Last week’s episode, The Passenger, left me feeling a little flat. I enjoyed it enough, but in a series that’s been promising to use existing characters from the wider lore, a self-contained, monster of the week, style episode such as that left me a little frustrated. Although I could rest assured by the end as this third episode of the second series proved to be many times more satisfying to me as a Star Wars nerd.
Following the events of last week, Din Djarin manages to land his battered hunk of a ship (which is called the Razor Crest and I don’t know why it took me so long to just look that fact up) on the ocean moon of Trask. But not without dumping it into the water first when one of his engines blows out during re-entry.
After reuniting the Frog Lady with her Frog life partner, Din is directed to a canteena on the floating settlement, one that seems populated almost entirely by Mon Calamari and Quarren. There he’s offered passage to wherever the Mandalorians he’s seeking are supposed to be. Passage that quickly turns out to be yet another trap. Thrown into the water-filled hold of the ship along with a big monster, it seems like we’ve met one more group of lowlives who want to get their hands on Din’s Beskar armour.
Things seem pretty dire right up until a trio of Mandalorians show up and rescue Din, murdering all of the Quarren on board the barge in the process. Thanks to some almost impossible to believe timing on my part, I actually recognise the lead Mandalorian as Bo-Katan of the clan Kryze, who just made her very first appearance in the most recfent Clone Wars Episode I wrote about on my blog.
Katee Sackhoff reprises the live-action role of the character after voicing her throughout her animated stint in the series. And I gotta say, Bo-Katan looks really good for her age. Considering her first appearance during the Clone Wars took place like 30 years prior and she was already an experienced mercenary back then. Science Fiction though I guess.
What excited me, the Star Wars lore nerd, more though is that we get a big old dump of new information regarding the Mandalorians and how Din’s way of being a Mandalorian differs from that of the altered continuity established during the Clone Wars animated series.
Because Din makes a big deal out of never removing his armour in front of anyone else, he is taken aback by the fact that the three Mandalorians in front of him take theirs off almost right away. Going as far as to assume they’re not Mandalorians. Something Bo-Katan takes offence to, as she is from the same clan as the former ruler of the planet of Mandalore.
We learn that Din is from a sub-sect called “The Watch”, a splinter group of Mandalorians that the rest of their people deem religious zealots; a fanatical group trying to revive the ancient Mandalorian ways. Something Din kind of proves to be true when he turns away from them and flies off on his own.
I find this really interesting because it seems like this episode is making moves to come to terms with both the old, Legends continuity version of the Mandalorians that this series uses and then slot them into the altered/newer version of the Mandalorians introduced in the Clone Wars series. I always kind of thought they were retconning the more. “civilised” Mandalorians out of the series, but instead they’re making it so both can exist at the same time.
And I like it. It also throws shade on my prediction regarding what’s going to happen with Boba Fett and his status as being a “Mandalorian” or not.
Either way, Thanks to the Quarren living up to their reputation and being assholes as a rule, Din reconnects with Bo-Katan when she saves him once again from an ambush from a bunch of the squid heads. At which point he accepts their help and they come to an understanding.
Upon learning that Din is tasked with returning the child to the Jedi, the three other Mandalorians have a visible reaction. Sharing a bunch of knowing looks that they could have better hidden had they been wearing their helmets. When asked what he knows about the Jedi, Din admitted that he knew nothing of them. Which starts an ongoing theme within this episode: One in which Din reveals that he still has a lot to learn. About Jedi and his fellow Mandalorians.
Including the state of the planet Mandalore itself, which Din describes as cursed. Claiming that anyone who goes there dies. I’m not sure if it’s part of his cultish conditioning making him say this, or if the Empire literally did something like irradiating the atmosphere during the waning days of the Galactic Civil War.
Bo-Katan makes a deal with Din, if he helps them steal back Mandalorian weapons from an Imperial freighter, she’ll reveal to him the location of a Jedi she knows of. Din Agrees.
During the attack on the freighter, the Mandalorians carve through the platoons of Stormtroopers like they were nothing. At which point I realised that Bo-Katan and her two compatriots fight like a well-oiled machine, with Din almost fumbling along behind them, one step off their pace. It goes to show, despite how much of a badass we’ve seen Din be in the series so far, compared to more seasoned Mandalorian warriors, he’s still green behind the ears.
Upon reaching the cargo hold Din and Bo-Katan clash, as the elder Mando announces she’s planning on hijacking the entire freighter, changing the deal she had with Din to just reclaim the weapons. It’s at this point that she reveals her intention to become the next Mandalore (Which is also the historic title of the leader of the Mandalorians, held by the likes of Canderous Ordo in the days of the old Republic and by Boba Fett in the later years of the Legends canon).
The Mandalorians, like the Jedi, are a broken people and Ko-Katan has a mind to rebuild them. Because Mandalorians are always stronger together. One final thing she wants back from the Empire is the Darksaber, which was previously held by her commander Pre Vizsla (as far as I know). While certainly a Mandalorian relic, I never realised it was all that important in establishing Mandalorian leadership. But this is new canon being written, so let’s go with it.
The last we saw, the final episode of season 1 revealed that the Darksaber was in the hands of the Empire, specifically Moff Gideon. Who we get a handy little reminder of when he orders the freighter scuttled and everyone onboard killed. In a final push to the bridge, Din manages to show his worth by charging the final group of Stormtroopers, taking the brunt of their blaster fire on his Beskar before hucking some detonators behind their lines.
After taking the ship, Din and Bo-Katan end on more amicable terms. Sharing the information Din desires, she gives him the name Ahsoka Tano and a location on the forest planet of Corvus. Leaving me very excited to see what happens next week.
This was a much stronger episode than last week and worked to re-introduce a ton of elements from the Clone Wars series into this live-action one. The expansion of the lore regarding Mandalorians themselves was also really cool and a much-needed bridge between the two kinds of Mandalorians the new canon found itself with. It also served as a potential route for Din Djarin’s future development as a character.
Learning of the different aspects of Mandalorian culture and his status as a fanatic might be where his arc leads in future episodes, allowing him to become more his own man and less of a cog in some grand cult.
And as exciting as it is to hear Ahsoka’s name mentioned in the series, I doubt we’ll be seeing her in the next episode. They’re going to keep us waiting for her live-action introduction into the series. This episode left me super excited though, it really felt like proper Star Wars and I am bouncing to see what the next episode will bring us.
On a final note, I fond myself wondering if we’re going to see the likes of Bo-Katan again this series. I know there are a lot of big names showing up in this series, but it is ultimately Din’s story and we certainly can’t have Ahsoka coming in to steal the spotlight for more than an episode at most.