It’s been a long year since the initial release of The Mandalorian. There have been few things that have given me a greater sense of normalcy this year than knowing that The Mandalorian season 2 wrapped prior to the country shutting down. It couldn’t have dropped at a better time. I’m so excited to be covering The Mandalorian for you here on Fangirlish this season. Here are my thoughts on 2×01, “The Marshal.”
Star Wars has always leaned hard into the space western motif, and if the title, “The Marshal” wasn’t enough to tip you off, then the appearance of the marshal (Timothy Olyphant) with the gun on his hip entering a saloon and potentially challenging Mando to a duel just had to slap you upside the head. Also, Baby Yoda hiding in the spitoon? All the adorable and ALL THE GROSS at the same time!
If this episode is any indication, all of these great one-off characters that we got in season one may reappear in season two. I was so excited when we got to meet Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) again! I’m hopeful that we may see a few other of these characters (really hoping for more Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand).
One thing that I found particularly interesting about this episode is that it gives us more back story on the Tusken Raiders. While I am no expert on the new or old EU books, and there may be more information in those sources, this is the first time we’ve seen their story fleshed out in a visual format. It does much to humanize them.
It is sometimes difficult in the Star Wars universe to think of any non-human as humanoid (personally, I think Star Trek has historically done a much better job of humanizing non-humans who clearly still function on the same cognitive level as humans). It is easy to other someone who does not look human in the Star Wars universe, but this episode turns that on its head.
This humanizing is done in an interesting way, and funny enough, I think it follows a similar theme to this week’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery. The people of Mos Pelgo have long had an adversarial relationship with the Tusken Raiders. Uniting against a common enemy, setting aside their differences, they work together to fight against the krayt dragon (think sandworm from Dune, one of George Lucas’ sources for Tatooine).
While handled in a different way from Star Trek: Discovery, this idea of working with someone who was formerly your enemy toward a common good is timely for 2020. In a time when we are more divided than ever, it gives me hope to see people who literally killed each other lay down their aggression and work together. Are they besties now? No. Not hardly. But they have chosen to live in peace with a promise to do no harm, and that is a good start.
It’s refreshing to see two of my favorite fandoms, whose fanbases often enjoy pitting themselves against each other, unite under a common idea. Obviously, this is not a coordinated effort, but when it comes to Star Wars and Star Trek, I’ve always been “Team Why-Not-Both?.” This idea that while we may not ever agree, we can work together to live peaceably with each other is prescient and timely for today. The Mandalorian is proving itself to be the most unifying thing in the Star Wars universe.
One last thing–that guy in the last shot? That’s the OG Mandalorian–Boba Fett. I’m so excited to see how he comes into play this season! I’ll hazard a guess that he wants his armor back.
I’m eager to see more of the adventures of Space Dad and Baby Yoda.