'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Review
Right after Disney announced about thousand more Star Wars series and films in development, franchise’s much praised and hailed saviour of a show, The Mandalorian, wrapped up its second season to what must be much discussion, speculation and hardcore fans cheering in their nostalgia. Following the first season’s storyline of Pedro Pascal’s title character attempting to get ’’The Child’’/Grogu/’’Baby Yoda’’ to safety and back home to his own kind, there are more exotic locations to explore as well as fighting all kinds of oppositions in order to continue the duo’s journey. I didn’t review the previous season but I did find it to be great, enjoyable ’’pop’’ television because of the wonderful technical craft and a much welcomed surprise after couple of Star Wars films that I didn’t connect with. This season is even a slight improvement because the two main characters got better treatment this time around while the production is still as slick.
Best thing that a television series can give a watcher - especially in comparison to films for instance where there is a time limit - are characters that they care about so they become invested in their journey overall. The show already built up the parent-child connection in the first season between ’’Mando’’ and Grogu while also giving one some backstory while you’re looking for a backstory of the other. That is some effective conceptualising and scriptwriting so it’s even more impressive how with this second season they continue to build that up. You wonder where Grogu will end up in, how Mando will get him there and just like that you’re invested in them. How then the story concludes in the season finale is evidently emotional, worthy and a showcase in what Star Wars can do at its height. Sure, there is some wonky CGI and fan service (spoiler territory so being vague here) at the end but that five minutes isn’t enough to downplay the storylines.
It’s no wonder that The Mandalorian was much recognised at the Emmys for its production values and craft and once again it’s quite marvellous what they pull off here. Video walls full of visual effects are astounding (episode one, hello) with neat lighting that they provide, sound design is sharp as ever whether that is richness of dialogue or sound effects and Ludwig Göransson’s score finds a sweet spot at the right moments. Sometimes there’s a bit of overload of all that - third and fourth episodes feel awkwardly paced just for the sake of showing off your toys - and that time could be used to sharpen some of the action. At points the fight scenes feel like a parody like the gun blasting in episode six and some close combat in the finale which is a shame because sometimes the action is on par with the rest of the show, like in episode seven. If you’re the most expensive show on TV, your action sequences can’t take a day off.
Smileys: Story, VFX, sound design, score
Frowneys: Some issues with stunt choreography and pacing
Actually shares some DNA with my review of second season of ’The Boys’; improved storytelling, issues with the action/pacing and includes Giancarlo Esposito (though he’s less of a presence here).