The Mandalorian - Episode 1.02 - Chapter 2 - Review
While "Chapter 2" was a couple minutes shorter than "Chapter 1", it seemed to accomplish a whole lot more. Rick Famuyiwa crafted wonderful action sequences, and an intimate story that pleased all of the senses.
There wasn't a ton of character development for The Mandalorian, but the supporting characters got some. Kuiil (Nick Nolte) is a lot deeper than originally presented. He has a rich history which will most likely be explored in comics, video games or novels.
"The Child" even had some development. We learned more about it. It is weird to know more about the supporting cast than the main character. The episode presented a few challenges for The Mandalorian. The first episode showed what a great warrior he was. He won every battle with ease. This episode, that was not the case. He needed help in several cases, and was defeated quite easily at one point.
A lot can be said with facial expressions and movement. So for the protagonist to have a helmet on the entire time, takes that away. That means that the writing has to be much stronger to make him a 3 dimensional character, and there hasn't been a lot of that yet. Darth Vader was supposed to be cold and robotic. So the lack of emotion and facial expression actually benefited the character. Yes, The Mandalorian is supposed to be a hardened warrior, but to anchor the show, there needs to be more emotion and depth from him. With other characters yet to be introduced, and the ones that have only getting a scene or so, there needs to be a lot of character development happening in the episodes to come.
Star Wars is known for going to many different planets, ships, and locations in a short amount of time. "Chapter 2" was relatively intimate, only going a short distance. It felt very contained, and offered a different look at the Star Wars universe by staying put.
The two big battle sequences were immaculately shot. Famuyiwa directing Star Wars is as exciting as Werner Herzog acting in Star Wars. The Mandalorian is opening the doors for all sorts of exciting possibilities.
The episode made time to show that The Mandalorian kind of bonded with The Child, and vice versa. With such brisk run times, (and no pre-determined, must-meet run times) there is no filler. Everything that makes an episode has to fight to be there. So there is a reason why everything is there. That relationship will only continue to get stronger.
It was a treat to see some familiar species again, and in a way that they've never really been seen before. The Easter Eggs have been the best part though. "Chapter 2" had a callback to a line in The Empire Strikes Back.
This episode took everything that was good about the first episode, and built on it. It also made the shortcomings of the first episode disappear. The pace was much better here, as was the action elements. The whole thing just flowed better.
This was a more exciting chapter than the previous one, but was pretty isolated in the grand scheme of things. With only 6 more episodes left, this season still has a lot to accomplish. The ride so far has been enjoyable though. To get a weekly dose of live action Star Wars in the lead up to The Rise Of Skywalker is quite a treat.