Let's talk briefly about de The Passenger, the second episode of the second season of The Mandalorian, the television series on Star Wars aired on Disney +.
Like last Thursday, also today I am pleased to share with you some of my impressions and reflections on the new episode of the second season of The Mandalorian, in this case The Passenger.
After the great start (great!) Style that gave us the first episode, The Sheriff, the second episode had great on itself expectations. Expectations that, in some respects, have not been kept, at least in my opinion. However, this doesn't mean that The Passenger whether it is a bad episode or does not have potentially very important aspects to the series.
Before moving on to the actual article, I remind you that last year we wrote a series of lore insights on the entire first season of The Mandalorian! You can find these articles in the following links: 1 × 01, 1 × 02, 1 × 03, 1 × 04, 1 × 05, 1 × 06, 1 × 07 e 1 × 08. THU instead you can find the review of the first season.
ATTENTION: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Short synopsis de The Passenger
After facing off against a Krayt dragon and recovering the armor of a mysterious Mandalorian on Tatooine, This Djarin and Male child (who as always we will call Mando and Baby Yoda, because yes) are always looking for other Mandalorians who can help them find the people of the cutest baby in the galaxy far away.
Mando will be helped once again by Peli Motto, the ship repairer we had already seen in the first season. Peli, in fact, meets a woman who has seen Mandalorians and who is willing to share this information with Mando, for the price of a ride. Too bad this woman, of the unoriginal species Frog, does not speak Basic and the transition will have to be done at sub-light speed, since otherwise the eggs deposed by the woman will die, and with them also her offspring.
One misadventure after another
Thus, Mando agrees to undertake the dangerous sub-light journey to the planet Trask. Obviously, the problems are not lacking. In fact, first of all, Mando will discover that Yodino has a weakness for Frog's eggs and that, if left alone with the tank that carries them, he could even eat them all. Second, Mando's ship will be intercepted by two X-Wing pilots of the New Republic, who soon discover that Mando is a wanted man.
After the inevitable chase, Mando manages to lose his tracks on the frozen planet Maldo Kreis. During the repairs of the ship, however, two other dangers immediately arise: the eggs of the Frog risk freezing, and the frozen caves in which the ship is hidden are teeming with Kryknas spiders more or less giants. Besieged by spiders in the cockpit, Mando, Yodino and the Frog woman are rescued by the two Republic pilots. These, after discovering that Mando has "done good things" (saved a lieutenant of the Republic), decide to let go of the bounty hunter.
With the ship reduced to wreckage, Mando, Yodino and the Frog woman continue their journey.
Positive elements de The Passenger
As I said in the review of last episode, to me The Mandalorian especially liked for its focus on the little problems of the little people of the Galaxy.
I was not at all sorry, therefore, to follow the story of the Frog woman, desperately looking for a passage for themselves and their eggs. Nor to see two X-Wing pilots less anonymous than usual (thanks also to the chubby face of Dave Filoni). I raise my thumbs also on the yield of spiders Kryknas, which are terrifying, disgusting, disturbing and all the positive adjectives that can be given to these cheerful beasts.
The Frog woman between parallels, language and "animalistic" alien races
Again, Mando is related to someone who, in some respects, lives a life similar to his. In fact, even the Frog woman is on a journey to give her children a better future and she is part of a community that is struggling to survive, as happens to the Mandalorians. In that sense, I believe this parallelism has been well rendered.
As a linguist I also liked the communication difficulties between Mando and the Frog woman, who cannot physically speak Basic, which is the lingua franca of the galaxy. I found it an interesting detail, which makes the world of Star Wars more plausible and which lends itself to giving life to ingenious solutions.
I didn't like the fact that the woman's race is called Frog. Honestly, I found it a lazy choice. And already I don't have too much sympathy for the "animalistic" alien races, that is, they take terrestrial animals making them anthropomorphic. The concept of an amphibious breed with a totally different reproduction is always interesting (in fact I personally love the Salarians of Mass Effect), but I think it was used in an extremely basic way here.
Baby Yoda and the absence of a moral compass
Perhaps my favorite element of the episode was Baby Yoda eating the Frog Woman's eggs. But not because it makes you laugh. But because, under the cover of the pucciosity of the green baby, there is the horror of the fact that he is eating not only something important for another person, but also something that perhaps, in the future, could become a living being ( in fact, let's remember that the eggs are not yet fertilized).
One wonders, in fact, if Baby Yoda would have eaten those eggs even if they had been fertilized. If he would have let himself be guided by his basic instincts even then. And he probably would, because Baby Yoda is little more than a newborn, in terms of his species. And being a very young child, Baby Yoda doesn't have a moral compass.
And that's a problem, as Baby Yoda is powerful in the Force. In fact, we are faced with a person with immense power, but without any criteria on how to use this power that is more complex than "I want to protect daddy", "I want to eat", "this thing is beautiful" and "this thing is ugly". We already saw this issue last season when Baby Yoda nearly strangled Cara Dune. Therefore, The Passenger reminds us that Baby Yoda is puccioso, but he is also a child who follows his own basic instincts, which is dangerous when coupled with the Force.
Considering then that the species of Baby Yoda lives very long, this condition of his very powerful amoral child, potentially very dangerous for those around him, will last many years. One wonders, therefore, if Baby Yoda's species doesn't prefer to abandon their Force-sensitive babies, precisely because it does not have the means to deal with it safely.
Negative elements de The Passenger
The fact that to me, in The Mandalorian, does not disturb the scarce presence of a horizontal texture does not mean however that it does not recognize that The Passenger it has, for now, the same usefulness as a chance encounter in a role-playing campaign.
Although, in fact, the presence of the riders of the Republic is linked to the actions of Mando in episode 6 of the first season, and although this episode still offers important food for thought on the characters, unfortunately The Passenger, in my opinion, it has too much the atmosphere of elephants.
Filler, not filler, mosaic tiles and immediate utility
Certainly, then, we cannot yet be sure that The Passenger is totally filler, as there is the possibility that the Frog woman may have an important role in the plot and that Baby Yoda's amorality may prove, in the long run, one of the greatest dangers that Mando will have to face. At the end, within a series it is difficult to understand what filler really is and what not without first having finished watching all the episodes. Indeed, there is also the possibility that the connections with the Republic that Mando is making will be important for the future, especially in light of the fact that Baby Yoda is currently being sought by ex-Imperials.
Therefore, there is the possibility that these “filler episodes” turn out to be the pieces of a mosaic, which alone say little, but all together form a complex design.
Nonetheless, it is risky to feed the public with such episodes, of which no immediate utility is seen. Because they can entertain, but in the end they can give the impression of little respect towards the public, to which even the most empty story can be fed “because it is Star Wars and people will love him anyway ".
For now, in fact, The Mandalorian relies heavily on his great ability to fit very well into a complex narrative universe, to which he pays his tributes with care, respect and attention. However, The Mandalorian it can't just be a series of references to the past, because it has the potential to become a much more meaningful story.
The Passenger it is not an episode of The Mandalorian particularly interesting.
He manages to entertain while also bringing some pleasant elements, but in the end he says relatively little. As I said before, The Passenger it's pretty much the chance encounter on a party trip by D&D. We hope that in the next few episodes we will have a more substantial horizontal plot.
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