Ranking ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2
Another year, another season of The Mandalorian gone too soon. In Season 2, fans have been treated with an even greater expansion of the world of Star Wars that managed to top the first season in almost every way. With only one installment remaining that’s sure to be full of even more surprises, I’ve ranked the episodes we’ve seen thus far from worst to best.
Chapter 10: The Passenger
I think it’s safe to say The Mandalorian doesn’t have any bad episodes. That being said, this is probably my least favorite episode of the series. Unlike many complaints that this simply served as a “filler episode,” my issues mostly derive from the fact that it feels like a bottle episode. That’s not to say it doesn’t have brilliant special effects and set design, but it’s definitely a step down from the bombastic season opener prior to its release. Regardless, it features one of my favorite dog chases in all of Star Wars, and the design of the spider creatures is one of the most horrifying elements of the franchise.
Chapter 12: The Siege
From this point on, there’s really not that much bad to say about any of these episodes, which goes to show how well Jon Favreau and crew have done on the second season. The only reason this episode sits so low on the list is that it follows much the same formula we grew accustomed to last season, and it doesn’t really add anything new to Mando’s personal journey. Aside from the standard shootouts, however, the final moments in the Razorcrest had me jumping with excitement and the cliffhanger left me genuinely scared for the fate of our main characters. The return of Greef Karga is a welcome one. It’s always a delight seeing Carl Weathers both in front of and behind the camera.
Chapter 11: The Heiress
Any time Mandalorians team-up is a guaranteed good time, but the best part of the episode was seeing our main character exposed to a new Mandalorian philosophy profoundly different from his own. I really enjoy the idea that Din is from a radical group of Mandalorians and that he’s really the outlier within the context of Mandalore’s culture as a whole. This was a nice setup for some moments later in the season, and it seems to mark a shift in his character as a whole. While the invasion of the Imperial ship wasn’t anything new, the show still manages to find new ways to make hallway shootouts exciting. It also gave us a unique insight as to the secretive and sinister ways the Empire is operating in the New Republic era.
Chapter 13: The Jedi
I think it’s fair to admit that The Jedi might’ve gone a little overboard with fan service and setups for future spinoff series. Even for longtime fans of the franchise, the reference to Grand Admiral Thrawn might’ve been lost to them. That being said, I’d be lying if I said the introduction of a live-action Ashoka Tano wasn’t everything I wanted out of this episode. Rosario Dawson and Dave Filoni managed to give casual fans an honest portrayal of a character that die-hard fans have been enjoying for years. She carries with her the weight of burden experienced through her many years of combat and sacrifice. Her interactions with Grogu also gave us some long-overdue answers as to the history of the child we’ve grown to know and love. I look forward to seeing what direction Disney takes the character in her solo series.
Chapter 14: The Tragedy
Although one of the shortest episodes in the season, The Tragedy still manages to pack the biggest punch. With only a few short minutes of set up, this episode gets right into the action. The Seeing Stone. Boba Fett. Fennec Shand. Stormtroopers. Moff Gideon. Dark Troopers. The Razor Crest… The emotional journey from excitement to despair that ranges over the course of the episode is handled brilliantly through the timeless action of Robert Rodriguez. Finally, after years of hyping him up, we get to see Boba Fett be the badass he was always promised to be (in live-action). The gritty, hand-to-hand combat that transitions into the brutal shootouts and explosions when Temura Morrison puts the armor on is exactly the type of ham-fisted fan service I want out of a show like this. And if we didn’t hate Moff Gideon enough, the kidnapping of our precious Grogu is an unforgivable deed that even the cold-hearted Boba Fett will seek vengeance for.
Chapter 9: The Marshal
It was hard to choose between these last two episodes as my favorite, and honestly, I could still go either way. What this episode proved to me, though, is that the creators know exactly what type of show The Mandalorian is. I don’t want to watch a Star Wars series expecting a deep and complex narrative. I want to see fun and exciting adventures with cool characters, and The Marshal could not have delivered better on this promise. If the production design of the first season wasn’t good enough for you, the season opener proves that Disney could bring the magic of the big screen into your living room without the typical television constraints. As perhaps the most “Western” episode of the series, I loved seeing the wandering gunslinger save a small town while simultaneously uniting two cultures. A tale almost as old as cinema itself. The expansion of the frame for the climactic battle against the Krayt Dragon made me wish I was watching it in an IMAX theater. This episode also introduces probably the best side character in the series (second only to a character soon to be mentioned). I loved the interaction between Din and Cobb Vanth, so I hope it’s not the last we’ve seen of Timothy Olyphant’s character. I could go on and on about how this is the best live-action Star Wars we’ve gotten since Return of the Jedi, but I’ll leave it at this.
Chapter 15: The Believer
Any episode with Bill Burr is a certified banger. Rick Famuyiwa returns yet again to write and direct the best episode of the series. The only thing that gives The Believer the edge over the season opener for me is the depth given to Din’s inner turmoil. We get to see the lengths he’ll go to pushing his personal boundaries when he’s truly desperate. Only the prospect of saving Grogu is what will get him to break the one rule he’s followed his entire life since he was a Foundling. Bill Burr’s comedic charisma as Mayfeld bounces perfectly off of Mando’s emotionless demeanor. You can tell he’s having a blast playing this sarcastic and antagonistic force within the world of Star Wars. I wasn’t expecting a redemption for the ex-Imperial sharpshooter, but Famuyiwa writes and directs it in such an authentic and believable way that it came across as a natural progression for the character we saw in the last season. Along with an intense staredown in the mess hall reminiscent of Inglourious Basterds and a cargo chase sequence akin to Mad Max, this episode offered superb action and subtle character moments to give fans some of the best live-action Star Wars to date.
Will Mando and the crew save Grogu? Will we finally see Din go head to head against Moff Gideon’s dark saber? All questions that will hopefully be revealed on tomorrow’s season finale of The Mandalorian Season 2. Sound off in the comments below what your favorite episodes of the season have been thus far! –Caleb Sadd
Did you enjoy this article? If so, consider visiting our YouTube channel, where we discuss the latest and greatest in pop culture news.