The Mandalorian (season 2)

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The Mandalorian
Season 2
The Mandalorian season 2 poster.jpg
Promotional poster
StarringPedro Pascal
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes8
Release
Original networkDisney+
Original releaseOctober 30 (2020-10-30) –
December 18, 2020 (2020-12-18)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 1
Next →
Season 3
List of episodes

The second season of the American television series The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal as the title character, a bounty hunter trying to return "The Child" to his people, the Jedi. It is part of the Star Wars franchise, set after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983). The season was produced by Lucasfilm, Fairview Entertainment, and Golem Creations, with Jon Favreau serving as showrunner.

Development on a second season of The Mandalorian had begun by July 2019, with Favreau looking to expand the scope of the series and introduce new characters; several characters from previous Star Wars media appear in the season. Filming took place from October 2019 to March 2020, finishing days before the COVID-19 pandemic forced film and television productions to shut down. Post-production was completed remotely, including the recording of composer Ludwig Göransson's score.

The eight-episode season premiered on the streaming service Disney+ on October 30, 2020, and ran until December 18, 2020. A third season has been announced.[1]

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"Chapter 9: The Marshal"Jon FavreauJon FavreauOctober 30, 2020 (2020-10-30)
The Mandalorian has been tasked with returning his charge, a child, to its people, the Jedi. He begins searching for other Mandalorians who he believes can help him find the Jedi, and is directed to a rumored Mandalorian operating out of the Tatooine town Mos Pelgo. There he learns that there is no Mandalorian in Mos Pelgo, but is confronted by marshal Cobb Vanth who wears Mandalorian armor. Vanth explains that he freed his town from the control of the Mining Collective using this armor, which he bought from Jawas in the desert. The town is now frequently attacked by a krayt dragon. Vanth agrees to give the Mandalorian armor back to its people in exchange for help killing the krayt dragon. The Mandalorian arranges an agreement between the villagers of Mos Pelgo and a local clan of Tusken Raiders to work together to kill the krayt dragon in exchange for peace between the groups. They lure out the krayt dragon, which is ultimately killed by the Mandalorian. He leaves with Vanth's armor, watched by a scarred Boba Fett.
102"Chapter 10: The Passenger"Peyton ReedJon FavreauNovember 6, 2020 (2020-11-06)
The Mandalorian agrees to take a Frog Lady and her eggs from Tatooine to the estuary moon Trask, where her husband will fertilize the eggs, in exchange for information on other Mandalorians. Due to the eggs' fragility, they must travel at slow "sub-light" speeds. On their journey, they are confronted by X-wing fighters who force the Mandalorian to a nearby icy planet because he is wanted by the New Republic for his role in a prison break; he crash-lands on the planet. While the Mandalorian fixes the ship, the child stumbles upon numerous eggs inside an ice cave which hatch to reveal a swarm of spider-like creatures. The Mandalorian, child, and passenger are trapped in the Razor Crest, the Mandalorian's ship, until the X-wing pilots find them and kill the creatures. They explain that because the Mandalorian helped apprehend his accomplices from the prison break, they will drop the arrest warrant and leave him with a warning. After the Mandalorian finishes the repairs, the tattered Razor Crest takes off and resumes its journey to Trask.
113"Chapter 11: The Heiress"Bryce Dallas HowardJon FavreauNovember 13, 2020 (2020-11-13)
At Trask, the Frog Lady reunites with her husband and they direct the Mandalorian to a local inn where he can find information on other Mandalorians. A fisherman offers to take the Mandalorian to the others, but onboard the fishing ship he is ambushed by fishermen who want to sell his armor. The Mandalorian and the child are rescued by three Mandalorians, led by Bo-Katan Kryze. She enlists his help in seizing weapons from an Imperial freighter in exchange for information on the Jedi. After boarding the freighter, Bo-Katan reveals that their main objective is to capture the ship along with the weapons for their war effort to reconquer Mandalore. The Imperial captain is instructed by Moff Gideon to crash the ship, but his efforts are stopped by Bo-Katan who questions the captain about the Darksaber. He kills himself. Bo-Katan directs the Mandalorian to meet the Jedi Ahsoka Tano in the city of Calodan on the forest planet of Corvus. With the Razor Crest partially repaired, the Mandalorian and the child continue on their journey.
124"Chapter 12: The Siege"Carl WeathersJon FavreauNovember 20, 2020 (2020-11-20)
The Razor Crest requires further repairs before it can reach Corvus, so the Mandalorian and the child take a detour to Nevarro where they are re-united with their allies Cara Dune and Greef Karga. While the Razor Crest is being repaired, the Mandalorian is shown how much things have improved on Nevarro since he was last there, under the stewardship of Karga as magistrate and Dune as marshal. The last challenge that they are facing is a remaining Imperial base on the planet, and the Mandalorian agrees to help them destroy it. They discover that the base is being used as a laboratory by Dr. Pershing to conduct experiments with the child's blood, which has a high M-count. They destroy the base and escape pursued by stormtroopers on speeder bikes and TIE fighters. Dune and Karga manage to stop the speeder bikes while the Mandalorian destroys the TIE fighters with the repaired Razor Crest. The Mandalorian and the child leave for Corvus, unaware that an Imperial spy has planted a tracker on the Razor Crest for Moff Gideon.
135"Chapter 13: The Jedi"Dave FiloniDave FiloniNovember 27, 2020 (2020-11-27)
The Mandalorian and the child arrive at the city of Calodan on the planet Corvus to find the population living in fear of the city's magistrate, Morgan Elsbeth, and her guards, including a hired mercenary named Lang. Elsbeth offers to give the Mandalorian a spear of beskar steel in exchange for killing Ahsoka. The Mandalorian finds Ahsoka outside the town and presents the child to her. Using The Force, Ahsoka determines that the child's name is Grogu, and that he had begun training as a Jedi before the rise of the Empire. She agrees to continue his training if the Mandalorian helps defeat Elsbeth. They overpower the guards, free the citizens, and the Mandalorian kills Lang. Ahsoka confronts Elsbeth, and demands to know the whereabouts of her master, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Afterwards, Ahsoka refuses to train Grogu due to his close attachment to the Mandalorian. Instead, she directs them to an ancient temple on the planet Tython where Grogu can use the Force to find other Jedi and decide his own fate. She also gives the spear to the Mandalorian.
146"Chapter 14: The Tragedy"Robert RodriguezJon FavreauDecember 4, 2020 (2020-12-04)
The Mandalorian takes Grogu to the ancient temple on Tython, and places him on the seeing stone at its center. Grogu meditates, and is surrounded by a protective energy field. Boba Fett soon arrives with the mercenary Fennec Shand, who the Mandalorian had previously left for dead on Tatooine. Fett explains that the armor worn by Cobb Vanth belongs to him, as his father Jango was a Mandalorian foundling. The Mandalorian agrees to return the armor in exchange for the safety of Grogu, just as Moff Gideon arrives and deploys stormtroopers. Fett, Fennec, and the Mandalorian repel the stormtroopers' attack, during which time Grogu finishes meditating and the energy field around him disappears. Gideon destroys the Razor Crest from orbit before deploying his droid Dark Troopers, who succeed in capturing Grogu. To honor their deal, Fett and Fennec promise to help the Mandalorian get Grogu back. They travel in Fett's ship Slave I to Nevarro, and ask for Dune's help in breaking criminal Migs Mayfeld out of New Republic prison.
157"Chapter 15: The Believer"Rick FamuyiwaRick FamuyiwaDecember 11, 2020 (2020-12-11)
Dune uses her new credentials as a Marshal of the New Republic to transfer Mayfeld, an ex-Imperial, from prison to her custody. He agrees to help locate Moff Gideon's cruiser, but needs access to an internal terminal. He suggests a secret Imperial mining hub on Morak. There, Mayfeld and the Mandalorian hijack a transport carrying the explosive mineral rhydonium, and they manage to reach the mining facility despite attacks from local pirates. They get Gideon's coordinates from the terminal, but the Mandalorian is forced to remove his helmet in front of others for the first time since he took his Mandalorian oath. The pair are confronted by Mayfeld's old Imperial commanding officer, whom Mayfeld kills when he gloats about atrocities committed by the Empire in Operation Cinder. Mayfeld and the Mandalorian escape with the help of Fennec, Dune, and Fett. Dune decides to let Mayfeld go. The Mandalorian sends Gideon a transmission warning that he is coming for Grogu, paraphrasing a similar speech that Gideon had previously given.
168"Chapter 16: The Rescue"Peyton ReedJon FavreauDecember 18, 2020 (2020-12-18)
The Mandalorian and Dune board an Imperial shuttle and capture Dr. Pershing. They enlist the help of Bo-Katan and Koska Reeves to rescue Grogu; in return Bo-Katan gets Gideon's cruiser and the Darksaber, and the Mandalorian considers helping them to liberate Mandalore. They use the shuttle to get close enough to crash land on Gideon's cruiser, with Fett pretending to attack them in Slave I. Bo-Katan, Koska, Fennec, and Dune fight through stormtroopers to the cruiser's bridge. Meanwhile, the Mandalorian finds the Dark Troopers, barely defeats one of them with the beskar spear, and ejects the rest into space. He fights Gideon with the spear and overpowers the Moff, making him the new rightful owner of the Darksaber. The Dark Troopers fly back onto the ship, but are all destroyed by Luke Skywalker, a Jedi whom Grogu contacted on Tython. The Mandalorian gives Grogu permission to go with Skywalker and R2-D2 to complete his training. Later, Fett and Fennec travel to Jabba's Palace on Tatooine where Fett kills Bib Fortuna and claims the throne.

Cast and characters[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In July 2019, The Mandalorian creator and showrunner Jon Favreau confirmed that there would be a second season of the series. He had already begun writing the new season, and pre-production was underway.[12] It consists of eight episodes. There were fewer start-up costs for the second season, allowing more of the season's budget to be allocated to each episode than has been possible during the first season.[2] Disney CEO Bob Iger announced in February 2020 that the second season would premiere that October.[13]

Rick Famuyiwa was returning as a director by August 2019, but Taika Waititi was not expected to return due to a scheduling conflict with his film Next Goal Wins.[14] A month later, Favreau said he would direct an episode of the second season, after being unable to direct any of the first due to his commitments to The Lion King (2019).[15] At the end of October, Carl Weathers was confirmed to be directing for the season; Favreau had promised that Weathers could direct a second-season episode when hiring the actor to co-star in the first season.[16] Dave Filoni had returned as director for the second season by March 2020.[17] On May 4, Star Wars Day, Robert Rodriguez and Peyton Reed revealed that they had also directed episodes of the second season.[18] Rodriguez was not originally intended to direct in the season, joining as a last-minute replacement.[19] That June, Bryce Dallas Howard revealed that she had also returned to direct an episode of the second season.[20]

Writing[edit]

The season begins "very directly" after the end of the first season, with the Mandalorian protecting "The Child" and searching for its home. Favreau said the second season would introduce a larger story, with the episodes being "less isolated" than many of the first season's episodes were, though he said each episode of the second season would still have "its own flavor". He added that the new characters introduced in the second season would come with new storylines, allowing the series to begin to explore stories other than the Mandalorian's. Favreau was inspired by the multiple different storylines of Game of Thrones, an approach that he described as "very appealing to me as an audience member".[2]

Casting[edit]

Pedro Pascal stars in the series as Din Djarin, the Mandalorian. Also returning from the first season are recurring co-stars Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon and Gina Carano as Cara Dune,[2] in addition to Amy Sedaris as Peli Motto,[4] Carl Weathers as Greef Karga,[2] Horatio Sanz as a Mythrol,[9] Omid Abtahi as Dr. Pershing,[8] Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand,[5] and Bill Burr as Migs Mayfeld.[10] Filoni reprises his role as X-Wing pilot Trapper Wolf, while Paul Sun-Hyung Lee portrays the pilot Carson Teva.[6]

Timothy Olyphant
Temuera Morrison
Katee Sackhoff
Rosario Dawson
Mark Hamill
Matthew Wood
Olyphant, Morrison, Sackhoff, Dawson, Hamill, and Wood all portray characters from previous Star Wars media in the season

In March 2020, Rosario Dawson was reported to be appearing as Ahsoka Tano in the second season.[21][3] This marks the character's first live-action appearance after previously appearing in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels and having a voice-only role in the film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019); the character was voiced by Ashley Eckstein in these appearances. Dawson had previously expressed interest in taking on the role in live-action after her casting was suggested by a fan in February 2017.[21] Also in March, Michael Biehn joined the cast as Lang, an enforcer.[22][3] That May, Temuera Morrison was set to reprise his role as Boba Fett in the second season.[23][5] Morrison portrayed Boba's father Jango Fett in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and went on to provide the voice of Boba in various Star Wars media.[23] Before Morrison's involvement was confirmed, the character briefly appeared in the first-season episode "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger".[24] Also in May, Katee Sackhoff was revealed to be reprising her role of Bo-Katan Kryze in the second season after previously voicing the character in The Clone Wars and Rebels,[25][7] and Timothy Olyphant was revealed to be in the season as well.[26] He portrays Cobb Vanth, a character from the Star Wars: Aftermath novels who wears Boba Fett's armor.[27][4] In September 2020, Mercedes Varnado was revealed to have been cast in the season;[28] she appears as the Mandalorian Koska Reeves, a member of the Nite Owls.[7] In the season finale, the character Luke Skywalker appears along with his droid R2-D2;[29] Mark Hamill reprises his role from the Star Wars films, digitally de-aged to portray a younger version of Skywalker, with Max Lloyd Jones serving as an on-set body double for the character.[11] Additionally, Matthew Wood reprises his role as Bib Fortuna from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999).[30]

Filming[edit]

The capabilities of Industrial Light & Magic's StageCraft technology were increased from season one, with the "volume" set also expanded for the season.[31][32] Filming for the season began on October 7, 2019,[14][33] once again using the working title Huckleberry.[34][35] Favreau directed the season premiere. There was "heightened secrecy" surrounding the second season, with actors only receiving scripts for the episodes they were in and being brought to set in hooded cloaks.[2] Additionally, many of the cast and crew were unaware that the Jedi that appears in the final episode of the season would be Luke Skywalker.[36] As he did for the first season,[37] Star Wars creator George Lucas visited the set while Filoni was directing for the second season.[2]

Sam Hargrave served as second unit director for the season. Hargrave said Favreau was "looking for someone... who has experience with action" and that he "wanted to build on" what was done in season one, while bringing in "a new perspective and [taking] it to another level" for season two.[38] Pascal was able to portray the Mandalorian more on set this season than the last, when his other commitments resulted in stunt doubles Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder portraying the character at times;[39] Both Wayne and Crowder returned for the season.[40][35] Additional filming took place on location in Simi Valley, California for sequences in "Chapter 14: The Tragedy".[34]

Filming for the season wrapped on March 8, 2020.[17] This was described as "fortuitous" as it was just four days before film and television productions around the world were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic still impacted post-production for the season.[2]

Music[edit]

Composer Ludwig Göransson was able to take advantage of the emotional attachment that the audience developed with his musical themes during the first season, which gave him the ability to "immediately give them what they want, or play the themes with different harmonies or different instrumentation, and people will instantly recognize it".[41] Göransson uses the series' main theme "in a lot of new and different iterations" in the second season.[42] He explained that the Mandalorian's theme was primarily played on the recorder during the first season to emphasize his "lone man's journey", but was played on guitar in some flashbacks to the character's childhood. In the second season, the theme is primarily played on electric guitar to show the character's new confidence and relationship with Grogu. Göransson uses an Ibanez eight-string electric guitar for this.[41]

Göransson introduces new musical themes for each episode in the season, with new sounds and ideas, as each episode has a different genre, setting, and characters.[42][41] He uses a "rock 'n' roll, heavy metal mood" in "Chapter 9: The Marshal" as an homage to the music Ennio Morricone wrote for Sergio Leone's Western films. "Chapter 10: The Passenger" prominently features Göransson's theme for Grogu, which he wrote during development on the first season. It is played on a Fender Rhodes electric piano,[43] which Göransson compared to John Williams' use of the glockenspiel and celeste in the Star Wars films to create a "storybook or magical feeling".[41] For Bo-Katan's introduction in "Chapter 11: The Heiress", Göransson used distorted synthesizer sounds to create an industrial sound that matched the character's "speed and energy". His theme for Boba Fett also uses distorted sounds, inspired by sound effects that Rodriguez added to his initial cut of "Chapter 14: The Tragedy". The first season does not feature any references to Williams' original themes, but there were a lot of conversations between Göransson and the producers about how to "flirt with the Star Wars themes a little bit" in the second season, leading to several inclusions: Göransson references Williams' theme for Yoda in "Chapter 13: The Jedi" when that character is mentioned, and he reprises Williams' theme for The Force when Skywalker appears in "Chapter 16: The Rescue". He also uses Kevin Kiner's theme for Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone Wars for scenes with that character.[43]

The biggest challenge for the season's post-production team was recording Göransson's orchestral score during the COVID-19 pandemic.[2] The series was one of the first to use the 20th Century Fox scoring stage when it allowed recordings again. Thirty string players were recorded there for the first seven episodes, with the players wearing masks and spaced six feet apart. The final episode increased the string players to forty, while also adding over a dozen brass and woodwind players. To comply with health regulations and musician union rules, the strings were recorded on separate days from the brass and woodwinds.[42] Additional musicians were recorded remotely and combined with the scoring stage recordings,[2] as well as recordings of Göransson playing the guitar, recorder, piano, bass, rock drums, and synthesizers.[41] Recording took place from July to September 2020.[42]

Unlike the first season, where an album of music was released for each episode, Walt Disney Records released the soundtrack for the second season in two volumes: music from "Chapter 9" through "Chapter 12" was released on November 20, 2020, with a second soundtrack for "Chapter 13" through "Chapter 16" released on December 18.[44][45]

The Mandalorian: Season 2 – Vol. 1 (Chapters 9–12) [Original Score]
No.TitleLength
1."Mando Is Back"4:04
2."Enjoy the Fights"2:55
3."The Marshal's Tale"6:05
4."Tusken Raiders"3:18
5."Get the Child"2:06
6."Beneath the Ice"5:25
7."Snacks"2:46
8."Reunited"1:40
9."Ship o hoj, Mandalorians!"7:59
10."Long Live the Empire"4:05
11."Back Together"2:19
12."Experiment"5:16
13."Quite a Soldier"2:46
Total length:50:50

The Mandalorian: Season 2 – Vol. 2 (Chapters 13–16) [Original Score]
No.TitleLength
1."The Sorcerer"3:32
2."The Story"6:48
3."A Mandalorian and a Jedi"1:57
4."Ahsoka Lives"3:43
5."The Seeing Stone"2:12
6."Capture the Flag"5:38
7."The Armor"2:43
8."Invaders on Their Land"2:48
9."Brown Eyes"2:51
10."Rest in Peace"2:44
11."Activated"6:08
12."The Sword"3:07
13."Troopers"2:33
14."A Friend"3:52
15."Open the Door"4:52
16."Come with Me"2:45
Total length:58:13

Marketing[edit]

The first trailer for the season was released on September 15, 2020,[28] while a special look trailer debuted on October 19, 2020, during Monday Night Football.[46] Merchandise for the season was revealed each Monday from October 26 to December 21, 2020, as part of the "Mando Mondays" initiative.[47]

Release[edit]

The season premiered on the streaming service Disney+ on October 30, 2020.[2]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The Mandalorian (season 2): Critical reception by episode

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 94% approval rating with an average score of 8.54/10 based on 24 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "With fan favorites and fresh faces galore both in front of and behind the camera, The Mandalorian's sophomore season solidifies its place as one of Star Wars's most engaging and exciting sagas."[48] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 76 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[49]

Audience Viewership[edit]

The Mandalorian became the first Disney+ show to make an appearance on Nielsen's top 10 list, placing number three in the week of October 26, with a total of 1 billion minutes streamed that week, just behind shows like The Office and The Queen’s Gambit.[50] The show became the most watched program in November, reaching 29% of viewers, beating The Queen’s Gambit at around 20%.[51] In the week of December 14, the show audience increased more and managed to finally reach number 1 in the Nielsen ratings, beating "The Office" with a total of 1.3 billion streams.[52]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2021 Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Series The Mandalorian Won [53]
[54]
Best Actor in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Series Pedro Pascal Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series The Mandalorian Nominated [55]
Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Drama The Mandalorian Nominated [56]
Satellite Awards Best Television Series – Genre The Mandalorian Nominated [57]
Saturn Awards Best Television Presentation (under 10 Episode) The Mandalorian Won [58]
Best Guest Starring Role on Television Giancarlo Esposito Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series The Mandalorian Won [59]
Writers Guild of America Awards Drama Series Rick Famuyiwa, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni Nominated [60]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson Nominated [61]
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Giancarlo Esposito (for "Chapter 16: The Rescue") Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Jon Favreau (for "Chapter 9: The Marshal") Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Dave Filoni (for "Chapter 13: The Jedi") Nominated
Jon Favreau (for "Chapter 16: The Rescue") Nominated

Documentary specials[edit]

In December 2020, it was announced that a special, Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – Making of Season Two, would premiere on December 25, 2020. The hour-long special features interviews with the cast and crew of The Mandalorian and behind-the-scenes footage for all eight episodes of season two.[62] A second special, The Making of the Season 2 Finale, was released on August 25, 2021, exploring the process behind featuring a de-aged Hamill in the finale.[63]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Frog Lady is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.[6]
  2. ^ Mark Hamill was digitally de-aged to portray a younger Luke Skywalker, with Max Lloyd Jones serving as an on-set body double for the character.[11]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Hibberd, James (September 8, 2020). "The Mandalorian exclusive: First look inside season 2". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on September 8, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
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