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A Space Western Turned Horror Story?- A Review of ‘The Mandalorian’: Season Two, Episode Two

Warning: This episode contains spoilers of The Mandalorian Season Two, Episode Two.

In this episode, Mando continues to search for a mandalorian in order to help The Child get home. However, in doing so, he is put on yet another pause due to taking on a passenger (Frog Lady) who believes she knows where there is a mandalorian. However, Frog Lady has some specific requirements including the need to travel slowly, due to having delicate eggs that need to be transported back to her home town. As if this wasn’t enough, Mando is on yet another detour thanks to X-Wing fighters chasing them to an empty ice planet which causes even more issues.

The Mandalorian (2019). Image via YouTube.

As a whole, this episode was okay, but not the best. Whilst it was amazingly done in a sense of cinematography and action, the episode did lack a bit in sense of the story. It isn’t that this episode wasn’t well written, because it is. It is merely the case of the episode not adding to story development which creates a bit of a problem. In a lot of ways, this simply felt like a filler episode. Again, there was a lack of character and story development regarding Mando and Baby Yoda, which is a little frustrating. I think we are all excited to see what is next in store for them. However, two episodes into the second season and there are just constant detours. Arguably, this is emphasizing Din’s life as a mandalorian, but for us viewers who are craving to see character and story development, it isn’t great. As a result, it leads to the episode feeling extremely repetitive- Mando is faced with yet another job and enemy to fight- this time it is alien spiders…

Despite the lack of story progression, I must say the action was great. The episode starts off with Mando and Baby Yoda being attacked in Tattooine. Although this scene may have been a bit pointless in relation to the rest of the episode, it served well to show the extent of how much Mando cares for Baby Yoda. He was willing to give up everything for The Child. However, in this tense scene (and throughout the episode), writer Jon Favreau did a perfect job of breaking the ice with some humour. For example, later in the episode, there is some conflicting comedy through Disney’s adorable Baby Yoda eating Frog Lady’s eggs… Speaking of Baby Yoda, I definitely thought it was great how, unlike episode one, we saw a lot more of Baby Yoda!

The Mandalorian (2019). Image via YouTube.

Moving on, we see continued use of action within the episode as Mando is chased by X Wing fighters onto an isolated icy planet. As if this wasn’t a problem enough, sinking sand causes the ship to crash, which then lands them perfectly in the killer spider’s cave. Now, in terms of aesthetics, this show was definitely different from the previous one. The season two premiere is coated with sci-fi western themes and visually pleasing scenery shots. This episode, however, contrasts drastically due to it’s move from the western to the horror genre.

The horror genre particularly becomes true when they arrive at the ice planet. Firstly, while Frog Lady is bathing in the hot pool, we see many spider eggs scattered around. This scene was great due to its many movie references. Firstly, this scene alluded to well-known space horror movie Alien (1979), in the way that the spider eggs were scattered around, but also through their shape and the way the eggs opened. Furthermore, the killer spiders reflected both scenes in Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets– it is everyone’s worst nightmare to have a bunch of killer spiders chasing you! Moreover, I loved Peyton Reed’s use of close-ups on the Spider’s claws. These shots particularly reminded me of the Jurassic Park scene in which the dinosaur’s claw creepily enters the bedroom window. The episode is further coated with great aesthetics through the different color palette that contrasts drastically to the season’s premiere. The episode had a mix of blues and dark gloomy colours, with the occasional bright whites, which served well in reflecting the Empire Strikes Back color palette. This specific color palette perfectly added to the tense, horror-esque atmosphere of the episode.

The Mandalorian (2019). Image via YouTube.

Overall, this episode was well made, but not the best in terms of story-line. I do think that in this episode (and the series in general), we are given a proper Star Wars experience. It particularly allowed writer Jon Favreau and director Peyton Reed to be playful, but also to create a sense of realism through the many lingering shots, close-ups and general attention to detail. However, through the lack of story and character progression and the frustrating cliff-hanger, the episode didn’t do as great as it could have. Nonetheless, I think these last two filler episodes could be preparing us for some great upcoming episodes and story advances. I am definitely excited to see what happens on this new planet, and to see if Din finally finds another Mandalorian to help him learn more of Baby Yoda’s species!

The next episode of The Mandalorian airs Friday 13 November on Disney Plus.

Featured Image via YouTube.

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