By Omkar Ratnaparkhi
On October 30th Disney released the first episode of season 2 of The Mandalorian and two more subsequent episodes in the following weeks. In my opinion, I thought all three episodes included good action scenes, but the second and third episodes were far too short. Episode 2 even featured some dark humor, which led to some people with thin skin on the internet wanting to ‘cancel’ The Child (more colloquially known as Baby Yoda).
Episode One: Sand People, Mining Colony, and a Dragon
After The Armorer told Din Djarin (better known as Mando or The Mandalorian) to reunite Baby Yoda with a “race of enemy sorcerers” called the Jedi, Mando sets off to find a Jedi and return Baby Yoda to his kind–even if they happen to be ancient enemies of the Mandalorians. But first, Mando must find other Mandalorians through a network of coverts. Unfortunately, after almost dying and getting Baby Yoda killed, Mando is given poor information about the location of a Mandalorian. In actuality, the man he meets is the mining colony’s sheriff–Cobb Vanth–who wears Mandalorian armor. Instead of killing the sheriff and taking the armor back, Mando decides to help kill a dragon that terrorizes the mining colony. When scouting out the lair of the dragon, Mando and the sheriff encounter the Sand People (also known as Tusken Raiders) and decide to make a truce with the Sand People to help kill the dragon.
The Sand People and the mining colony have had a rocky relationship, to say the least. The Sand People claim that the mining colony pollutes their water and displaces their way of life, but Vanth claims that the Sand People terrorize the colony, loot, and kill people. Vanth is adamant that he only kills Sand People because they harm the people of his colony. In many ways, the conflict between the colony and the Tuskens is a metaphor for racial and religious conflicts in real life. Throughout history, people fight along racial and ethnic lines; meanwhile, wealthy special interests or powerful foreign entities stir up the divisions to exploit the greater populace. In the case of episode 2, the dragon is the root cause of many major problems both the mining colonists and the Sand People face.
Thankfully, Mando and Vanth convince the colonists to set aside their differences. Finally, after barely avoiding getting everyone killed, Mando places explosives in the belly of the beast and kills the dragon!
Episode Two: Dark Humor Causes People to Want to ‘Cancel’ Baby Yoda
In episode 2, Mando must transport a passenger to the planet Trask to meet up with more Mandalorians, but his plans start going south real fast. The passenger turns out to be a Frog Lady who is transporting her unfertilized eggs, and traveling stealthily with hyperdrive would kill her eggs. Unfortunately, while flying, Mando is pulled over by two New Republic X-Wing pilots and told to send a ping. Mando, realizing that he might be arrested because he broke into a New Republic prison last season, goes on the run and crashes into an inhospitable ice planet. Ironically, Mando, Baby Yoda, and the Frog Lady are all saved by the two X-Wing pilots when an army of ice spiders led by a giant Ice Spider is about to crush and eat them in their ship (this scene was NIGHTMARE FUEL.) The Pilots explain that Mando should be under arrest, but because he ended up trapping other wanted suspects in prison and tried to save the life of a security officer, he’s off the hook.
The controversy in this episode was that Baby Yoda is a hungry little baby and snuck away from Mando and the Frog Lady so he could eat some of her unfertilized eggs. Normal people like myself were a bit disturbed but understood that this is just some dark humor. Unfortunately, some people went on Twitter, claiming that it was irresponsible for Disney to do this. They also claimed that Baby Yoda committed genocide because the Frog Lady could only preserve her bloodline by delivering the eggs to her husband. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that in 2020 people would be more worried about a fictional character eating fictional unfertilized eggs getting more attention as “genocide” than actual genocidal activities happening in the real world like in Xinjiang, China, and Rakhine, Myanmar.
Episode Three: Finally Furthering the Plot
Although this episode was short, and I wish it were longer, the episode was by far my favorite this season. After reuniting Frog Lady with her husband, Mando and Baby Yoda almost died to some untrustworthy squid people (they looked like a budget Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.) Thankfully, three Mandalorians swoop out of the sky and save Mando and Baby Yoda! Mando is shocked when all three of them take their helmets off, which he believes goes against his creed. Bo-Katan–the leader of the other Mandalorians– explains to Mando that he’s part of an ultraconservative religious sect full of zealots called “The Children of the Watch,” which wants to bring Mandalorians back to their ancient traditions. In other words, the mystery of why we see other Mandalorians take their helmets off in Star Wars is finally solved. Mando is initially offended and dumbfounded by these new Mandalorians and decides to leave. However, he’s almost killed by a mob of Davy Jones lookalikes until Bo-Katan, and the other Mandalorians save him again.
Setting aside his differences (literally taking your helmet off versus not taking your helmet off), Mando strikes a deal to help steal the cargo on an Imperial transport ship in exchange for the whereabouts of a Jedi. After stealing the whole boat, Bo-Katan dropped the big name reveal that everyone was waiting for: Ahsoka Tano! Both Ahsoka and Bo-Katan have been featured in various parts of the Clone Wars and Rebels series’ of the Star Wars franchise. It’s unclear what will happen in future episodes. Still, many fans speculate that if Mando successfully brings Baby Yoda to Ahsoka, the father-son pair might help Bo-Katan retake the throne of the planet Mandalore.