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Everything You Need To Remember Before Watching The Mandalorian Season 2

Season 2 of The Mandalorian is coming in hot, and fan anticipation has reached a fever pitch. There's just one problem: keeping up with Star Wars isn't as easy as it used to be. A scant 15 years ago, anyone looking to get a handle on the franchise had six movies to worry about, with the option to deep-dive into several hundred extended universe books if they felt so inclined. By comparison, we've had five new Star Wars movies in the last five years, plus a half dozen or so shows, a handful of video games, and a not insignificant amount of real estate in California and Florida developed to look like a galaxy that's twice as far away as the leading competitor.

So audiences can be forgiven if they've had some trouble adjusting to the new normal, needing a recap of the events from the Disney+ breakout's first season. There's a lot of space opera to soak in these days, and the wild-eyed ferocity with which most viewers consumed The Mandalorian's debut outing isn't conducive to proper digestion. Here's a quick look back at the events surrounding Mando, Cara Dune, Greef Karga, IG-11, and the most marketable baby since Groot danced to the Jackson 5. It probably goes without saying that there are spoilers ahead, but we'll warn you regardless. This is the way.

The Mandalorian: bounties, babies, and beskar

Let's start out with a look at the eponymous Mandalorian, a.k.a. Din Djarin, or Mando to his friends. Mando was a foundling whose family was killed when he was a young buck, some time during the Fall of the Republic. Taken in by a clan of Mandalorians, he grew up to be a bounty hunter, living with his fellow helmet enthusiasts on the planet Nevarro.

Everything was running smoothly enough until Mando picked an under-the-table contract requesting the delivery of a 50-year-old client. One action-packed shootout and an unlikely partnership with a kill-happy IG unit later, he discovered that his target was a bouncing baby whatever-Yoda-is. We'll call him "the Child," even if he is technically old enough to land the cover of AARP Magazine. Djarin delivers his quarry, uses the proceeds to commission a new set of blaster-resistant Mandalorian duds, then turns around and wipes out most of the Imperialists who hired him, taking the endangered Muppet on as his ward.

The Child turns out to be Force sensitive, displaying prodigious abilities on a couple of occasions. His powers first pop up during a scuffle with a mudhorn, and again later when he heals an ally's wounds. But the Force pretty famously has a dark side, and the tot has displayed a proficiency for violence, not to mention difficulty reading social cues, foreshadowing possible problems in the future.

Moff Gideon sets up for The Mandalorian's second season

Djarin and the Child go on the run. Mando tries to pawn his companion off on a loving community on a backwater planet, but discovers that Guild bounty hunters are gunning for the little rascal. Realizing that the kid will be safest with him, he sets off with pentagenarian babe in tow.

Back on Nevarro, things have gotten bleak. The group of Imperial loyalists who hired Mando to bring in the Child in the first place have taken over his old stomping grounds. During a daring raid on the occupied town, the Child is taken by stormtroopers and smacked around by Jason Sudeikis before being rescued by the since-reprogrammed IG unit from earlier in the season.

Mando discovers that his clan has been wiped out, with the exception of the matriarchal armorer, who regifts our hero his own jetpack and tells him that his new job is to find the Child's people and return him to them.

Meanwhile, the Imperial attack turns out to have been headed up by Moff Gideon, a strict boss with a penchant for killing his own troops. Through cunning, guile, and in IG-11's case, a heaping scoop of cinematic droid martyrdom, the protagonists escape Gideon's forces. Mando and the Child fly off into the inky blackness of the void, propelled forward by the promise of adventure. Moff Gideon is seen wielding the Darksaber, the legendary, centuries-old Mandalorian weapon previously utilized by folks like Sabine Wren and Darth Maul.

The story is set to continue when The Mandalorian returns for its second season on Disney+ on October 30, 2020.