Star Wars, The Mandalorian, Episode 8 Review
When Disney+ started in November, one of the big draws was The Mandalorian. It became the golden boy of the service, with fans and critics calling it the best thing Star Wars has gotten since Empire. The show almost lost its footing halfway through the season, but it got it back with last weeks cliffhanger episode. With the season finale now out, I can safely say that the redemption of The Mandalorian succeeds, big-time!
If you’re wondering what I mean by that, wait until the end. For now, let’s get into all the big revelations.
More Backstory’s revealed
While we’ve gotten bits and pieces of the characters backstories before, this episode managed to give us more than we’ve ever gotten. First we have the Mandalorian himself. While flashbacks have shown us how he lost his family, we’ve never learned his name, until now. His true name is Din Djarin. It may not seem like much, but learning his real name helps to really humanize Mando.
Then we have Cara, the former Rebel Shock Trooper who we learn was from Alderaan. Hearing about that was like a gut-punch to Star Wars fans. Alderaan was one of the most beautiful worlds in Star Wars, and it’s destruction by the Death Star remains one of the most heinous acts in all of fiction. In addition, it’s destruction ensured that almost every surviving Alderaanian joined up with the Rebellion. It helps give some much needed back story to Cara, and tugs at the heartstrings
Lastly, we have Moff Gideon himself. He worked in the Imperial Security Bureau, and those who remember Rebels know these guys mean business. In other words, Gideon’s not some wannabe warlord: he’s a genuinely dangerous man. Worse, he knows a lot about Mandalorian culture, making him a huge threat.
The Mandalorian, Unmasked!
Despite their best efforts, Mando’s group has no choice but to run for it. However, the Mandalorian gets a severe head injury, and his people’s creed forbids him from taking his helmet off to get treatment. As a result, it looks like he’s going to die, until a metal savior comes in IG-11.
Having gone after Baby Yoda and laid waste to the Stormtroopers, IG works around Mando’s rule in order to give him bacta. Since he’s not a living being, he can take his helmet off, and we get our first glimpse at the Mandalorian.
Firstly, he’s younger than he sounds, though that’s more because Pedo Pascal playing him. Secondly, I think this moment ties back into the theme of the episode: redemption. By helping save a Baby Yoda, whom it once tried to kill, and saving Mando, IG redeems itself. The irony that Mando’s saves by a droid is not lost upon him, either.
Mando’s now Baby Yoda’s Dad
This episode also reveals the fate of the Covert of Mandalorians. It seems the Empire got to a lot of them after he left, while the rest split up and went to find a new home. It’s a crushing bow to Mando, but he now has a new family and mission.
As it turns out, the Armorer lived and chose to stay behind to gather everything. She tells the group about Baby Yoda’s powers and the Jedi. More importantly though, she declares Baby Yoda to be a Foundling, and gives Mando a new mission. He either raises the child to adulthood (who knows how long that will take) or return him to his people. Either way, he’s now the child’s father.
The origin of Yoda’s people has remained one of the biggest mysteries of Star Wars. As a result, the notion of looking for his actual species could be one of the biggest revelations in the franchise’s history. If they think it’s time to reveal the truth about Yoda’s species, then I pray that they can pull this off.
Oh, and Mando gets a Jet Pack. AT LAST!
While I won’t say how exactly the episode ends, I will tell you that the heroes win. Mando faces down Moff Gideon and defeats him, leading to his redemption with the Guild. As a result, Karga promises to welcome him back once he’s read. For now, though, he goes off on his quest to get Baby Yoda home. Cara stays behind to work for Karga, meaning we may see her again.
As I said, redemption was a big part of this episode. Several of the characters redeemed themselves for past mistakes. However, in hindsight, I think the title “Redemption” can refer to how the show redeemed itself. It had started off strong, but it’s middle half got weak. Despite some people thinking it had lost its luster, The Mandalorian stuck the landing. As a result, I can honestly say that it’s a great show.
A new era for Star Wars is approaching, one where the Skywalker family may not be the sole big players. As a result of this post-Skywalker Saga time, the franchise will need to find new ways to support itself going forward. Having seen what can be done with this show, I can honestly say that The Mandalorian will be a pillar of the franchise going forward. I can’t wait for Season Two! Especially considering the weapon we saw Gideon use in the episode’s final moments:
I Give “Redemption” a 4.8/5. Near Perfect
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- Those two scout troopers talking in the beginning reminded me a lot of Grif and Simmons from Red vs Blue. Two idiots bantering together.
- RIP Kuill
- That astromech droid with the giant body guiding the barge down a lava river reminds me of Charon, the ferryman of the Underworld in Greek Mythology.