It wouldn't be The Mandalorian if there wasn't a surprise cameo from a popular comedian, and Season 2 kicks things off with a great one. Episode 1 (Chapter 9, "The Marshal") opens with a confrontation between Mando and Gor Koresh (an alien played by John Leguizamo), but this one is more than a fun cameo, it's an important bit of worldbuilding that brings us back into the Star Wars galaxy while revealing what's changed between The Mandalorian Season 1 and 2.
Warning! The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 1 spoilers ahead.
This was a pretty long episode, so if you forgot what happened at the beginning, here's a quick recap. Mando and Baby Yoda show up at some sort of seedy fight club looking for Gor Koresh, who apparently has info on where Din can find another Mandalorian. As Mando later explains, this will allow him to use his people's network of "coverts" to locate more of Baby Yoda's kind (aka, the Jedi).
However, things quickly go south. Gor turns on Mando, threatening to kill him if he doesn't hand over his Beskar armor. It seems John Leguizamo's character has been searching out the remaining Mandalorians for their "shiny shells," and he notes that the price of Beskar keeps going up. Of course, this doesn't go well for Gor, who winds up hanging by his feet from a lampost outside. Din leaves him for dead as a gang of what appear to be space wolves circle around their dinner.
That's it for John Leguizamo (an actor and comedian who's been in everything from Ice Age to Romeo + Juliet but might be best known as Luigi in the cult classic Super Mario Bros. movie). However, in his brief moment in the spotlight, Leguizamo reveals two key things to keep in mind as The Mandalorian Season 2 continues.
1. It's harder than ever to be a Mandalorian
If you thought things were bad in Season 1, you're in for a surprise. Back then, Din Djarin had his covert and a clan of Mandalorians to protect him. In Mandalorian Season 2, he's totally on his own. Even worse, it seems that as his people and the Guild both fall apart, other criminals have been preying on unsuspecting Mandalorians for their Beskar. Leguizamo makes it clear that the price of this rare Star Wars metal keeps going up, which suggests that the market for Beskar is thriving as the people who historically wore it struggle to get by.
2. Mando has changed, maybe for the better
The Mandalorian Season 1 opened on a similar confrontation, with Mando taking on an entire group of enemies and using a cantina's automatic door to chop one guy in half. But in Season 2 Episode 1, Mando only leaves John Leguizamo's character for dead, rather than killing him outright. It's a small change, but it's worth noting.
It might be a low bar, but Mando seems to be getting just a little bit softer. Maybe carrying around an adorable Force-sensitive kid is starting to get to him.
New episodes of The Mandalorian Season 2 stream Fridays at 3 a.m. Eastern on Disney+.