With great action, great writing, and a true Western feel, The Mandalorian is proving to be uber-popular with both Star Wars fans and critics.
We are all lamenting that we have to wait until next fall for Season 2, but Season 1 featured enough reveals, nods to the past, and plot developments to hopefully hold us over until then (the show also has huge re-watch value).
Let’s recap Season 1 before going into some speculation on the future of the series.
CHAPTER 1: THE MANDALORIAN
The show starts five years after Return of the Jedi where we are introduced to the Mandalorian, or Mando for short. As fans know, he comes from a race of warriors that have often been enemies of the Jedi.
Mando takes a bounty hunting job from a small remnant of the Galactic Empire hiding out on Nevarro. A high-up Imperial known as the Client won’t tell Mando much about the target, only its age and location.
After being introduced to the other Mandalorians (including the badass Armorer), Mando takes his ship, the Razor Crest, and arrives on Arvala-7. He meets an Ugnaught named Kuiil who serves as his guide and teaches him to ride a Blurrg.
Later, Mando teams up with a bounty droid, IG-11, and takes out a group of guards before entering a building and discovering the target. To his surprise (and the delight of audiences worldwide), he finds that the 50-year old target is merely a baby of the same species as Jedi Master Yoda.
IG-11 wants to kill the baby, but Mando saves it by shooting the droid. Right away, we know there’s going to be a special connection between the warrior and the Child. Still, Mando prepares to take the Child to the Client.
CHAPTER 2: THE CHILD
Mando and the Child are on their way back to the ship, but Jawas have cannibalized Mando’s ship for parts. Kuiil helps him once again and initiates a trade with the Jawas.
To get his parts back, Mando must retrieve the egg of a Mudhorn, a pretty intimating space rhino. Mando is almost killed in the fight with the creature, but then, the big moment – Baby Yoda uses the Force to save him. At this point, many fans realized they were in for quite a ride with this series.
CHAPTER 3: THE SIN
Mando takes the Child to the Imperial hideout. He receives Beskar steel as payment, and the Armorer uses it to make him a new set of armor. As she forges it, we see a flashback of Mando as a child. We see that Separatist droids decimated his village – hence his intense hatred for mechanical beings.
Later on, Mando decides to go back to the Imperial hideout and rescue the Child, busting in and wiping out a group of stormtroopers.
Unfortunately, the rest of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild is sent after him to retrieve the Child. He is almost defeated before his clan comes out of hiding and fights his new enemies, giving him the chance to escape to his ship.
Once there, he has a confrontation with Greef Karga, Mando’s bounty agent. Outside of his clan, Karga was the closest thing Mando had to a friend, so it’s an interesting moment when Mando nearly kills him to get away.
As he leaves the planet, Mando is now the most wanted man in the Outer Rim.
CHAPTER 4: SANCTUARY
Mando and the Child arrive on a planet called Sorgan. They meet a former Rebel shock trooper named Cara Dune. She and Mando get to know one another, leading to a cool friendship that develops further in later episodes.
The two of them train a group of farmers on the planet to fight off against a group of Klatooinians that have been terrorizing them. These villains even have an Imperial Walker, an AT-ST.
With the enemies defeated, Mando decides to leave Baby Yoda in the care of the farmers. But this plan is ruined when a bounty hunter tries to kill the Child. Thankfully, Cara kills him before he can take the shot.
Mando and the baby flee the planet before more hunters can arrive.
CHAPTER 5: THE GUNSLINGER
After a spaceflight with another hunter, Mando and the baby arrive on Tatooine. We are introduced to a young bounty hunter named Toro Calican. Mando needs money for a mechanic named Peli Motto to repair his ship, so he agrees to help Toro hunt down an assassin, Fennec Shand.
Mando leaves Baby Yoda with Motto. The seasoned bounty hunter goes with the novice to find Fennec. After they capture her, Mando goes to retrieve transportation for all three of them.
Fennec tries to save herself by telling Toro about the bounty out for Mando, but the greedy young bounty hunter just kills her and heads off on the remaining speeder bike, going back to the hangar and waiting for his new target, Mando.
Toro holds Baby Yoda hostage, but Mando kills him with the help of Motto. After they leave the planet, there’s a quick shot of someone bending down in the desert and looking at Fennec’s body in the desert. Who could this be? Some fans think they know, but more on that later.
CHAPTER 6: THE PRISONER
In this episode, Mando seeks a job from a former associate, Ran. Mando agrees to help Ran’s team retrieve a prisoner from a Republic jail ship. What follows is a half hour of stealth and conflict.
None of the criminal crew members like the Mandalorian. The droid of the team, Zero, stays behind on a ship with Baby Yoda as the rest board the jail cruiser. When Zero learns the Child’s value, he tries to hunt it down as it hides from him.
Meanwhile, the rest of the crew betray Mando on the prison ship. They lock him in a cell, but the tables turn when he escapes. He hunts them down one by one, sparing their lives and locking them up. It’s a tense sequence, and the justice of it is super satisfying. It gets even better when Mando saves the Child and then single-handedly delivers the prisoner to Ran’s ship.
As the Mandalorian leaves, Ran and the prisoner prepare to shoot down his craft. But at just the right moment, Republic X-wings destroy Ran’s ship when they notice its aggressive action. Justice is oh so sweet.
CHAPTER 7: THE RECKONING
Mando and Greef Karga bury the hatchet. They team up with Kuiil and Cara Dune in order to save Nevarro’s bounty hunter town from the Imperials. The droid Mando shot in Episode 1, IG-11, also joins them, having been reprogrammed by Kuiil as a nurse for the baby.
On their journey, a fight with Mynocks leaves Karga injured. Baby Yoda heals him, and Karga decides to truly help Mando rather than betray him.
The group meets the Client and pretends to offer up the Child, who is really being taken to Mando’s ship by Kuiil. But the building gets shot up by a group of soldiers led by Moff Gideon, the Client’s boss. Gideon is obviously vicious, and he will likely prove to be extremely interesting in Season 2.
The Client is killed along with his stormtroopers, ending the episode on a cliffhanger – the heroes are at a standoff with Gideon, while Kuiil has been killed and the Child has been taken.
CHAPTER 8: REDEMPTION
Two scout troopers have killed Kuiil, and they now have the Child in a sack. They are just making small talk, hitting poor Baby Yoda when he makes noise. The scene is filled with humor, such as when the troopers shoot at a can and prove once again that Imperial soldiers have terrible aim.
Before they can take the Child to Gideon, IG-11 shows up and easily defeats them.
Back at the standoff, Gideon promises to kill Mando and his friends if they don’t help him get the Child. The villain also reveals that he knows each of their backgrounds, including Mando’s real name, Din Djarin. Mando then explains his past to his friends. We learn that a group of Clone Wars-era Mandalorians called Death Watch saved him from the Separatist droids as a child.
IG arrives just in time and kills some of the troopers. Then after an intense fight, the good guys are all back to square one. Mando has been gravely injured by Gideon. We see Mando’s face for the first time when IG removes his helmet to treat his wound.
The heroes head underground to escape Gideon and the surviving troopers. They go to the lair of the Mandalorian clan, discovering that most of them have been wiped out, but the Armorer survived. Upon seeing Baby Yoda and hearing of his Force powers, she tells Mando that she knows of a group of extinct warriors who had similar abilities – the Jedi.
The Armorer also tells Mando that he must take the Foundling – Baby Yoda – to his own kind. She gives Mando a jetpack, and the team moves on
The heroes then travel on a boat down a river of molten rock. Driving the boat is an R2 unit, but heavily modified to appear humanoid. It looks awesome, and the fact that it ferries them across the lava adds a flavor of mythological significance to an already epic episode (think Charon from Greek mythology).
Stormtroopers wait at the end of the tunnel. The heroes are trapped, and all seems lost. But IG-11 shows his valor one final time when he sacrifices himself to save the baby and his friends, walking through the lava and self destructing by the stormtroopers.
But Baby Yoda isn’t out of the woods yet. A TIE Fighter appears in the sky and shoots at the Child’s protectors. The ship is piloted by none other than Moff Gideon himself.
Mando uses his jet pack to fly up to the fighter, bringing it down by placing a grenade. The day is won for the good guys. Mando decides to head back into space with the child, but his journey is far from over.
The episode ends with Gideon’s crashed TIE Fighter. All of a sudden, a flash of shimmering black crystal bursts its way through the ship’s hull. Gideon emerges, and we see the weapon he used to free himself – a Darksaber, an ancient weapon forged by a Mandalorian Jedi. It was wielded by Death Watch leader Pre Vizsla and Sith Lord Darth Maul in the Clone Wars series.
WHAT SEASON 2 MAY BRING
We can only guess at what Season 2 will bring, but the information we have gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Firstly, the show will likely delve deeper into the backstories of Djarin, Cara Dune, and Greef Karga. Their histories may be revealed through flashbacks, and it will be interesting to see how they fared under the Empire’s rule.
Also, there may he revelations about the Mandalorian culture itself. Clone Wars and Rebels showed that they are a people with a rich and complex political system. Clone Wars featured great conflict between the pacifist class and the warrior class, and perhaps the Mandalorian series will delve deeper into what happened on Mandalore after Revenge of the Sith.
Those events will tie directly to Moff Gideon, who served as an ISB officer on Mandalore when the Empire attacked the planet, which forced the Mandalorians into hiding. Hopefully, Season 2 will show us how Gideon obtained the Darksaber. Its last known owner was a former Death Watch member and Mandalorian leader known as Bo-Katan Kryze.
A tweet by Katee Sackhoff, the actress who portrayed Kryze in Clone Wars and Rebels, hints that she recently reached a career high acting in an unrevealed project. It’s at least possible that she could show up in Season 2 via flashback.
Season 2 may also feature the mysterious “Yoda” species, as Mando has been tasked with searching for them. Could we meet Baby Yoda’s parents? Could he in fact be a reincarnation of the Yoda we all know and love? Only time will tell.
And what was up with that unknown person at the end Episode 5? Some fans think it could be Boba Fett. If that’s true, it would mean he survived the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi. It would certainly be exciting if he shows up in Season 2.
What do you think will happen in Season 2 of The Mandalorian? What was your favorite part of Season 1? Let Your Geek Sideshow and tell us in the comments!