Television Reviews

REVIEW: The Mandalorian – Season 1, Episode 2 “Chapter 2: The Child”

"The Jawas strip, they don't destroy."

*SPOILERS*

“Chapter Two: The Child” opens with the Mandalorian escorting the baby from the previous episode out of the compound. He’s attacked by a group of aliens, but easily defeats them. Later, by a campfire, the child reaches out to him, but he puts him back in his carrier. He sees a tribe of Jawas dismantling his ship and opens fire, scattering them. They drive away, but he climbs on their vehicle. However, they electrically shock him, and he falls to the ground. He wakes up to find the child again by his side. The two find Kuill and seek his help. Kuill says they have to go to the Jawas and trade to get the parts back. After insisting that the Mandalorian put down his weapon, Kuill negotiates with the Jawas. Initially, they ask for the Mandalorian’s armor or the baby, but after both offers are rejected, they demand “the egg.” The Mandalorian and his infant charge set off into the desert. The Mandalorian heads into a cave alone and is thrown right back out by a creature resembling a rhino. The baby looks on as his keeper is dragged through the mud like a rag doll. Just as the beast is about to charge, the child reaches out, suspending it in the air. As he releases it, the Mandalorian stabs it to death. However, this takes all the baby’s energy, and he collapses in his carrier. The Mandalorian collects his prize: that creature’s egg. Back at the Jawas’ ship, he delivers the egg, which the Jawas eat. Kuill transports the Mandalorian, the child, and the ship parts back. They get to work re-constructing the ship despite the Mandalorian’s remark that it will take days without a repair facility. After the ship is fixed, the Mandalorian offers Kuill a reward and a position aboard his ship, but the latter respectfully declines; he says he’s worked his whole life to be free of servitude, which the Mandalorian understands, thanking him again. With the baby on board, he disembarks at last. The baby finally wakes up from his Force sleep as the two fly away.

Virginia: This was certainly an interesting, if simple, episode for The Mandalorian’s second adventure. I have to say that, while I hope the baby isn’t Yoda, he’s an impressive animatronic, and he’s growing on me. What did you think, Munir?

Mandalorian The Child

Munir: I don’t think he is, since this series is set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi and Yoda is already dead. Unless he can be reborn like a Phoenix? I hope not. I agree that this was a simpler episode than the pilot, but I must say that I enjoyed it more. It was nice to see the Jawas, a staple of the Star Wars lore since the first film, appear once again. I also like the character of Kuiil, and I find him the most interesting so far. Too bad it seems he’s going to stay on his planet. I had hoped he would join the main character in the adventure. My main gripe with “The Child” is the same I had with the pilot: I don’t care for the title character. I hope that changes soon, but so far, I have no emotional attachment to him. He looks like a Bobba Fett surrogate, and I never thought Bobba Fett was a great character either. He looked cool, true, but I never understood the fascination a large portion of the fandom had with him. The same thing is happening here, and while it’s certain that we’ll have more time and episodes to delve into the Mandalorian’s character, I’d hoped the filmmakers would’ve established some sort of emotional connection from the very beginning. I hope next week’s episode will do something to change that.

V: Yeah, I meant specifically that it could be Yoda reincarnated, but I was hoping not. I also agree about the Jawas. Their presence didn’t feel forced at all, and they brought some good humor to the episode. It’s true that the Mandalorian doesn’t stand out much as a character, and that’s a problem I had with him in the pilot. I already like him better than Boba Fett because I’m tired of how people worship that character, and at least we’ve seen flashbacks for the Mandalorian. He’s also displayed some humanity with the child.

Mandalorian The Child

M: Indeed, but it’s not enough yet. I don’t mind a series developing slowly, but at least we should care about the title character. We’ve seen that he had a tragic backstory, which is no different from any other Star Wars main character. Luke’s uncles were killed, Anakin was separated from his mother, and then she got killed, Rey was abandoned and doesn’t remember where she came from, Ezra’s parents were killed. So, we will need more information about his past. Also, I want more clarity about his motivations. Sure, he’s a bounty hunter, and right now, he’s keeping his bounty alive, but what truly moves him? I guess I need to see more humanity from him. Now, going back to “The Child,” I liked the battle with that Rhyno-esque creature and how “mini-Yoda” used the Force to save him. Even though this series doesn’t directly revolve around Jedi and Sith, the Force continues to be a powerful element in all these stories. I wonder, though, why didn’t the Mandalorian or Kuill know what “mini-Yoda” did? Surely, they would be aware of the events that caused the fall of the Empire, and at that moment, Luke would’ve been rebuilding a Jedi order, so I find it odd that they wouldn’t be familiar with the concept of the Force.

V: That was a compelling scene, especially with mini-Yoda (although I hope that’s not who he is, I like this name for him). I agree with you about the Jedi, but for me, this has consistently been a problem with Star Wars. The prequels aren’t long enough before the OT for people to think the Force is a “magical religion.” Similarly, the sequels aren’t long enough after for Han to give Rey and Finn the “it’s all real” speech. If practitioners of the Force are still alive, it hasn’t been long enough, in my opinion.

Mandalorian The Child

M: I guess we’ll see more details in upcoming episodes. I also hope we can see more characters and delve deeper into the ones we have met (particularly Carl Weathers and Werner Herzog). Overall, “The Child” was light on plot, but it was enjoyable and didn’t feel overstuffed. Let’s hope the next ones remain like that while also providing more character development.

V: Werner Herzog as the Client was my favorite character in “Chapter One.” I do hope we see more of him. It doesn’t bother me that this episode had a simple plot because it was very engaging throughout.

M: It was. I had a few issues, but I was never bored, which bodes well for the rest of the series.

Mandalorian The Child

V: What do you think about the series’ visuals? I think it’s really well filmed, and the effects are great.

M: It’s pretty clear they are pouring a significant amount of money into this series, as these episodes look as good as the films. They have great effects, and I also like that they are using practical ones when possible (including mini-Yoda).

V: I was delighted with the animatronics. I prefer that to CG creature effects for sure. The show’s color palette is also gorgeous. Overall, I think “The Child” is an action-packed, great looking episode with a couple of touching moments.

The Mandalorian – Chapter Two: The Child

Plot - 8
Acting - 10
Production Design - 10
Progression - 8
Action - 10

9.2

Great

We hope to learn more about the main character soon, but overall "The Child" is an excellent second episode for The Mandalorian.

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One Comment

  1. “I need to see more humanity from the character”

    Really? He’s a guy who hunts down people (or whatever life-forms have a price on their head) for money. You really can’t expect a character like that to display much love for his common man. And he didn’t allow IG-88 to kill the child, going so far as to destroy the robot himself. And he’s definitely shown friendship and respect toward Kuill. Maybe it’s me but I’m not looking for a bounty hunter to be a shining example of the best in humanity.

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