The Mandalorian, Season 1, Chapter 1: The Mandadorable

The Mandalorian, Season 1, Chapter 1

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE AND ALSO A GIANT STAR WARS NERD, MY FRIENDS. Really: new books, new games, new theme park(s), a final chapter of Vader Immortal in which — spoiler alert — I am very surprised that I did not get to live the experience of being virtually murdered by Anakin Skywalker while he threw a tantrum in his utterly absurd home (it would’ve been quite a way to go, really). And if all that plus the fact that we are mere weeks away from the Presumably Hilarious Return of Undead Sheev and What Had Better Fucking Be Anakin Skywalker’s Ghost Or I Am Suing JJ Abrams For Incorrectly Making a Star Wars Finale — was not enough to push a person into a full-blown state of Star Wars Ecstasy, well, then there’s also the subject of today’s recap.

Today marks a special time here on Snark Wars, as I get to introduce a brand-new entry into the Television recaps category: Star Wars’ first live-action series, The Mandalorian, now streaming on Disney+, the next frontier in Disney’s multi-decade plot to separate me from every last cent I have. I really had no idea what to expect from this show, despite seeing the previews and reading my usual disgusting amount of Star Wars Internet Content in the run-up to its premiere. Was it going to be the dark, raw, gritty, ultraviolent thing that some loud, wrong people keep claiming we all want from Star Wars? Was it going to be hours upon hours of, I dunno, people flying around on jetpacks and yelling, as I understand to be Mandalore’s #1 pastime? Were the powers that be going to pull yet another “nope it’s definitely not the Sith, this trilogy is absolutely completely a different Dark Side Thing”-style backtrack on us, and have the Mando just be Undead Boba Fett after all? So many possibilities!

We’re now, as of this writing, three episodes into this series, and for my part, I am enjoying this show immensely, and probably more than I expected (even though I figured that with Filoni’s dweeby ass being involved, I was likely going to end up loving it regardless because at some point there’s probably going to be Force Bullshit, Zombies, or both at the same time accompanied by Darth Maul again somehow, and we all know I am unable to resist that kind of nonsense.) Additionally, I didn’t spoil the end of this first episode for myself going into it, and I screamed out loud when I saw it. It’s delightful.

All right, everyone: get your helmets on, and come meet my new son with me! (SHHH KEEP IT DOWN IN CASE HE’S SLEEPING, YOU MONSTERS.)

Recurring Theme: The GFFA, More Bars Per Capita Than Any Other Galaxy

We open on some Misty Planet that probably has a goofy name, which I will not be looking up because I do not care. At this point, honestly, I’m considering just calling them all City, Misty, Snowy, Jungle, Sandy, or Lava. (Or “meadow where Anakin Skywalker makes an idiot out of himself yet again”, I guess.)

We see a Mysterious Figure with a tracking device thingy, approaching what turns out to be a cantina. I have seen exponentially more bars, saloons and cantinas in Star Wars than I have actual peoples’ homes in this galaxy. Someone stage an intervention, for God’s sake. This can’t be a good sign.

In keeping with tradition for both Star Wars as a whole and this blog specifically, I would like to point out that at no point in this entire story thus far will anything be properly illuminated, so, you might wanna crank up your brightness or something as we begin. I guess the galaxy was trying to keep the spirit of the Jedi Order alive, here.

So we take a peek into this bar, and we see some thugs threatening Some Blue Alien Dude. They speculate on how they could sell his body for parts, which I would be alarmed by in terms of its grimness, if Star Wars hadn’t also once treated me to that time 15-year-old Ahsoka beheaded four dudes at once, or like, Anakin’s entire life.

Recurring Theme: We Make Entrances In This Galaxy, Damn It

Things are looking bad for this guy, as his attempts to barter his way out of his predicament fail. That’s when, in accordance with Star Wars Law, the titular Mando makes his grand entrance:

I really, truly believe the crux of the grudge between Mandalore and the Jedi, aside from what I can only presume was centuries of unresolved sexual tension, is the fact that these bastards are the only people in the galaxy who come close to the needless display of drama of the Jedi (with the possible exception of the Sith, but there aren’t usually enough of them around to mount a solid challenge.) (Though God knows Sidious is not phoning it in.) I still maintain that that one Mando Jedi guy who created the Darksaber was potentially even MORE of a drama queen than Anakin was, because he combined both being a Jedi AND being a Mandalorian into a single person, which frankly is terrifying to contemplate. He probably died spontaneously combusting while staring off into the distance on a mountaintop while his cape blew around in the wind (which now, having written it, I realize is more or less ACTUALLY how Luke Skywalker died IN CANON, and now I can’t stop laughing.)

ANYWAYS. (We are only one minute and nine seconds into this, by the way, and this is not a short episode. Pray for me.) The Mando struts in, silently, and immediately gets under one of the Thugs’ skin:

…I wouldn’t worry about it, dude! Last I checked, booze was more plentiful than water around here.

The Mando ignores him, and the bartender nervously tries to smooth things over by offering to replace the spilled drink on the house. Naturally, this fails, a ruckus ensues, and at one point someone gets cut in half by the closing door (which is hard to see here as it was hard to get a good shot, and also because, again, Dave Filoni of all people obviously was not going to turn any lights on in this show):

OK, so. The fact that this CAN happen with these doors just seems like an enormous safety hazard overall (like, let’s hope they don’t use these whooshy circle doors in, say, preschools), but I guess it looked badass, so whatever. Also since this guy was merely cut in half, I assume he was back home resting comfortably that very night, since around here, being cut in half, or, y’know, thrown into a reactor by Darth Vader and then blown up, isn’t enough to kill someone. (Evidently one of the only things that actually does cause someone’s permanent death is just knowing you’re married to Darth Vader and having his children, which is both understandable AND is making me laugh out loud again. TAKE THAT, ANAKIN.)

Recurring Theme: Someone Attempts to Weasel Out of Something

So the blue dude, whose name is apparently the appropriately very-nerd-fantasy-series-esque Mythrol (“Mithril“, and “Mythril“, of course, were both taken), is all like OH GOLLY SHUCKS THANKS FOR SAVING ME, HERE’S A HALLMARK CARD:

All right, even if it’s not an entirely generous thank-you here, I will give this guy the fact that he’s literally the only person in the history of Star Wars who hasn’t yelled at and sighed long-sufferingly at the person who just saved their life (LOOKING AT YOU, KENOBI.)

The Mando stands there, unimpressed. Bonus points to Pedro Pascal for conveying a lot of emotions in this series already despite the fact that we still haven’t seen his actual face yet (halfway through the second episode, my youngest child yelled out “WHEN is he gonna take his MASK OFF?? ISN’T HE GETTING SUPER SWEATY IN THERE???”)

Mythrol now tries to pass off his credits to the Mando, laughing nervously, when he’s presented with the Bad News:

Yep, out of the frying pan and into the fire, my guy. He protests: there must be a mistake! He can get more credits! The check is in the mail!

The Mando ain’t having it: he can bring this dude in warm…

Oooooooh. Somewhere a million Mando cosplayers cried out in joy, I felt it.

Uber Works Kinda Different Around Here

So the two of them head off to the Mando’s ship, which for whatever reason is apparently parked ten billion miles away, and on top of a gigantic icy lake that, as we will learn soon, has at least one enormous snake monster in it. WHY. I get that he was trying to keep a low profile, but was there not any other remote lot available that would have been slightly less of a hassle?

They call for a ride by talking to an alien who I guess…is like, a GFFA Uber-arranger? Or he’s the parking lot attendant for this huge ice lake? I don’t know, I just work here. He summons a speeder over, but the Mando eschews it: it has a droid driving it, which I presume he must not want to use because he could be tracked more easily? Or something? Again: why do I even ask these questions? It’s a sickness, honestly. Who knows why anything happens in Star Wars?

The guy reassures them: this is a solid ride! It’s got Sirius XM and heated seats! The Mando still declines, and so the alien again summons a speeder (by PLAYING A QUICK JAUNTY TUNE ON SPACE FLUTE, DID I MENTION THAT? No? Yeah. He summons rides for people by playing a space flute. In a galaxy with space travel, holograms, high tech communication devices, and groups of wizards who can manipulate their physical surroundings with their minds, THIS is how you hail a cab.)

An old jalopy arrives to take them to their ship:

The group make their way across the giant field of ice, and eventually arrive at the ship. Mythrol is Not Impressed with the Mando’s ship, which honestly is probably something someone in his vulnerable position should just keep to themselves, given that the Mando is capable of, say, disintegrating someone, but whatever:

Recurring Theme: Monster of the Week

Immediately after have they gotten out and paid their driver, of course, this week’s Terrifying Giant Space Monster appears, lunging up from the ice and devouring their cabbie. Aww! I guess that’s one way to be sure that no one will talk about the fact that they gave you a ride.

The monster comes for them next, and Mythrol is completely freaking out, screaming for the Mando to open the door. Of course, he pulls him in Just In the Nick of Time, and the monster dives for their ship:

You know what I want? A giant CUTESY creature. Like, the closest we’ve got right now is Chewie, who is cute and tall, yes, but not like, Epic-Monster Scale, and, I dunno, we’ve got banthas, I guess? But I WANT A GIANT PORG. An Ewok the size of a house. Give me the GFFA version of an even-bigger Totoro.

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(I guess I’ll take an extra-tiny Cute Something, too. BUT I AM GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF.)

Recurring Theme: Hilarity, Thy Name Is Star Wars

I will level with you all and admit I am including the screenshot below of Mythrol racing into the safety of the cockpit PURELY because of its Star Wars Nonsense:

Yes, not content to leave us with EU-borne, fanfiction favorites like kark and kriff, or classics like e chu ta!, I guess, we now also have DANK FARRIK as an in-universe exclamation. DANK. FARRIK.

As an aside, writing this bit caused me to look up Star Wars slang on Wookieepedia, and DEAR LORD, the page on Legends-era slang IS A BLESSED PIECE OF LITERATURE. Apparently, we can also make use of such gems as Emperor’s black bones!, Minions of Xendor! (which 1000% sounds like a third-rate knockoff of Magic: The Gathering, or a Dungeons and Dragons adventure), as well as Holy milking Sith! (and no, that is not a typo: MILKING. Milking SITH. What. Why. WHAT WOULD HAVE GIVEN RISE TO THIS PHRASE. I don’t want to know.)

The Mando manages to get the ship free from the Ice Monster’s grasp, and they begin to make their way off-planet.

Recurring Theme: Deep Freeze

This episode has a LOT of ground to cover yet, so I’ll cut to the chase here and tell you that Mythrol attempts to find a way to outsmart the Mando by feigning a need to do his species’ equivalent of going to the bathroom (which is referred to as a “vacc tube”, here, which…I guess is this the spaceship version of a “refresher”? I could have sworn “refresher” was canon now. Maybe “vacc tube” is horrible slang, like people in the real world calling a toilet “the crapper”. I officially hate Star Wars for even making me think about any of this.)

The Mando is, of course, onto him, and his little tour of the ship comes to an end with a quickness as he’s shoved into a carbonite freezing chamber. I love how in The Empire Strikes Back, which happened like…seven or so years before this (I’m too lazy to look), Vader’s carbonite freezing rig was like, 40 times the size of this and basically had its own room and a full staff of people operating it. The Mando, on the other hand, has what is basically a shower stall that can freeze people located inside his space car. I guess the technology has evolved somewhat!

At any rate, it looks like Mythrol will be going to his destination as a space popsicle!

Recurring Theme: Different But The Same, Again

The Mando, his cargo now secured (along with the frozen bodies of several other bounties of his), lands on a somewhat dusty-looking sketchy planet full of bounty hunters and shady pirates and other sorts of ne’er-do-well underworld-types. No, not that one. Or the other one. Or the other-other ones. Sigh. I take comfort in knowing that in order to make the Obi-Wan series, they’re going to HAVE to take us back to Tattooine AT LEAST ONCE in the Disney era instead of just putting Obi-Wan on yet ANOTHER planet that is effectively THE SAME PLACE. (I KNOW, I KNOW: the universe is big and it stands to reason there’d be more than one place like this, BUT STILL.)

He walks into a bar, which is of course to no one’s surprise. I feel bad that this guy probably spends half his work week in bars and yet, because of his whole Mando Mystique Thing, he can’t even imbibe, because how would he drink with that helmet on? Unless he’s like, ordering a whiskey with an extra-long bendy straw and then sticking it up through the bottom of his helmet, which is such a great mental image that I’m gonna go ahead and declare that canon right now. You’re welcome.

Once inside, he stops by to talk to Carl Weathers, who I am delighted to see in this and whom I have forgotten was part of the cast no less than 5 times since this series was announced, so I’ve been pleasantly surprised over and over again that, hey, look! Carl Weathers is here! Carl plays Greef Karga, the head of the Bounty Hunters’ Guild. With the Mando’s latest slew of jobs completed, Karga tells the Mando he’ll have them begin the offload of the Mando’s haul of poor unfortunate souls:

He attempts to reward Mando for his work in Imperial credits, and the Mando reacts to this as though Karga just tried to pay him in coupons for free hugs: uh, maybe you don’t know this, dude, but the Empire? Is gone? (LOL, SURE IT IS. SURE IT IS, MANDO.)

Karga is like “hey, c’mon, some places take it!” Karga, the man nearly got eaten by a giant ice worm for his troubles; he doesn’t want to be paid in Sheev Bucks, OK? He relents:

…but he can only pay him half of what he’s owed. (And yes, the currency of the Mon Cala is apparently called flan. Never change, Star Wars.) The Mando accepts, which should probably be a good indicator of how this dude feels about the Empire.

Recurring Theme: This Guy Doesn’t Know What He’s Signing Up For

Karga now starts listing off available assignments: bail jumpers, one wanted smuggler — boring stuff. He laments that while plenty of people want a bounty hunter, most don’t want to pay the going rate for a Guild member. The highest bounty he can offer is worth 5,000, which the Mando counters won’t even cover fuel. Karga pauses meaningfully before going on: well…there is ONE other option. DUN DUN DUUUUUN!

The Mando asks to see the bounty puck. Karga:

Face-to-face only, with a client who has a “deep pocket”. The Mando asks if it’s an underworld client, and Karga explains:

So, with so little info to go on, and the possibility that this is some seriously shady, dangerous stuff, Mr. Mando, the question is…

…I’m gonna answer for the Mando: YES, YES, HE DOES HE NEEDS TO TAKE THIS JOB TRUST ME.

Recurring Theme: Up To No Good

So, having accepted the assignment the Mando makes his way through some streets to an unassuming door. He knocks, and one of those eyeball things pops out to check him out:

He’s allowed in, and led down a dark hallway into a room that has a bunch of stormtroopers hanging around in it:

Uh, guys? The Empire’s over, you can go home now! You don’t have to work for the Space Nazis anymore! Sigh.

The Mando uneasily makes his way into the room, and seated at a table inside as the Mando’s Client is Werner Herzog, who incredibly is IN STAR WARS NOW, because literally nothing has made sense in the world for at least 3-4 years now, and so why the hell wouldn’t Werner Herzog be in a Star Wars TV show?

I won’t drain it all here (…yet), but if you have not treated yourself to the anecdotes about Herzog on the set of this show, please go find them. They are a joy.

All right! So here’s Herzog with his clipped accent and a gaggle of Stormtroopers, really laying on the Villainous Vibes. The Client tells Mando that Carl Weathers told him that the Mando was the “best in the parsec”, before Mando can really respond, someone enters the room and everyone starts pulling out weapons and getting their feathers all ruffled.

Turns out it’s just this guy:

Not to worry, The Client assures us:

LOL. That line describes a LOT of people in Star Wars. Like, a LOT. Especially Anakin.

Herzog gets everyone calmed down, and weapons are withdrawn. I have to say, the troopers’ uniforms look absolutely beaten to hell, and like, the Empire’s only been over for like 5 years? What have these creeps been up to in this relatively short time?

He slides a slab of something metallic across the table, which the Mando immediately identifies as “beskar”, a type of steel his people use for their armor. Herzog tells him it’s a down payment, and it’s real:

He goes on to say that he’s got a whole entire ice cream maker full of this shit for him “upon delivery of the asset”. Pershing pipes up to specify that the asset should be “alive”, and the Client is like “Oh yessss, definitely, of course…”:

…except, y’know, if it’s not, because he recognizes…

So, having said that…

And let me tell you, if you weren’t already getting unsettling vibes from this dude before, you are REALLY going to be Not OK with him once you MEET the asset in question, OK? It’s probably important to note, since of course one of the Big Questions right now is WTF these guys are trying to accomplish here, that he doesn’t say “bring back the body if it’s dead”, just that he’d accept proof that it’s been killed. Why would he be OK with the asset being dead — especially if, say, hypothetically, it was the cutest thing that’s ever existed? I can’t say, but I am going to go ahead and preemptively blame Sidious for all of this in one way or another. 40+ years of Star Wars and it’s always eventually ended up being ultimately his fault.

Dr. Pershing, for his part, takes exception to this, saying they’d not agreed on allowing the asset to be killed. The Client counters that he’s simply “being pragmatic”.

The Mando is disinterested in their back and forth, and asks to see the puck of who exactly it is he’s supposed to be capturing. The Client tells him that they have to go with a less traditional approach:

The Mando asks for the chain code for the asset, and Herzog explains that they can only give him the last four digits. The Mando is perplexed:

Recurring Theme: Thing That Gets Funnier The More You Think About It

The Client confirms that this is indeed all they can give him:

LOL OK, so, without getting TOO far ahead of myself, let me stop you RIGHT THERE, Star Wars, because I see through your storytelling silliness here. They’re giving us, the audience, this bit with NO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION so that the Twist at the end is surprising, because as human viewers, we’re going to run with “50 years old” and have certain ideas in our heads. But The Client, and the doctor here, are (I think? Presumably?) supposed to know who/what they are asking the Mando to collect for them here, right? And in that context, the idea that neither of them would think to at least maybe MENTION in passing that oh yeah, “fifty years old” MIGHT not look like what you think it would in this particular case, AND therefore this asset MIGHT require some additional steps above and beyond the usual to get it back to them alive, is HILARIOUS. Do they even WANT anyone to be able to get the asset for them? Or do even THEY not know what their target looks like?

ANYWAYS, The Client tells Mando that they can also give him the last known position of this surely middle-aged person, and between that and the fob, he should “make short work” of it.

Mando gets up and starts to leave, and Herzog leaves him with this parting thought:

Isn’t this dude an Imperial/Imperial sympathizer? Aren’t they the ones who stole it from them in the first place? Pfft. The Empire sucks.

Recurring Theme: THIS Is How Disney Repays Me

Regular readers will recall that I love Disney theme parks, because I am an overgrown 10-year-old and apparently don’t mind spending $45 on a hot dog (a price that is an exaggeration, for now at least,) and so I took my family to Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland this past summer. While there, one of my children begged and pleaded for a Kowakian Monkey-Lizard toy. You know, one of these guys:

Madame Tussauds - Salacious Crumb | Star wars characters ...

They sell puppets at Galaxy’s Edge that you can make laugh and move their mouths, etc. It’s pretty creepy and cool. It was the child in question’s birthday request, so I bought it. He loves this thing, he named it, it’s his buddy, he shows it off to people.

Naturally mere months later Disney goes and puts a bit in this show — more than once! — where they are ROASTING THESE GUYS ON A SPIT:

I’m not the sort of mom to light it up and complain about how my Poor Precious Child was traumatized — and I didn’t, of course, hahaha, and he wasn’t — but he TEARED UP OVER THIS, OK? He was like “…but that’s [his toy’s name]! Nooooo!” THANKS DISNEY. I pay you too much money for yet another Star Wars product, and you go and do this to me. LOL.

I DIGRESS. Ruined childhoods aside, having left The Client’s place, the Mando makes his way to a Mando Hideout, where apparently he and several other Mandalorians have been hunkered down now in the aftermath of the Empire and all those times Maul took over Mandalore in the last few decades.

He finds the Armorer there and hands over some of his earnings, as well as the beskar, which she examines and declares was taken from them during the “Great Purge”.

She says that with this steel back in their possession to reforge, a pauldron would be in order.

Soon, she replies, and gets to work. The show jumps to its first, but not last, Armor Montage:

Recurring Theme: Everyone’s Biological Parents Are Dead or Are Now Cyborgs Who Keep Trying to Murder Everyone

As she works, she’s impressed with the amount of material she has to work with:

Mando replies that he’s happy about that, because he, too, was a Foundling once. I understand this to be a real-life consequence of prolonged war as well, but HOLY HELL there are a lot of orphans in this galaxy.

Recurring Theme: Tragic Backstory
BONUS Recurring Theme: Clone Wars Trauma

And OH what a very huge surprise: the Mando is reflecting on his Tragic Backstory! As the Armorer works, we see short snippets of Baby Mando, fleeing an attack with his parents:

Yes, interspersed with the Clank! of the armor being forged is the memory of the Clank! of Clankers! Going clank! Why, it’s Live Action Clone Wars Content! (I have so much more to speculate on with regard to this sequence, but it’ll have to wait at least a couple episodes. There are a lot of Possibilities here, and one way or another I expect to eventually be screaming about it.)

We don’t get too many more details about Mando’s Trauma here, though. His pauldron is completed, and he’s off to his Big Payday Assignment.

Recurring Theme: The Hero Gets His Ass Kicked

The Mando arrives on a planet that looks fairly dusty and is possibly also filled with some ne-er-do-well pirate types, and no, ONCE AGAIN IT’S A DIFFERENT PLANET I GUESS, even though as we’ll learn, this one ALSO HAS JAWAS. Fine, Star Wars. WHATEVER.

So the Mando checks things out through a spotting scope, and as these things go, he sees some space creatures in the distance, and then immediately gets his ass handed to him by one that pops up and jump-scares us all:

Nick Nolte comes to his rescue, helping to subdue the animals for him. Mando thanks him, and this guy declares, noting that Mando is a bounty hunter:

Well, I guess that puts a bow on this conversation! Good chat.

Recurring Theme: Old Man Tells a Crazy Story

Aww, hey! Mando’s been saved from an attack, and now he’s at a mysterious old man’s humble abode for some Backstory! Oh, Star Wars. We really are just going to keep doing the same things over and over again forever, aren’t we?

He’s told that many others have passed through, seeking the same asset the Mando is after. Mando asks if he assisted those others as well, and Nick Nolte confirms that he did:

Mando retorts that, given his track record, maybe he doesn’t want his help after all. Ha!

He offers to lead the Mando to the encampment where he’ll find what he’s looking for. His cut? Half the “blurrg” — the giant terrifying creatures that tried to eat the Mando like 15 minutes ago — he helped capture before. Needless to say, the Mando wasn’t exactly planning on keeping one as a pet:

No no, he’s told: you’ll need one!

Mando explains that he doesn’t know how to ride a blurrg, and this is met with another “I have spoken”. OK then: onto the training montage!

Mando gets tossed around a bit by a blurrg, and his new friend offers that maybe it’d go better, perhaps, if he removed his helmet. (Good luck with THAT, pal.)

Well, that is also a possibility, friend.

Eventually, with some careful patience, he gains the creature’s trust:

All right then: he’s got a guide, he’s got a blurrg to ride, he’s got his assignment: it’s time to get this mysterious 50-year-old asset and move on forever, obviously!

They ride off, and ultimately approach an encampment — where Mando’s told is where he’ll find what he seeks. He tries to pay his guide, and is rebuffed:

All this guy wants, though, is some peace and quiet. Ever since this crew showed up, it’s been a nonstop slew of violence…

Again, I hate to get ahead of myself, but knowing what the asset involves here, it surprises me NOT AT ALL that ceaseless drama that it’s not even directly trying to instigate is following it everywhere. THAT IS HOW THINGS WORKS IN THIS UNIVERSE.

Mando wonders why this guy would help him if he feels that mercenaries and bounty hunters are ruining everything, and he explains: he’s never met a Mandalorian before, but if they’re half as ridiculous as the stories make them out to be, he’s hoping Mando will make quick work of cleaning up this town. With a final “I have spoken”, he heads off to leave the Mando to it.

Recurring Theme: Murderbot 5000

So Mando’s on his own now, and he peeks down at the encampment through a spotting scope, and soon learns he’s not the only one trying to collect on this asset today: he sees an IG-model droid down in the mix, and he’s not pleased:

The droid, IG-11, is voiced by the delightful Taika Waititi, who has also directed an episode of this show this season. He is amusingly barking out orders about how the asset is required to be handed over to him immediately — orders which, of course, are not readily complied with.

A giant shootout follows:

With a break in the action, Mando heads down there, and IG-11 starts up with his spiel again about how the guild’s rules demand that he get what he’s after, and the Mando yells at him to stand down — only to be shot at:

IG-11’s not too happy about this:

They treat us to some very truly Star Warsian Banter about how they both thought they were the only ones working the case, and that IG-11 is still empty-handed, so the Mando makes a proposal: they’ll team up!

It’s a deal, but IG’s a bit hesitant…

LOL that he’s holding out in order to secure the full EXP for this mission. Before he can get a final answer, though, the shooting resumes as more people take notice of their presence here.

I don’t typically do beat-by-beat recaps of battle sequences on this blog, since it doesn’t exactly make for compelling reading, but there is the hilarity of the fact that, as things start to look grim for them, IG-11 continually attempts to end himself, while the Mando keeps trying to talk him out of it:

He’s able to keep IG intact (…for the moment), and this sequence culminates in the Mando getting to commandeer a Big Gun which he uses to lay waste to their attackers:

They both make it through the fight, and things really seem to be shaping up Buddy-Comedy-Style for these two as they take stock of everything (spoiler alert: if it’s a buddy comedy, uh, it’s a really short one). Now all that’s left is the final hurdle: opening the giant locked door, behind which their asset presumably lies.

…hmmm. Think think think….

Oh yes! The Big Gun! The one Mando was just using, like, 15 seconds ago! That gun! WOW YOU GUYS ARE SUPER SMART.

Recurring Theme: Why Knock When You Can Badass Your Way In

Ah yes, the Darth Vader/Qui-Gon Jinn/Quinlan Vos Method of locksmithing: just slice that fucker open with a weapon!

Having somehow managed to not, say, start the entire place on fire with a stray blaster bolt, the two make their way in:

They dispatch one more attacker, and IG-11 observes that the tracking fob of their asset is still active:

I’m confused: so this thing they’re after has a tracker stuck to it somewhere? so at some point The Client — or someone else who wanted it — was close enough to it that they could get a tracker on it, but not close enough to just kidnap it themselves? Didn’t Nick Nolte say tons of people keep trying to get to it? If so, wouldn’t this have tipped off the people guarding it that, like, bounty hunters can figure out where it is? And wouldn’t this have prompted them to REMOVE THE TRACKER? I must be missing something because this whole setup as I understand it would require people to be especially dumb and lazy, even by Star Wars standards.

Meet My New Son

They scan the room for lifeforms, and lock on to one spot:

They approach this orb, and the Mando pressed a button, revealing it to be a cradle of sorts:

LET ME TELL YOU GUYS: when the next shot — below — first popped up on my first viewing, I was watching alone and I covered my mouth with my hand and just started saying “oh no, oh no, OH NO” out loud, in a helpless “dear God NO it’s going to be too cute” way, because while I had read some rumors and spoilers, I hadn’t put two and two together until I saw the outline…of the ears:

My friend the Mando hasn’t seen as much Star Wars or spent as much time reading the internet as I have, though, so he’s perplexed: the hell? I thought they said this thing was 50 years old?

IG-11 explains, well:

AHHHHH.

ThebabythebabythebabythebabytheBABY. THE BABY. THE. BABY.

Baby Yoda, I WOULD DIE FOR YOU. I’ve been dying a little bit each day since you came into my life. I WOULD KILL FOR YOU, BABY YODA. I WILL ELIMINATE ANY OF YOUR ENEMIES. I WILL BUY YOU ALL THE THINGS. Do you want candy? Cash? Do you also want a Kowakian Monkey-Lizard Puppet like your new older brother has? I WILL BUY YOU ONE. I WILL BUY YOU FIFTY OF THEM.

I AM DYING THAT THIS ADORABLE FUCKER IS FIFTY GODDAMN YEARS OLD, which means that THIS BABY AND ANAKIN SKYWALKER WERE BORN AT THE SAME TIME. ANAKIN’S ENTIRE LIFE HAS BEEN OVER FOR 5 YEARS ALREADY. The ENTIRE LUCAS-ERA SKYWALKER SAGA HAS COME AND GONE AND THIS TINY DUDE IS STILL CHILLING IN BLANKET BURRITO IN A DAMN BASSINET. HE BASICALLY NAPPED THROUGH THE ENTIRE CLONE WARS AND THE ENTIRE EMPIRE. I love him. I LOVE HIM.

IG-11, not nearly as affected as, say, I am, proclaims that, oh well, guess we’ll never know how long it lives since I’m gonna kill it. The Mando, hastily filling out adoption papers, is like nah:

IG-11 counters:

So this is interesting to me, because later episodes seem to imply that everyone was commissioned by the same people? But the Mando’s orders were definitely not specifically to terminate this guy. So, either there’s more here, or Star Wars is already forgetting things it literally just told us. Both are entirely possible.

IG’s about to take a shot at The Baby, but Mandodad Mode has already been activated:

CONGRATS, MANDO! Parenthood is a journey, friend. I’ll send you some of our old baby stuff. Cherish these early days — they grow up so fast! Oh. Well, I guess in your case that’s not really true.

Phew! THAT, dear readers, is the end of this super-sized premiere episode of The Mandalorian. What lies ahead for our new father-son team — baby playdates? Tiny Mando armor with EAR HOLES IN IT? There’s so much more to cover already, including a few tricks The Baby may have up his sleeve. I’m not sure what we’re in for here, but I do know I’m on board to find out. I hope you’ll join me next time! I mean, you know you wanna see more baby pictures, if nothing else.

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