I really like the Star Wars cinematic universe – sure, they tend to pump out more stinkers than all-time classics, but you can’t deny the sheer spectacle and pure fun of the films.
When I heard they were making a TV show in the same universe, I was sceptical. So much so, in fact, that I waited until season 2 was airing to start my binge. My goodness, I should have started it sooner.
This show is fantastic. The acting, direction, set-pieces, set design and overall Star Wars-iness of it all was breathtaking to watch, and I was on the edge of my seat for (almost) every episode. How would I rank them all?
You can check out some of my other related lists below:
16: Chapter 10 (The Passenger)
The only Mandalorian episode that bored me as I was watching.
Mando takes on the role of taxi driver in this one, which could have possibly made for an interesting story but it ends up just being by-the-book. There are some good scenes near the end when the spider-thingys attack, but by that point I didn’t really care.
15: Chapter 5 (The Gunslinger)
When compiling my ranking, I realised that this was probably the episode I remembered the least.
It’s still a decent episode, albeit a very filler one, but the character dynamics aren’t as strong as the episode thinks. The titular gunslinger doesn’t do enough to earn his starring role, and that’s more due to the boring script rather than the actor himself. Oh well, if the filler episodes are still decent then I can’t really complain.
14: Chapter 4 (The Sanctuary)
I loved seeing Mando faced with a mental dilemma rather than a dangerous situation (although by the end the action picks up nicely). We see what Mando is sacrificing by helping the child and sticking to his creed, and it helps the audience get behind his feelings and decisions so much more.
13: Chapter 2 (The Child)
It’s weird to me how we get a sort of filler episode straight after the pilot, but luckily for us enough happens here for it to still be a fun ride.
Mando vs the Jawas made for a fun conflict, and the final battle is noteworthy in revealing to the audience that there’s something more to the child than meets the eye.
12: Chapter 11 (The Heiress)
I’d consider the rest of the episodes to be excellent examples of action television, and “The Heiress” does a good job setting up the real stakes of the season.
I haven’t seen the Clone Wars animated show unlike other Star Wars fans, so some of the revelations here didn’t hit me as much as they should have. Still, I understood the implications of these big moments, and I couldn’t wait to see where the story would go.
11: Chapter 6 (The Prisoner)
I do love me a good “Base Under Siege” type story, and this was no exception.
Bill Burr makes an excellent addition to the cast (we’ll only truly see his character flourish in a later episode), and the admittedly obvious twist of Mando’s team turning on him was still enthralling to watch.
10: Chapter 1 (The Mandalorian)
The pilot episode is an excellent introduction to the setting and main characters, and it quickly washed away any doubts I had in my mind.
Straight from the get go, you can tell this series wears its cowboy film references on its shoulder, and having the main character be this mysterious bounty hunter was an inspired choice that made for a unique Star Wars viewing experience.
9: Chapter 3 (The Sin)
After Chapter 2 slowed the pace down a little, it picks straight back up with “The Sin”.
I was actually quite shocked to see that Mando went through with the transaction of the child, and wasn’t sure where the plot would go. It didn’t disappoint, as we got to see into his psyche and decision-making. The first two episodes were really good, but seeing Mando break the child out of Werner Herzog’s grasp made me excited to keep watching.
8: Chapter 12 (The Siege)
I’ll be completely honest – this episode is a little underwhelming compared to what I thought it would be. With a title like “The Siege”, I was expecting some finale-level stakes and action, but we just got a typical episode of the Mandalorian.
Still, an average Mandalorian episode is still a damn fine piece of entertainment, and this episode is nothing if not entertaining.
7: Chapter 9 (The Marshall)
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect after the first few minutes of this season 2 opener, but when we got to the crux of the story it started to get really interesting.
Timothy Olyphant plays his stereotypically macho cowboy role, and it plays off of Mando’s stern persona brilliantly. The final confrontation is fantastic, and the last shot reveal of Boba Fett got me more excited than it should have.
6: Chapter 7 (The Reckoning)
I had seen pictures of Giancarlo Esposito’s role as Moff Gideon, but I wasn’t sure how Gus Fring himself would tie into the overarching story and add something new to the mix.
Gideon’s entrance near the end of this episode caught me completely by surprise, and it might even go down as a top 3 moment in the entire show. The cliffhanger was expertly tense, and it was painful to see Nick Nolte’s character tragically get shot down while trying to protect the child. An amazing way to set up the season finale.
5: Chapter 13 (The Jedi)
Like I said previously, I haven’t actually watched the Clone Wars TV show, so Ahsoka Tano’s appearance wasn’t groundbreaking television by itself.
The actual story of trying to liberate the corrupt town made for fascinating viewing, and it was great that we finally learned a bit more about the child – or Grogu, as he’s actually called. Above all else, it was refreshing to finally see some lightsaber combat once again.
4: Chapter 14 (The Tragedy)
This seems like a strange episode concept, with this entire 30 minute piece of television being dedicated purely to the fight for the child. Luckily for us, the fight was incredible.
Boba Fett’s return was the icing on the cake in this spectacle of ferocious combat, and the ending with the child being taken beautifully set up the last few episodes in this already stellar season.
3: Chapter 8 (Redemption)
Sometimes the finale can be a make or break moment for a pilot season, and fortunately the Mandalorian stuck the landing with aplomb.
I loved seeing Taika Waititi as a redeemed robot (ooooh, so that’s what the title means), and I as well as many others were devastated to see his final sacrifice. This does a good job setting up season 2 as well, with the last shot lingering on Moff Gideon’s personal lightsaber – the Dark Sabre, a weapon unlike any I had ever seen. I couldn’t wait to press on and watch the next season.
2: Chapter 15 (The Believer)
Bill Burr makes his triumphant return in this one, and the scene of him and Mando confronting the officer was enough to rank this above many others just in its own right.
The rest of the episode is phenomenal too, with fantastic acting and scintillating action set-pieces. Season 2 felt like it was getting better with every episode, and I couldn’t shake the feeling it was snowballing into a show-stopping finale.
MAJOR SPOILERS IN THE NUMBER 1 ENTRY, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
1: Chapter 16 (The Rescue)
Those were the words I kept repeating to myself when I watched this explosive season 2 finale. The action was mesmeric, the stakes were insane, and millions of Star Wars fans collectively gasped when the man himself came to save the day.
Luke. Skywalker. The man, the myth, the absolute machine. He came and wrecked every single Dark Trooper in his path, and made it look easy. The CGI de-aging of Mark Hamill was a bit iffy, but that didn’t sour the fact that he made his triumphant return and created one of the greatest television moments of the year – the decade, even. Creators of The Mandalorian, I salute you.
Aaand that’s my ranking. I’m eagerly waiting for season 3 much like the rest of you, but until then you should check out some of my latest blog posts:
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