The Mandalorian Episode 2 Recap: Light On Plot, Big On ~Themes~

The Mandolorian climbs a sandcrawler
(Twitter/themandalorian)

This was a big weekend for Star Wars. Along with the launch of the new first-person, story-driven, apparently very good video game Jedi: Fallen Order,  they went ahead and did the damn thing by dropping the second episode of The Mandalorian sooner than we could have hoped for. I mean, it’s on a Friday release schedule, so it makes sense, but it was still exciting.

This episode was a little shorter than the first, and while some people may want as much show as they can get, I really admire Favreau & Friends for cutting to the chase. So many shows suffer from bloat by adhering to the 45-minute format that commercial breaks dictated, and it’s refreshing to see a show that just rolls up its sleeves, so let’s do the same.

This here is Spoiler Warning territory, so if you haven’t already, get that Disney+ in your life and catch up. Be sure to check out The Dad’s recap of the premiere episode before we dig into the second one below.

Chapter Two: The Child

Apparently, the Dragon Frog can’t carry Baby Yoda’s crib, cause the Mandalorian and is newly adopted muppet baby are hoofin’ it back to the ship. They get attacked by some…guys? For a top-secret-under-the-table-bounty, freakin’ everybody is after this kid. Mando gets injured in the attack, and there is an adorable scene where Baby Yoda tries to force heal his new dad. Ah, but the Mandolorian is far too grumpy for such cuteness. 

When they get back to the Razor’s Crest, it’s being raided by Jawas, and the Mandolorian goes a little bit apeshit on them. I get it, they’re stealing his stuff, but now we finally know why Boba Fett got a little miffed at Vader’s “No disintegrations” order in Empire: Mandalorians are way into disintegrating things. The Jawas bail and The Mandalorian gives a good chase, with Baby Yoda hot on their tails. If the crib can move so fast, though, why didn’t they ride the Dragon Frog back to the ship after all?

Unable to chase down the Sandcrawler, Mando and Baby Yoda return to Ugnaught Notle, who I’m now renaming Uncle Ugnaught. He again agrees to help them, and Notle’s Very Serious Voice™  lets you forget that he really has no reason to keep going out of his way like this. Baby Yoda eats a frog because we all do what we must to survive, violence is a cycle and all that.

When Uncle Ugnaught takes our boys to parlay with the Jawas, The Mandalorian refuses to put down his rifle at first because “weapons are a part of [his] religion,” but does relent when he realizes he is out of options. While this episode has less plot compared to the first one, I think we’re getting the first real hints of what the overall story is about, here. There are a lot of Baby Yoda reaction shots, so we constantly see Mando’s relationship to violence through the eyes of an innocent lil’ dude.

The Jawas demand “The Egg” to trade back the equipment they stole, so the title isn’t just a reference to Baby Yoda. This episode isn’t just a fetch quest, though – we’re learning how morality is going to work in this corner of the greater Star Wars saga. Plus we get to see the control bridge of a Sandcrawler, so that’s fun. Because this is a Star Wars show, our hero must descend into a cave to retrieve his prize, but for some reason, he brings Baby Yoda on this mission. Leave Baby Yoda with Uncle Ugnaught, Mandolorian, wtf you doin?!

Anyway, there’s a fight with a giant Rhino Elephant for “The Egg,” and at last Baby Yoda showcases force powers to suspend the monster in mid-air so Mando can kill it. Look, I know it’s Star Wars, and I know it’s a monster, but it feels like we’re focusing a lot on killing here. Will the show be about Baby Yoda learning violence, or The Mandolorian learning peace?

Not for nothing, but “The Egg” turns out to be a disgusting hairy mess. The Mandalorian brings it back in time for the Jawa’s brunch, and he gets all his spaceship parts back. Baby Yoda is knocked out cold from using the force, and Uncle Ugnaught and Mando discuss how they don’t really understand what happened. I know the Jedi have been mostly gone for like 30 years at this point but is the force itself something that’s fallen into obscurity? People throw “May the force be with you” around so much, mothers from the southern planets probably say it as passive-aggressive shade like my mom says “bless your heart.”

Mando offers Uncle Ugnaught a job on the ship, but he turns it down, saying that he’s worked hard to leave a life of service. I really think this show’s gonna be a journey to our boy taking his helmet off and putting the warrior’s life behind him. At the end of the day, Star Wars has always been about how wars are actually, you know…bad.

The episode ends as Baby Yoda wakes from Force Coma while the ship departs, and our boys are off to whatever fate the galaxy holds.

Blaster Fire:

  • I like that the Jawas cheer when the Sandcrawler goes down a big hill.
  • Star Wars is about balance. It’s in the past, but it’s the future. It’s high-tech, but shit looks old. There are lasers guns, but also wizards. It’s this dichotomy that makes the franchise feel unique and special, and the show is wise to not focus on one element over any other.
  • Loving the concept art over the end credits. It feels both very 70’s Western, and like a love letter to Ralph McQuarrie.
  • Okay, Crazy Theory Time: We’re gonna see a CGI de-aged Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker at his Jedi Temple by the end of this. I know he’s not listed on IMDB, but I’m manifesting it into the universe. Then again, I was DEAD SURE Rey was a Kenobi, so what do I know? But you gotta admit shoving 60-year-old actors into a 30-year-old hologram of themselves is a trend lately.

New episodes of The Mandalorian drop every Friday, and I’ll be recapping them in a much more timely fashion from here on out.

Get Disney+ for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.

I have spoken.

Hero on Twitter Uncovers the Secret Meaning Behind “Triscuits”

Triscuit Mystery Solved
(Nabisco)

Without being able to go to bars and restaurants and concerts and sporting events, thanks to the coronavirus, most of us are stuck inside all day long without a lot to do. We’re forced to Netflix and chill ourselves into oblivion, which, thankfully, the various streaming services are more than happy to help us do.

There’s only so many times we can re-watch Tiger King before we find ourselves searching for different ways to pass the time.

One man has found a heroic way to do just that, by launching an investigation into one of the enduring mysteries of our time: where did Triscuits get their name?

His name is Sage Boggs, and his Twitter bio reads, simply, “Triscuit guy.” He certainly lives up to that description with this thread, which he started by saying “OK, buckle up. I wanna talk to you about Triscuit.”

And talk about Triscuit he did.

He begins by explaining how he became interested in tracing the origins of the popular cracker’s name.

He quickly discovered that there was no definitive answer.

So he reached out to Nabisco, to hear it from the horse’s mouth. But what he learned was… unsettling. Not only did Nabisco themselves not know where the name came from, they immediately refuted the seemingly obvious assumption that the “tri” in Triscuits means “three” or something.

Sage was not satisfied.

In fact, he was left with more questions.

He kept digging.

And he discovered the truth.

The answer will shock you!

After Sage published his findings, Triscuits themselves finally weighed in, confirming Sage’s research.

No, living under quarantine is no fun. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be productive! Sage Boggs hero dug deep and uncovered a mystery. We salute you.

TRISCUIT MEANS “ELECTRICITY BISCUIT”

Who knew?!

Father Figures: Thank God You’re Here

“It’s 3:33 in the morning, and I, a man known by his wife to be a world-champion sleeper, am hopelessly awake.

Since I work from home these days, I’m not too concerned about having to power through tomorrow’s work day; one of the silver linings of this terrible pandemic is that instead of catching the 5:45am Manhattan-bound bus in a suit and tie, I wake up at 7:30 in mesh shorts and a t-shirt and go with my wife to get our little 9-month old daughter out of her crib.

Eventually I fire up the computer and earn my paycheck, but not before taking the time to be a good father and husband. I’ll miss this dearly when life goes back to normal.

But I won’t miss the underlying sense of concern I constantly feel for our Siena as we live amidst viral pandemic.

I never used to be this way; back in my twenties, when my bod wasn’t so dad-like, I was pretty fearless.

9/11 literally hit close to home and became my inspiration for joining the Marines. In the nine years I stuck around the Corps, I found myself volunteering often to deploy, eventually hanging it up after four tours. I never thought seriously about the possibility that I might get hurt or killed. Why bother with those harsh considerations when you are an immortal twenty-something anyway?

But the thirty-something game is way different. I used to run around with an M4 rifle strapped to my chest, my adventurous soul fueled by nothing more than Mountain Dew and a youthful ignorance sometimes known as bravery. Now, I take baby aspirin to reduce my risk of heart disease (okay, not really, but to be honest maybe I should start).

Life is not just about me anymore. It’s about the woman I get to wake up next to. It’s about the little girl in that crib who smiles and gives you this ‘thank God you’re here!’ look every morning when you rescue her from the monotony of her mandatory rest period.

No, little girl, thank God you’re here. You are my reason for being and I’m glad you’re awake.

And as uncertain as things are these days, at least one thing is for sure: there is no one I would rather be stuck with in this damn house than you and Mommy.”

– Nick De Gregorio

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here

Sports Apparel Companies Start Manufacturing Hospital Supplies

Sports Apparel PPE
(Twitter/AROD/BauerHockey)

Getting healthcare workers the supplies they need has become a worldwide effort, with companies doing what they can to make sure doctors and nurses have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely treat COVID-19 victims. We saw it with medical TV dramas donating their supplies to local hospitals, and now sports equipment manufacturers are shifting gears to help answer the call.

Major League Baseball and Fanatics, the company that makes its jerseys, are retooling their efforts to instead make some of the most in-demand items in hospitals: masks and gowns. Fanatics immediately stopped making jerseys for MLB and is using the fabric to make those masks and gowns. Their goal is to make one million for hospitals around Pennsylvania (where the factory is located), with hopes to increase production to help the New York/New Jersey area as well.

The employees are appropriately spaced out in the factory (read: more than six feet apart) and volunteered to be part of the movement. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred quickly agreed to the shutdown of MLB jerseys and cleared the way for Fanatics to refocus on much-needed hospital supplies. Baseball greats approve:

Fanatics isn’t the only sports company getting in the mix. Bauer, which is synonymous with ice hockey, has joined in to start manufacturing much-needed face shields for doctors and nurses. Sure, it would be cool if they were inked up like a goalie’s mask, but I understand how that may be time prohibitive. The legendary hockey company released a statement on social media, saying:

Protection that allows athletes to give everything for their team is our heritage. Right now, we’re all on the same team. We’re repurposing our facilities to make face shields so that medical professionals battling COVID-19 can safely continue to help those most vulnerable.

Bauer will put skates and helmets on hold, and will instead be dedicating its efforts to making the equipment doctors and nurses need more than ever.

The 9 Best Disney Virtual Rides and Tours You Can Enjoy at Home

9 Best Disney Virtual Rides and Tours
(YouTube/Theme Park University)

Disney might be closed right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their rides. Videos of just about every ride are available online now, and even better you don’t have to wait in line! With so many to choose from, it’s hard to narrow down, but we’ve come up with a handful of our favorites. (Maybe one of these will even inspire you to create a DIY Disney ride experience for your kids.)

Star Wars Millennium Falcon

Turns out a galaxy far far away was actually only Florida. Galaxy’s Edge opened last year and has proven to be enormously popular. The best ride is undoubtedly Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and with this video, you can see why. As Chewie says….actually no I have no idea what he says.

Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World

You shouldn’t watch pirated videos at home – unless it’s this one. This ride is always popular and a firm favorite and this video nicely captures the magic.

It’s a Small World at Walt Disney World

Another essential for younger kids, and even better this will keep them entertained for 13 minutes and 7 seconds, which really is Disney magic!

Space Mountain

It’s one of the best and most iconic Disney rides. There are a number of videos that use night vision to capture the real experience but we enjoy this one, the lights are on and it’s cool to see what you’re screaming about!

Splash Mountain

You can’t ride Space Mountain without its bigger, wetter brother. Enjoy the relaxing first section through the caves before that incredible drop, when my stomach introduced itself to my feet.

Expedition Everest

Another classic, this time from Animal Kingdom. Kids will love the part when the track unexpectedly ends, resulting in a thrilling backward plummet. And watch out for the Yeti!

Slinky Dog Dash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

As it is the best ride in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios, the lines are usually pretty long. But online they’re not, and you get right to the front! Get ready for that boost start midway through! To infinity…and well, back to the start.

The Seas With Nemo & Friends

If you can find Nemo, this ride is an under-rated gem at Epcot, and you can see here what a fun, colorful experience it is.

Test Track

A Dad favorite – designing a car, and then testing it out on the track? We’re all in. Do not wear driving gloves though. People laugh. Don’t ask how I know.

Dad Makes up for Canceled Disney Trip With DIY Splash Mountain Ride

Dad's DIY Splash Mountain Ride
(reddit/laramargaret)

The coronavirus has taken something from everyone. Even for those who are in good health, it’s disrupted and changed daily lives in ways we are still unpacking. Even the small indignities can have big effects on kids, such as missing graduation, a prom, a birthday party, or even the last three months with a beloved first-grade teacher. And for plenty of families, a missed vacation is part of the equation.

Obviously not equivalent to having a family member or friend struggling with the virus, but it’s still a bummer to see your kid’s heartbroken at the cancellation of a long-awaited trip to Disneyland. That was what one Utah family was experiencing. So their dad decided if they couldn’t go to Disneyland, they would bring Disneyland to the living room. All he needed was the library of virtual Disney rides on YouTube and a little dad-ingenuity.

In a video shared by their mom, the dad is shown with his five-year-old son on his lap, as they watch a POV video from Splash Mountain. He’s got his kid in an empty diaper box that he’s moving around along with the ride and even adds authentic home-made splash effects throughout.

When you can’t go to Disneyland…thanks for the idea Reddit! from r/Disneyland

This is where we’re at after only a few weeks into life under pseudo house arrest. For now, we can turn our living rooms into theme parks. If this lasts into the fall, we can kick off the NFL season in our basements, ruthlessly bowling over toddlers on your way to a badass touchdown.

Everyone is going to cope with changes in their own way, so if some dads are going to kick that creativity up a notch, more power to them. And maybe we learn we don’t really need Disneyland because the real Disney was in our hearts the entire time.

And that’s the lie we’ll all tell ourselves until this mess is over.

Here at The Dad, we hope you, your families, and communities stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest information, please utilize online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.

Ryan Reynolds in Talks for Live-Action Dragon’s Lair Adaptation

Ryan Reynolds Dirk the Daring
(Don Bluth/Cinematronics)

I have a confession to make: I don’t “get” Dragon’s Lair.

This was the supercool looking arcade game that seemed to take things to the next level. It didn’t look like other games, it looked like a cartoon. Like something you’d watch on Saturday morning. But it was playable! Somehow. Like I said, I was never really able to figure it out and preferred to waste my tokens on Outrun and pinball. It was an incredible looking game that foreshadowed more immersive video games with movie-quality graphics – like we have today.

Which makes it the perfect time to bring Dragon’s Lair back. To the big screen!

Ryan Reynolds is doing just that, having signed on to a movie version, both live-action and animated, that he’ll star in for Netflix. The Hollywood Reporter says that the movie will be written by Dan and Kevin Hageman, who worked on The Lego Movie and wrote the recent Scary Stories We Tell in the Dark. Netflix only just secured the rights to the game, so there’s no word on the director, plot, or release date yet. Obviously.

Released in 1983 with animation from Don Bluth, who went on to direct An American Tale and All Dogs Go To Heaven, Dragon’s Lair was a sensation.

Apparently, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the game used LaserDisc technology to deliver the graphics, and they were so good that the game was the most popular arcade game in the country for a time. It recently had a cameo in Stranger Things, along with every other piece of 80s pop culture you can think of.

The game is about a knight who is trying to rescue a princess from an evil wizard and a dragon, and one presumes Reynolds will play the knight, Dirk the Daring. Or maybe a man playing the actual game itself? Hard to tell at this point, but one thing is for sure: no matter who he plays, Blake Lively’s husband will spend a lot of time winking at the camera because that’s basically what he does when he’s not supporting bartenders or donating large sums to food banks.

If anything, the dude knows how to have fun, and this movie will surely be that. We’ll find out, eventually.

MLB Teams Share Messages of Solidarity as Opening Day Passes

We Miss You Baseball
(Twitter/RaysBaseball)

Usually, this is a triumphant time for baseball.

Winter is over, teams are hopeful, and fans are ready for a new season. Opening day is a special day in America, even if baseball doesn’t occupy the same place in our culture as it once used to when it truly was the country’s national pastime.

Unfortunately, thanks to the global pandemic we are all dealing with right now, opening day has been postponed, along with the rest of the season. But major league teams still did their best to recognize opening day online.

First, Rob Manfred, the MLB commissioner, put out a statement urging fans to stay home to help contain the coronavirus, sharing ways they can watch classic games for free online, and professing hope that the sport will return soon.

Teams across the league put out video messages on social media, sharing messages of solidarity with fans.

The Rockies made an exception to the “no crying in baseball” rule.

The Red Sox put out a statement recognizing fans for their efforts to protect themselves and others from COVID-19:

And the Mets put a call out to fans to share images of themselves celebrating this unique opening day with their gear:

We may not have baseball this April, but we’ll have it again, and the MLB is doing its best to keep fans happy and hopeful as we wait to return to our favorite ballparks.

Community Hosts a Social Distancing Parade for Girl Finishing Chemo

Social Distancing Parade for Coco
(Twitter/momuses)

Social distancing has been in our lexicon for only a few weeks, which in 2020 time, is equivalent to about 40 years. And as we get used to the guidelines of our new society, we’re finding ways to make it work. Friends and family are connecting over Zoom. Neighbors exchange pleasantries with the proper six feet of space between them. Kids school themselves on iPads with all screen time rules abolished. And we are also finding new ways to celebrate.

In one of the best feel-good stories you will see today, a young girl was returning home from her last chemo treatment, and her neighbors wanted to do something to celebrate. But with our social distancing rules in place, they had to get creative. So they did, helping set up a social distancing parade to welcome home the young girl.

Hat tip goes to John Krasinski of Office fame since he put the call out for good stories, and to the girl’s mom for delivering the video we needed to see today.

The girl’s friends, family, and neighbors all lined the street in decorated cars, holding balloons and signs, cheering her on as they pass.

It’s the most heartwarming thing you’ll see today, and frankly, we can use all the good news we can get these days.

Welcome home, Coco.

Teaser for Solar Opposites, New Show From Creator of Rick & Morty

Dig Old Bicks Solar Teaser
(YouTube/Hulu)

Despite some new movies being made available to stream, most of the content being released on various platforms is old stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it’s admirable that these companies are doing what they can to help get us through the Coronavirus quarantine, and when you have kids, it’s super helpful, even if the content is stuff everyone has likely seen before.

But it’s also nice to get some brand new content. Which is just one of the reasons we can’t wait for May 8th. That’s when Solar Opposites hits Hulu. Solar Opposites is an animated show about four aliens who crash land on earth and have to start new lives. Oh, and it’s from the guy who created Rick & Morty.

Got your attention now?

Justin Roiland, who co-created Rick & Morty with Dan Harmon (Community), is the man behind this new show, which drops every episode in early May. Hopefully, after we’ve all gotten out of confinement! A teaser for the show was just released.

“Solar Opposites is coming! We can only show you the teaser right now, but the whole season will be out in a matter of weeks! Stay inside and stay healthy so you can watch and love this show and call us geniuses and all that shit.”

The short description of the show reads: From Justin Roiland, the co-creator of Rick and Morty comes a series about a family of aliens trying to fit in on this human-infested crap-hole of a planet called Earth.

That doesn’t say much, but the teaser helps fill in the blanks. It’s obvious this show is from the guy Rick & Morty based on the style of the jokes and the sci-fi trappings. It surely won’t be long before it develops an insanely loyal cult following (and snacks) like its predecessor.

Check the teaser: