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A delightful family photo for Season Two of The Mandalorian.

A portrait of the Mandalorian holding the alien infant known only as the Child, was unveiled today at the National Portrait Gallery pop-up exhibition in London. The beautiful painting of ‘The Mandalorian And The Child’ has gone on display at a gallery in Covent Garden ahead of the release of the second series of the spin-off series.

You may hear the Child being referred to by the name “Baby Yoda” due to his resemblance to the aged Jedi Master seen throughout the Star Wars saga. While the two bear an uncanny resemblance, the general lore was that Yoda’s people who are extremely long-lived, (Yoda bragged at being over 800 years old) were either in hiding or long since destroyed. Yoda has been closed-lipped about the fate of his people (whose name is lost to antiquity).

These two figures have risen to cult status during the first season of the Star Wars related series, The Mandalorian. The series on Disney+ could be construed as the equivalent of a western in space, complete with gun-slinging, deadly shootouts, bounty hunting and very bad men and women being brought to justice by the Mandalorian, a bounty hunter with a strong moral code. It varies widely from the standard Star Wars fare in that the main character is not a Jedi or Sith, lacks any supernatural abilities, getting by on sheer grit and gumption.

The Child, however, barely 50 years old, appears to have a strong connection to the Force and has demonstrated its abilities more than once, on behalf of the Mandalorian. The two came together under less than ideal circumstances. The Mandalorian was tasked to deliver the child, no questions asked, to a facility looking to perform experiments on it.

The Mandalorian, upon discovering the living nature of his cargo, at great risk to himself, takes it upon himself to protect the Child and is forced to go on the run, upending his tidy life of bounty hunting. I call it a tidy life because the Mandalorian seemed quite content with the structure and rhythm of his life, even with all of its vagaries, and likely would have continued doing what he was doing until his morality (being against trafficking in intelligent and sapient beings) got in the way.

The oil painting will hang along other famed Star Wars characters and high-quality concept art from the franchise, including Thandie Newton (Val from Solo), Sir Alec Guinness (Obi Wan Kenobi), Gareth Edwards (director and cameo actor), Ben Morris (creative director, ILM), and Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso, Rogue One).This portrait will be on display to the general public via a free-ticketed event on October 30 and 31 at The Unit, 40 Earlham St, West End, London WC2H 9LH.

The Mandalorian begins streaming on Disney+ on October 30.

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Thaddeus Howze
Thaddeus Howze

Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.

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