Star Wars, The Mandalorian, Episode 6 Review
Remember how I said that The Mandalorian had a bit of Samurai Jack in its veins? After this week’s episode, I’m convinced that’s what they plan on doing the rest of the season. The standalone adventures are fun, but the show needs to move the plot forward. Instead, we get an entire episode devoted to the art of fanservice.
Not that kind of fanservice.
Mando’s in need of some money, so he turns to an old friend named Ran for a quick job. However, the job in question involves freeing an associate of his from a New Republic transport ship. Worse, it also involves working with a team of scoundrels, one of which is his ex, Xi’an.
It’s here where we get our first bit of fanservice. One of the criminals, a Devaronian called Burg, is played by none other than Clancy Brown. I love Clancy Brown; his deep and menacing voice is so much fun to listen to. Fans of DC and Nickelodeon know him as the voice of Lex Luthor in the DCAU, Mr. Krabs on Spongebob, and one of my favorite villains, Long Feng from Avatar: The Last Airbender. In Star Wars, he’s provided the voice for Savage Oppress in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Ryder Azadi in Star Wars: Rebels. He’s a Star Wars veteran, and it’s great to see him at work again.
After meeting the rest of the team, the group takes the Razor’s Crest and infiltrates the prison ship. All throughout the trip, though, the others get on Mando’s nerves. They try to get him to take off his helmet, one of them tries playing with Baby Yoda, and they’re basically jerks.
In the end, the group makes short work of the droids guarding the prison before making it to the only person actually working there. This is where we get our next big piece of fanservice. The guard in question, Davan, is played by Matt Lanter. Fans will know him as the voice of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I credit that show with helping to make Anakin a likeable character, and Matt’s portrayal played a big part in that. Sadly, Matt’s time in the franchise gets cut short as Davan’s killed by Qi’Ran. However, he does set off a distress beacon alerting the New Republic. As a result, the team scrambles to get the prisoner out, who turns out to be Qi’Ran’s brother. The group then thanks Mando by locking him in the cell. Big mistake.
It doesn’t take too long for Mando to get out and take control of the ship, which he then rigs to separate his traitorous team. The episode then shifts into slasher flick meets Alien as the Mandalorian hunts down each member. It’s a good way to showcase his skills and see him pay back a couple of jerks. The moral of the story is: don’t mess with the Mandalorian.
Fanservice 3: the Final Act
So in the end, Mando gets the job done and brings the prisoner back to Ran, though he leaves the rest of the team to rot. Ran then tries to kill Mando, but Mando saw it coming so he left them a surprise. He took the tracking beacon from the ship with him and placed it on Ran’s station, thus siccing three New Republic X-Wings on them.
We now get our final major bit of fanservice, as each of the X-Wing pilots is played by directors for different episodes of the show. We have Dave Filoni himself living his dream of being in Star Wars playing Trapper Wolf, which is a badass name. There’s Rick Famuyiwa, the director of this very episode playing Jib Dogger. Finally, there’s Deborah Chow, who made the best episode of the show, playing Sash Ketter. They make short work of the station while Mando gets away.
Better than Last Week’s
There are only two episodes left in The Mandalorian this season, and in one week, The Rise of Skywalker comes out. In other words, now’s the time for the franchise to double down on quality content, because Star Wars fever’s high. I’ve even neglected to watch a Christmas special a day so I could prepare for Rise of Skywalker!
This episode wasn’t the best the show’s given us so far, but I think it’s still an improvement over the Tatooine episode. That marks a low in the show. That said, I may be giving “The Prisoner” some leeway because of the fanservice it gave us. Relying on fanservice too much, though, isn’t a good idea, as it detracts from the show’s plot.
Speaking of plot, I hope the final two episodes will actually continue the story of Baby Yoda and the people hunting him. These standalone episodes are fun, but they need to move the plot along.
I Give “Chapter 6: The Prisoner” a 3/5.
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