There are four Stormtroopers.
As we predicted, the narrative momentum of The Mandalorian has hit a crescendo. Once again following the model set down by Lone Wolf and Cub, the series has doubled back to its inciting incident because there is only so much wandering a character can do on in a modern television series.
With this episode, we saw the band finally form with Cara (Gina Carano), Kuiil (Nick Nolte), and even a reprogrammed IG-11 (Taika Waititi) taking flight about the Razor Crest to deal, once and for all, with the Imperial Client (Werner Herzog) and the Remnant’s obsession with the Child. And, since we declared Rick Famuyiwa needs a film trilogy of his own last week, Deborah Chow also deserves a marquee series of Star Wars movies based on her two episodes of The Mandalorian. Of course, things are different for her as she is developing the Obi-Wan series, but it would be foolish to keep her penned in to just the one show.
Unless, of course, she has a long term plan for Obi-Wan’s exile on Tatooine.
As for the episode itself, it was nice to finally see Carga (Carl Weathers) side with the Child. Sure, it took witnessing its magical Force-healing abilities, but some people need demonstrations like that to understand. It was clear from the jump that Carga would be an ally even if the series needed to give him a little bit of a journey to get there. In fact, it would’ve been nice to get more of a journey for him.
Meanwhile, it is clear the other Mandalorians have left Navarro — there’s no way they would put up with all those Imperial troops. You have to wonder where they’ve all gone and if The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) can reconnect with them at some point.
But there are more important things to consider in the immediate future. For one: the Imps have the Child. For another, Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) has Mando, Cara, and Carga pinned down in the cantina. Maybe there’s room for a surprise appearance from the other Mandalorians, but it also seems likely IG-11 will storm into town and redeem droids (to an extent) in Mando’s eyes. Or, at least, his attack will echo the way the Super Battledroid stormed his village all those years ago.
Which leads us to one interesting thing the Imperial Client mentioned during his little speech: Mandalore resisted. We know this from Star Wars Rebels and the work Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar) put into keeping her clan afloat. But as intoned by Herzog’s winning voice, it feels more vital than ever before. What form of resistance did the Mandalorian effort take on once the galactic civil war was in full swing? Did it lead to the destruction of the planet? And why did the Empire employ Super Battledroids as part of its operations?
Well, that’s assuming Mando’s memories are not from the Clone Wars, of course.
Sadly, it appears we must say goodbye to Herzog and the Client. While he spoke so forcefully as an Imperial representative, it is clear he had no stomach for war. That’s probably why Gideon took the opportunity to kill him in the cantina. At the same time, we hope his brief stay in the Star Wars galaxy will yield a Black Series action figure — we need a Werner Herzog toy yesterday.
Also, let’s pour a little fermented blue milk out for Kuiil. He has spoken his last, it seems.
And going into the season finale, we cannot wait to see how the show resolves this standoff and how it will set up its second season. Presumably, Mando will be forced into fighting against the Imps on a long-term basis. Or, maybe, he and the Child will continue their wanderings like Ogami Itto and Daigoro before them. There is room for both options, of course. The Mandalorian has proved Star Wars can be both episodic and serial television.
The Mandalorian streams Friday (usually) on Disney+
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