Recap & Review: ‘The Mandalorian’ Season Two, Episode 1: ‘The Marshal’ is a fun western action-adventure

The Mandalorian is back for new adventures! The second season premiere is packed with action as Mando and The Child head back to Tatooine in search of other Mandalorians. Fair warning, spoilers for the episode to follow.

Seriously. Spoilers galore are coming. You’ve been warned.

As the episode begins, our favourite Mando is on a dingy planet looking for information on other Mandalorians. Remember, his main crew was all but wiped out last season, and now he needs contacts in other cells to figure out where the child is from. This leads him to an arena where a fight is taking place and a one-eyed gangster who will obviously double-cross him. The episode wastes no time getting to this fight so it can remind us how badass Mando is.

The fight itself is fun, but its where one of my issues with the episode crops up: there are way too many cuts in the actions scenes, and in this one in particular. This entire fight looks like it was impressively choreographed and executed, but when there is a cut every few seconds, it’s hard to appreciate that. Hell, at one point there is a cut between two punches in a combination that Mando is throwing. Why? Just pull the camera back and let me watch!

But I digress.

The fight leads Mando back to Tatooine where he is told he will find a Mandalorian. Who he finds is a man wearing ill-fitting Mandalorian armour. Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth, the marshall of a small mining outpost, wearing the armour of the deceased Boba Fett. Yes, you read that correctly. There’s nearly an altercation over the armour, but then a monster shows up, and a deal is struck; help kill he beast, get the armour back.

The Razor Crest flying over Tatooine, and a Tusken Raider.

When it turns out the beast is more than they can handle, they join forces with Tusken Raiders to bring it down. Now, I don’t want to spoil everything for you, but the battle with the Krayt Dragon is super fun and really highlights how much Disney is putting into this show. Once the battle is over and the armour is returned (of course they win), Mando and the child ride off into the sunset, with an aspect ratio change and everything, with one more big reveal for you. A man watching from afar wearing a cloak and carrying weapons. This man is Temuera Morrison, who played all the clones in the star wars prequels, and he’s playing Boba Fett here. Yes, that’s right kids, Boba Fett is alive.

The Mandalorian continues to be one of the most visually impressive shows on TV. Disney has clearly poured a ton of care and money into this thing, and it shows in every scene. The little details are incredible (like the wear and tear on Boba Fett’s armour) and so are the big details (the Krayt Dragon is terrifying). Here’s where I admit that I have never really understood the fandom around Boba Fett, who does very little in the original Star Wars trilogy other than wear cool armour and die memorably, but I’m intrigued to see where they go with the character in this series.

I do have some mixed feelings about the show in general. On the one hand, it continues to be Fan Service: The Series, but on the other hand, it’s so much fun, and there’s so much love put into that fan service that I generally forget that in the moment. Case in point, this episode is full of references and callbacks, and it’s still a ton of fun and a strong start to the new season.

Other Notes:

  • Not much of The Child in this one other than reaction shots, but still adorable
  • Boba Fett’s armour is severely beaten up, which makes sense given that it was inside a monster’s belly for who knows how long.
  • Boba Fett himself looks a little worse for wear too, but same deal.
  • I adored the Tusken Raider cleaning the bantha’s teeth.
  • Ludwig Göransson’s score continues to be a highlight. I sincerely hope they put out an album for each episode as they did with season one.
  • It’s already no accident that Tatooine is a desert planet, and the giant sandworm monster in this episode makes the Star Wars universes Dune influences a little more overt. I dig it.