Debuting on the new Disney Plus streaming service, The Mandalorian is the first live action Star Wars television series, it takes place after the fall of the Empire but some years before The First Order, allowing for some major time to grow new characters away from the movie franchise itself. The Mandalorian is centered around a bounty hunter armed in Mandalorian armor who’s name and face so far we have not seen. We know Mandalorian armor is sprinkled throughout the Star Wars series as seen on characters such as Boba Fett and Jango Fett. Although we do not know too much about this particular line, some key details to keep in mind about the Mandalorian are their origin from the planet Mandalore, and their reputation as esteemed warriors and their armor is considered sacred, handed down by generations- fingers crossed, we’ll learn a little bit more about them throughout this riveting series.  The series is set to air eight episodes, the first of which premiered with the unveiling of Disney Plus, and has left many Star Wars fans (myself included) very impressed and excited to see where the show takes us. 

Now let’s take a look at the latest episodes. *Warning : Spoilers Ahead*

The Breakdown

In lieu of Star Wars : Rise of Skywalker debuting this past weekend, we were treated with not one but two episodes of The Mandalorian within five days- and to say the least, nobody was disappointed. Many may even go as far as to say they were more impressed with these short episodes over the new premiere Star Wars movie – as sad as this may be. So let’s jump in to this weeks past episodes!

Chapter 6: The Prisoner was potentially one of the most action packed episodes we’ve seen yet. In need of more funds, Mando decides to take on a job for an old “friend”, teaming up with fellow mercenaries to board an Imperial prison transport. And as any classic jailbreak story goes, tables turned mid episode resulting in our fearless hunter having to rescue both himself and our favorite green creature. Within the episode, yet again we see the softer more protective side of the bounty hunter, mixed with the Mandalorian warrior.

Chapter 7 : The Reckoning has left us all a little bit distraught. Upon receiving a message from Greef Karga, The Mandalorian returns back to Navarro with the baby after being promised that if he does so, he will have assistance killing the Client and making peace with the Guild in order to stop constantly running from hunters. He enlists the help of his trusted friends Cara Dune and Kuiil whom we met in previous episodes as back up for this mission. Some small interesting things happen throughout this episode regarding Baby Yoda- we witness the strength of him after he tries suffocating Cara- nearly killing her for arm wrestling with Mando- his caretaker. And we also see him use the force to heal Karga after a flying creature attacks him- which ultimately saved his life and swayed him against betraying Mando in the Client’s favor. At the end of the episode, the team is blindsided and we are left clueless about the whereabouts of Baby Yoda and whether or not Kuiil is alive.

Easter Eggs

As always, the directors have masterfully incorporated some fun easter eggs into each of these episodes, linking to all sorts of Star Wars culture. In episode 6, right off the bat Mando is makes a “sharp shooter” reference towards Mayfeld who defensively states he was NOT a storm trooper- as they are infamous for their lack of aiming ability. Mayfeld is played by comedian Bill Burr, one of them many fun cameo’s that add to the show’s character and dry humor. Mayfeld continues on to mock The Mandalorian’s ship ~Razor Crest~ claiming it resembles a Canto Bight slot machine- a reference back to The Last Jedi. In addition to Bill Burr, some more important cameos appear throughout episode 6 as well- such as Matt Lanter who was the New Republic officer on the ship voiced Anakin Skywalker in the animated series Star Wars : The Clone Wars, as well as at the end the three pilots- Dave Filoni who directed two previous episodes of The Mandalorian, Rick Famuyiwa who actually directed episode 6, and Deborah Chow who directed both episode 3 and the next episode as well.

In episode 7, the species Cara Dune happens to be fighting is a Dathomirian- the same species as none other than Darth Maul himself. Cara later becomes a close victim of Baby Yoda after he Force chokes her- something we’ve only really seen used by characters such as Darth Vader- as it’s harnessing the dark side of The Force. At the tail end of the episode, there is a brief reference to A New Hope- Mando pretending to be a prisoner to get to the Client is similar to Chewbacca being a fake prisoner of Luke and Han as they attempt to rescue Leia.

Closing Remarks

I’ve said it before and will say it again- with each and every episode this series has provided, the show continues to get better and better. While it doesn’t rely solely on previous Star Wars lore, it constantly finds interesting was to keep it connected- not only referencing previous movies, but also television shows, games, and books that have contributed to the fandom. Both of these episodes only continue to exemplify this- and not only that but how much we can really love a character we haven’t even seen the face of yet! The masked “hero” remains masked- with some close calls here and there this continues to impress me, not to mention the mystery still surrounding Baby Yoda. There is so much potential in where this show may go, and what other uncharted territory of Star Wars it will venture into.

Season one of The Mandalorian is coming to an end- with just one episode left and with what seems like just about everything on the line, I’m betting many of us (potentially myself) are looking forward more to the season finale than the upcoming holiday this week. I doubt any of us are ready for what the show has in store for us, and I can’t wait to find out exactly what that is.

Thanks for reading!

Late to The Game 12/23/19

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