Greetings from a galaxy far, far away! After a 10-month wait, The Mandalorian S2E1 “Chapter 9: The Marshal” finally dropped. That, of course, means it is time to explore the further adventures of Din Djarin (The Mandalorian) and The Child. I am glad you are joining me on this journey through Season 2, and will do my best to provide you with some valuable insights.
As I discussed in my last article, Season 1 ended with Mando accepting the quest to deliver The Child back to his people. The problem is that no one knows where, or even what, his people are. We still don’t know whether The Child’s people are Jedi, other Force users or the unknown species that The Child shares with Yoda and Yaddle. That fact only complicates the question of where his people are all the more. How can Mando track down The Child’s people with no leads and a galaxy to search?
A Little Help from His Friends
As The Mandalorian S2E1 begins, the direction of the season seems to quickly come into focus. Before the opening credits, we see Mando searching for any other Mandalorian he can find. He hopes that the Mandalorians can be the network that supplies him with the information he needs. His meeting with Gor Koresh, the one-eyed alien, provides us with insight to a couple of questions I posed in my previous article. First, there are indeed other Mandalorians out there. Gor Koresh has been killing them to collect their Beskar armor, as its value has been skyrocketing. This may also explain why the Mandalorians have been in hiding—people are targeting them for this valuable metal.
Mando once again leaves his ship in the care of Peli Motto. We saw her last season in “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger.” This scene shows the impact that IG-11 had on Mando. In Season 1, he made a big deal about not trusting droids. Now, though, for the first time since the Super Battle Droids wiped out his village, Mando lets droids do the jobs they were created to do.
The whole reason Mando travels to Tatooine is to find the rumored Mandalorian that Gor Koresh told him about. Mando journeys to Mos Pelgo, where this Mandalorian is said to live. This person, though, turns out not to be a true Mandalorian. Cobb Vanth, the Marshal of the town, purchased the armor from Jawas. The armor, though, clearly is the armor of Boba Fett, as highlighted by the dent in the helmet. Somehow, the Jawas came into possession of pieces of Boba Fett’s armor after he was swallowed by the Sarlaac in Return of the Jedi.
Was Cobb Vanth the person we saw at the end of “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger”? I don’t believe so. If you read my previous article, you know I believe that person was clearly Boba Fett or someone wearing Boba Fett’s armor. There are differences, though, between what we see of Cobb Vanth and what we saw of that mysterious person. First of all, the person at the end of that episode made spur sounds when he walked, just as Boba Fett did in The Empire Strikes Back. Also, the scanning or computer beeping sounds that we hear at the end of that episode are identical to the ones we hear in the A New Hope special edition. Unless I missed it, we don’t hear either of these sounds in this episode. Additionally, Cobb Vanth is never shown wearing a cape, past or present, unlike the character at the end of “The Gunslinger.” This leads me to believe that there must be another set of armor out there.
Everything is Canon
For a long time, Star Wars canon has been a contentious subject. Under George Lucas, there were two levels of canon: Movie and TV canon and a secondary canon that added books, comics and other supplementary stories. Some latched onto the former; others, the latter. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm, they categorized the secondary canon sources as “Legends.” Going forward, the company said that all stories would be canon, in conjunction with the original Movie and TV canon. “Everything is canon” became a tagline for how Disney planned to proceed.
The introduction of Cobb Vanth in The Mandalorian S2E1 may have implications on Star Wars canon. Cobb Vanth was originally introduced in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath book series. In the series, he was the Sheriff of Freetown, not the Marshal of Mos Pelgo. Additionally, the explanation of how he acquired Boba Fett’s armor differs from the show. In the book, Cobb and a character named Adwin Charu visit Jawas to buy droids, but compete over the armor after Charu discovers it in a box. In the show, Vanth gets the armor from the Jawas after they find him close to death in the desert, but the character of Charu is not present. Disney may find a way to explain away the differences, but the differences support something I have long believed: everything is canon…until it isn’t.
Throughout the series, Mando has shown a habit of collecting unexpected allies. The Mandalorian S2E1 is no different. While Mando and Vanth first seemed destined to come to blows, they quickly became allies while trying to kill the krayt dragon. I feel certain we will see Vanth return later in the season to help Mando, much like Kuill and Cara Dune did in Season 1.
While the Tusken Raiders have traditionally been portrayed as savage creatures bent on destruction of the beings that have settled on Tatooine, The Mandalorian has shown them to be honorable beings. Just as Mando was able to bargain with them in “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger,” he is able to find common ground between the Tusken and the miners in “Chapter 9: The Marshal.” The Tusken decide to help the miners take down the krayt dragon, in return for rights to the creature’s carcass. Additionally, they agree to no longer attack the miners, unless the miners attack them first. As with Vanth, I can’t help but wonder if this tribe of Tusken is destined to swoop in and save the day later this season.
One of the most exciting moments for me personally was the final scene of the episode. From behind, we see a man dressed and armed like a Tusken Raider, but without the mask. He is standing on the edge of a cliff, watching Mando and The Child ride off into the sunset. This man turns around and walks toward the camera, showing the return of Temuera Morrison’s Boba Fett. Definitively, Boba lives!
This revelation brings up additional questions. How did he survive the Sarlaac? Are we sure he isn’t just another clone of Jango Fett? How did he get the scar across his face? Why is he watching the scene below? Has he adopted the life of a Tusken Raider or is he in hiding?
The show may have given us a hint of how he escaped. At one point, Mando says that abandoned Sarlaac pits happen “if you eat the Sarlaac.” As for whether or not he could be a different clone, I believe that is highly unlikely. In Attack of the Clones, the Kaminoans explain that the clones, with only the exception of Boba Fett, age at twice the normal rate. Given that The Mandalorian takes place 31 years after Attack of the Clones, per the official Star Wars timeline, those clones should be in their late sixties or their seventies by the time of this episode.
In Season 1, we discover that Mandalorian is not a race—it is a creed. Here is what we know about that creed from the first season:
- A Mandalorian that takes off his or her helmet in front of another living being may never put it back on. This may not have always been true, though, as both Clones Wars and Rebels showed Mandalorians routinely appearing without their helmets.
- Weapons are an important part of the religion.
- Foundlings—abandoned or orphaned children—are seen as critical to growing the religion, and must never be left behind.
- A Mandalorian must act as the parent of a Foundling in his or her care, until the child is of age or returned to its own kind.
- A Mandalorian should reserve a portion of each bounty or score to support the Foundlings.
- Mandalorians earn a signet to wear on their armor, based on a noble kill.
- Ancestral Mandalorians rode the great mythosaur. The skull of the mythosaur is a common symbol used by Mandalorians, and was the signet on Boba Fett’s armor.
What did we learn in The Mandalorian S2E1?
- By creed, a Mandalorian has the right to reclaim the found armor of another Mandalorian.
Thoughts and Theories about The Mandalorian S2E1
- How many times has Mando been to Tatooine, and why? He does say he has spent quite a bit of time there. We saw him communicate with Tusken Raiders in “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger,” but I thought he may have been using some kind of universal sign language. In “Chapter 9: The Marshal,” we see Mando really can speak Tusken, and not just with sign language. I assume they don’t teach Tusken in Mandalorian high schools, but maybe I am wrong.
- Maybe it’s perspective or maybe it’s the creature’s age, but the skeleton of a krayt dragon we saw in A New Hope looks tiny compared to the dragon we saw in this episode. This one is a true behemoth.
- As I think about what Boba Fett is up to, I suspect he is looking to get his armor back from Cobb Vanth. Now he will be looking to get it back from Mando. I am guessing this means Boba Fett is likely to be a foe to Mando, as he may view him as a thief.
- The above thought, though, doesn’t explain who has the other set of armor. Back when Lucasfilm announced the since-cancelled Boba Fett movie, I imagined a scene where a being with a hidden face breaks into Boba Fett’s secret cache. This being finds multiple suits of armor, spaceships and other equipment, and assumes Fett’s identity. Maybe Fett does indeed have multiple sets and his secret cache is on Tatooine.
- I wonder how Mando feels about the mudhorn being his signet, now that he’s killed a krayt dragon.
- I can say with complete certainty that I would never want to be caught in a krayt dragon’s acid vomit attack.
- Despite creating, producing and writing most of The Mandalorian, S2E1 is Jon Favreau’s first as the director.
Easter Eggs and References in The Mandalorian S2E1
Here are some of the Easter eggs and references that stuck out to me in The Mandalorian S2E1.
- The R5 droid that projects the Tatooine map in Peli Motto’s hangar appears to be none other than R5-D4. This droid is the astromech unit that Luke’s Uncle Owen wants to buy from the Jawas in A New Hope, until his motivator blows. As the droid rolls through the camera in this episode, you can see the damage from that incident at the top back of his dome.
- Cobb Vanth’s speeder bike appears to be made from one of the engines from Anakin Skywalker’s podracer.
- The Gamorreans, the green pig-faced aliens from the opening scene, first appear in Return of the Jedi as Jabba the Hutt’s personal guards.
- Weequay aliens, like the bartender in Mos Pelgo, also first appear in the Jabba the Hutt sequence of Return of the Jedi.
- Massiffs, the dog-like creatures with the Tusken Raiders, were first shown in Attack of the Clones. They lived with the Tusken Raiders on Tatooine and with the Geonosians, the insectoid creatures on Geonosis.
- Mando wants to get Cobb Vanth out of the danger zone during his final plan to kill the krayt dragon. To do that, he hits something on the Boba Fett jetpack that causes Vanth to fly away uncontrollably. This is what Han Solo did to Boba Fett, although accidentally, that caused Fett to fall into the Sarlaac pit in Return of the Jedi.
Memorable Lines from The Mandalorian S2E1
- “Wherever I go, he goes.”
- “It’s uncouth to talk business immediately. Just enjoy the entertainment.” (Is this Jon Favreau’s direction to the fans?)
- “I promise you will not die by my hand.”
- “How much do you want for him? Just kidding. But not really.”
- “I’m looking for the Mandalorian.” […] “Can you describe him?”
- “We gonna do this in front of the kid?” “He’s seen worse.”
- “Maybe we can work something out.”
- “Do you want their help?” “Not if I have to drink this.”
- “They might be open to some fresh ideas.”
- “Oh, and tell your people I wasn’t the one that broke that.”
A Bounty Captured
The Mandalorian S2E1 “Chapter 9: The Marshal” was another great episode. Much like “Chapter 2: The Child,” this is one of my favorites. Jon Favreau and team brought so much to this episode. I love the fact that we got to spend some time with the Tusken Raiders and see them as more than just monsters to be feared. We get to see the continued growth of Mando as an honorable man who truly cares about others. The other thing I love, of course, is the return of Boba Fett. I hope you enjoyed the episode as much as I did. If you have comments, theories or other easter eggs I didn’t mention, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
This is the Way.