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The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 1 – Review

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Sand People The Mandalorian Season Two image
Disney Plus

Welcome back to The Mandalorian, we returned to the world of Star Wars as Season Two finally launched on Disney Plus. My oh my were there some surprises and some awesome Star Wars Easter Eggs in there.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the episode, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

The first episode, called The Marshal, is a reference to Cobb Vanth’s character (played by Timothy Olyphant). The actor also appeared in the Western Deadwood and he retains a fair few of the traits across the two shows.

We initially see The Mandalorian and The Child walking through what seems like an abandoned settlement. We see a load of red eyes and looking on. There’s graffiti everywhere in the style of Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels. Is this a nod to a character appearance later in the season? The role played by WWE’s Sasha Banks perhaps? We know we’re to expect Ahsoka Tano played by Rosario Dawson and we last saw the two of them together heading off to hunt for Ezra Bridger, so it’s possible.

Return of the Jedi returns

As we enter the Gamorrean fighting arena (Return of the Jedi nod) we’re met with a load of aliens much like Jabba’s in palace.

Seeking a character called Gor Koresh, voiced in the trailer. Mando is seeking other hidden Mandalorian groups hidden across the galaxy. It doesn’t take long before everything falls apart over greed to secure beskar armor with it’s rising price over increased rarity.

You know it’s all going to kick off the moment baby Yoda closes his pod.

After stringing him up for the red-eyed creatures. Gor Koresh finally reveals that the only Mandalorian he knows about is based on Tatooine. A HUGE hint about who we might be seeing soon.

There is a tonne of Return of the Jedi references in this particular episode of The Mandalorian in Season Two.

They land back in the same docking bay we saw in Season One Episode Five on Tatooine. We see the repair droids from The Phantom Menace return again. Plus it looks like we meet the same R5 unit that was featured in A New Hope.

Raider redemption

We see The Mandalorian communicating with Tusken Raiders on his way to meet Cobb Vanth. The Marshal shows up in Boba Fett’s armour but it’s quickly clear that this isn’t Fett. Vanth also removes his helmet proving that he isn’t a true Mandalorian. Following a brief standoff, we’re introduced to the krayt dragon hustling the town.

Here we get a bit of a history lesson from Vanth. All about how he liberated the town following the destruction of the second Death Star.

We see a few more Easter Eggs here. From the famous ice cream maker prop, to the Boba Fett rocket launcher toy and Anakin Skywalker’s salvaged pod racer.

An uneasy deal sees the Tusken Raiders work together with the villagers and The Mandalorian to take down the krayt dragon. We get to see a side of the raiders we’ve not seen before.

They explain that the krayt dragon might have eaten the sarlacc pit containing Boba Fett, suggesting this might’ve been how he escaped.

The action scenes here are epic and much improved as we see the confrontation and eventual death of the dragon.

The Tusken’s celebrate further when they find a valuable dragon pearl hidden within the carcass.

Boba Fett

Finally as The Mandalorian and Cobb Vanth part ways we get a hint that we’ll be seeing them together again later in the series. And as Mando rides into the sunset we get the Boba Fett reveal we’ve been waiting for. A hermit type Temuera Morrison with Tusken weapons looking down at the speeder bike. Is this a hint that Boba will try to get his armour back at some point in this season or the next?


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 8/10


Thanks for reading our Season Two Episode One review for The Mandalorian. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read more of our Star Wars articles HERE.

Read IMDB information about The Mandalorian HERE.

The Mandalorian is streaming now on Disney Plus.

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Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review

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Cobra Kai Season Four image
Netflix

Cobra Kai season four is out now on Netflix and the All Valley is back and better than ever. Here’s our review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

It’s January, and new shows are popping up everywhere. This brings us to the show that I and my friends have been holding our breaths for: the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai! After three seasons, I wondered if there was anything left to mine from the Karate Kid lore or the Johnny/Daniel dynamic. I am happy to report that this might be my favourite season yet! It manages to not only expand upon the universe it has created, but to bring in a new villain, who is so bad that he threatens to outdo even John Kreese!

Alliance

Season four sets us off where the third left off, with Johnny and Daniel having joined forces to fight Cobra Kai. Their friendship arc is the glue that holds this season together. The story focuses largely on whether they will be able to pull it together and make their partnership work. As in previous seasons, their relationship has its ups and downs. The stakes are heightened, however, as the season leads up to the All-Valley Tournament. A bet between the three senseis – Kreese, Daniel, and Johnny – means that losing the All Valley is losing the title of sensei.

This season explores the ways that both Johnny and Daniel work with the kids. It also examines the kids’ struggles as they prepare for the All Valley while dealing with conflict within the ever-changing network of friends and enemies in the dojos. Robbie has left juvenile hall and decided to join up with Cobra Kai as a means of inflicting revenge on both his dad and Daniel. Tori and Sam continue their rivalry. And John Reese’s old friend Terry Silver (of Karate Kid 3 fame) shows up to kick Cobra Kai into high gear.

Daniel’s son, Anthony, who has largely been absent until now, faces his own dilemma when his friends begin bullying Kenny, the new kid in town. This soft-spoken middle school character brings us into the world of the younger kids, setting up yet another storyline. Kenny becomes the victim of a gang of kids (including Anthony), enduring round after round of bullying before Robbie takes him under his wing. After his induction into Cobra Kai, the formerly shy middle-schooler becomes a bully himself.

Shades of grey

This brings me to one of my favourite things about the show. The constant back and forth dynamic between characters makes us feel that anything is possible. There is no black and white in the world of Cobra Kai. Where the Karate Kid told us that Daniel was good, and Johnny was bad, this show gives us a very different point of view. It’s a world where we’re never sure who to root for. In this season, we even see Hawk make a return to the “good guys” side after giving up his spot at Cobra Kai.

With Eagle Fang (Johnny’s new dojo) and Miyagi-Do teaming up, the kids – and the adults – have to learn to work together. Of course, complications ensue. Johnny becomes jealous of what he perceives as Miguel’s preference for Daniel over him. Sam wants to learn both her dad’s karate style and Johnny’s, despite her father’s discouragement. Meanwhile, at Cobra Kai, Kreese is losing his grip on the dojo. His former war buddy, Terry Silver, puts off a rather benign appearance in episode one, growing more and more evil with each episode.

This season is lacking in many of the big fight scenes of the previous seasons, instead choosing to focus their energy on the characters. The All Valley Tournament features several great karate matches and offers a satisfying conclusion to Johnny and Daniel’s arc. In the end, Cobra Kai takes the tournament win, but Johnny and Daniel have reached an understanding.

New champions

Tori defeats Sam to take the women’s All Valley trophy but later overhears her sensei paying off one of the referees. It’s clear that Cobra Kai has pulled yet another fast one. But the season ends on an even more ominous – and unexpected – note. Terry Silver assaults the over-aged former Cobra Kai member, Stingray, sending him to the hospital. He then makes a deal with Stingray to blame the crime on Kreese. We end the season with Kreese in handcuffs, Terry Silver set to take over Cobra Kai, and the future of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do uncertain. In a last shocking twist, Miguel leaves town in search of his biological father.

Although some may miss the school hallway throw downs, I found this one satisfying in a different way. It just goes to show that the ever-expanding Cobra Kai universe can keep bringing surprises season after season.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10


Thank you for reading our review of Cobra Kai season four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Spider-Man: No Way Home HERE.

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