Star Wars, The Mandalorian, Episode 5 Review
Over the years, Star Wars has provided us with some of the most iconic planets in the annals of fiction. However, of all the amazing and exotic worlds the franchise has given us, none are as iconic as Tatooine. As the birthplace of the Skywalker Family, that desert planet’s integral to the franchise’s mythos. As a result, any Star Wars story that includes Tatooine qualifies for fans-service. So when I saw that this week’s episode of The Mandalorian was taking us to that iconic planet, my fanboy instincts went off. I hoped that this would be the best episode yet!
So why does it not feel like that?
Back on Tatooine
After running from another bounty hunter, Mando and Baby Yoda make an emergency landing on Tatooine. There the ship and Baby Yoda are looked after by a woman with the same hairstyle as the one from Alien. Meanwhile, Mando heads to the Cantina in search of work to pay for repairs.
From the moment the Mandalorian sets foot on Tatooine, the fanservice starts rolling in. The Mos Eisley Cantina is one of the most famous places in the Star Wars films, so seeing it is a treat. However, the joy’s diminished by the fact that there’s no Bith band playing that famous “Cantina Music”.
It’s not just the settings that act as fanservice, but the characters as well. Sitting in the infamous booth where Han shot Greedo is another young and cocky guy named Toro. He’s after a bounty on Tatooine to get into the Guild, so Mando helps him for the money. They run into some Tusken Raiders, Mando talks their way out, find the bounty. Then Toro tries to capture Mando and Baby Yoda, and it ends as well as you’d think.
Not as Fun as I Thought
I thought coming back to Tatooine after all these years would be so much fun, yet it’s not. The last time fans saw the planet, Luke and his friends had rescued Han and killed Jabba the Hutt, one of the most powerful crime lords in the galaxy. In the real world, the death of someone as big as Jabba would send shockwaves through the Outer Rim. At the very least, I think Tatooine would get a little more dangerous as people tried to take the Hutt’s place.
In other words, this was the best chance Star Wars had to show us what life was like on Tatooine post-Jabba and post-Empire. However, they wasted it. Not even an inkling of what life’s like now.
What About Boba Fett?
Speaking of Mandalorians, Tatooine’s the last place we saw the most famous Mandalorian of them all, Boba Fett. In Return of the Jedi, we saw Fett be unceremoniously thrown into the Sarlaac Pit. That’s the last time we saw him in the franchise, but that doesn’t mean he’s dead.
In the now non-canon Expanded Universe, Fett was eventually able to escape the Sarlaac. He’s one of the few people in galactic history who can say they did that. Afterwards, he continued his career as a badass bounty hunter, returning once a year to blast the Sarlaac from orbit. Since this feat only makes Boba Fett cooler than he already is, I think Disney’s ignoring a huge opportunity by not addressing Fett’s fate.
All of this may have changed, though. In the final shots of the episode, we see someone walk up to the corpse of Toro’s bounty. Fans have noted that the unseen character was wearing clothes that looked a lot like Fett’s spurs. As a result, many are convinced that this is a sign that Boba Fett has now escaped the Sarlaac in Disney canon.
I really want to believe that it’s Boba Fett and that Disney’s finally bringing back such an iconic character. However, my gut’s telling me it’s likely another bounty hunter on Mando’s trail. In other words, the show’s teasing us with more easter eggs.
Not a Good Episode
I never thought I’d say this, but this was the first episode of The Mandalorian that I couldn’t get into. Maybe traveling to a place that’s already been visited in 4 of the Star Wars films wasn’t a good idea after all. Seeing all that fanservice was fun, but we’ve already seen plenty of things on Tatooine. Unless the show planned on adding something new to the lore of the planet, then it didn’t really need to go there.
Despite this minor goof up, I still think that The Mandalorian is best thing Star Wars has gotten in years. Once The Rise of Skywalker comes out, it will be shows like this that will carry the franchise until the next film gets released. While it’s important for those shows to pay tribute to the past, they should try to explore new places. It’s a big galaxy, and there’s a lot of Expanded Universe material that can be adapted back into the canon. That is the way that Star Wars will thrive.
I Give “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger” a 2.75/5.
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