‘THE MANDALORIAN’ Chapter 10: The Conflict Escalation Theory
One of the hallmarks of The Mandalorian so far has been the fact that it has managed to keep, for the most part, its disputes with somewhat lower stakes than your usual live-action Star Wars project. Unlike the movies, here we don’t have any planet-killing weapons or galaxy-wide conflicts. This is partially due to the fact that we are now dealing with a TV show, which doesn’t have the budget to compete with the likings of a theatrical blockbuster. At the same time, it also feels like a conscious decision to keep the storyline a bit more compact, with a scope that’s easier to grasp for newcomers. But with one season already behind us, we’ve now gotten a few hints that season 2 seems to be taking steps towards what could be perceived as the natural progression in the show’s narrative, upgrading its storytelling (and military) resources.
Season 1 has already hinted at this, even if at a sluggish pace which helped to make it a bit less obvious. Not only did we see Mando facing increasingly powerful foes, from criminals to stormtroopers, from mercenaries to an AT-ST, from Death Troopers to a TIE fighter, we also got Din himself constantly upgrading his own armor. Firstly getting his hands on some beskar pauldrons, then a full cuirass, eventually getting equipped with a jetpack. Season 2 should continue with this constant escalation, and there are a few indications that help to figure out what the path could be for that to happen if you focus on how the overarching story is being told.
We’re only two episodes into Season 2 but one thing that’s becoming increasingly clear is that even the most overlooked plot points from some season 1 episodes are due to be paying off, at some level, in future installments. We already got the confirmation that Boba Fett was the mysterious figure at the end of Chapter 5 (possibly making the events of that episode matter a bit more down the line) and also Chapter 6’s events (an episode that seemed the be pretty much a self-contained story) were essential to the way Din Djarin managed to, not so much escape the New Republic patrol they came across, but begin to establish a good rapport with said patrol members in this last episode. So being, it’s fair to say that taking all of this into consideration (the way that enemies leveling-up are met by Mando’s own upgrades, and that small details tend to payoff a few episodes down the line) we are due for some incredible showdowns that’ll feature a few of the characters and factions we’ve already met.
We’ve already established that the New Republic isn’t exactly treating Mando as a genuine criminal, having proof that he risked his life to try and save a New Republic officer in Chapter 6. We also know that Moff Gideon (with Mandalore’s Darksaber in his possession) has access to aircraft that belonged to the Empire, and is actively looking for The Child. If the show indeed continues on this path of not repeating its fights/battles, raising the stakes as we go along, what we should now be expecting to happen is that Moff Gideon keeps aggressively approaching the capture of Baby Yoda with his personal army and Din Djarin, being no match for such forces, will succeed in getting the New Republic to help level the odds with their military might, making for some great X-Wing vs Tie-Fighter action. Mando could either bring the fight to a sector under New Republic jurisdiction, so they can’t help but be involved, or manage to get them to full-on attack Gideon’s forces wherever they may be. This way, and while still essentially focusing on the more personal side of the fight (this is still a show focused on Din and The Child), we can get something new out of the show, and yet another connection to the greater galactic conflict that has been present throughout Star Wars history.
Also, since the show is probably getting an appearance by a former Jedi Rebel Alliance spymaster, the chance she could be helping Mando navigate through all of this, connecting the dots and devising a strategy to ultimately keep Baby Yoda safe, is probably not off the table. It probably won’t take long until we find out.