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A Blast From the Past: A Review of ‘The Mandalorian’ Season Two Episode Four

Warning: This article contains spoilers for season two episode four of The Mandalorian.

Yet another detour?

In Chapter 12 of The Mandalorian, we see Mando (Pedro Pascal) and Baby Yoda head off to get Razor Crest fixed, after the extent of damage caused by the last few episodes. In doing so, they head back to the familiar season one planet of Nevarro. Here we are reunited with some of the season one cast including: Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) and Cara (Gina Carano). Despite the brief heart-felt reunion, the character’s are very much business orientated, meaning that there is no time for lingering as we go straight into action. This action, in particular, involves Mando taking part in a siege on one of the last remaining Imperial facilities.

Greef Karga instantly suggests that Baby Yoda remains in the town due to the mission not being safe for a child. Unfortunately, this meant that there was not so much screen time for Baby Yoda. Nonetheless, we did see a few comical scenes at the start. For example, director Carl Weathers’ began the show with a comical, but also scary moment in which Mando instructs The Child to fix some wires. However, The Child doesn’t quite do this correctly which results in him getting electrocuted. Although the scene has a humorous tone, the scene also served well in outlining that Mando is not quite the father figure, despite his love and care for Baby Yoda. Furthermore, humour is added again through the use of Baby Yoda stealing a child’s biscuit by using the force. I quite like these additions from Jon Favreau due to it giving us a short break from all the action and tension throughout a single episode.

Pedro Pascal in The Mandalorian (2019). Image via YouTube.

I must say that this episode really brought in some nostalgia. In particular, it reminded me of the original star wars movies and Lego games with the awkwardly small landings with extreme fatal drops that character’s have to pass in the Imperial facilities. This original star wars theme is then complimented with the use a dark blue and grey color palette, which reminded me a lot of the first trilogy back in the 80s. Aside from Favreau dipping into the past, I think it is clever how within these scenes are complimented with a subtle western-style music score. In doing so, it emphasizes the outlaw persona of Mando, alongside differentiating the series from the original movies.

Unfortunately, Clone Wars fans will have to wait a bit longer to see Ahsoka Tano. Nonetheless, as frustrating as the detours can be at times, it is almost nice that this series doesn’t always hit us with so much predictability as it could. I was fully expecting Mando and Baby Yoda to go straight to meeting this mysterious Jedi. However, Favreau ensures that we wait a bit longer, whilst also revealing some important information. In the season one finale, we were all very aware that Moff Gideon did not die. However, the characters were restricted from obtaining this knowledge until this episode. I thought it was clever how Favreau displayed there as being some very sci-fi movie-like labs which is where the character’s discover a recording of someone addressing Moff Gideon and their experimentations on The Child. This scene was quite sad due to it subtly outlining the vunerability of The Child against those who want him. However, it also reinstated why Mando is so eager to get The Child back to safety! This scene further added a lot of tension due to the fact that the character’s are meant to be escaping the upcoming lava explosion. However, the character’s seem quite comfortable to look around, thus causing a bit of anxiety about whether or not they will escape- fortunately they do!

Horatio Sanz and Omid Abtahi in The Mandalorian (2019). Image via YouTube.

From this moment onwards, the episode escalates in intensity as the characters struggle to get off the soon-to-explode Imperial facility. In doing so, Mando departs from the character’s as he is eager to retrieve Baby Yoda. However, the show diverts from Mando’s point-of-view due to remaining with this episode’s characters. I have mixed feelings about this part, as I don’t feel that the show is quite the same when he is not in the scenes. Nonetheless, this change of point-of-view is essential in showing how the character’s escape- specifically through the use of an Imperial troop vehicle. However, they don’t quite succeed in being discrete as they are then hunted by TIE-fighters. This car-chase scene definitely puts us viewers on edge, as the character’s are not yet free. Then, to make things worse, their blaster breaks. I quite liked this addition due to it showing that are character’s aren’t that perfect. Thankfully, Mando heroically comes back to rescue them just in time and releaves us from anymore anxiety.

I have to say that I loved the cinematography throughout this episode, but one area I have to point out is the end. In the final scenes, we learn that one of the aliens who helped in fixing Razor Crest planted a tracking device. We find this out through a new Imperial character who informs Moff Gideon. I loved how through the reveal to Moff Gideon we see him inside a traditonal looking imperial ship. This scene stands out entirely through the constrasting black and red colours used, again adding to the traditonal Star Wars atmosphere. Moreover, this scene causes further conflict due to Mando having now having both the struggle to get The Child back home, but also having Moff Gideon back on his case. I think, and hope, that this might be where Boba Fett returns, as he is likely to work for Moff Gideon.

Giancarlo Esposito in The Mandalorian (2019). Image via YouTube.

Overall, I think this episode was really well done. So far, I can confidently say it is my second favourite of season two. Personally, I think the success of this episode came purely through the lack of adding new characters, which allowed the show to focus solely on the story-line progression, instead of introductions. Also, I loved the fact that the episode brought back so many memories of the old Star Wars trilogy, whilst also adding in some new touches. Despite this, I do feel like, with the pace that this series is going, we might not see Baby Yoda return to his species for another season. This is both good and bad, as firstly we are lucky enough to dive into so much detail due to this slow pace. However, it is also quite frustrating, as the episodes go quickly without giving us enough information to be satisfied with.

Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian airs on Friday 27 November on Disney Plus.

Featured Image via YouTube.

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