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The Mandalorian - Season 2 (open spoilers for big surprises)


TehStu
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Anyway I thought the actual episodes of S2 were more consistent than S1 on the whole, although most of the fan service did nothing for me and I'd rather they avoided it in the future.

 

I'm surprised that S02E06 got such a strong response here, it was by far the weakest of the lot for me. Absolutely zero plot, even by the standards of this show, just a load of cheap looking action set in a generic desert. I actually laughed out loud when Rodriguez's name popped up at the end, as cheap action scenes in generic deserts are pretty much his motif.

 

Conversely I thought S02E02 was a fun little side adventure, the kind I'd like to see more of. Impressive effects, too.

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1 hour ago, Stoppy2000 said:

Just stop watching it then. 

 

I hadn't thought of that, thanks. 

 

If I stopped watching any scifi TV show that had dialogue worse than Firefly I'd have to stop watching them altogether. The Expanse finally broke me, as that had similar issues with piss poor dialogue, acting and characterisation but didn't have some of the painterly wonder of The Mandalorian (or a lifetime of being a fan of the franchise) to fall back on. So, I'll keep watching it and criticise it if that's OK with you?

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@cavalcade Wow. Obviously you are totally entitled to like or not like whatever you want, but I'm not sure I've seen a pair of such polar opposite posts to my own view in quite a long time! The Mandalorian and The Expanse are probably my favourite sci-fi shows since Space: Above and Beyond, and I really didn't get on with either Firefly* or BSG. :lol: Still life would be dull if we all liked the same things though so it's all good.

 

* I appreciate I'm in a massive minority on this based on most people I know but I found Firefly the definition of 'meh'.

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@FiveFootNinjaI would always prioritise a scifi show standing as a show if you took the pew pew layzors out and imagined it as a stage play or something. BSG isn't universally good and the last couple of seasons were dreadful, but it had moments of gravitas. Firefly has heart and the #bants Buffyesque JW dialogue now prevalent in Marvel movies etc. My issue with the Expanse and Mandalorian is simply that they have no wit or verve and the acting in most cases is stilted, unnatural and fairly crude. Obviously both the Expanse and Mandalorian have good points, but if at the core of a show you don't have a soul then you're just watching it out of loyalty to it as a fan of science fiction (or a scifi franchise). I have similar issues with Star Trek Discovery. Compare that to The Orville (once it got past the dick jokes phase). Also, I don't know, off the top of my head.... er... Fringe for example, which never took itself too seriously. I'm not saying all scifi has to be comedy riot or shy away from being austere and serious (I love the movie Arrival for example and love high concept scifi) but for a TV show I think you need to have some sort of heart and soul to it. Mandalorian doesn't no matter how hard people pretend a cuddly Yoda is the answer. 

 

But yes, to each their own. And there's no denying some of the shots in it are beautiful. 

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I've really enjoyed the Mandalorian (as a former Star Wars fan who couldn't really care less nowadays) but yeah, I can't say I find many of the characters particularly relatable, and the casual regard for human life becomes a little wearing. I think it was just that one small bit in season 1 with two mean off-duty stormtroopers talking crap where I actually felt a vague human connection with a character.

 

One your first point there,  @cavalcade , I'm up to the third series of Blake's 7 and that's a great example of what you do when you can't really afford to have sweeping shots of spacecraft and planets - you get great dialogue and characters like Avon :wub:

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2 hours ago, cavalcade said:

 

I hadn't thought of that, thanks. 

 

If I stopped watching any scifi TV show that had dialogue worse than Firefly I'd have to stop watching them altogether. The Expanse finally broke me, as that had similar issues with piss poor dialogue, acting and characterisation but didn't have some of the painterly wonder of The Mandalorian (or a lifetime of being a fan of the franchise) to fall back on. So, I'll keep watching it and criticise it if that's OK with you?

 

I need to know your desert island box sets! You can only pick five. You get all the seasons for each show. But that's the lot for the rest of your life.

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3 hours ago, cavalcade said:

 

I hadn't thought of that, thanks. 

 

If I stopped watching any scifi TV show that had dialogue worse than Firefly I'd have to stop watching them altogether. The Expanse finally broke me, as that had similar issues with piss poor dialogue, acting and characterisation but didn't have some of the painterly wonder of The Mandalorian (or a lifetime of being a fan of the franchise) to fall back on. So, I'll keep watching it and criticise it if that's OK with you?

A lifetime fan of Star Wars should find more to enjoy in the Mandalorian than you seem to... If i disliked it as much then I'd just stop watching. I presume you have seen the whole lot now? 

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I would also say that Star Wars has never been about the great dialogue unless you count such classic lines as "I hate sand" or "Nooooooo!" and the characters, whilst great, are all your typical stereotypes.

 

Ultimately Its all about the pew pew's and the vrum vrum of a lightsaber but that's just me.

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2 hours ago, Stoppy2000 said:

A lifetime fan of Star Wars should find more to enjoy in the Mandalorian than you seem to... If i disliked it as much then I'd just stop watching. I presume you have seen the whole lot now? 

 

I went to see Empire in the cinema when it came out. Tried to move pencils across my school desk with the Force. Appeared in an issue of PC Format with a hexidecimal hack to bring dead pilots back to life in the original X-Wing. I'm fan enough. Doesn't mean I enjoy mediocre Star Wars for Star Wars' sake. And I think I'm being misrepresented - I don't want sparkling Wheedon-esque dialogue, I just want a soul to it. I'll finish it off tonight, I've got a couple of episodes to go. Just a shame it couldn't be better. I'd trade some of the visual splendour for just a whiff of character. That's all I'm saying, I don't find it offensively bad or anything.

 

And my desert island scifi/fantasy shows? Babylon 5, ST:TNG, Orville, BSG, Buffy, Firefly, Misfits, Futurama, Red Dwarf, Fringe, X-Files... I dunno really.

 

Actually, look at Witcher, who's the most important character in that? 

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8 hours ago, cavalcade said:

 

I went to see Empire in the cinema when it came out. Tried to move pencils across my school desk with the Force. Appeared in an issue of PC Format with a hexidecimal hack to bring dead pilots back to life in the original X-Wing. I'm fan enough. Doesn't mean I enjoy mediocre Star Wars for Star Wars' sake. And I think I'm being misrepresented - I don't want sparkling Wheedon-esque dialogue, I just want a soul to it. I'll finish it off tonight, I've got a couple of episodes to go. Just a shame it couldn't be better. I'd trade some of the visual splendour for just a whiff of character. That's all I'm saying, I don't find it offensively bad or anything.

 

And my desert island scifi/fantasy shows? Babylon 5, ST:TNG, Orville, BSG, Buffy, Firefly, Misfits, Futurama, Red Dwarf, Fringe, X-Files... I dunno really.

 

Actually, look at Witcher, who's the most important character in that? 

Watch it to the end and tell me it has no 'soul'. 

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Don't know if anyone else is keeping up with the rumours but it's being reported that Robert Downy Jr is being cast as Thrawn, hope it's not true, I was really hoping for Lars Mikkelsen as he voice dhim perfectly in Rebels and hell the guy looks just like him.

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2 hours ago, Mogster said:

 

I don't think The Mandalorian or the Expanse are only good because of "pew pew layzors" (indeed, The Expanse is a layzor free zone), but also I think this is a bit reductive when it comes to shows like this. I think The Mandalorian has a lot more soul than you give it credit for, but it also has some incredible action scenes that would never work on stage but make for great TV. I do think it has some excellent character moments mind.

 

I strongly disagree that it's only seen as good by so many due to references to older Star Wars stuff too. My wife loves it for a start, who can't stand Star Wars outside of this show and had next to no knowledge about the universe. I know she's not exactly alone there either. I think there's really only one scene that leans on existing material to give it some of its weight (and it's brilliant), but it does so while also being a key point for the characters and plot of the show itself. Modern Star Wars is often criticised of being a "remember THIS?" experience that leans too heavily on nostalgia, but I think there's a balance to be struck between throwing in old stuff for the hell of it, and using it tastefully to build a cohesive universe. I think The Mandalorian manages the latter far more often than not.

 

Pew pew layzors in the action scene sense. In the Expanse.... brrpbrrrp machine guns. I'm not saying it's poor because of the Star Wars references - though saying it only has one scene that leans on nostalgia is crazy talk - but it's a hollowed out experience that depends on a cloud of third party analysis to flesh out the vestigial storytelling and characterisation. I have no doubt people watch it and enjoy it, but people watch any old shit and it has a cuddly Yoda and talking frogs in it doing a lot of the heavy lifting. 

 

It's fine, I have no great amount of skin in the game. I just wish that like Witcher they realised that having a gruff monosyllabic central character required some support in the wider cast. And I'm no great fan of the Witcher either, which has all sorts of other problems, but it seems like such a basic thing to sort out. But whatever, we have discussed to death. Some people love it, I think it's fine but a little soulless and dull. I'm sure Disney give not two fucks about what I think.   

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1 minute ago, cavalcade said:

Pew pew layzors in the action scene sense. In the Expanse.... brrpbrrrp machine guns. I'm not saying it's poor because of the Star Wars references - though saying it only has one scene that leans on nostalgia is crazy talk - but it's a hollowed out experience that depends on a cloud of third party analysis to flesh out the vestigial storytelling and characterisation. I have no doubt people watch it and enjoy it, but people watch any old shit and it has a cuddly Yoda and talking frogs in it doing a lot of the heavy lifting. 

 

What about it requires third party analysis?

 

When I talk about leaning on nostalgia, I mean in the sense that scenes involving existing characters work entirely on their own merits and the setup in the show. This is partly because Mando as a character has no prior knowledge about them, so their only significance to him is the same as that of a Star Wars newcomer. The one exception absolutely leans much harder on nostalgia to build it up, but it does it really well and it still totally works on its own merits with everything else going on in the scene.

 

And yes, some people watch any old shit, but I wouldn't class myself as someone like that. I'd watch almost anything Star Wars related, I'll give you that, but I certainly wouldn't enjoy it just "because Star Wars". For you it might be a hollow experience, but for my wife and I it was genuinely emotional.

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17 minutes ago, Mogster said:

 

What about it requires third party analysis?

 

When I talk about leaning on nostalgia, I mean in the sense that scenes involving existing characters work entirely on their own merits and the setup in the show. This is partly because Mando as a character has no prior knowledge about them, so their only significance to him is the same as that of a Star Wars newcomer. The one exception absolutely leans much harder on nostalgia to build it up, but it does it really well and it still totally works on its own merits with everything else going on in the scene.

 

And yes, some people watch any old shit, but I wouldn't class myself as someone like that. I'd watch almost anything Star Wars related, I'll give you that, but I certainly wouldn't enjoy it just "because Star Wars". For you it might be a hollow experience, but for my wife and I it was genuinely emotional.

100% agree with this. If this was bad then I wouldn't watch it just for the Star Wars bits. It's literally some of the best Star Wars output. 

 

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4 hours ago, Matt Defis said:

Don't know if anyone else is keeping up with the rumours but it's being reported that Robert Downy Jr is being cast as Thrawn, hope it's not true, I was really hoping for Lars Mikkelsen as he voice dhim perfectly in Rebels and hell the guy looks just like him.

 

Downey would be a terrible pick for Thrawn, not just because everyone will just think "It's Blue Iron Man!" but because he's utterly unsuitable for the role, he's never done any work to show he would be a good match for what's needed. I hope that's just people running with the "Favreau and him are pals and SW is going to be Marvel now" bit and nothing based on fact...

I would also say that I hope they DONT cast Mikkelsen as Thrawn in live action. Yes, perfect in Rebels as the voice. In live action? No. I don't want Thrawn introduced as some decrepit Limmy lookalike.

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37 minutes ago, Glasgowchivas said:

 

I would also say that I hope they DONT cast Mikkelsen as Thrawn in live action. Yes, perfect in Rebels as the voice. In live action? No. I don't want Thrawn introduced as some decrepit Limmy lookalike.

 

Nope, they should actually cast his brother Lars instead. He's the better actor anyway, but relatively unknown outside Scandinavia unfortunately.

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Ahh sorry! Whoops. Oh well, I think he'd be good personally and I agree that visually he'd be a close approximation to how I've always pictured Thrawn, with the acting chops to back it up. And let's face it, how we all picture Thrawn is how he was depicted in Tie Fighter surely? :wub:

 

Anyhoo, after seeing the entire season, I thought it was mediocre with only episode 5 being actually very good indeed.

Spoiler

The less said about Luke's appearance the better. Just a meaningless, emotionless duel with robots, shot poorly and with a ridiculous sub mid noughties CG face, imo. Goodness me.

Oh well, it passed the time and there were some nice moments sprinkled around. Nice to see so many seemed to enjoy it too and got back into Star Wars. I really hope they inject some quality into the 3rd season though. And by that I mean stop it with the celebrity directors and writers and just let Filoni do the whole thing. Obviously none of that will happen.

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I'm not familiar with Filoni's other work but his episode was head and shoulders above the rest here, which is a bit embarrassing considering that the majority of the others were established live-action directors.

 

Taika's one last season was weak as well, I seem to recall some people raving about it but the lava boat stand-off was absurd. To be fair he didn't write it, but the scenario just didn't work visually.

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What I find interesting is that from a casual roam around the net, it's clear that a large segment of the fans who hated the sequels, love this. Especially after this seasons finale. Yet I feel this suffers from the exact same things which made me dislike the recent sequels, terrible writing and lazy, poor directing.

 

In this instance I feel Cobra Kai is giving the Star Wars 'creatives' an utter schooling. I'm 5 episodes in to season 3 and it's just an utter joy. Every single frame, every line of dialogue drips with passion and understanding. Imo, you just know that the people behind the show have a complete love of the source material, era and the characters and they have the passion and intelligence to pull it off.

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So I've just finished watching it tonight with my wife. We pretty much did a marathon session through season 2. Overall I really liked it and certainly beats anything else output set in the Star Wars universe in a long while.

 

Although I'm sure this has probably been discussed to death, there is one thing about the series which bugged me. That is how invulnerable all of the main characters are. I think the final episode would have had a lot more weight to it if they battled to the bridge, several of them taking hits and regroup only to be faced with the onslaught of the bots. They close the blast doors and give each other a look like "well, I guess this is it" :( look.

 

As it is, each episode showed them literally walking towards enemies firing and hitting every time. It destroys any tension as they deflect and literally dodge lasers! Stormtroopers also seemed to forget how to fire their weapons at times and just walk towards our heroes whilst being mown down. It just breaks the immersion for me, but still good and thoroughly enjoyable overall. I'd give it an 8 out of 10.

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I've watched Season 1 now (yes I am behind as I only got Disney+ recently due to them offering me 2 free months) and hmmmmmm it is ok, decent Star Wars but not what I was expecting given the rave reviews! Has tv scifi become so tawdry that the Mandalorian warrants being welcomed as a 2nd coming? (all of that references the reviews etc - I haven't read much of this thread as - spoilers - obviously)

 

So eight episodes and a mixed bag - I could write a full writeup review on each but Im guessing they have been discussed to death so I will keep it short (for me!)

 

Episodes 1-3 - A basic introduction to the series and it's main overarching plot.

 

Episode 1 - Intro to stuff - not bad. The carbonite was a bit wtf considering how it was used in Empire - now a couple of years later Mando has them lined up like popsicle sticks in his storage bay. The character of Mando is interesting but the performance is not really great - it lacks ummmm weight is wrong word but will have to do. Carl Weathers was really good though.

3/5

 

Episode 2 - Our first show of how the rest of the series will pan out, a story of the week with elements of the over arching plot as well. A good compromise between the old style of TV series where we get a new story and a reset button every week and the new style where we get a story told over 10-15-20 episodes.  The story of the week is a good one, if a bit simple (a common theme in the Mandolorian) and Nick Nolte is superb, almost unrecognisable.

4/5

 

Episode 3- A weaker episode that leans too heavily on action and is mostly about the overarching plot. the Mandolorian's motives are obvious but the performance doesn't back it up.  A bit meh as an episode but it does setup the rest of the series quite well.

2/5

 

Episode 4 - defend the village - In the 80s the showrunner of the A-Team would have read this and popped it in as mid-season filler... By the numbers... mediocre... sigh... but it has an AT-ST woo!

2/5

 

Episode 5 - MEMBER-BERRIES! The universe in Star Wars seems to revolve around Tatooine - yawn. The story  of the week is ok I guess but it's simple and by the numbers again with no real meat to it - I don't care enough about the guest people as I don't know them and my main cast I am meant to care about is a muppet and a guy in a helmet who doesn't say much.... it doesn't quite gel for me yet.

2/5

 

Episode 6 - Prison break! As close to a bottle show as a multi-million dollar production like this gets :DIt mostly takes place in one corridor set and focuses on the guest of the week characters who are mostly great with Clancy Brown as a standout for me as the "heavy".  The purple headed lady was overacting her arse off for the whole thing which was most distracting and the droid in the ship getting distracted by baby yoda just seemed pointless as it added nothing to the story. Overall though a good episode , old fashioned fun action.

4/5

 

Episode 7 - The overarching plot returns and is superbly realised. Great buildup and good character moments. Getting the gang back together was a bit trite but worked and the climax was very well judged and heartbreaking... That moment made the episode the 5/5 it was superbly paced just right to make you think one thing then pull the rug. This is a great setup episode to what should be a fantastic finale!

5/5

 

Episode 8 - Ohhhhhh dear - A laughable climax which is utterly bonkers and makes zero sense. The standoff outside the bar is utterly daft "you have until SUNDOWN" errrrr why not just do it now, you already shot out half a wall! A gatling gun blaster can't open a metal panel? "We can't shoot our way out" followed by THAT scene which just put them back where they started? And then on the boat faced with far less they HAVE to let the droid do THAT? I mean it looks like the scriptwriter gave his son some crayons to write his own conclusion and accidentally submitted that one instead of his own! It has a couple of standout moments like Mando using the XXXX taking down the YYYY with the thing very impressive. But the way they dusted their hands and said yep that's that without checking anything? and then THAT reveal... rubbish booo

2/5 (and it should think itself lucky to get that - I added 1 in sympathy to episode 7 which set things up perfectly).

 

Overall - 3/5

 

In the main it is a decent show but, for me, it struggles as the main character is just not charismatic enough. I know why it is I know his motives and I can see his performance can be good but often when I think of the episodes alllll of the things that stand out to me are the things that are not the main character. I love the other characters far more and when it is a "story of the week" episode that has no good characters or disposable ones I tend to lose interest. Also the way it does memberberries stuff "subtly" is just as annoying to me and episdoe 5 would have been just as good without all that bollocks stapled into it - maybe better as they would have spent the time on other things!

 

The other main positive is the production design and production value - it is obviously high budget and shows but it has been constructed perfectly and shows how Star Wars should be done in terms of look and feel.

 

The bad bits are of course all fixable and I'll be tackling season 2 next so it is good enough to warrant following it :)

 

 

Oh and I really don't get the whole love-in for Baby Yoda... but that's fine each to their own :D

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I think season 2 is stronger, but it'll be interesting to see what you think of it based on that writeup. I loved the season 1 finalé and thought the prison break episode was one of the weaker ones. :D

 

Also it's worth looking into how it's shot if you haven't already. It's obviously not a low budget show, but they do some fancy stuff to make it seem more expensive than it really is. There's also a lot of movie props getting re-used, and for the last two episodes they even

 

Spoiler

flew in a bunch of actual Stromtrooper cosplayers along with their home made armour.

 

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The prison break was fucking shit, made all the worse by the awful pantomime overacted twileks and every scene looking exactly the same as the last. I don't fully get the bottle episode thing when a hell of a lot of the scenes were done in UnrealEngine in a virtual stage. Must have cost 10 pence.

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