Written by Jon Favreau and directed by Peyton Reed - former director of Ant-Man for Disney and Marvel - the second episode of The Mandalorian 2 follows the "procedural" philosophy chosen to tell these adventures in the universe of Star WarsThere is still a main strand, a superior storyline that holds all the pieces together, but Mando goes from one adventure to another like in a mission-structured RPG. It is a feature of the series Disney + that we had also found in the first season, but that begins to weigh: we have nothing against standalone episodes, which some would call fillers, as long as we talk about seasons composed of twenty episodes, but when the latter are only eight a year you will understand that it arises a problem. This second episode, however, served to better characterize our two protagonists, as you will discover by reading our review.
Still on Tatooine after helping Cobb Vanth kill a krayt dragon in exchange for Mandalorian armor - which belonged to Boba Fett, but this Mando does not know - our hero discovers a new lead that could lead him to the Mandalorians and, perhaps, to the Child's home planet. First, however, he will have to carry out a new assignment: to reach the planet Trask without traveling in hyperspace to ensure that the eggs laid by his alien passenger, the last hope of his kind, arrive safe and sound at their destination. It would seem like a walk in the park, as long as the Child doesn't cheat all the eggs in question during the trip, but things take a turn for the worse when two patrolling X-wings recognize the Razor's Crest, forcing Mando to a crash landing on a very dangerous frozen planet ...
Star Wars diventa horror?
Although the second episode doesn't move the main storyline an inch, we appreciated the experimental drift of Jon Favreau and Peyton Reed who, by shuffling the cards, borders more and more quickly into pure horror. Star Wars is no stranger to gruesome scenes, but the movies have rarely lingered on these aspects while The Mandalorian 2x02 he searches for them almost obsessively, starting with the Child's slightly too exasperated interest in eggs in general ... or perhaps in what they contain. We must not underestimate the writing of the episode which, however, is more intelligent than it seems: the whims of "Baby Yoda" they are not only a comic relief, but also an interesting characterization that reminds us how the Child is precisely this, a child, capricious and still unable to distinguish what is right from what is wrong. In this sense, the episode also serves to better characterize Mando, showing us his paternal side more and more evident and protective, especially at the beginning when he seems willing to sacrifice Boba Fett's sweaty armor to save the little one.
In this sense, the relationship it establishes with the Frog Lady, the passenger who gives the episode the title, is interesting because he acts as a counterbalance, showing that sometimes the motivations, although they seem the same, have very different priorities and importance. Favreau writes the Frog Lady wonderfully: the character, who belongs to an unprecedented species in the Star Wars universe, does not speak - except in a short scene that also acts as a fan service for those who have seen the first season - but his expressions and small gestures, such as when we see her sacrifice the blanket and shiver cold in order to keep the contraption that contains her eggs warm. Also thanks to the costumes, make-up and special effects: playing the part of the Frog Lady is once again Misty Roses, who in the first season had played Kuill (although this was later voiced by Nick Nolte, in the English language).
The special effects, but also the photography and direction, then contribute to making the action scenes in the last minutes of the episode even more oppressive and disturbing, not to mention the spectacular chase that leads Mando and his crew to the frozen planet. The horror turn that the episode takes is truly amazing, and once again it all starts with a stunt Male child which, coincidence or not, catapulted ours into a nightmare scenario halfway between Aliens and Starship Troopers. The species of monstrous spiders that attack Razor's Crest is also unheard of, but is strongly inspired by the krykna seen on Atollon in Star Wars Rebels, in turn inspired by an illustration never used for L'Impero strikes again.
The fanservice, in this episode, is a bit darker and more measured, especially compared to the premiere which basically focused on that: fans will recognize the Sabacc they play. Game Motto and Dr. Mandibola at the beginning of the episode, the most attentive will realize that one of the two pilots of X-Wing is none other than Dave Filoni in person, but apart from this the episode stands on his legs and above all on an over the top technical quality that at times makes him truly indistinguishable from a real Star Wars movie. The journey, in short, continues, and we hope that in the next episode something will move in terms of narrative, even if we doubt that Disney wants to exhaust the mystery of the species of the Child - and of Yoda - by this season.
We are still in the second week of this vintage and maybe it's just that we can't wait to admire Ahsoka Tano in the flesh, but our patience begins to waver and we strongly hope that the next episode will carry on the main narrative, putting Mando on the road. right or in any case on a collision course with more interesting supporting actors. However, The Mandalorian 2x02 remains an example of a great TV from an exquisitely technical point of view, with clever writing and excellent special effects.
- The characterization of the Frog Lady
- The disturbing horror drift
- The main story hasn't moved an inch
- The episode's conclusion is a bit hasty