The Mandalorian is back! The Disney Plus war of stars The show that ushered in a new era of television in a galaxy far, far away returns with a relatively quiet season premiere centered on accomplishing two things:
First, The Apostate reminds us of the story before it. Mando (Pedro Pascal) shows up where his covert is and saves her from a giant space crocodile. The Armorer reiterates that he voluntarily showed his face and therefore can no longer call himself a Mandalorian. He tells her that he is going to Mandalore to bathe in the waters beneath the mines and find atonement, although she tells him that this is impossible as their home planet has been all but destroyed.
You can watch my video review of this episode below:
Next we see how things have changed, particularly for Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) and his hometown of Nevarro, almost unrecognizable from its heyday, unhindered by Imperial holdouts or New Republic bureaucracy. Karga wants to get Mando a piece of land and a well-paying job as a marshal after Marshal Dune (Gina Carano) returns to special forces – Disney and LucasFilm’s rather gentle way of writing Carano out of history when he leaves the door open to her return .
Karga needs a marshal because even in boom times, villains can still show up. These take the form of space pirates led by a handsome devil named Vane:
Vane is a talkative go-getter who is combative and desperate to show Karga who’s boss. Vane himself isn’t really the boss, just a high-level thug for a much bigger fish, the pirate king Gorian Shard:
Since The Mandalorian actually a space western, we get a fun little gunfight here. Karga and Vane have a quick draw and Karga wins by shooting Vane’s blaster out of his hand. When his cronies move, Mando shoots them. They allow Vane to escape, which pursues Mando and Grogu as they leave Nevarro and are (unsuccessfully) ambushed by Vane and his men. Our heroes are nearly trapped or destroyed by Shard as Vane guides them through the asteroid belt to the giant pirate ship, but Mando quickly pulls and jumps into hyperspace, escaping Shard – for now. I’m sure he’ll come back – it’s not The book by Boba Fett finally.
Once in hyperspace while Papa Mando is taking a nap, Baby Yoda stares out the arched window of his small room and sees shadowy shapes in the beams of hyperlight. They look like space whales, and this is easily one of the best moments of the entire episode. Turns out these are called Purrgil and some fans might recognize them Star Wars: Rebels, an animated show that I still haven’t finished watching (hence my ignorance!) as it directly follows the story of Ezra, Ahsoka Tano, Admiral Thrawn and rebels I’m sure this is an important moment simply because of its impact on the Ahsoka show. Anyway, it’s very cool and I want to know more!
Mando and Baby Yoda visited Nevarro and Karga with one goal: to revive IG-11 (Taika Waititi), the bounty droid turned nurse droid, sacrificing himself to save the group. Mando correctly believes that having a droid companion on Mandalore could be very helpful, but he notoriously dislikes or trusts droids. Only one has broken through its Beskar steel-like emotional exterior. However, IG-11 turns out to be largely dead and not that easy to put back together. When they revive him, he defaults back to his bounty logs and attempts to kill Grogu.
So they take him to the Experts, a group of the tiny little Anzellans we first met Rise of Skywalker in the form of Babu Frik – or rather, Frik’s cousins. We actually don’t know if any of them are Frik or if they’re just other Anzellans who sound exactly like him (thanks to Shirley Henderson, who does the voices for all of the above voices). Baby Yoda wants to squeeze the little boys and deserves a “Bad Baby!” from their leader. (The Karga translation for the easy-to-understand Anzellans was a hilarious highlight of the episode for me).
Unfortunately, even the experts can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together. To fix IG-11 they need a memory card and they don’t have one and it’s very rare and hard to get (or something) and thus part of Mando’s quest begins. The fetch quest part. He and Grogu must find the right piece so the Anzellans can repair IG-11 and the powerful droid can join them in the main quest to go to Mandalore and find atonement there.
Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) has given up trying to retake Mandalore. When Mando shows up at her castle, he finds her depressed and alone. Her powers have melted thanks to her lack of the Darksaber, which Mando currently possesses and which she must take into battle lest he curse her. For all Bo-Katan’s talk of superstitions when it comes to Mando’s faction, she and her people surely have many magical beliefs of their own.
She tells him that Mandalore is lost, that it is poisoned, that it cannot be saved. He tells her to make up her mind and that he is going anyway and he will find out the truth and let her know. I hope we get more bo-katan this season!
So we’ve set the stage well for both quests and more. Mando must both repair IG-11 and somehow bring back Bo-Katan’s mojo. Then Mando must either shake off his attachment to the Armorer and her fanatical covert, or find atonement in the living waters. And Then The battle for Mandalore can begin in earnest, whatever that looks like.
We still don’t have a clear idea of who the Big Bad will be this season or what battles Mando and Baby Yoda will face on Mandalore, let alone in their quest for the droid’s parts. I suspect the Pirate King Gorian Shard will have a big role as a minor villain this season, but I’m curious to see if they create another Moff-Gideon level nemesis or if he somehow escapes the New Republic and makes it will be his return. We may also get Thrawn himself, which would make sense with an Ahsoka series in the works. Hard to say!
I really enjoyed this episode, even if it wasn’t the most action-packed or exciting. What did you think? let me know Twitter or Facebook.
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