‘The Mandalorian’ 1×02 Review: “The Child”

The Mandalorian is sticking to its guns (or blasters, rather) with the latest installment in the saga, “The Child.” In my review of “Chapter One,” I pointed out that Star Wars has a history of blending elements from different genres. “The Child,” continues with this approach. Most notably, we have elements of a western, as well as the silent film approach. 

When watching this episode for the first time, I was struck by the long, sweeping shots, the score by Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther, Creed, Creed II) and that there was zero dialogue, save for some rumblings from the Jawas, until eleven minutes into the episode! It’s clear that the showrunners are well-versed in their Star Wars, playing on the Star Wars as a silent film motif. The Mandalorian’s raid on the Jawa’s ship brought the space western motif to the forefront and brought to mind “The Train Job” episode of Firefly. (I guess Disney owns that too now…). The score also feels like a dash of a John Williams-style Star Wars score, but with a much heavier dose of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  

Aside from the neat intertextual things that force my brain to run down all these little rabbit trails, this episode was interesting, but a lot less revelatory than I anticipated, especially since there are only eight episodes in the entire season. While we do gain more knowledge of the child and its clearly force-sensitive capabilities, we still honestly don’t know that much about what’s going on with this story. 

I find that both fascinating and frustrating. I typically don’t mind the slow burn when it comes to storytelling, but I want MORE, DANG IT. I suppose too, it’s worth considering that by the time this season is finished, we’ll have a complete Star Wars story that is nearly as long as two average Star Wars films. I am hopeful for more exposition in the third episode, especially since we will see why a bounty was placed on the baby Yoda being in the first place. I’d also love for them to just come out and say what the name of Yoda’s race is so we can stop using the misnomer of “Baby Yoda.” 

Unfortunately, not much to report for this episode, other than I’m still waiting for more story. Until next time,

I have spoken.

The third episode of The Mandalorian airs on November 22, 2019 on Disney+.

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