Review: The rise of ‘The Mandalorian’ and Baby Yoda

(LILITH VAN RY/ La Plaza Photo)


-Disclaimer: there will be spoilers for the first two episodes of “The Mandalorian” in this article-

When Disney launched their streaming platform known as Disney+ on Nov. 12, shows such as “The Mandalorian” were also launched.  “The Mandalorian” occurs five years after “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” and 25 years before “Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” This means that “The Empire” has fallen, and “The First Order” has yet to come to power. 

“The Mandalorian” follows the story of an unnamed Mandalorian bounty hunter (played by Pedro Pascal), who is from the planet of Mandalore, destroyed by the Empire.  Mandalorians are known for not taking off their armor at any point, and for being fierce warriors, with weapons being their way of life, rather than a choice. With the destruction of their planet, the Mandalorians were spread across the galaxy.

The first episode opens with the unnamed Mandalorian tracking down a bounty, upon returning to his employer, he refuses the imperial credits stating “I don’t know if you heard, but the Empire is gone.”  This indicates that he would rather get paid less in a different currency than accept money from the dictatorship that fragmented his people. This becomes a point of contention, as the Mandalorian’s next job is given to him by an ex-empire agent, who is still surrounded by stormtroopers, who happen to look worse for wear.

The job from the empire agent takes the Mandalorian to the Outer Rim planets, specifically Arvala-7, hunting for a 50-year-old creature.  After fighting through a whole fortress of armed men, the Mandalorian finds his target; baby Yoda?! 

The target being a baby Yoda is cause for much stipulation.  Yoda said in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, that his unnamed home planet was destroyed, along with his unnamed species.  Due to neither his species, nor planet being known, baby Yoda is simply, baby Yoda.  If Yoda thought that he was the last of his kind, where did this little guy come from?  There are many theories, among which is that the Empire may have taken some of the inhabitants of Yoda’s destroyed planet in as captives, and with the fall of the Empire, baby Yoda was released back to the world.

Regardless of where baby Yoda came from, this leads to episode two of The Mandalorian.  Returning from his mission, he finds his ship stripped by the Jawas in the area.  The Jawas are known as scavengers, and are seen throughout the Star Wars cinegraphic universe, and native residents of Tatooine.  The Mandalorian seeks help from Kuiil (his guide from episode 1), in bartering for his ship parts back.

Initially, the Jawas will only trade the ship parts for his “beskar’gam”, his Mandalorian armor, which is passed down from many generations, and changed by each wearer.  Obviously, his armor would not be bartered, so the Jawas request baby Yoda, which, also, obviously will not happen. The Mandalorian is then sent for “the egg,” fighting a large rhinoceros looking creature to acquire “the egg.”  During this fight scene, it is revealed that baby Yoda can indeed use the force.

After receiving his parts back from the Jawas, the lone bounty hunter, with the help of Kuiil, fixes his ship overnight.  With baby Yoda buckled in, the Mandalorian leaves Arvala-7, presumably back to “the client”.

Baby Yoda has taken the internet by storm.  It is a challenge to scroll through any social media without seeing a baby Yoda pop up on the timeline.  It has even been joked, why name the show “The Mandalorian,” when it could simply be named ‘Baby Yoda’. Suffice to say, baby Yoda is now arguably the most popular character on the internet, and certainly one of the cutest.

“The Mandalorian” releases a new episode every Friday, with the next episode airing Dec. 6

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