Max heads back to Mos Eisley for a rendezvous with The Mandalorian Chapter 5
Well, the 5th episode of The Mandalorian has come out and we are officially over the halfway mark for the 8 episode series, and I couldn’t be sadder. Even though I adored Solo, I haven’t been happy with Star Wars as a whole since 2005 and The Mandalorian really pumps me up every week. I will miss it; when it comes to a close (at least for this season) at the end of this month. That being said, even though I love the show; this episode was much weaker than the first 4 and that probably has something to do with the fact that it is the first one not to be written by Jon Favreau. Dave Filoni wrote and helmed this episode and personally; I’m not a huge fan of his. I admire his skill and talent in bringing new concepts to life, however, a lot of the stuff he writes also has ‘Filoni baloney’ in it.
The episode opens up in space dogfight that feels rushed, as The Mandalorian is being pursued by another bounty hunter, as per the Guild is now hunting him down for betraying them. Mando is able to survive and limps to a nearby (which I assume he was going to anyway since you can’t go far at sublight speeds) and of course, the planet is none other than Tatooine. Ugh. I’m all for nostalgia and everything, but Tatooine I feel is the most overused planet in the Star Wars mythos. It simply does NOT always need to appear. Dave doesn’t even “do” Tatooine correctly! The sands are too white, Mos Eisley is too quiet and the Tusken Raiders….know sign language?! So I had to swallow a poor portrayal of Tatooine to start, and the story is not much better. Mando needs money to get his ship repaired, and since its unknown, if the guy even has his GED, he seeks to get it the only way he knows how: bounty hunting. Yet he can’t obviously accept Guild assignments and strangely, Tatooine (the wretched hive of scum and villainy) doesn’t operate with the Guild anymore. WHY?
Anyway, Mando accepts an off the books job with a rookie bounty hunter trying to establish himself, named Toro Calican. Toro is a cocky Han Solo-Esque guy who doesn’t know how much in over his head he is with this chosen mark. Mando is surprisingly very patient with the kid and shows he is an expert mentor. Their target is named Fennec Shand, and Shand is let’s say, a much better sniper than Zam Wesell. The Mandalorian’s plan to capture Fennec is pretty smart, but it’s also a little too simplistic and very similar to Chapter 4’s AT-ST takedown maneuver. The action doesn’t last long, and we barely get to see any of this new character. The double-cross going into a triple cross was surprising; I’ll admit, but when all is said and done, everything kinda happens the way you would expect it to happen. The Gun on the Wall used in Act 1 is used in Act 3. Let’s put it that way.
Besides the misrepresentation of Tatooine, Filoni sprinkles the episode with bits of familiar dialogue from the older movies. It’s again, not necessary and Filoni is only fanboying out. I prefer more subtlety and original dialogue. Give us new mantras to repeat! Mando’s phobia of droids is getting a little much as well, as he can’t even let cute little pit droids touch his ship. Speaking of pit droids; I love those little guys and for the first time in this series, we have something cuter than uh….The Mandalorians, little green friend…. However, the droids couldn’t save this episode and I am 50/50 on whether a certain familiar face shows up at the end. We’ll see next week. The Mandalorian is an excellent “book” but I felt this chapter was one you skip over with your eyes; barely absorbing it. I give it 2 out of 5 Death Stars.
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Max Nocerino is a new addition to the Future of the Force roster. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter @MaxN2100 where he channels his passion frequently!