Let’s Talk About “The Mandalorian” Season 2 Premiere’s Big Reveal
So you’ve seen the season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian? Great, then continue reading. If not, you’re going to want to stop right here until you’re all caught up.
The season 2 premiere, titled “The Marshall,” was a treat on several levels. First, it revealed Timothy Olyphant‘s character is the surprisingly valiant Marshall Cobb Vanth, looking after the folks (for a price) of a dusty mining town on Tatooine called Mos Pelgos. (For Olyphant fans, this was a delicious bit of typecasting as he’s beloved for playing both Sheriff Bullock in HBO’s excellent Deadwood and Raylan Givens on Justified). To the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal)’s initial anger, Vanth’s wearing some old Mandalorian armor, and we soon learn he’d bought it off some Jawas after barely escaping a murderous mining syndicate’s henchmen (this backstory hints at a larger theme of the series—the lawlessness, greed, and ruin spreading across an ungoverned galaxy). Vanth resettled in Mos Pelgos and became the town’s Mandalorian-armored Marshall, helping them fend off Tusken Raiders. It was a great bit of backstory and was made all the more enjoyable for how easily Vanth removed his Mandalorian helmet to chat with the Mandalorian. Here you had two fellas in the same cantina in the same dusty outpost wearing versions of the same-ish armor, yet they carried themselves completely differently. Mando demanded the armor back, the Marshall was ready to fight, if he had to, but then came a rumbling and these two potential enemies became partners.
That rumbling wasn’t’ the arrival of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito)’s ship or any other potential kidnapper. Yes, Baby Yoda was in the premiere, but the little guy’s role was mostly as an observer. The main action turned when a Krayt dragon—a colossal, prehistoric-looking worm-monster that burrows underground until it’s ready to eat Banthas or townsfolk or Tusken Raiders—comes barreling into town. It seems this beast has been tormenting the folks of Mos Pelgos, and the Marshall hasn’t found a way to kill it yet. So, this task-oriented episode, which was one of the strengths of season 1, sees Mando helping the Marshall wrangle the dragon with the help of both the Tusken Raiders and the Mos Pelgos people in exchange for the armor and help pointing him in the right direction on his quest to return The Child to his people.
The battle with the dragon is beautifully wrought, but so, too, is the banter and eventual respect between Mando and the Marshall. One has to hope season 2 has a lot more for Olyphant to do. Yet it was the very end of the episode that packed the real surprise. After the dragon is defeated and the Marshall hands over his Mandalorian armor, we see a brief but unmistakable shot of a familiar face overlooking their victory—Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison).
At least we think it was Boba Fett. Considering Morrison played Jango Fett in the Star Wars prequel trilogies (and is beheaded in Attack of the Clones), and we learned there that the clones were made in his likeness and that Boba is one, it’s possible this is Boba Fett. Yet we know Boba Fett’s grim fate, too. So his arrival here would mean he somehow survived the Sarlaac pit he was tossed into in The Return of the Jedi. Was the armor that the Marshall’s wearing Boba Fett’s old armor? Is Boba Fett the other Mandalorian that on Tatooine that Mando’s meant to find? And if you’re still stuck on the fact that Boba Fett died in The Return of the Jedi, you’re then not aware that the character was resurrected, in a multitude of ways, in licensed Star Wars stories that came out after The Return of the Jedi and before George Lucas’s prequels. In 1996’s “Star Wars: Tales of Bounty Hunters,” Fett managed to free himself from the Sarlaac’s thousand-year digestion by setting off a thermal detonator. In 2002’s “Star Wars Tales No. 12,” which included the story “The Revenge of Tag and Bink,” Fett and the title characters climbed out of the Sarlaac together. Writer Jonathan Rinzler, the author of various Star Wars related books, claimed during a 2014 Reddit that George Lucas himself said Fett would have survived.
We’re likely to find out more this season about the true identity of who Morrison is playing, and we’re guessing it’ll have a big impact on the series as a whole.
The Mandalorian streams new episodes every Friday night on Disney+.
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Featured image: The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child in The Mandalorian, season two. Courtesy Lucasfilm.