Finally, the much-awaited Disney+ is upon us! While there are a ton of our favorite Disney movies all in one place, there are a couple of originals produced just for this streaming platform with more to come. The Mandalorian being one of the new Star Wars additions for Disney+ puts up back into Star Wars frame of mind before the release of the end to the Skywalker Saga this December.
Star Wars time always gets tricky with original series, the prequels, and then the new three. Not to mention all the cartoon series and books. This series takes place about five years after the fall of the empire in The Return of the Jedi. So, Vader is dead, Palpatine is dead (maybe?), everything is up in the air and everyone is vying for power in this empire size hole left in the galaxy. For the Skywalkers, Ben Solo/ Kylo Ren is about four years old at this point and Rey is yet to be born. I would guess that Luke is working on training young Jedi at this point.
Basically, this show is going to show what life is like as a bounty hunter Post-Empire and prior to the First Order. This Mandalorian according to an interview with Pedro Pascal is named Den Jaren (No spelling has been giving). He is NOT Boba Fett, although there are a few subtle clues to him later I will mention. In the opening scene he is collecting a bounty in this small cantina.
After securing his bounty for Mythrol, played by Horatio Sanz he looks for ferry back to his ship with the help of a Kubaz. We first saw Kubaz back in A New Hope. Right off the bat here we learn about Mando’s distrust in droids. I am sure this is something we will learn about later since it does already come up a few times in just this first episode. He catches a ride back piloted by a Ferryman played by Chris Bartlett to his ship called Razor Crest.
Razor Crest is a pretty cool ship although to some in the galaxy it may just be a hunk of junk. It is based on Boba Fett’s ship back in the Star Wars Holiday special which was also Boba Fett’s first appearance. Mando has a connection to his ship much in the way that Han Solo was connected to the Millennium Falcon. This gunship was once a military ship used to patrol areas in the Galactic Empire. It contains all sorts of Easter Eggs, like Han Solo’s blaster in the weapons stash and a carbonite machine which calls back to Han Solo in Empire Strikes Back. One of the carbonite bounties also looked to be a Rodian like Greedo. It has the first working ship toilet we have seen in the Star Wars Universe as well.
Mando then heads to collect on his bounty where he meets with Greef Carga, played by Carl Weathers. The way this works is there is a bounty guild which regulates the bounty hunting trade and is run by a guild master who holds its members to the Bounty Hunter Creed. Being a bounty hunter in a guild means you are notified of posted bounties. The Imperials use bounty hunters from the guild regularly which we have seen throughout Star Wars. From there they have specialized houses. Mandalorians are a race from an Outer Rim Planet Mandalore. Boba Fett was often called the Mandalorian but he isn’t, he is just a clone of Mandalorian Jango Fett and raised on Kamino.
The conversation with Greef Carga and Mando talks about the lowering rates for bounties after the fall of the Empire. This makes sense since the Empire was most likely a large client base for the Guild. Mando is ready to take on more jobs but with other bounty hunters needing work, it seems that he can’t have them all. Greef Carga does tell him about a job but it is so delegate there isn’t even a bounty puck for it and he must receive the bounty face to face.
Mandalorian then means with the Client who is guarded by some pretty run-down Stormtroopers. I love the stand off with him and the troopers and that he is willing to fight them, he knows they aren’t hitting shit. The Doctor here is interesting, his name is Dr. Pershing and he wants the bounty return to them alive (I will talk more about this doctor later) However, the Imperial client makes it known that he would rather see it dead. While we don’t know what this bounty is yet, we know that it is worth a pretty penny, better yet, Beskar. Beskar is a steal type metal that is used in Bounty Hunter armor that can withstand the hit from a light saber or blaster. I think a quote from Sabine in Rebels sums it up, “The armor I wear is 500 years old,” Sabine told Ezra Bridger. “I reforged it to my liking, but the battles, the history, the blood, all lives within it. The same goes for every Mandalorian.”
The Client mentions a purge of Beskar which makes me think that at some point the Empire had taken the Beskar from the bounty guild to control the guild and bounties. After the fall of the Empire Beskar is still scares. He is given a bar now as a payment and will receive more once the job is complete. He then takes the Beskar to his guild where it is melted into a piece of armor. In the Guild Hall if you look close enough it almost looks like Boba Fett may be there in the background. There is also the head of a Mythosaur. Mythosaurs are Native to Mandalore and an ancient creature, the stuff of Mandalorian legend. The tusked creature is seen on the armor of Boba Fett as insignia and was spotted on a flag at Maz Kanata’s castle in The Force Awakens. The legend talks about the Mandalorians riding the Mythosaurs back in ancient times before their extinction.
Collecting the Bounty
The Mandalorian then heads out with his tracking fob to secure this bounty. The planet name isn’t given but once he lands, he meets a Ugnaught named Kuill. Kuill is a moisture farmer that is willing to help Mando simple because he wants the peace back in his valley after a nearby encampment settled in and started drawing attention. In order to get there Mando must learn to ride a Blurrg. While Mando struggles with the Blurrg at first, Kuill reminds him that his ancestors once rode the ancient mythosaurs. This gives him the motivation to conquer the Blurrg and they head out to the encampment. While Kuill admittedly has never met a Mandalorian, he has heard of them and is hoping for this to be quick.
When arriving to the encampment Mando heads in alone and is scouting when a Bounty Droid, IG-11, comes barreling in to collect this bounty. He does a good job of running everyone inside where they can regroup and shelter for the attack. This fight had very spaghetti Western vibes and IG-11 was hilarious with the self-destruct mode he was constantly toying with. Once inside of the building and everyone else is dead, they discover a small 50-year old child who has been dubbed ‘Baby Yoda’. IG-11 makes the move to kill him but The Mandalorian stops him by critically shooting him.
Let’s talk about ‘Baby Yoda’
Since I have nothing else to call him, he will be dubbed Baby Yoda, although let’s be clear, this is NOT Yoda. At this point in the timeline Yoda is dead and has already returned as a Force Ghost. He’s Gone. Since this Yoda like creature is 50 years old, he would have been born about eight years before the events of Phantom Menace. So, who is he and where the hell did, he come from? Well that is an excellent question and really all I can provide at this moment is a guess. Sure, he could be unrelated to Yoda and just another creature from this mysterious and rare race. There have been theories that he is the love child of Yoda and the ‘Female Yoda’ Yaddle. This is possible, since we haven’t really seen her since the events of Phantom Menace as she took a less active role in the Jedi Council leading into the Clone Wars. A baby can sure do that.
My personal guess and the theory I have liked the most is that this is a clone of Yoda. The clue that makes this most apparent to me is the patch on the sleeve of Dr. Pershing. This patch contains the same symbol that was at Kamino, the clone planet. Could be why he is so interested in getting back ‘Baby Yoda’. Timeline wise this fit in as well. Some counter arguments would be that Yoda would know if someone had bad intentions when stealing DNA. But Senator Palpatine over through the entire Senate right under Yoda’s and the Jedi Council’s nose so I don’t think that it is too far fetched to think that a Yoda Clone could have flown under the radar as well.
The Mandalorian then takes the ‘Baby Yoda’ and heads back to his ship but is stopped by another group of bounty hunter Trandoshans. He fights them and protects ‘Baby Yoda’ but they were sent to kill him like IG-11. The tracker shows that they were sent by the same client and we can assume that they will continue to come until the bounty is turned in.
When Mando returns to his ship he finds that it has been raided by Jawa’s. He immediately vaporizes several of them before they run into their Sandcrawler. Mando chases them down but is unsuccessful in getting in and getting back his possessions. He spends some time passed out after his fall and we see her that this ‘Baby Yoda’ has already developed an attachment to him as he is worried about him and is excited when he again shows signs of life.
Back at the ship again he inspects and finds that there is nothing left and the ship isn’t in working order. He talks with Kuill who says that he will help him trade with the Jawa for his possessions. The negotiations are another just funny moment in the series where they both are upset with him for vaporizing his friends and make fun of him for his Jawa Language skills even comparing him to a wookie. At first, they want his Baskar armor but even Kuill fights against that, Baskar armor is meant for the Bounty Hunters. They take interest in ‘Baby Yoda’ but that is quickly removed from the table as well. They decide that he can have his parts back if he is able to secure an egg for them.
Getting this egg turns out to be no simple task as it belongs to a Rhino-Like creature calls a Mud Horn. Mando is nearly killed in attempting to acquire this egg and it is only by ‘Baby Yoda’s’ use of the Force that Manalorian defeats the Mud Horn. This use of force is very draining for ‘Baby Yoda’ and he spends most of the remainder of the episode sleeping.
The Jawa’s immediately eat the egg and give Mando his parts. Kuiil helps the Mandalorian repair his ship and get him on his way for no payment at all. When Mandalorian asks him to join him as a crew member he declines seeking the peaceful life he has here. Mando then takes off in Razor Crest as Chapter 2 comes to an end.