The Mandalorian Season 2 is coming. So this week I am exploring what this fan wants to see from El Mando’s sophomore season.
The Mandalorian was the first-ever live-action Star Wars TV show. Frankly, it was superior to anything fans got to see in the sequel trilogy, in my opinion. However, I still think it could have done with a few tweaks and changes. With that in mind, this week I am looking at what I want to see from The Mandalorian Season 2.
As usual, this is merely my own personal opinion, you may disagree, you mate have better ideas? Feel free to chime in below. I’m also not really getting into plot too much here. I want to see where Favreau and Filoni decide to take El Mando in Season 2. My critiques and suggestion are therefore based more on the structure of The Mandalorian as a whole. Read on and let us know what you think.
One of the aspects of The Mandalorian Season 1 I thought was inconsistent, was the tone of the show. Those first few episodes were very dark, and despite being PG-13 felt more adult-oriented. However, the episodes in the middle, specifically episodes 4 and 5 felt off to me. It was like I was watching a live-action version of some bad The Clone Wars episodes.
The Mandalorian is not The Clone Wars
Now, I understand the tone of The Clone Wars is designed to suit kids more than adults. I, therefore, accept an immature tone from The Clone Wars. Saying that though, I always felt like The Clone Wars was at its best when things got a little darker. I, therefore, think Dave Filoni has to come at this show in a very different way from The Clone Wars. Yet, in some says, The Mandalorian could also take a few notes from The Clone Wars in how the stories are structured.
In my opinion, one of the mistakes made with The Mandalorian was to focus on half-hour instead of hour-long episodes. It proved tricky for The Mandalorian to be able to tell complete stories within their half-hour time slot. Those first three episodes were fine because it felt like one continuous story. Then in Episodes 4 and 5 we got standalone stories that didn’t work (for me) because a half-hour simply isn’t long enough. Not long enough to craft a story with new characters, that has a beginning, a middle and an end. Episode 6 however, worked a little better because the story being told was fast-paced and less reliant on characters. Episodes 7, and 8 were very good, because they picked up the story almost from where Episode 3 left off.
I want The Mandalorian to stay away from the kid-focused characters of The Clone Wars. However, I also think Lucasfilm could take some inspiration from The Clone Wars in some other ways.
What El Mando should borrow from The Clone Wars
With The Clone Wars being based on half-hour shows, the showrunners discovered and interesting way to tell more long-form stories. Each season of The Clone Wars is split into what could feel like 3-4 movie-length plots. Perhaps a story will last for four episodes, or three, then it moves onto a new story set elsewhere. This gives The Clone Wars the illusion of being longer stories despite being broken up into smaller to digest chunks.
If The Mandalorian is going to keep going away from the main Seasonal story in the middle, then why not copy the strategy The Clone Wars developed? Imagine a version of Season 1 of The Mandalorian where Episodes 1-3 and 7-8 were almost exactly as they are now, one 2.5 hour movie. However, let’s pretend that Episodes 4-6 were one story told across three episodes, so a smaller style 1.5-hour movie. You can hopefully see the benefit in what I am trying to explain here?
I would have felt more satisfied as a fan if Season 1 had been structured as I describe above. At this point, I feel there was so little value contained within Episodes 4 and 5. I would probably just skip them on a re-watch. I have only seen El Mando once all the way through, yet I can’t recall anything particularly important to any characters that happened in either Episodes 4 and 5. They were what we call ‘filler’ in the TV side of the industry. The only character that is truly important other than the lead in either of these episodes is Cara Dune. If Cara was instead introduced as part of a three-part story, I’d have appreciated her a whole lot more. As it was, she was introduced for me, simply so she could appear again at the end.
I don’t want filler from an eight-episode long Season, sorry Lucasfilm. This is not a 24 episode network show, where the audience have to be able to catch up if they miss a week. This is streaming content, and the rules for storytelling are a little different in this world. Almost every friend or colleague I have spoken to thought Episodes 4, and 5 of The Mandalorian sucked. However, most of those people really enjoyed what was good about The Mandalorian, overall.
We’re gonna need a bigger cast
Another irritation of mine when it comes to Season 1 of The Mandalorian was the lack of an ensemble cast. Mando himself and ‘The Child’ who doesn’t talk, are the only real lead characters in Season 1. This approach worked to begin with — it’s the Spaghetti Western Lone Ranger vibe which I enjoyed after all. However, in Season 2 we need to see some regular cast members interacting with Mando throughout and not just here and there.
Greef Carga (Carl Weathers) works better as a secondary character for me, but Cara Dune should be a regular in Season 2. We also know that Rosario Dawson has signed up to play former Jedi Ahsoka Tano in Season 2. The latest reports say that Dawson will be a Season 2 regular, and that makes me a little happier. I want to see Mando build a team of colleagues. I wish both IG-11 and Kuill were in those middle episodes of The Mandalorian Season 1. Both were great characters and I was kinda sad they didn’t make it to Season 2
So pretty please, with sugar on top Lucasfilm. Keep Ahsoka and Cara around Mando as much as possible in Season 2, I want to see the group dynamics at play. At least Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon is back for Season 2, and I’d assume with a bigger role?
Wrap it up, fanboy
I know The Mandalorian Season 2 is well into filming and the scripts and plans will already be set in stone. I just hope Lucasfilm listened to some of the criticisms of Season 1, before they pushed ahead. Please don’t let Season 2 of The Mandalorian waste over an hour on meaningless filler episodes again. Lucasfilm, this time, give the characters something to do in the middle which goes across a few episodes instead.
I want The Mandalorian to stay a big hit. For me though, it needs to evolve slightly to survive as a show that will attract adult Star Wars fans. What about you, do you agree with my criticisms of Season 1? What do you want from Season 2 of The Mandalorian? Leave your thoughts below as always in the usual spot.
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