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Five years after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983) and the fall of the Galactic Empire, The Mandalorian follows a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the now lawless galaxy. He’s hired to retrieve “The Child” (better known as Baby Yoda) but chooses to go on the run to protect the infant rather than collect the bounty on him.
It has tied for the most Emmy nominations in 2021 with 24, including Best Drama Series, and The Mandalorian became a must-watch show for the fledgling Disney+ streaming service when it first launched. It has continued to be the beating heart of the Star Wars universe in its second season.
What you need to know: Back in Season 1, Mando went on the run with The Child and became a target of the scattered remnants of the Imperial army still reeling from its defeat at the end of Return of the Jedi. In the finale, he decided to keep the little green guy around and vowed to find out where he came from. Season 2 continues Mando’s quest to basically become the bed Space Dad ever.
The second season takes the opportunity to go even deeper into Star Wars lore, giving us living, breathing, three-dimensional versions of characters only seen in animation before, including badass Jedi Ahsoka Tano, played by Rosario Dawson, and fellow Mandalorian Bo-Katan, played by Katee Sackhoff (now fully embodying the role she voiced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars). We also find out that The Child has a name: Grogu (but he’ll always be Baby Yoda to true fans).
A few notable live-action characters from the Star Wars films make appearances as well. It may have taken a while, but we finally got to see the triumphant return of the most famous Mandalorian of all, Boba Fett (played by Temuera Morrison of the Star Wars movie prequels). And of course, there was that thrilling surprise cameo at the end of the finale. If you’ve seen it, you know. If you haven’t, it’s too good to spoil. Let’s just say, if it doesn’t give you chills you might not be a Star Wars fan at all.
If the notoriously fractious Star Wars fandom can agree that The Mandalorian is a worthy torchbearer as the franchise heads into an uncertain future, it’s got to be worth checking out. Added bonus: you’ll be able to stay up with the Baby Yoda memes in your social media feeds.
This ones is a cross-generational watch for Star Wars fans old and new — but keep in mind it’s TV-14.
Watch all the way to the end for a tag scene that sets up the next live-action Star Wars series, The Book Of Boba Fett. Morrison will be back to star in it, alongside Ming-Na Wen, reprising her role as deadly assassin Fennec Shand. It’s due for release in December, 2021.