Major spoilers below for those who haven't yet watched The Mandalorian's Season 2 opener.
With 2020 being one of the most tumultuous years in recent memory, The Mandalorian's return to Disney+ for Season 2 was a rousing and much-needed adventure that gave fans a chance to revisit a very familiar planet. For the most part, the premiere didn't feature any head-exploding surprises like Season 1's Baby Yoda reveal, but it was still a big and action-packed episode that deserves all the kudos simply for introducing Timothy Olyphant's Cobb Vanth into the Star Wars universe.
For an episode that featured the live-action debut of the Krayt dragon and more creatures of Star Wars lore, "The Marshal" was most memorable for introducing Justified and Santa Clarita Diet vet Timothy Olyphant and finally confirming his role as Mos Pelgo's highest authority figure, Cobb Vanth. Let's quickly run through the reasons why Olyphant and his character are the best things about the Season 2 premiere.
Cobb Vanth = Raylan Givens + Boba Fett
Timothy Olyphant's most beloved TV character is arguably Justified's wry and restless Raylan Givens, and The Mandalorian's space western aesthetic allowed Olyphant to dip right back into that basic persona for Cobb Vanth. (Slightly fewer echoes of Deadwood's Seth Bullock, if only because The Mandalorian doesn't feature tons of cursing.) The fact that the character is donning Boba Fett's signature armor for most of the episode gives Cobb Vanth instant legend status. If I were to have another child at some point, I would craft a rock-solid defense for naming it Boba Givens.
Timothy Olyphant's Cobb Vanth Is The Reason Mando Returns To Tatooine
It was clear from early promos that The Mandalorian would be returning to the all-important planet of Tatooine with Season 2, though it wasn't made clear why until the episode went live on Disney+. It turns out Mando was seeking a mysterious lone Mandalorian somewhere on the planet to assist with his Baby Yoda ordeal, and it was revealed to be Timothy Olyphant's Cobb Vanth donning the aforementioned Boba Fett armor. It was probably a pisser for Mando to go all that way just to realize his target wasn't even a true Mandalorian, but at least viewers got to see Amy Sedaris' Child-adoring Pelli Motto during his visit.
Cobb Vanth Isn't Afraid Of Mando, Krayt Dragons, Or Anything Else
First, it was badass to see Olyphant's Cobb barely reacting to Mando's harsh threats inside the bar. Second, he looked like even more of a beast outside the bar as he just stood there not flinching at all as a krayt dragon tore through the center of town. Sure, I guess he was used to seeing them, but I'm pretty sure I would NEVER get so accustomed to seeing krayt dragons around that I wouldn't just scream bloody murder anytime one's gaping maw and hot breath were in my vicinity.
Cobb Vanth's Backstory Is Sweet (And Pretty Faithful)
With a backstory that somewhat lined up with the characters' franchise debut in Chuck Wendig's 2015 novel Aftermath, Timothy Olyphant's Cobb told Mando about how he came to be in possession of Boba Fett's armor. (Though without saying Boba Fett, obvs.) Mos Pelgo was apparently on its last legs, and was one day overtaken by a group of heavily armed miners from the area, not long after the second Death Star was defeated. The miners turned the community into a slave camp, but Cobb was thankfully able to escape with a bunch of silicax crystals before trekking through the desert. Just when it seemed like hope was lost, a pack of Jawas drove by and picked him up, and he inevitably traded his crystals for the Mandalorian armor he's been wearing.
Okay, so this one probably isn't tied directly to Timothy Olyphant's influence, since Mando also has a jetpack to zip around in. Still, they're doing tag-team jetpacking for the first time on The Mandalorian! And it looks awesome!
Cobb Didn't Ever Try Hurting Baby Yoda
One of the worst things about meeting fresh faces on The Mandalorian is wondering whether or not those new characters are going to secretly have the urge to kidnap or otherwise harm Baby Yoda for their own nefarious means. Obviously not everyone is going to be the "Jason Sudeikis Stormtrooper" that totally knocked Baby Yoda on his head, but there are a lot of people in the galaxy that would no doubt want to take The Child and sell it off to the highest bidder. Thankfully, Cobb Vanth doesn't appear to be in that camp, and although that could technically change if he returns later in Season 2, I'm celebrating him for respecting Mando's boundaries.
Boba Fett Is Back!
While this wasn't exactly laid out in full, I'm choosing to blindly believe that massive reveal featuring Temuera Morrison's true Boba Fett can be largely attributed to the bounty hunter tracking the armor back to Timothy Olyphant's Cobb. Granted, it looked like he either didn't make it to Mos Plego, or just never confronted anyone, but he was certainly aware of Mando racing off on his speeder. In any case, I'm pretty sure if Mando hadn't ever shown up, Boba would have eventually gone into Cobb's favorite watering hole and totally destroyed everyone and everything in order to get his armor back.