Greetings from a galaxy far, far away! This week, we continue our journey with Din Djarin (a.k.a., The Mandalorian) and The Child, as I review and analyze The Mandalorian S2E4, “Chapter 12: The Siege.” This episode finally gives us insight into what has, perhaps, been the biggest question of the series.
Before we get to that, I want to start with a bit of housekeeping. Last week, I mentioned that Dave Filoni wrote and directed The Mandalorian S2E4. It turns out I got that wrong. I honestly can’t say if the website where I found that had it wrong or if, more likely, I misread it. Jon Favreau wrote and Carl Weathers directed this episode. It appears the Filoni episode is next week’s. Hopefully, I won’t be correcting myself again this time next week.
Mon Calamari. Unbelievable.
The Mandalorian S2E4 opens with the Razor Crest barely functioning. In last week’s episode, Mando couldn’t believe what a terrible job the Mon Calamari dock worker did fixing his ship. It was held together with ropes and pieces were falling off. It turns out its operational condition is no better. Mando works on the ship, while giving verbal commands. At first, I wondered if he was talking to himself, but quickly realized he was talking to The Child.
Through a small vent, we see The Child working on some connections deep in the ship. Or at least, he is trying his best. As I discussed last week, we are seeing some real development in The Child. This scene continues to show his progress. While The Child wasn’t quite able to switch the wired connections and ended up shocking himself, he did understand the basics of what Mando was saying to him.
Later in the episode, we see other signs of The Child’s development. While he still isn’t speaking understandable words, he is clearly communicating. Greef Karga believes The Child responds to him in the affirmative, when Karga asks him if Mando is taking good care of him. A kid in school understands when The Child asks him to share his cookies (again with the eating theme). And when the kid says “no,” The Child uses his Force powers to steal them. This is the first time we have seen The Child use the Force without getting exhausted and falling asleep. I can’t help but wonder how long it will be before we will see him take a more active role in the story.
Cleaning up Nevarro
Mando returns to Nevarro to visit his old friends Greef Karga and Cara Dune, hoping they can help him fix the Razor Crest. Karga readily agrees and gets his top mechanics on the job. While the ship is being repaired, Karga and Dune want something in return. Dune, now Marshal Dune, has been working hard to clean up Nevarro and make it safe for the residents. There is one significant problem preventing her from completing that mission. There is an old Imperial base on the other side of the planet. They want to shut it down and secure any weapons, before they fall into the wrong hands. Mando reluctantly agrees.
When the trio enter Karga’s office, we see a surprise return. Horatio Sanz’s Mythrol is at a desk, working Karga’s finances. Back in The Mandalorian S1E1, Mythrol was Mando’s first bounty. We now know who commissioned this bounty—it was Greef Karga himself. Mythrol stole money from Karga. He is now working off his debt, in the form of 350 years of service. Mythrol is clearly nervous to see Mando, as he emits blue powder everywhere. Whether that reaction is a nervous or defensive one, we may never know.
Mando, Cara Dune, Greef Karga and Mythrol head for the old Imperial base, hoping there is just a skeleton crew there. What they find, though, is quite disturbing. The base was actually a secret laboratory. They discover tanks with various beings in them. A recording from Omid Abtahi’s Dr. Pershing to Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon says that his experiments have failed and they have run out of samples of The Child’s blood. Dr. Pershing also states that he doubts they will find another subject with that high of an “M-count.” He is, of course, referring to Midichlorians.
At the end of the episode, once Mando and The Child are back on their way to Corvus to find Ahsoka Tano, we discover that one of Karga’s mechanics is secretly working for the Imperials. He has placed a tracking beacon on the Razor Crest. Moff Gideon is thrilled with this news, as it will allow him to finally hunt down The Child. The episode ends as the camera pulls back to show just what Moff Gideon and the Imperials have been developing. We see doctors or scientists attending to rows of beings in armor that looks a lot like Darth Vader’s.
Back to the Start
The Mandalorian S2E4 goes, as the 3PO droid teacher says, “back to the start.” Not only do we see beings and places introduced in the very first episode, but the show addresses the core mystery from S1E1, “The Mandalorian.” From that first episode, we had the mystery of why the Imperial Remnant wanted The Child in the first place. In my first article, Are You Ready for The Mandalorian, Season 2?, I asked the following:
“Why does the Imperial Remnant want The Child? Do they want to raise him within the Remnant? Do they think that they can extract the Force (Midichlorians) from him? Are they trying to clone Force users? Do they need him to try to bring back Emperor Palpatine?”
We now have our answer. Moff Gideon is trying to create an army of Force users that appear to be modeled after Darth Vader. Whether he hopes to create full Sith warriors or just super soldiers is still unclear. Either would turn the tide of his struggle to restore the Empire. I have no doubt that if he were successful, Gideon would inject himself with Midichlorians, too. This would allow him to fully take advantage of the Darksaber.
The New Republic
The Mandalorian S2E4 sees the return of Paul Sun-Hyung Lee’s Capt Carson Teva, the X-Wing pilot from S2E2, “The Passenger.” He has come to Nevarro to question Greef Karga and Cara Dune about the destruction of the Imperial base. He tells Cara that the New Republic wants to ensure the Outer Rim is safe, but needs help from the locals. They aren’t getting that help. Likely, the citizens of the Outer Rim are afraid of once again being controlled by the Core worlds. This probably also indicates the New Republic is struggling to take hold.
Capt Teva asks Cara to join him and work for the New Republic. She turns him down. Cara currently has no interest in returning to that life she previously lived. She is still struggling with having lost everyone she loved, when the original Death Star destroyed her home planet of Alderaan. She seems to still be fighting the ghosts of her past, as she previously indicated that she did some pretty shady things after getting out of the military. For now, it seems Cara still wants to hide out in the Outer Rim. Will we see her eventually join the New Republic and help them take down Moff Gideon? I feel like she will only be able to hide for so long, before she calls herself back to duty.
The Mandalorian S2E4 didn’t seem to teach us anything else about Mandalorian lore. It did strengthen the idea that Mando believes he must help those in need. Even though Greef and Cara are his friends, I believe he agreed to go on the mission because it would make Nevarro a safer place for its inhabitants.
Thoughts and Theories
- For the first time, we see Mando drink something, as he and The Child share some soup. While he can’t take off his helmet, he can apparently tip it back just far enough to drink. I found it funny that The Child seemed to really want to see Mando’s face. This seems like another metaphor for the average viewer (even though we did see it at the end of last season).
- The Imperials either aren’t paying attention to their surroundings or didn’t think anyone would drive a landspeeder up to their base.
- Speeder bikes prove to be as dangerous as ever to ride. It seems way too easy to make them collide with each other or objects in the surroundings.
- The dogfight between the Razor Crest and the TIE Fighters at the end of the episode continues to show what a superior pilot Mando is.
- I love how much The Child enjoys flying. During the dogfight, he sticks his hands up in the air, as if he were riding a roller coaster. He does this as he continues to eat his blue cookies that he stole from the other student. Until he can’t keep them down anymore, that is. This is probably the first time we have seen someone get sick in Star Wars.
- What did Capt Teva leave Cara Dune? Was it a medal or something else? Will this come back into the story later? Is it just a reminder of what she should be doing?
- We finally get to see where Moff Gideon has been. He is aboard a Star Destroyer of a new design. There are several familiar design elements, but I don’t think we have seen this exact type before. Just how powerful is this ship, and does he have a fleet of them?
- If there are still four TIEs on Nevarro, why didn’t the Imperials eliminate the town after the end of Season 1 (or even come after Mando at the end of S1E8, “Redemption”)?
- This episode marks Carl Weathers’ Star Wars directing debut.
Easter Eggs and References
- The four aliens that Cara fights in the tunnels under the city are Aqualish. The first time we saw an Aqualish was in A New Hope, when Luke is attacked by Ponda Boba, along with his friend Dr. Evazan, in the cantina. Aqualish were also seen in the prequels, both in the Senate and working with the Confederacy and Darth Sidious.
- Greef Karga’s town has erected a statue to celebrate IG-11. You can see this statue in the background, as Mando, Greef and Cara walk into the school.
- The teacher at the school is a repurposed 3PO protocol droid. Additionally, she is teaching from a tactical display that we originally saw in the Rebel base on Hoth.
- The cookies The Child steals appear to be blue macarons.
- The Trexler Marauder from the Imperial base is a variant of the troop carrier seen in S1E7, “The Reckoning.”
Memorable Lines from The Mandalorian S2E4
- “Well, it was worth a shot.”
- “How’s my credit around here.”
- “They should leave the Outer Rim alone. If the Empire couldn’t settle it, what makes them think they can?”
- “Still can’t see outta my left eye.”
- “Well, it’s probably not rated for lava.”
- “There’s no guard rail on this”
- “Wait. Was that my speeder…”
- “With the repairs, let’s call it even.”
- “There’s something going on out here. They don’t believe it on the Core Worlds, but it’s true.”
- “And we will be ready.”
A Bounty Captured
The Mandalorian S2E4 “Chapter 12: The Siege” is a significant episode. We finally know why Gideon wants The Child, as he is trying to create an unstoppable army of Force users. Additionally, we have new insight into what is going on with the New Republic, and how they need help from others. I suspect we know from where some of that help will come.
Mando and The Child, ship repaired, are finally off to Corvus. We will see if they get there next week or have another stop along the way. As I mentioned above, it appears next week’s is the Dave Filoni episode. According to the Star Wars Stuff Twitter account (@starwarstuff), the title of The Mandalorian S2E5 is “The Jedi.” To me, it sounds like we will indeed see Ahsoka Tano’s live-action debut next week.
Thanks for reading and taking this journey with me. If you have comments, theories or other easter eggs I didn’t mention, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
This is the Way.