“The Mandalorian” adds complexity and new characters in its second season

Disney+ reinvents the Star Wars universe with intrigue and nods to the past.

Joshua Flores, Staff Writer

After its release on Disney+ in 2019, “The Mandalorian” was an instant success. Fans and a new generation of audiences were drawn in by a darker, more thoughtful glimpse into the world of Star Wars. From the inclusion of a rambunctious Baby Yoda, a trained killer and an assortment of both new and classic characters and creatures, this series reformats the traditional narrative of this far away galaxy and makes for a violent, gripping series. 

SLOW BURN STORYTELLING

Much of “The Mandalorian” is slower in pace compared to the blockbuster films seen in theaters. While the original Star Wars films rely on gimmicks, constant explosions and romance, this series takes a very different approach, focusing on plot and an advanced, sweeping storyline. The first season was introductory, helping to establish characters, backstory and a basic tour of the world that the series takes place in. The second season has a similar tone, yet infuses more violence and a handful of characters and monsters that loyal fans are certain to be excited to see on the small screen. 

AHSOKA’S SURPRISE APPEARANCE

A fan favorite from the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” Rosario Dawson becomes Ahsoka Tano, a new and complex addition to the cast of characters featured in the series. Joining forces with the Mandalorian and his sidekick, Baby Yoda, she not only brings elements of previous Star Wars series to implement in this new season, but also provides another anti-hero to the mix. Brooding and mysterious, Ahsoka brings much more action to the story and is the first glimpse of a Jedi seen in the series, setting up for many more lightsaber battles to come. 

GUNSHOTS AND LIGHTSABER BATTLES 

While “The Mandalorian” has prided itself of its plot and character development, Chapter Thirteen begins to introduce a darker, more violent world—peasants involved in war, mass murder and Jedi revolting against corrupt leaders. This explosive episode brings life to the series and gives audiences the action and excitement that was lacking in Season 1. Still plot driven, “The Mandalorian” cuts down on the dialogue and world building and adds a number of duels that are certain to lead to many more, giving way to an even more riveting second half of Season 2. 

JEDI, KILLERS AND ANTI-HEROS

As the most recent episode concludes, one of the most appealing elements of the series is the cast of anti-heroes included in the series. Star Wars is usually clearly divided between good and evil, Empire and Republic, yet “The Mandalorian” blurs those lines with the characters presented—even the most innocent or heroic characters featuring dark pasts and intentions. The series challenges norms of the hero winning and allows for ambiguity as the characters develop and make both good and bad decisions, questioning morality and the value of life. 

EXCITING SEASON TO COME 

As the holiday season progresses, “The Mandalorian” continues to impress both visually and through character development. This series may be a bit too slow in progress for some audiences, yet many will be captured by the depth and connections that expand from Season 1 and into this second, more thrilling season. As the series turns from an angsty glimpse into a different part of the Star Wars galaxy, audiences are guaranteed shocking revelations, iconic new characters and plenty of violence and battles to keep the plot intriguing and impossible not to binge.

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