A Review of Season 2 of The Mandalorian (So Far)
December 10, 2020
Well, one month later, and this show’s second season is still going! ‘Course, that used to be expected, but nowadays, streaming services have gotten into the dreadful habit of dumping entire seasons of shows onto their platforms at once. I deeply despise this release method – it encourages binge watching, an unhealthy and sedentary practice that can keep people glued to their screens for hours and hours a day with sometimes only a handful of episodes. Plus, it gives you no time to process, dissect or theorize about things in certain episodes, as you are immediately whisked to the next one where your question is either swiftly answered or you are given something else to worry about. I very much laud Disney+’s weekly release schedule, and I hope other streaming services adopt it as well very soon. It is the way TV is supposed to be watched.
Now, what has happened since the last issue of this column? Well, we’ve gotten four new episodes of The Mandalorian. Are they as good as the previous ten? Well, yes. This series is pretty consistent with its quality. A much more telling question would be what has happened?
Well, I would love to discuss it with you. I really would. But I can’t. And not just because you’re reading this on a page, separated from me by both space and time – but also because I can’t talk about spoilers. This is a review for everyone, after all.
What I will say is this – after seeing several of these new Mandalorian episodes, I would highly advise you to go back and watch all of The Clone Wars and Rebels. Both of these are Star Wars animated series that are available on Disney+, and both of them have many of the same cast and crew as The Mandalorian. The thing is, many of the plot elements from these shows, such as characters, settings and backstories, are now becoming relevant to and incorporated into The Mandalorian. All three of these programs exist in the same universe as the Star Wars films, so this makes sense. Big, important characters like Jedi are expected to pop up a lot.
I will admit that watching both of these animated shows is a fairly gargantuan task, as added together they comprise a whopping 11 seasons of television. I myself am only on season four of The Clone Wars. But, from what I have seen so far, it is a high quality program, and very much worth the time if you have even a mild interest in Star Wars.
Now, granted, you don’t need to watch any of those shows to understand what’s going on in The Mandalorian. Everything is still explained perfectly adequately. However, having those two shows under your belt will greatly enhance your viewing experience, as you will begin to recognize and appreciate the references littered throughout nearly every episode. It will also likely carry some emotional weight, as some fan favorite characters have reappeared in The Mandalorian, with some visible character development.
Overall, this new season has been very solid so far, and I look forward to the finale coming later this month. The tone and story have been very pleasingly continued, and I expect to see the serialization continuously refined as we go forward, as I said last time. Just do keep in mind that watching those two prior shows is a good idea – the longer this series goes on, the more chances there will be to have prior knowledge rewarded.