 minutes, but it flows quickly and effectively, and is above all a marvel for the eyes. But let’s go in order. We were left with an important premise: Djin would have to travel the Galaxy in search of someone who could take care of the Child, and above all who could hone his incredible Force powers. The path of the bounty hunter must first cross that of the surviving Mandalorians to the great purge, and it is thanks to an informant that he obtains his first, precious clue: an individual wearing Mandalore armor has been spotted in a remote village on Tatooine. Among other things, the first minutes of the 2×01 episode seem to recall the opening words of the first season: Mando enters a gambling den of clandestine fights, and after a few lines of dialogue he finds himself having to kill the shady characters who want to threaten him – a sequence, in short, very similar to the fight in the bar in 1×01.

Djin arrives on Tatooine and learns the whereabouts of the elusive Mandalorian. We do not continue further in telling you this detail because, as you can imagine, surprises are not lacking already in this first episode of The Mandalorian, and you will see the debut of a new character who could soon join the team of allies of our Djarin.

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In any case, the protagonist soon finds his goal, but he has to deal with a thorny question: he will get what he wants only if he helps the villagers to get rid of a huge dragon krayt, a colossal creature that moves under the sands of Tatooine and devours with its mammoth facets whatever comes its way. To take down the Titan, Mando and his allies must make deals with the cruel Sand People, and here is the last segment of the episode catapulted us into a spectacular battle with the monster.

A first episode that convinces

Let’s start from a premise: the extraordinary novelty effect that The Mandalorian caused last year is, inevitably, now more muted. The Lucasfilm series no longer wants to amaze, but to grow and evolve. And we believe that, after the first 54 minutes of this premiere, he has fully hit his target and defined the quality standards of this season.

In terms of writing, there are few surprises, mostly a few flashes (except for a mammoth twist in the final frame of the premiere, which shows the entry of a new character on the field), but many exceptional certainties. The protagonist, behind whose stainless armor there is always Pedro Pascal, it still works, but the tale pays a little less attention to its silent and somber nature. All thanks, moreover, to bond with the Child, the always adorable and now beloved “Baby Yoda”, the show’s true moral and caricature protagonist. In this premiere the little “Force User“does not play a leading role, but steals the show in every frame with its disarming sweetness.
What makes it anyway The Mandalorian 2×01 grandioso it is above all the visual sector. Starting from the direction, with highly inspired and veiled glimpses and shots – especially in some situations – by a very thick western patina, made of silences, looks, comparisons and saloon tension. In the next part of the episode you can breathe in all and for all the fantasy soul of the production, with some stylistic solutions that wink at Dune e Monster Hunter.

The “hunt” for the krayt dragon, on the other hand, very much recalls the aforementioned franchises especially for the effects, which in the final comparison with the creature becomes extraordinary. The special effects to animate the dragon of the dunes, and to finally stage its defeat, give life to a spectacular and visually cinematic ending. The effectiveness of the visual effects is such as to convince the authors, for a short minute, to remove the black bands and to rely on a full-screen format: a solution that, given the technical quality of the episode, we consider winning and wonderful.


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