If anyone is capable of bringing some much-needed cheer to 2020, it’s Baby Yoda.
The Star Wars live-action series “The Mandalorian” returns to Disney+ on Oct. 30. After the postponement of many big-screen blockbusters this summer due to COVID-19, I’m really excited to return to my favorite galaxy far, far away.
What will season 2 have in store for everyone’s new favorite Mandalorian — Din Djarin, played by Pedro Pascal — and his adorable sidekick (technically “The Child” but let’s be real, we all call him Baby Yoda). Presumably, we’ll learn more about The Child’s Force powers and the reason why there’s a bounty on his head. I’m also guessing Din will continue to be pulled between his past life as a bounty hunter and his bond with The Child, for whom he has now become a father figure.
As much as I love the reveal to a good mystery, I’m not sure how much I actually want to learn about The Child’s origins. For a long time, Yoda has been this mysterious, otherworldly figure in Star Wars, and I’m afraid some of that mystique may be lost if we learn too much about his planet, species, etc. It’s kind of like the whole mystery surrounding Anakin Skywalker’s birth. I don’t need an in-canon answer — i.e. was he created by Palpatine? Midi-chlorians? — because it’s fun to speculate and wonder.
Still, I do want to learn more about The Child himself, and how he came to be such a valuable bounty. Does he have ties to the Jedi, or did he develop his Force powers on his own? Is he some kind of Imperial cloning project? Will he join Din in the Mandalorian culture, or will he end up forging his own path (and he and Din will have a heartbreaking goodbye)?
I love how Din and The Child have become their own little family unit and genuinely care about each other. However, I doubt smooth sailing is ahead for them in season 2. Expect to see them face both outside antagonists, such as Imperial officer Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), and internal issues, like the way Din’s future plans will have to change now that The Child is in his life.
Din Djarin and The Child are the main draws of this series for me, but I’m anticipating a fun line-up of side characters, similar to last season. A lot of rumors have been flying about what characters may (or may not) show up in season 2, and I’m having a hard time keeping up with what’s been confirmed vs. what’s pure speculation. Guest stars reportedly include Rosario Dawson (as Ahsoka Tano?), Temuera Morrison (as Boba Fett?), and Katee Sackhoff (who voiced Bo-Katan on “The Clones Wars” and “Rebels”).
I’ve heard mixed reactions from fans on these alleged cameos. Ahsoka Tano is a great character, but we’ve seen quite a bit of storytelling featuring this character in the recent past, and I don’t want her possible inclusion in “The Mandalorian” to overshadow the other characters. On the flip side, if it’s just a short Ahsoka cameo, will it feel like too much of a gimmick?
I’m actually a little more excited about the prospect of Temuera Morrison as a live-action Boba Fett. I’m not even fully sure why, but I just really like Boba Fett’s whole character aesthetic. To be fair, a Boba Fett cameo could also come across as a gimmick, so it would need to be done carefully.
I’d be much more interested in Temuera Morrison playing a clone character we’ve never seen before. The clone storylines were some of my favorite parts of “The Clone Wars” animated series, and I’d love to see some of the elements from that show make an appearance in live-action Star Wars. I think it would be super cool to learn more about what a clone might be up to in the post-“Return of the Jedi” Star Wars universe. Maybe he could help out Din and The Child as they’re on the run from the Imperial Remnant.
This is more a behind-the-scenes thing, but I’m also geeking out about the line-up of directors for this season, which includes Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Peyton Reed (among others). Howard and Famuyiwa directed some of my favorite episodes from last season, and while I’m a little bummed Deborah Chow doesn’t appear to be back, she is working on the Obi-Wan Disney+ series, which is awesome.
I realized I haven’t talked much yet about the trailer itself, and that’s because I feel it’s more of a teaser to build hype (which it definitely succeeds at) than a roadmap that spells out exactly where season 2 is going in terms of storytelling. Force/Jedi/Sith stuff has always been my favorite thing about Star Wars, and I’m excited how the trailer hints that maybe we’ll see a little more of that in season 2 of “The Mandalorian.”
In terms of scenery, I’m loving the idea of Din and The Child going on a boat ride, and it looks like we’ll be traveling to some cool new environments. The first season of “The Mandalorian” featured some great work from directors, as well as cinema-level special effects and cinematography, and I’m anticipating we’ll see the same in season 2.
Overall, I’m just really happy to have some new content from one of my favorite franchises to watch in a year that has, for many, been a bummer. It’s too soon to tell based on just a short trailer, but I think I may love this new season of “The Mandalorian” even more than its predecessor.
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