The Mandalorian season 2 is confirmed to have 8 episodes, just like season 1. With Baby Yoda captivating audiences while inspiring internet memes left and right, season 1 of the Disney+ show established the new streaming service while helping dispel some of the general cloud of disappointment surrounding the Star Wars franchise thanks to the sequel trilogy and its many struggles.
Now, after grabbing audiences with that compelling first season, The Mandalorian is set to return for a second go-around that promises to expand the show’s world while bringing in loads of interesting new characters, including familiar figures like Ahsoka Tano and Boba Fett. With that second season set to arrive on Disney+ on October 30, 2020, the show’s promotional campaign has been ramping up with loads of revelations, new images and of course promises that things will get bigger and better. Among the teases is an intriguing reveal that this time around, Mando himself may not be the focus of every episode, a departure from season 1 which definitely featured the mysterious Din Djarin as the main character all the way through.
In another somewhat minor but still important reveal, showrunner Jon Favreau confirmed (via EW) that season 2 will have 8 episodes just like season 1. Favreau also said the episodes will have varying lengths, which again is a hold-over from season 1, which had episode lengths ranging from 30 minutes to 41 minutes.
The flexibility in episode length indeed was a useful tool for Favreau and company in season 1, as it allowed them to keep things tight in episodes that didn’t require a lot of expansive storytelling, while giving them the freedom to extend things for the sake of a good action sequence. Of course, such an approach is much easier to adopt on a streaming service where commercial breaks and set schedules aren’t part of the equation, and it isn’t necessary to pad things out to get to a certain runtime.
After using the flexible-length 8 episode format to great effect in season 1, there might have been a certain temptation to go even bigger in season 2 by having more and longer episodes. But, it seems Favreau and company have resisted the urge to stuff the season with more things just to create the illusion of largeness, and instead will work within the same parameters they set for season 1. Given all the new faces that are set to arrive (not to mention returning ones like Moff Gideon), it will indeed be fascinating to see how those 8 episodes ration screen time among the show’s various characters, and what mysteries will be solved in that relatively limited span. Fans no doubt would love for there to be more than 8 episodes of The Mandalorian, but it’s probably smarter to keep things concise, as it lessens the need for filler and other extraneous junk that just hurts pacing.