The Mandalorian (2×01 and 2×02)- “The Marshal/The Passenger”
Written by: Jon Favreau
Directed by: Jon Favreau (2×01) Peyton Reed (2×02)
Oh man! Season Two of the Mandalorian, so much time has passed how will I ever remember everything that happened? Woe is me!
Season two opens on Mando out of the shadows in a city on the backstreets. He and The Child have come to meet with a being Gor Koresh at an underground fight club (but I can’t talk about that) to get a lead on the whereabouts of other mandalorians. Koresh wants to bet for Mando’s armor, which should be taken as a bad sign and it doesn’t take long for that bad sign to pan out when all of Koresh’s thug pull weapons on him.
It goes without saying that pulling a gun on Space Batman goes even worse for you than pulling a gun on regular Batman (especially since he doesn’t keep Batman’s One Rule) and all too soon all of Koresh’s goons or dead and he’s hanging upside down from a lamp post and telling Mando everything he knows. He’s only had word about a mandalorian on Tatooine in a town called Mos Pelgo.
With that information Mando leaves Koresh for the proverbial vultures and heads towards the most visited ass end of nowhere planet this side of the Alderaan debris field, Tatooine! What? Too soon for Alderaan jokes? Bah! What do you know?
He uses the same dock as his last visit, and since he’s grown as a person he lets the droids work on his ship. He tells her of his quest and asks about Mos Pelgo and she explains that it’s a little mining village that’s they have seen more than their fair share of trouble from bandits and worse. She then calls over an R5 unit and shows him about where it’s supposed to be on the map.
He takes a speeder bike out into the desert and after some campfire conversations with Tuskens comes upon Mos Pelgo. The place doesn’t even look big enough to be called a mining town and the locals don’t look that excited to see a heavily armored mandalorian ride into town. Mando hits up the local saloon and asks if the barkeep if he’s seen any mandalorian. To which he gets the old “We don’t get too many visitors in these parts.” So Mando asks if he’s seen anyone that looks like him and the answer is “You mean the marshal?”
That old saying “Speak of the Devil…” is true everywhere cause in walks the marshal and boy does he look familiar. Well, I guess if you’re going to find a mandalorian on Tatooine after the Battle of Endor it would make sense that it was Boba Fett.
He offers to sit down for a drink with Mando and that’s when things get a little weird. See he takes off his helmet and reveals two things. First he doesn’t look like Jango Fett at all and two, he’s never met a real mandalorian before. Meet Cobb Vanth, the marshal of Mos Pelgo.
Like me, Mando is confused but unlike me he’s also pissed. He demands the armor and Vanth isn’t terribly interested in obliging him but their interrupted by an earthquake. Seems there’s a Krayt dragon living nearby and it passed through town on the way for some fresh bantha for lunch. This changes things and Vanth offers up the armor in exchange for Mando helping him kill it.
Seems easy enough, a couple passes with the Razor Crest and Krayt steaks for dinner. Except, the Krayt will feel a ship approach go deep underground, fortunately Vanth knows where it lives and they take a couple of speeder bikes out into the desert. Along the way, Vanth explains that shortly after Endor the Mining Collective blew into town and started shooting up the place.
Vanth escaped into the desert with a container of silicax crystals and was found by passing jawas. He traded the crystals for food, water and a set of armor that the jawas had found. Vanth used the armor to free the town and that’s how he came to be the town marshal.
As they enter a canyon they run across some pretty vicious looking animals but Mando recognizes them as Tusken hunting animals and uses a Tusken call to halt their advance. Tusken raiders aren’t far behind and it turns out they want to kill the Krayt too. The meeting is a bit tense but Mando eventually calms everyone down enough to discuss a plan.
Apparently the Tuskens have been working on their plan for years by periodically feeding the bantha to keep it sleeping. So they’ll use that to lure it out and kill it by mining the area. (If you’ve played Knights of the Old Republic, you’ll recognize the plan.) The problem is it will require the help of the people of the town. Vanth and Mando convince the town to help and reveal the deal. They help kill the dragon, the Tuskens get the carcass and in exchange they never raid the town again.
There’s some tension as the two groups work together and the plan doesn’t go off without a hitch since I doubt Mando being eaten while leading a bantha down its throat and blasting his way out before blowing it up from the inside was in the plan but for the Tuskens it seems Krayt steaks are on the menu and they even found a krayt pearl. I hope they at least split the XP!
Vanth’s a man of his word and he returns Boba’s armor to Mando and he and Vanth part on friendly terms. As Mando returns to Mos Eisley someone watches him from afar and boy does he look familiar too!
He’s not wearing armor but I recognize the face of Jango Fett when I see him.
Mando’s trip to Mos Pelgo can only be classified as a mixed bag. The trip back to Mos Eisley isn’t much better as he’s waylaid by bounty hunters after The Child. He makes short work of them but his speeder is cashed which he has to walk the rest of the way back.
When he makes it back to town it seems the dock worker found some help on his search for another mandalorian. There’s a covert in the sector and her informant will trade passage there for the information but the real kicker is she’s laid a clutch of eggs and she has to reach her mate soon to fertilize them but the eggs will die if they go to light speed.
You know what will kill your eggs, lady? The Child, because they look like lunch to him. All too soon they run into a New Republic patrol. Even better they ID’d him from last season’s prison break. They chase him to an ice planet and they suffer damage in a hard landing and Mando has to make repairs while keeping the kid away from the frog woman’s eggs. The frog woman uses the carcass of the droid from that same prison break to translate for her and she insists he get them to her husband in time.
While Mando’s making repairs the from woman goes exploring and finds a hot spring to bathe in and a whole lot of eggs from sort of ice spider things. It’s never simple, is it?
They make it back to the ship but they’re trapped in the cockpit but fortunately the X-Wing patrol found them and take care of their infestation and look the other way on his arrest warrants then leave him to make enough repairs to finish the trip to Trask.
This is the tale of two episodes, one plot and lore heavy with connections to the films and the return of a beloved character and the other… The other is damn near a textbook definition of a filler episode.
Let’s talk The Marshal.
That was great, first it was about as close to a western as you can get and stay in the Star Wars universe. Right down to the tease of a showdown in the town saloon. Timothy Olyphant is great as the town marshal and he and Pascal play well off each other. They also introduced an explanation for why the Armorer was so intent on staying behind and salvaging the armor as beskar has apparently become extremely hard to come by and the mandalorians are doing what they can to reclaim it.
The callback to Knights of the Old Republic was very welcome, in fact it was so welcome I’m going to give a pass to the Mike Scale moment earlier in the episode (because of course it’s the R5 droid that blew its top in A New Hope!) Remember, I’ve never said I hate fan service, I’ve said that I hate obvious fan service.
Lastly, the Return of Boba Fett at the end of the episode was very cool. He definitely looks like something that was chew up and spit out and the mystery of how he lost his armor is definitely a hook for going forward. As is how far he’ll go to get his armor back from Mando.
As for The Passenger, I mean what else can I say beyond this: so little of importance happened that I could summarize the entire episode in five paragraphs. It was just an extended action scene punctuated by Baby Yoda being a grade a jerk.
Mike Scale forgiven for this episode
Things We Learned:
- Mando’s plan is to reach out to other coverts in the hops of them leading him to The Jedi.
- Boba Fett escaped the Sarlacc pit after Return of the Jedi and knows Mando has his armor.
- The New Republic is expanding into the sector of space containing Tatooine.
- For the Tuskens, hunting a Krayt Dragon can literally be a generational undertaking.
- Did the Jawas rescue Boba and rob him of his armor or did they find him and presume he was dead?
- Was Boba Fett the person that came across Fennec last season?
- Will the people of Mos Pelgo and the Tuskens maintain their peace or perhaps even improve upon it?
- Does Boba still have access to Slave I and will he be pursuing Mando?
- What happens the next time Mando crosses paths with the New Republic presence in the Outer Rim?