Din Djarin and Grogu must find a droid to help them find the rivers beneath the mines of Mandalore in the latest episode of the Star Wars and Disney+ Original Series, “The Mandalorian.” The pair get an astromech droid who is familiar to “Star Wars” fans before studying Mandalore’s atmosphere. There’s a battle with the cave-dwelling Alamites and an attack from what looks like a giant metal crab before Grogu and the droid must get Bo Katan to save the Mandalorian so he can continue his redemption quest.
After episode one involved a lot of planet hopping, and some questionable dialogue, episode two gets closer to the formula that made “The Mandalorian” popular when it first debuted on Disney+. There’s action, but the storytelling and plot development are also stripped down to a more basic format that works given the two main characters are a man in a helmet with a stilted speech pattern and a baby version of Yoda who hasn’t learned to speak yet. Trying this type of storytelling would fail most “Star Wars” shows, but it works for this one and this one alone.
I have mixed feelings about the appearance of R5-D4 for this mission. He is the second most famous astromech droid after R2-D2 and bringing him in is a nice bit of fan service that connects this show to the original trilogy. But, at the same time, him going on the mission and being involved with the Mandalorian’s escapades feels forced. I believe he would’ve been a nice cameo as something that Peli Motto shows Din Djarin without actually selling the droid to him. It reminded me of Max Rebo’s appearances in “The Book of Boba Fett.” The first time we saw Max Rebo it was a nice callback to “Return of the Jedi.” By the time the bar gets attacked towards the end of the series, we’ve seen him so many times that it’s overkill. R5-D4’s continued presence feels like overkill on the original trilogy callback.
There’s a clear battle coming up for Din Djarin and Bo Katan. He has the dark saber and she wants it. The show has made it clear that it can only be won in battle (even though that ignores the plot point in Rebels where Sabine just gives the saber to Bo Katan, but I digress). It’s also clear there’s a healthy respect between the two, and they would not be fighting if it weren’t for the dark saber. They want to be on the same side, but her lust for the dark saber and the “rules” she abides by are preventing that. It also makes it ironic that she is mocking his belief in the Children of the Watch, as cultlike as they may be, because she is demonstrating a similar belief system when it comes to the dark saber.
Some people didn’t like the first episode of this season because it felt like it was setting up too many things going forward. It was definitely a prologue, but a prologue that I found fun. The return to show format for this episode will likely make some viewers happy. Others are going to be disappointed in the Mandalore storyline because it is a departure from the first two seasons. Still, there’s a lot of good in this show. I’m interested to see what happens moving foward.
Rating: 4 stars
What did you think of this episode of “The Mandalorian?”