While the big screens are on lockdown ESP’s film critic Gavin Miller is bringing you his take on the best of the small screen and enjoys a little escapism to a galaxy far, far away…
The Mandalorian – Chapter 9: The Marshal (14+) and Chapter 10: The Passenger (14+) on Disney+. First two episodes of Season Two out now – new episodes every Friday.
The second season of the highly-acclaimed Disney Plus Star Wars spin-off series has started with a majestical bang – as this solidifies itself as must-see for fans of George Lucas’ universe from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.
You can instantly see where the higher-budgeted new season production budget has gone – as it boasts two amazing new giant creatures to Star Wars lore.
The first two episodes of the second season – which drop on the streaming service every Friday – send Pedro Pascal’s The Mandalorian ‘off-piste’ as he searches for his own kind to help get the ever-cute ‘Baby Yoda’ The Child back to his ancestors.
Chapter 9 – continuing from the eight episode first season – sees ‘Mando’ Din Djarin back on Tatooine as he confronts Timothy Olyphant’s (Die Hard 4.0 and TV series Deadwood) ‘The Marshal’ (which the episode is called) Cobb Vanth, in the mysterious town of Mos Pelgo.
But it isn’t just the charismatic personality of Vanth that peaks Mando’s interest, but the armour he’s wearing of a certain infamous bounty hunter by the name of Boba Fett – assumed dead in The Return of the Jedi.
After an altercation Vanth agrees to give the Mandalorian armour back to Mando – as per Mandalore code – if he helps him destroy a massive Greater Krayt Dragon that is eating the town’s livestock.
Chapter 10 ‘The Passenger’ (directed by Ant-Man helmer Peyton Reed) further builds on the solidly-impressive first episode, by encountering another scary new race of spider-like creatures – a mish-mash of Alien-esque face-hugger crossed with Dead Space-type beings – when Mando crashlands en route to the estuary planet of Trask transporting an important passenger.
Along the way fanboys will get giddy with extended roles for Star Wars favourites the Tusken Raiders and Rogue Squadron pilots (complete with X-Wings) – and even a brief cameo by Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) himself.
With a nice mix of intrigue, action and trademark humour – see the bandits trying to kidnap The Child at the start of Episode 10 for a great comedic scene – The Mandalorian season two seamlessly picks up where the first ended, and these stellar two episodes exceptionally whet the appetite for more.
For Star Wars fans – This is undoubtedly the Way . . .
ESP Rating: 4.5/5
Cast: Pedro Pascal, Timothy Olyphant, Amy Sedaris, Dave Filoni, Temuera Morrison & The Voices Of John Leguizamo & Richard Ayoade
Running Time: 54 Mins & 41 Mins
Directors: Jon Favreau & Peyton Reed