Carl unpacks The Mandalorian‘s action-packed twelfth chapter – complete with spoilers!!
You just have to admire Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. ‘The Mandalorian‘ is probably one of the best shows on Disney+ or any other streaming service or TV channel. Not only does it tie into ‘Star Wars‘ lore, delighting the fans but they have created something that is so incredibly enjoyable and thrilling, an outer space western set in the ‘Star Wars‘ universe, that anyone can sit back and enjoy it, marveling at the storylines and the adventure it brings to the audience. With great characters, fantastic writing, and, of course, Baby Yoda (no one calls him The Child, be honest!), it is the perfect show for all the family.
Last week‘s episode, ‘The Heiress‘ brought fan-favorite Bo-Katan Kryze into live-action for the very first time. Katee Sackhoff’s character being brought in could easily have been viewed as pandering to the fans. Instead, it brought a new dynamic to the show and furthered the story that was started in the animated shows. Bryce Dallas Howard directed what is surely one of the best episodes in the show’s brief history. But whereas last week was a live-action continuation of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars‘, this week is grounded back in the original trilogy world, a wonderfully nostalgic and thought out episode that brings the Empire back into the fold in a terrific way. Directed by Carl Weathers, who also acts in his role of Greef Karga in the episode, it is, quite frankly, a fan’s dream once again.
We left our hero at the end of last week with a severely patched-up Razor Crest on his way to find Ahsoka Tano. We begin this week with the ship being in trouble once again. After attempts by Mando and The Child to repair the ship, in a quite amusing opening, he realizes that the ship won’t make the journey unless it is completely and properly repaired. It is decided that the ship will need to go to the planet of Nevarro where his allies Greef Carga and Cara Dune reside.
Landing on the planet, Mando is greeted warmly by the pair, and Greef fawns once again over The Child. Greef orders the Mandalorians ship to be repaired completely and correctly this time in exchange for Mando’s help with something Greef and Cara are having trouble with. An old Imperial research base on the other side of the planet contains weapons that could be used to create anarchy by the black market gangs that reside in the shadows. Greef is now the Magistrate of Nevarro while Cara is the Marshall, cleaning up any trouble and both have managed to turn the planet around and made it a peaceful and pleasant place to live. Mando is surprised when he finds Mythrol (Horatio Sanz), the first bounty collected in the very first episode of the series has been released from his Carbonite and is working off his sentence under the eye of Greef.
Leaving The Child in a school where he decides to use his powers to steal some Macaroon-style cookies from a boy in the class, the four journey to the base, which is thought to be manned by only a skeleton crew. However, our heroes are shocked to discover that it is fully manned and still operational. It is decided that the facility needs to be destroyed by deactivating the lava cooling system that controls the natural lava flows it sits on. Mythrol manages to deactivate the cooling system but during the escape, they come across a large chamber that appears to be filled to the brim with cloned bodies. The scientists on the station attempt to destroy the evidence but are ultimately shot and killed before they can complete their actions.
To the shock of everyone, when attempting to retrieve the data, a hologram recording of Dr. Pershing is revealed, dropping the bombshell that the blood of the child is being used to harvest the clones after a small amount was extracted by him at the behest of the client and Moff Gideon. Mando is also shocked to find out that Gideon is still alive and is pulling the strings. Stormtroopers attack the foursome and they are forced to escape the base before the lava flow consumes and destroys the base.
What follows from here is what can only be described as ‘Star Wars‘ at it’s best. Chases, Biker Scouts, TIE Fighters, and daring escapes and thrills. The ending to the episode lays the groundwork for further adventures featuring Greef and especially Cara Dune down the line. And the climax is chilling. It will be interesting to see where the various plot threads go during the show. Not all will be resolved by the end of this second season and the groundwork is certainly laid for the third season and beyond.
Carl Weathers is a natural behind the camera as much as he is in front of it. He directs the episode to perfection, tight, fast-paced, visually stunning, and wholly enjoyable. Gina Carano is so welcome to be seen on screen again as Cara, kicking ass and taking names from the very start. Both return to the show and their characters like ducks to water. It is a wonderful sight to see all three principals back together again. Jon Favreau’s writing is beyond reproach as usual. Favreau seems to know exactly what should happen when it should happen and how to connect to the audience with ease. With Weathers’ direction and Favreau’s writing, the show continues to go from strength to strength.
While not moving the story concerning Ahsoka forward by much, the show has done the right thing and allowed us to catch our breath while still giving us an episode that we will savor, enjoy and cheer through from almost the very start. IF the show keeps Carl Weathers, Bryce Dallas Howard, and the other directors on board for the foreseeable future and Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni keep writing the show to this standard, then ‘The Mandalorian’ will continue to flourish for many years to come. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.
The Mandalorian is streaming exclusively on Disney+ NOW!
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!