By JASON MARTIN (@JMartZone – November 23, 2019)
CHAPTER 3: THE SIN
Mando made a decision; one that will likely have ramifications for quite some time, especially as he attempted to kill Greef Carga in order to rescue Baby Yoda. Is it fair to wonder whether people believe he’s trying to steal the asset after getting paid, rather than for what seem to be motives of care and concern for the child? There’s a subtlety to the chemistry between guardian and charge, for lack of an appropriate term. From the second these two saw one another, our lead character’s emotions were challenged.
What we learned of the Mandalorians in the roughly 35 minutes of this week’s episode only enhances our limited knowledge of their warrior culture and where they fit within the Guild, whose laws Mando breaks when he asks questions as to what will happen with the child. Interestingly, Dr. Pershing lived up to his “alive, not dead” ideals, while the Client showed he had no issues destroying the asset in order to extract whatever someone will pay for, or whatever someone could use, perhaps even him.
Remember, we’re five years past the events of Episode VI, where the Empire is all but destroyed and the New Republic is our reality. It’s the inability for anyone to answer Mando’s query as to why so many people want this child that leads him to the “sin” or the treasonous act of not simply taking a stack of Beskar, accepting adultation from Carga, taking his next job, and moving on. He realizes it’s nefarious, or at the very least suspect, and he’s formed a bond with the creature that also, lest we forget, saved his life in the fight with the Mudhorn.
He gets his new armor, forged with the steel and with the bonus weapons that enable him to get Baby Yoda out of what would have been the child’s final resting place. And here, we should stop and do what many already have, which is credit Deborah Chow, the episode’s director. She makes history, long overdue history, as the first ever female director of a live-action Star Wars project. It won’t be the last time either, as she helms another episode in a few weeks, and she has already been named the SOLE director for the upcoming Obi-Wan series, which stars Ewan McGregor.
I had no idea a woman hadn’t been in this role before, but I’m glad it’s a streak that has come to an end. It also did so not in some kind of rote fashion, but amidst a spectacular street battle as Mando deals with all the other bounty hunters, culminating in shooting Greef Carga, to escape with the child. We know, because Jon Favreau has made it obvious, that Baby Yoda (that’s what everyone else is calling it, so I’m going to do the same, though it may have another name at some point) is transcendent in importance to the new order of the universe within the series.
We don’t know why, although we recognize the Force when we see it, and we have to remember that the Force Awakens hasn’t begun yet. We’re in a bridge between Jedi and Awakens, so for all intents and purposes, it’s possible the Force only exists inside this child’s DNA. Or that could be the theory. If it’s known, that would be priceless, because in a very new regime and a new system or society, if you have the Force on your side, you could use it to dominate or control things as you see fit. That explains the Client’s intentions, which at worst would be to profit off it in some way as a commodity or perhaps to rebuild the shattered Empire.
Regardless of the rationale, Mando ain’t having it, and so after leaving the other Mandalorians behind, following a relatively tense back-and-forth with a fellow warrior, he takes off on a me against the world, Tupac Shakur style of mission, which would have been his end, had it not been for the arrival of those very same Mandalorians to even the odds. Where I’m a bit confused is why they showed up to save him, because he had indeed broken Guild rules, he was effectively shunning much of their culture, and these are people now in hiding. Remember, the Client says to Mando when he pays him that it’s harder to find one of them, meaning a Mandalorian, than to find Beskar.
No Kuill the Ugnaught this week, and though I anticipate we’ll see him again at least one more time before the first season comes to a close, I kind of wish he’d taken Mando up on his offer. That said, this series is about us in the role of Mando walking through a strange world, often slowly, often cautiously, and of course we’re all ready to lay down our lives for the child as well. I mean…look at it. Then you’ll come to the same conclusion I already have. I would die for Baby Yoda.
We end an action-packed, terrific episode with an upgraded Mando, with some serious armor, speeding off into space with the child safely playing with the knob from the ship’s control stick. We also know, thanks to the Beskar in his jacket, Greef Carga is still alive, which is good. We have a villain to keep in the back of our heads, one to watch for at this stage, that will no doubt pop back up and who will also pay top dollar to see our protagonist come to his end.
Season 2 has already been ordered, so once these eight episodes are done, we’ll merely have to wait for the next set. That’s great news. This is a series that’s fun to watch, it’s easy to get through, it has a defined sense of good and evil, and it’s something I know my wife and I can show our kids one day and enjoy watching as a family. I really have nothing negative to say about the episode. It’s scoring all the buckets right now, and I can’t wait for Chapter 4 to drop so I can delve into it and then analyze it right here at the Big 6 Blog. The Mandalorian… good TV folks.