Disney has dropped the first trailer for the second season of The Mandalorian, the Emmy-nominated first live-action Star Wars TV series created by Jon Favreau. Starring Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin, the titular Mandalorian, the series takes place a few years after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order.
(Spoilers for S1 below.)
The basic premise is that, after the defeat of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, there was a period of chaos and lawlessness as a new government struggled to emerge from the wreckage. Pascal’s bounty hunter is “a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.”
In S1, the Mandalorian is looking for a bigger payout from Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), leader of a guild of bounty hunters. Karga directs him to Werner Herzog’s “The Client,” a nameless figure who hires the Mandalorian to retrieve a valuable asset. This turns out to be “The Child” (aka “Baby Yoda,” played by puppeteers), who became the instant breakout star. The Internet (and Herzog, apparently) fell in love with “Baby Yoda” (although he isn’t the Yoda, just an infant of the same species—which makes him about 50 years old).
The Mandalorian’s long-buried altruism emerges when he realizes that the Client’s intentions are to harm (possibly even kill) The Child, and he absconds with The Child instead. That puts a bounty on his head, as well, and much of the first season followed the unlikely duo as the Mandalorian sought to find a safe haven for The Child. Their main pursuer: former Empire governor Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). Fortunately, they find useful allies in several places, as well as in Cara Dune (Gina Carano), a former Rebel shock trooper from the destroyed planet of Alderaan. And The Child himself turns out to have some surprising abilities of his own.
As Ars’ Sam Machkovech noted in his review of the pilot episode last year, “The Mandalorian is Star Wars for a generation of fans who remember the film series as an aesthetic, an ethos, and a promise of morally mixed discovery.” He particularly praised “the balance of practical effects, carefully molded alien costumes, and intentionally cheeseball CGI,” adding, “Those brief CGI moments are forgivable in light of gorgeous set design, a John Williams-caliber score of brand-new compositions, and a cast of actors who savor their pauses, beats, and moments to simmer in tension (both for action and comedy’s sake).”
The series garnered 15 Emmy nomination for its eight-episode freshman outing. And it easily landed a spot on our top TV shows of 2019. “Favreau’s brainchild has proven to be a killer vehicle for the most Star Trek-like storytelling yet in a live-action Star Wars product,” Machkovech wrote. “Even better, its freak-of-the-week and brand-new-planet progression has been paired with a proper samurai story, as anchored by the religious, fervent, and conflicted Mando himself.”
So naturally we’re all eager for S2 (and preproduction on a possible third season has purportedly already begun). Carano, Weathers, and Esposito are all returning for the second season, the latter having survived being shot down by Karga and the Mandalorian in the season finale. Alas, we bid farewell to several great characters in S1, including the assassin Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen); Kuiil (voiced by Nick Nolte, performed Misty Rosas in an animatronic face mask), an Ugnaught moisture farmer and former slave of the Empire who sacrificed his life to protect The Child; and the droid IG-11 (voiced by Taika Waititi).
New S2 cast members include Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s former Jedi Padawan, who is now a spymaster for the Rebel Alliance; Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze (reprising her voice role from The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series), who leads a Mandalorian group known as the Nite Owls; Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth, a former slave who now has possession of fan favorite/bounty hunter Boba Fett’s armor; and Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett—a bit of a surprise since the character seemingly perished in Return of the Jedi.
The official S2 premise is appropriately vague: “The Mandalorian and The Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire.” The trailer doesn’t offer much beyond that. Mando receives instructions to reunite The Child with his own kind, although exactly where that species might be lurking is apparently something he’ll have to figure out for himself. It will involve seeking out “an order of sorcerers called Jedi”—sworn enemies of the Mandalorians in eons past. We get scenes of space battles, storm troopers, our duo traipsing through a remote icy world, and of course, lots and lots of Baby Yoda. And the Mandalorian remains a formidable adversary, as one band of goons learns to its detriment.
The Mandalorian S2 debuts on Disney+ on October 30, 2020. A few additional promotional stills are below.
Listing image by LucasFilm Ltd.