The Mandalorian (S01E02) “The Child”

Chapter 2 of the Star Wars live action series, The Mandalorian, picked up right where the first episode ended. Mando (Pedro Pascal) had procured the asset, that adorable little green baby Yoda. And until we know this 50 year old babies name, we can call him baby Yoda for now. Mando ‘just’ needed to take the toddler (yoddler?) to his ship, and get him back to the mysterious client.

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But things didn’t quite go to plan. Seems Mando and bounty droid IG-11 (RIP) were not the only ones tasked with finding the little green dude. As Mando traversed a desert canyon – now sans Blurrg – two reptilian bounty hunters ambushed him. Pushing baby Yoda’s floating bassinet out of harm’s way, Mando faced the two. Disarming and overcoming them didn’t take long, but he injured his arm. That night at his campsite, Mando gritted his teeth while cauterizing his arm wound. But baby Yoda had other ideas and could help. And that adorable little guy left his bassinet, held his hand up to Mando, and trying to use the Force to heal Mando’s wound. But Mando had no clue what the baby was up to, and returned him to his bassinet. Twice.

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On returning to his ship, he discovered that those pesky little galaxy scavengers, the Jawas, were stripping his ship for parts. Whipping up his trusty staff weapon, Mando blasted a few Jawas. And not just shooting them, but disintegrating them, leaving nothing but their brown shawls. Scurrying for cover, the Jawas closed up their transporter and took off, with Mando in pursuit. And our floating baby followed, never letting Mando out of his sight (seriously, I can’t get over how adorable baby Yoda is!)

Scrambling up the side of the transporter, the Jawas did everything they could to dislodge Mando, to no avail. When he finally gained the top, they struck him with that blue bolt that had felled R2D2 all those years ago – with the same result. Regaining consciousness sometime later, the Jawas were long gone. Mando looked up to find an anxious green baby watching him. With nothing left to do, Mando trudged back to his wrecked ship, disgusted at what the Jawas had done to it. And only having one place left to go from there, he made his way to Kuiil’s (Nick Nolte) vapor farm.

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There, Kuiil met baby Yoda, amused that this is what all the fuss has been about. They watch as the hungry baby consumes a frog in one gulp. And with him being a child, Mando has no choice but to keep him alive. But with a destroyed ship, courtesy of the Jawas, he can’t get anywhere. Kuiil corrects him. Jawas don’t destroy, they steal. The only way Mando can rebuild his ship is to trade with the Jawas. Mando is not happy about that. It’s HIS stuff, and he has to trade for it? The trade negotiations aren’t helped by Mando speaking terrible Jawa (like a Wookie) and blasting his flame thrower over the gathering.

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Refusing to trade his Beskar steel, or baby Yoda for that matter, they come to a deal. All Mando has to do is find an egg the Jawas desire. How hard can that be, right? And followed by the floating bassinet, Mando approaches the den. Inside, the sleeping rhino-like animal awakens, then chases Mando out into the open. With his blaster disabled by sticky, wet mud, and his staff knocked from his hands, Mando is defenseless. With the rhino bearing down on him, facing certain death, Mando kneels, knife in hand. But then something happens. Something Mando cannot explain. Baby Yoda extends his hand, and the beast stops, held in mid air. Realizing the baby is doing this, a stunned Mando then knifes the creature as it falls back to the ground. Baby Yoda collapses, exhausted.

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Returning to the Jawas, Mando hands over the egg, retrieves his ship parts, and then he and Kuiil return to his wrecked ship. On the way, their concern for the exhausted baby shows. Neither of them understand what happened, having apparently never seen the Force in action. But that tiny green toddler saved Mando’s life. That is going to make handing him over for the bounty difficult, I’m sure. The ship takes a few days to repair, but Mando soon has a fully operational ship. And all the while, baby Yoda sleeps, recovering from his exertion. The ship ready to leave, Mando tells Kuiil he could use a good crew member, but Kuiil politely declines. He has worked a lifetime to finally be free of servitude. All they can offer each other is thanks. Kuiil for helping Mando, and Mando for bringing peace to the valley.

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As Mando prepares to depart, he looks to the sleeping baby, gently shaking the bassinet. It’s touching. It’s such a simple thing, yet it shows the care he has for this tiny green being. And as Mando leaves the planet, our baby stirs and wakes, sitting up in his bassinet, ready to face wherever they go next.

 

The Mandalorian is streaming on Disney+ with new episodes available Fridays.

Images copyright Disney.