Mandalorian

Only a few days after the launch of Disney+, the second episode of the new Star Wars series “The Mandalorian” was released, titled “The Child.” While I wasn’t a huge fan of the first, the episode ended in a way that left me intrigued and excited for what was going to come next. Luckily, my excitement was not for nothing, as the second episode of the series was outstanding.

Reader beware, as this review will have spoilers for the first episode of “The Mandalorian,” but not the second.

The first episode of the series ended with the titular Mandalorian blasting his way through an encampment full of criminals in order to find his target. To his surprise, the target turns out to be an infant from the same species as Jedi master Yoda. With his target secured, he goes to leave the planet, only to find his ship completely raided by Jawas.

“The Child” was a complete joy to watch. While it felt a little short at just under 30 minutes — not counting the opening and end credits — it completely delivered on everything I had wanted from the series. It brought over the high production value of the first episode, with breathtaking cinematography and some fantastic effects work, some practical and some CGI.

Aside from the speechless baby Yoda and a whole gang of Jawas, the episode only features two actors: Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian and Nick Nolte as Kuiil, a good samaritan Ugnaught who helps the Mandalorian traverse the planet and complete his objective.

These two give great performances, with Kuiil sure to become a fan favorite character even though it seems he will not appear again after this episode. Nolte’s kind yet serious performance was impactful, with his constantly repeated line “I have spoken” already being used in merchandise and memes.

A large majority of “The Child” features no dialogue at all. This leaves it up to direction, cinematography, music and performances to make up for the lack interactions between characters. Luckily, this episode excels at all of these, with the relationship that seems to be growing between the baby Yoda and the Mandalorian making for some adorable scenes.

The episode features two memorable action scenes that felt right out of a western. The episode’s climax features a great moment that I won’t spoil here, but is sure to lead to some fantastic stuff as the season continues.

Overall, the second episode of “The Mandalorian” was an improvement in almost every way from the first episode. “The Child,” while short, was full of memorable moments that will leave fans desperate for more. If every one of the remaining six episodes in the series’ first season is as good as this one, “The Mandalorian” could become one of the best pieces of “Star Wars” content since the original trilogy.

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