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The Nerd Report

Mandalorian Monday: “Chapter Nine -The Marshal”

The Mandalorian, and some new friends, attempt to defeat a monstrous space monster. What can go wrong? Here is my review for the premiere episode of The Mandalorian’s second season.

Editor’s Note: This blog post contains spoilers from the ninth episode of the Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian is finally back, and the wait was certainly worth it. The show’s longest, most western-style episode starts the second season off on a great note. Also, there’s a fucking Krayt Dragon. Throughout the Star Wars saga, viewers have been introduced to many, many aliens and creatures. But the second season’s premiere’s behemoth of a creature was one of the largest since the Empire Strikes Back’s space slug.

I’ve seen the episode twice already, once in the early morning (around 8:00 AM, an hour after it premiered) and later that evening with my Dad. And after both viewings, I’ve absolutely loved the episode. Overall, it’s one of my favorites of the entire series.

First and foremost, I’m a major fan of utilizing practical effects rather than CGI. Although the monstrous Krayt Dragon is brought to life through visual effects and CGI, other aliens throughout the episode appear completely practical and real, most notably the Tusken Raiders and banthas. Speaking of Tusken Raiders, I enjoyed how the episode portrayed them. Rather than painting the Sand People as ruthless killers who murder women and children (cough, cough, Anakin Skywalker), the raiders are presented simply as another species attempting to survive in the galaxy. Their culture, their language, and their behavior are all quickly, briefly explored during the episode. And in terms of myself, it humanized the Tusken Raiders, moving them up on my Star Wars species rankings (expect a blog post on that in the near future).

Furthermore, being on Tatooine again is always a positive and a plus. There is so much history and lore on the sand planet with twin suns. Simply put, it is where the Skywalker Saga began. And it’s always nice to be back. Tatooine is Star Wars, it is potentially the most popular, well-known planet in Star Wars. And adding another story on the infamous planet makes for a great fan experience.

Speaking of Tatooine, one of the more deadly creatures that resides on the planet is the Sarlacc, which was the monster most known for swallowing Boba Fett (more on that later). However, there is no Sarlacc in this episode. Because the Krayt Dragon killed the Sarlacc and took its home. Holy fucking shit, that’s awesome. The Krayt Dragon is one of my favorite parts of the episode, it was simply amazing to see. As I said before, the special effects are some of the best in all of Star Wars. However, the monster isn’t just great CGI. The Krayt Dragon is also an incredibly difficult thing to kill. The dragon doesn’t breathe fire, it sprays acid. And it’s practically unharmed by blasters, grenades, and all other explosives. The Krayt Dragon is only killed when the Mandalorian allows himself to be swallowed, along with thousands of explosives, and blows it up from the inside. Also, this scene highlights how innovative and fearless the Mandalorian truly is, one of my favorite aspects of the entire series.

Although the Mandalorian is the person who defeats the Krayt Dragon, the titular character is accompanied by the Marshal, played by Timothy Olyphant. The Marshal, also known as Cobb Vanth, is my favorite side character in the entire series thus far. Vanth is somewhat of a badass himself. He didn’t appear threatened by the Mandalorian in the bar and he wasn’t afraid of the Krayt Dragon. Also, you have to be a badass to wear Boba Fett’s armor. In fact, Vanth uses the Mandalorian weaponry and tech with great skill. He’s great with a jetpack, and uses the rocket missile to kill invaders of the village he oversees, which was a great, cool moment.

Furthermore, the first shot of Cobb Vanth is him standing in the archway of the bar, wearing Boba Fett’s armor. At first, while watching this scene, I thought it was the infamous bounty hunter himself, which got me incredibly pumped. However, with that being said, getting to see Boba’s armor and weapons in action was very delightful, and a great moment for fans.

Speaking of Boba Fett, the final scene of the episode features a mysterious figure watching the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda speed through the Tatooine desert, with Fett’s armor strapped to the speeder bike. As the figure turns, viewers see actor Temuera Morrison. That’s Boba Fett, that’s fucking Boba Fett, one of my favorite Star Wars characters.

He is back. And he survived and escaped the Sarlacc pit from the Return of the Jedi. And it looks as if he has been on Tatooine ever since. Fans will likely learn how Boba survived, and what he’s been up to these past five years since the downfall of the Empire. I’m pretty confident that he will want his armor back though.

One final word: more Baby Yoda.

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