The Mandalorian: ‘The Child’ Has Some Special Abilities – Review, Ep.102

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Well, well, well, our little Yoda baby (hence to be referred to as Yoda Jr.) would seem to have some special powers – some force-like powers. Which begs the question, is he a chip off the old block or some new face with some old powers? There’s a lot of speculation going on about that right now, but one thing is for sure, it throws a fun new light on The Mandalorian as Episode 102, “The Child,” rolled to a finish.

Be warned, there are SPOILERS ahead, so if you haven’t seen Episode 2 of The Mandalorian, go no further. If you’re good, then let’s talk “The Child.”

After securing Yoda Jr. from the compound of baddies, The Mandalorian and infant head back to the ship. It has become apparent that there are others after this “asset.” The Mandalorian is set upon by a trio of bad guys and the fight ensues. Our guy, who seems to possess considerable fighting prowess, dispatches them and discovers another tracking device. I suspect he suspects that “The Client” may have commissioned more than he to find this young one. Or there are others on the hunt for this little green bundle of joy.

The Mandalorian, episode 2 on Disney+

It’s in the aftermath of this fight that we get a sense that little Yoda Jr. may have force-like powers. He manages to get out of his floating crib and, as the Mandalorian works to repair his wounds, our newfound young one lifts its hand and closes it’s eyes – a definite vibe of “force” effort is there. It’s quick, but it’s a hint of what’s to come. I liked it and was anxious to see if, indeed, Yoda Jr. was a purveyor of the force. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long.

Our two travelers finally get to their ship only to discover that a group of Jawas have found it and are in the process of stripping it. The Mandalorian vaporizes a few and the chase is on, a chase the our hero losses, but not after a gallant attempt to storm the Jawas fortress-like vehicle. Once again, we see the resourcefulness of The Mandalorian as he attacks the armored transport, but in the end, it’s not quite enough and he ends up in a heap in the dusty soil of this desolate planet.

One of the things about having an anti-hero who’s got that quiet strength, etc. is that he tends to be pretty silent. In episode 2, we don’t get any real dialogue (not counting the recap of Ep. 1) for the first 10 minutes or so. There’s a lot of nuance going on, a lot of subtle looks and physical action that move the story along quite nicely. I don’t have a problem with that sort of storytelling, to be honest. I enjoy watching and trying to piece the nuances together into something that I believe is happening or being thought.

I thought Episode 2 of The Mandalorian offered plenty of fun clues early on without any dialogue to push it along. Some folks won’t dig that, but I do. It stimulates the mind and imagination, which I think is right in keeping with all that the Star Wars realm is about. But that’s my take. You may look at it differently.

The Mandalorian, episode 2 on Disney+

I liked the interplay between The Mandalorian and the Ugnaught Kuiil in the first episode, so I was delighted to see them come back together in the second. In fact, it’s Kuiil that ultimately blazes a trail for The Mandalorian to get the parts back for his ship via the Jawas. He’s going to have to trade for them and since he won’t give up Yoda Jr., the price they name is that he get them “The Egg.”

It’s kind of funny how this all ends in that it appears all the Jawas really wanted was the egg as a delicacy for a meal. Initially, I’m thinking there’s something kind of special about it, something powerful, but in the end it was a chance for breakfast in the evening. But, it’s that quest for The Egg that gives us a clear look at Yoda Jr. and his force abilities, which also tells us why multiple entities are after it.

The Mandalorian gets to fight an ill-tempered rhinocerous-like creature and, let’s be honest, is getting his butt kicked. He’s been tossed in the mud multiple times, been crushed beneath the beast’s mighty horn, and is all out of weaponry. One last charge by the raging creature looks like that will do it. The Mandalorian has but a knife left and is barely able to stand. It looks grim…until it isn’t. Yoda Jr. rises from his bed, extends a hand, and stops the creature in its track and even levitates it off the ground. It’s pure “Yoda in the swamp action” and it’s here we know the story is about to get more interesting moving along. With the beast immobilized, The Mandalorian is able to strike the killing blow and retrieve the egg.

The Mandalorian, episode 2 on Disney+

There’s an interesting dynamic forming between Yoda Jr. and The Mandalorian. I think he’s surprised not only by the young one’s abilities, but by his own emotions towards his charge. It’s something he hasn’t seen before and it feels like he’s starting to put the many pieces together and may not be comfortable with the picture that’s coming together. I’m very curious to see if he, indeed, delivers this young Yoda to The Client.

An interesting aspect of this child’s revelation and apparent abilities is some talk I’ve heard about it possibly being an offspring of Yoda. Remember, it is five years after the fall of the Empire which means there could be a chance Yoda fathered a child. There’s a part of me that likes that prospect, even though Yoda himself had talked about the dangers of emotional entanglements. There’s a lot to untangle here and I’m very curious and excited to see how this child melds into what’s to come — and what has been.

But for now, The Mandalorian delivered the egg, which the Jawas feasted upon, and got his parts back. He and Kuiil then went about refitted the ship. In fact, it’s interesting in that The Mandalorian had obviously developed a respect for his Ugnaught companion, offering him a position aboard ship. Kuiil declined and thanked our hero for cleaning out the bad influence that was corrupting the planet. “Thank you for bringing peace to my valley,” he tells The Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian, episode 2 on Disney+

I will be disappointed if these two don’t come into each other’s orbit again, though it would seem at this point that may not be likely. The Mandalorian is en route to The Client, I would guess, and that should take us down a very interesting road, don’t you think?

The Mandalorian has been a pleasant surprise to me. There’s enough action (and I think the action stuff has been done pretty well) to keep me satisfied and I am enjoying the story that is unfolding, as well as the little snippets of Mandalorian backstory that are trickling out (“I’m a Mandalorian. Weapons are part of my religion.”). My litmus test is whether one episode makes me want to see what happens in the next, and so forth.

I can say after two episodes of The Mandalorian, it’s pushing me forward to find out what happens next. I also like the shorter format. This episode was just over 30 minutes long and I thought it worked just fine. Again, a lot going on in that time span, but it successfully moved things along and, as I noted, made me very interested in what comes next.

There’s some interesting world building that’s going on here. Some of it we can recognize and some it is brand new, and I like that. I can’t speak to whether you think The Mandalorian is a “good” TV show, but I can tell you that I find it interesting and entertaining, with just enough nostalgic feel to kind of get my Star Wars juices flowing. Yeah, I’m definitely up for what’s next. How about you? I have spoken.

Follow me on Twitter: @jbakeR2D2 and @threeifbyspace.

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John Baker