The Mandalorian - Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Chapter 9

This episode was the perfect way to start off the season. It begins with The Mandalorian, aka Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), getting information about the whereabouts of other Mandalorians in a fighting ring from Gor Koresh (John Leguizamo). This leads to a fight between Din and the other people in the ring. The choreography here was top notch with every blow leaving an impact. This was also a good way to show off Din’s skill as a warrior and the ruthlessness of the scum and villainy of “Star Wars.” Afterward, Din ties up Gor and finds out that there is supposedly a Mandalorian on Tatooine. Din then leaves Gor to be devoured by the local wildlife. This was a great way to show that even though Din has grown as a character since season one, he is still brutal to his opponents.

Later, Mando arrives on Tatooine and meets the Marshal of the Mos Pelgo, who wears the iconic armor of fan favorite character Boba Fett. However, it’s revealed that the man under the mask is not Boba Fett, but instead Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant), a character who first appeared in the “Star Wars: Aftermath'' book series by Chuck Wendig. Din is upset to see a non-Mandalorian wear the armor and demands Cobb remove it. There is then amazing tension built between the two as it seems they are about to brawl before a krayt dragon comes into town and devors a bantha. Cobb agrees to give the armor to Din if he agrees to help kill the dragon. Din agress and the two head off. They run into Tusken Raiders who form an alliance with the heroes to kill the dragon. The show’s take on the Tusken Raiders shows that they aren’t so different from the human characters.

After a failed attempt to lure the dragon to a trap, Din comes up with a plan to have the Tusken Raiders team-up with the people of Mos Pelgo. There is hostility between the two initially, but they agree to work together. The classic western movie trope between cowboys and Indians works well here. Both sides see the other as a threat and realize they have more in common than they initially thought. This is an interesting take with the Tusken Raiders who, throughout “Star Wars,” were seen as villains.

After that, all the heroes try to kill the krayt dragon. This leads to an epic action scene. The effects for the dragon are some of the best visual effects for television and the scene itself is full of tension, especially when it's revealed the dragon has acid spit. Eventually, Din kills the beast by luring the creature to a bantha carrying explosives before detonating them

In the end, the day is saved and Cobb hands over the armor to Mando. As Din leaves, there is a shot of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) watching over Din, ending the episode. Initially I took issue with seeing the return of Boba Fett as he was presumed dead in “Return of the Jedi”. However, I am willing to give a chance to see where the show goes with him. 

Overall, this episode was an excellent way to get fans back into the series. It was written and directed by series creator Jon Favreau, who clearly knew how to give the fans what they wanted without having an over-reliance on fan service. Yes, Tusken Raiders and Boba Fett return, but the past is given a new take that has never been seen before in “Star Wars,” and the latter is only in the final shot so he doesn’t overshadow the rest of the characters. The action is well done both in how it’s choreographed and shot. The visual effects are also top notch and a major step up from season one.

Pedro Pascal continues to shine in the role of the Mandalorian. While I wasn’t a fan of his performance initially in the first season, it has since grown on me and now he seems to be nailing down the classic western hero. And then there is Timothy Olyphant, who steals the show. It helps that Olyphant is experienced with westerns having appeared in hit western shows “Deadwood” and “Justified.” However, the person who stole the show even more so was Baby Yoda, who is trying really hard to be the most adorable living creature in all of existence. 

Chapter 10

“Chapter 10,” while having good action scenes and funny moments, was, ultimately, a letdown. 

It starts off with The Mandalorian, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), returning to his ship when he is attacked by criminals. This was an entertaining action sequence with a funny moment where Din seemingly gives away his jetpack only to immediately take it back. However, the opening sequence is essentially pointless to the overall episode. It doesn’t advance the plot, and is only a mild inconvenience for Din.

Later on, Din meets up with his friend Peli (Amy Sedaris), who tells him she knows someone who has seen a Mandalorian, but it’s off-world. In order to find out where the other mandalorian is, Din has to take Frog Lady (Misty Rosas) and her eggs to the planet. Oh, and we never find out the character’s name. She is literally called frog lady. Afterward, Din takes the frog lady and her eggs and heads off. Thus begins the recurring jokes throughout the episode where Baby Yoda eats the frog lady’s eggs, which is both funny and messed up at the same time.

Afterward, there is a great moment where Din is talking to two new republic pilots named Trapper Wolf (Dave Filoni) and Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee). At first, they question him for not having a transponder, and Din relentlessly tries to get out of the situation with the pilots. Then, there is a pause which adds a sense of dread before the pilots open the wings of their ships after finding out about Din’s past. This leads to an amazing scene where the pilots are chasing down Din on an ice planet. The scene is filled with tension, and the cinematography is well-done. There is a great part where Din’s ship is free falling from the sky. Soon after this, he tries to hide from the pilots, but ends up crashing his ship. This leads to the most boring part of the episode, where the characters just sit and wait.

Eventually, Frog Lady wanders off, and when Din catches up to her, a bunch of eggs start hatching with a bunch of tiny spider-looking creatures, named Krykna, start to pop up before their mother comes. Soon after that, Din, the Frog Lady and Baby Yoda start running with Din firing at the creatures. This whole sequence has great action that comes across as both suspenseful and creepy. If you are afraid of spiders, you will hate this part of the episode. In the end, Din and the others are rescued by the two pilots from before who tell him that they are going to let him go based on past heroic actions he has done. The episode ends with Din taking off and completing his job for the Frog Lady with Baby Yoda eating another egg.

Overall, this episode had entertaining moments, but I have some problems with it. There was the aforementioned beginning action sequence which, while fun, was pointless. There is the part of the episode where the characters just sit around and do nothing, which felt like a waste of time. There is the fact that this is another episode where Din is fighting a monster. Not that him fighting a monster is a bad thing, but two episodes in a row of him doing that is a bit much. Finally, there is the fact that this is yet another side quest episode.

Now, I know why these side quest episodes are here. They are a nice break from the overarching story to allow the characters and the viewers to have a fun time. Plus, the things from these episodes will often come into play in the overarching story. The thing is, however, we are now ten episodes into this show and six of them are side quest episodes. And since there are only eight episodes per season, that means more episodes are focused on side quests than on the main storyline. The show needs to have more episodes that focus on the story, or at least a better use of side quest episodes. In the end, “Chapter 10: The Passenger,” while not great, still has great moments throughout that make it worth a viewing.

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