Baby Yoda joins Mando on all his adventures in episode 1 of The Mandalorian season 2.
After nearly a year of pining for our pals Mando and Baby Yoda — official name The Child — The Mandalorian season 2 kicked off on Disney Plus on Friday with a pretty killer episode. Episode 1 was directed by Jon Favreau, the show’s creator (also the OG Marvel Cinematic Universe director).
Chapter 9 is entitled The Marshal, a name that’s likely to make fans who’ve been following the Star Wars novels say “Oooooh, yes!” Please don’t read any further until you’ve reminded yourself what happened in season 1 and watched the episode on Disney’s streaming service. We good? Good, there is much to discuss. Let’s dive into SPOILERS.
In his quest to reunite Baby Yoda with his own kind, Mando (Pedro Pascal) seeks out other Mandolorians to guide him. He learns of someone on Tatooine, which weirds him since he and his little buddy were already there but heard nothing about it.
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It turns out that the man in Mandalorian armor isn’t a Mandalorian at all — it’s Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant, who previously played gunslingers in Deadwood and Justified). He’s decked out in Boba Fett’s iconic armor, and his story played out in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy of novels, which are set between Return of the Jedi and The Mandalorian. This episode also presents it in a super cool flashback.
I’m quite jealous of Vanth’s lovely Hollywood hair — in real life, it’d be a mess after taking off that helmet. Perhaps he uses product derived from Bantha juice to keep it oh so shapely?
Cobb Vanth has some delightful Hollywood hair under that Boba Fett helmet.
Lucasfilm/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET
When criminal goons rolled into Mos Pelgo following the destruction of the second Death Star (roughly five years prior to The Mandalorian), Vanth escaped and bought Fett’s armor from some Jawas. Since the infamous bounty hunter fell into the sarlacc in Return of the Jedi and is busy being digested for 1,000 years, he won’t need any armor.
With his awesome new armor, Vanth returns to the town and drives the goons out. He then struts about wearing it, to keep the town safe in the lawless post-Empire Tatooine.
Boba Fett probably wants his armor back.
Lucasfilm/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET
In the episode’s closing moments, we see a mysterious someone watching Mando from a ridge. He appears to be wearing Tusken Raider gear, and turns around to reveal the face of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison). He apparently escaped the sarlacc in the years since Return of the Jedi and it looks like he’s been hiding. How he got out and what he’s been up to for the last five years is unknown, but he’ll probably be wanting his armor back.
So Mando’s inadvertently painted a big(ger) target on his and Baby Yoda’s backs — we might see Boba hunting him down solo, or he could team up with Moff Gideon and the Imperial Remnant. The Imps want Baby Yoda, and would pay Boba serious money for his help in hunting Mando down.
It’s actually the first time we’ve seen Boba’s face as an adult, but it’s a very familiar one since he’s a clone of the late bounty hunter Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones. Jango was recruited by Count Dooku to serve as the genetic template for the clone army used by the Galactic Republic, as part of Darth Sidious’ super convoluted plot to wipe out the Jedi. Part of Jango’s payment was an unaltered clone that he could raise as his son — Boba — but the elder Fett was killed by Mace Windu during the Battle of Geonosis.
We saw young Boba getting up to (occasionally murderous) mischief in The Clone Wars and his career as a bounty hunter was in full swing by the time of the Original Trilogy, until he got eaten like a sucker.
Baby Yoda cuteness
The little guy didn’t do much this episode — no sudden use of the Force or anything — and mostly hung back looking cute. It was cool that Mando brought him on this incredibly dangerous mission. Cool, and mad irresponsible.
This article will be updated with more Easter eggs and observations shortly.