The Mandalorian this week made process in his journey of redemption — and no less than a character from the very first Star Wars film played a pretty important role!
Having left IG-11 with the Anzellans on Nevarro, Mando’s first stop this week is to, no surprise, see Peli Motto on Tatooine. Peli, upon catching Grogu as he joyfully somersaulted from the cockpit, is convinced that the li’l one then said his first word to her. (Note: Closed-captioning simply said, “[Babbling]”.) Alas, and quite atypically, she doesn’t have the memory circuit that is needed to repair bounty hunter IG-11 — nor can the famously resourceful Jawas who are at her beck and call easily obtain it.
Never one to let a customer walk away dissatisfied, Peli offers up the services of R5-D4, whom you well remember from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope as the astromech droid Uncle Owen picked out, but which short-circuited (so that R2-D2 could stick with C-3PO; more on that here). R5-D4, who has been spied in a handful of other episodes (and in The Book of Boba Fett), may not be adroit enough for spelunking the mines of Mandalore, but he can at least help determine if the war-ravaged planet’s air is still poisoned, or in fact breathable. (Plus, Peli-the-tireless-salesman at least claims, R5 served in the Rebellion.) Mando reluctantly agrees to the idea, after which Peli and her crew quickly re-install the droid port on the N-1 Starfighter to accommodate the extremely anxious astromech.
R5 ably navigates the Starfighter through Mandalore’s stormy atmosphere, on the other side of which is a serene-looking, if well-bombed, planet. The Starfighter sets down, and Mando tasks R5 with venturing out a bit to take air samples. When R5 disappears around a corner and doesn’t return, Mando goes looking for the droid — and instead finds a few cave creatures waiting to jump him! (We later learn the creatures are called Alamites, and used to live in the wasteland beyond the city limits.) Mando manages to fend off and kill his attackers, lobbing at least a couple into the deep cavern below, after which he learns from R5 that the air is A-OK. He then fetches Grogu in his pram, and the two float down into the cavern, to find the mines of Mandalore — and hopefully the non-magical living waters beneath them.
Alas, Mando gets caught in a trap, one that binds him in a cage attached to a large, arachnid-like mech droid. Mando can barely move/stay conscious in his trappings, but manages to instruct a nearby Grogu to go get Bo-Katan. Grogu thus floats back up in his pram to ground level, uses the Force to flick away an Alamite straggler, and then boards the Starfighter and has R5 pilot them to Kalevala.
Seeing the Starfighter return, Bo struts out gunning for a fight with Din, only to find Grogu alone in the cockpit. She then flies herself and Grogu back to Mandalore, in her own nifty ship, and she, too, gets to marvel at her home world’s current state. Bo and Grogu float down into the cavern and deftly approach where Din is being held. Bo goes in blasters a-blazing, battling Din’s captor who is now using a humanoid-type vessel, and quickly felling it with a jab from the Darksaber she picked up off the ground.
This creature has tricks up its sleeve, though — mainly, that at its core it’s basically an itty bitty alien that can adopt armored suits small, medium and large. It skitters over to the large mech frame we saw earlier, but Bo slices away at the mech’s limbs, then drives the Darksaber into the critter’s oculus.
Rescue mission accomplished, Bo offers to guide Din to the actual mines of Mandalore, and then to the shore of the living waters. Din promptly doffs his armor (but nothing else, pervs!) and wades into the waters… only to near-instantly get violently yanked underneath by… something. Bo rockets into the water and gives chase, darting through the murkiness to find a dazed Din on the cavern floor. She grabs him and rockets him back to the surface, passing the sea creature that sneaked up on Din along the way. The winded Mandalorians are last seen splayed across the dry ground, before Episode 2 fades to black.
What did you think of Season 3’s second outing and the thus-far uncovered mysteries of Mandalore?