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The Mandalorian

Chapter 8: Redemption (The Mandalorian - S01E08) - Live Action Series

Series: The Mandalorian

Title: Chapter 8: Redemption

Season: One

Episode: 8

Original Air Date: December 27, 2019

Runtime: 45 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Thomas; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

You expect me to search the galaxy for the home of this creature and deliver it to a race of enemy sorcerers? SPOILERS.

Yes, Stormtroopers are really bad shots

The 8th and final chapter of season 1 reaches its explosive finale. Last week's episode ended with Kuill getting killed and Moff Gideon arriving on Nevarro, with our band of heroes trapped in a building with no way out. But before we see what happens to our friends the episode dedicates a few minutes to two Scout Troopers. The two captured Baby Yoda at the end of last week's episode and are now waiting for final orders outside town. And we learn that yes, Stormtroopers (or Scout Troopers, to be more precise) are just people too. But these two specimens are really terrible people.

I lack the words to properly express my outrage

Poor Baby Yoda is in a bag and makes a few noises, but the Scout Trooper wants silence and hits the bag and Baby Yoda with his fist! Not once, but twice, when Baby Yoda chirps again a bit later. This cannot go unpunished! But first the Scout Troopers pass their time and they try to hit some piece of debris that is a couple of feet away - and they miss every single shot. Where do these guys learn how to shoot? The show doesn't punch you in the face with its jokes, the humor works because it's an organic part of the plot. Newcomers to Star Wars may wonder why two trained Imperial soldiers can't hit a target only a few feet away, everyone else will chuckle and find old prejudices confirmed, these guys really can't hit the broadside of a barn. Eventually the other Scout Trooper really wants to see Baby Yoda and the first trooper relents and lets him open the bag. They do wonder if its a pet and the second Trooper touches Baby Yoda with his finger. Baby Yoda does the only sensible thing and bites it. But the Scout Trooper punches the bag in relatiation and I need my medicine to control my blood pressure, how dare he!

Mary Poppins, Star Wars style

But then IG-11 appears. As you may remember, he was left behind on the Razor Crest, ordered to stay onboard. But the reprogrammed droid certainly noticed how the Imperials not only killed Kuill. but also snatched Baby Yoda. So IG-11 followed the Imperials on foot and finally arrives on the scene. And as any good nanny droid would do, he disposes of the two Scout Troopers and then makes his way into town on a speeder bike, with Baby Yoda in his carrying bag attached to his chest, like any good nanny would do.

Definitely no fried chicken for anyone today

Meanwhile Moff Gideon talks to our heroes and reveals who each and every one of them is, true villain style. Why be a villain if you can't make a proper speech? Thus we learn that Cara is from Alderaan, which certainly explains her eagerness to dispose of Imperials. Greef is a fallen magistrate and the Mandalorian finally gets his name! He's Din Djaren (the second "D" is silent) and we then witness the entire childhood flashback sequence that takes us back to the attack of the Separatists on his homeworld that made him an orphan.

Come with me if you want to live!

And we learn that it was a Mandalorian who rescued little Din from the droid army. It's the only thing that made any dramatic sense, it couldn't have been a Jedi. The Mandalorians adopted Din, trained him in their ways and Din finally accepted the creed and became a Mandalorian proper when he was grown up. No one has spoken his name since childhood. The Mandalorian deduces that the Imperial outside must be Moff Gideon, who lead the Imperial attack on Mandalore years ago and thus gained access to the archives that list his childhood name.

The Moff gives Din and his friends until nightfall to decide on a deal. Din immediately realizes that the Imperials don't have Baby Yoda, or else they wouldn't ask for cooperation. While Din thinks Kuill might still be alive, we know better.

Baby Yoda is having fun!

Meanwhile IG-11 enters town at full speed with his bike and makes short work of the Imperials, killing several of them with a single shot each, much to the delight of Baby Yoda, who clearly doesn't like Imperials either.

Adventures in babysitting

IG-11 finally arrives and a fire fight breaks out. IG-11 may be a nanny now, but his hunter protocols have not been deleted, merely repurposed and he kills several Imperials (while carrying Baby Yoda). The Mandalorian, Cara and Greef try to use the chaos to break free, but they must eventually retreat back into the building, the Imperials are simply too many and Moff Gideon finally manages to seriously injure Din by blowing up the generator for that nasty Imperial gun Din was using to kill Stormtroopers. Gideon not only manages to hit the generator with a single shot, he also manages to shoot the Mandalorian in the head with a single shot. I now have a theory. You become a Moff by winning a shooting contest, it cannot be a coincidence that the Moff is the only Imperial who can hit anything with a single shot! Both the shot to the head and the explosion of the generator leave Din incapacitated, he gets dragged back into the building by Cara. The team tried to break free previously, there is an access to the sewers in the room, but the grate is welded shut and has resisted any attempts at opening it so far. And now an Incinerator Trooper approaches... But IG-11 begins to cut open the grate to the sewers with a built-in blowtorch so they can escape.

BBQ, Imperial Style

The trooper begins roasting the place. Meanwhile Din wants to be left behind. Cara wants to treat his head injury but Din will not let her remove his helmet, he'd rather die.

The building has been breached, the ending is near

He wants Cara to protect the child, take it to the Mandalorians and let him have a warrior's death by delaying the Imperials. And then the Incinerator Trooper enters the building. But Baby Yoda once more comes to the rescue!

Baby Yoda uses the Force

Baby Yoda once again uses the Force to protect his friends. He stops the flames from the trooper and manages to push them back until the Incinerator Trooper explodes and is hurled out of the building. The heroes cannot really believe what they are witnessing but they use the opportunity to finally escape. IG-11 has opened the access to the sewers. Cara is entrusted with the baby by IG-11 who stays behind with Din who is too injured to move. The Mandalorian thinks IG-11 wants to take his revenge now, for killing him previously, but IG-11 once more reminds Din that he has been reprogrammed. Instead he wants to heal Din's injury who still refuses, because no living thing must see his face. But then IG-11 reminds him that he is not really a living thing, he is a droid. And so we finally get the face reveal...

Yep, it's Pedro Pascal under the helmet, at least this time

IG-11 removes the helmet which reveals Din's face (who looks just like Pedro Pascal) and he even displays his best bedside manners, making jokes (that don't work, because he's a droid) and finally applies some Bacta to the head wound that will heal the Mandalorian in short time, a matter of hours at most. Din can move again and he and IG-11 finally enter the sewers as well!

Many Mandalorians died

Reunited the team finally find the former Mandalorian lair, but it's seemingly empty and there are a lot of empty helmets and armor pieces on the floor. Fallen comrades of Din who is visibly shaken by the sight. But not all Mandalorians are dead or gone, one is still around. The Armorer! She melts down the armor pieces to re-use them later. And the Armorer also gives Din his new goal in life. He's to re-unite Baby Yoda with other members of his species. The Armorer is also the only one who knows tales of the Jedi. This is one element that always seems odd in Star Wars. It's been less than 30 years or so since Order 66 and while the Jedi were not extremely numerous they were still guardians of the Republic for a thousand generations, yet almost everyone has never heard of them, even Cara, who was a New Republic trooper. This doesn't really make sense, in my opinion. The Jedi cannot be all forgotten so soon? Anyway, the Armorer not only tells the Mandalorian what to do, to find Baby Yoda's home planet, she also gives the Mandalorian his own signet!

The Mandalorian gets his signet from the Armorer

And the signet makes a lot of sense, it is a mudhorn!

The Mudhorn is the Mandalorian's signet

The Armorer tells Din that he and Baby Yoda are now a clan of two, hence the signet. And then she points the team in the right direction, there is a lava river nearby, they can use it to escape the sewers. But the Armorer is not finished yet with giving gifts and advice, she also gives Din his very own jet pack, only she calls it a "Rising Phoenix", and the Mandalorian has to train a bit with it until it "listens" to him. Fully equipped and with a clear goal in mind the heroes finally go on their way. The Armorer won't come with them, she has other things to do.

POW! BIFF! BANG!

Some Stormtroopers find the Armorer, but she disposes of them using her smithing tools. And they all wait their turn to get knocked out, as good Stormmtroopers do! The Armorer is safe for now and I hope we haven't seen the last of her. Also, we need her action figure!

When will we get this droid from Hasbro?

Our heroes have found a barge that can ferry them out of the sewers, using the lava flow. But not all is well, because the Mandalorian detects several Imperials at the end of the tunnel! What to do? IG-11, the most effective nanny droid, does what any good ex-terminator does. He steps into the lava and makes his way out of the tunnel. IG-11 must not be captured, he will have to blow himself up. But the Mandalorian reminds him that protecting Baby Yoda takes precedence over his old protocol thus IG-11 combines both protocols and heads out. But not before we learn that the Mandalorian has re-evaluated his attitude towards droids, because IG-11 actually detects sadness in Din's voice as IG-11 explains his plan and Din wants him to change his mind at first. It's a short but touching moment and certainly an important piece of character development for the Mandalorian. Droids wiped out his family, but another droid not only saved his life, but is also about to sacrifice itself to save him and his friends.

I'll be back? Or maybe not...

IG-11 has decided to use his self destruct protocol to take out the Imperials and thus to enable the safe escape of Baby Yoda and the others. And the plan works beautifully! But not all is well... Moff Gideon is still around and he's inside his TIE fighter, making attack runs on the heroes! The Mandalorian comes up with the only possible plan!

Oh no, he flies now! He flies now??? He flies now!

The Mandalorian decides to engage Moff Gideon in the air, using his jetpack to launch himself. He then uses his cable to attach himself to the TIE. Gideon tries to shake him lose but the Mandalorian finally manages to attach an explosive to the TIE!

Hasta la vista...

Din disengages from the TIE which explodes a few seconds later, crashing down on the ground in the distance.

Saying goodbye to dear friends

Victory has been achieved. But if anyone thought that the Mandalorian and his friends will now roam the galaxy together to find Baby Yoda's home planet may be a bit disappointed. Because Greef decides to re-establish the bounty hunters guild, now that the Imperials are gone, and Cara wants to stay behind for a while at least, to make sure all the Imperials are really gone. Greef wants Din to stay, but the Mandalorian has his task, given to him by the Armorer. He has to find Baby Yoda's home.

Maximum cuteness... Baby Yoda really likes the Mandalorian and hugs his leg

So Greef strokes Baby Yoda's ears one final time and then Din and Baby Yoda head to the Razor Crest and fly away into the great unknown, trying to find a planet. How difficult can that be? But it's not the end of the episode yet. Jawas are apparently extremely quick to arrive on the scene when there is a wreck to be scavenged. They are already salvaging parts from the crashed TIE, as suddenly the fuselage gets cut open by a dark glowing blade. And Moff Gideon emerges from the wreck. In hand what appears to be Bo Katan's darksaber!

Hasbro: we need a Moff Gideon figure with darksaber now! Yesterday! Hurry!

And that concludes season 1 of The Mandalorian. The 8th and final chapter was certainly yet another dramatic highlight! It had everything! Subtle humor, fun, great action, emotional beats, revelations and it set the course for the show in coming seasons. Anyone who thought (or feared) that the Baby Yoda storyline would be concluded at the end of the season will now find that instead Baby Yoda will be the central mystery of the show. It's apparent that Baby Yoda is the endgame here, I don't expect the Mandalorian to find the home planet until the show enters its final season. And while it may be a bit disappointing that the Mandalorian has not assembled a crew (yet) we do know that Cara will be back in season 2, and I bet that Greef will also be back. And we certainly haven't seen the last of Moff Gideon either, who will probably serve as the big bad for the time being.

The Mandalorian is certainly the best that could happen to Star Wars right now. Whether or not you loved The Rise of Skywalker, there's little doubt the movie is once again divisive. Maybe other people dislike it this time, but it's certainly not the universal crowd pleaser Disney wanted to have. But The Mandalorian is all that. It is a show made by people who really understand Star Wars, who really know what fans want, but also what fans need without even knowing what it is they need. The Mandalorian combines fan service and nostalgia with all new things and a central mystery that has been with us ever since The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980. Who exactly is Yoda? Where does he come from? What's up with his species? Why have we ever seen only two members of them? Is every member of Yoda's species powerful in the Force? I think it's certain now that The Mandalorian will tap deeply into Star Wars lore, something that should intrigue every Star Wars fan.

And while the show has plenty of fan service it never feels tacked on. Where The Rise of Skywalker gives you a gratuitous shot of Wedge or two Ewoks on Endor for a second or two The Mandalorian weaves fan service into the story. Ice Cream makers are containers for Beskar. And yes, Stormtroopers are really bad shots and the episode today has lots of fun with it, but without poking you constantly or trying to shove it into your face. The Stormtroopers, while terrible people (who would punch poor Baby Yoda?), are also humanized while the show is having fun with them.

And the show also managed to make you feel for IG-11, who could have been a one note droid, a walking joke, and yes, IG-11 was a constant source of fun and jokes in this episode. But he was also integral to the plot. Most of the jokes and fun came from that fact that IG-11 took his role as nanny very, very seriously.

Taika Waititi's direction was also great, we had emotional beats, great action, flawless pacing that allowed all characters to breathe and get their moment, including evil ruffians who punch poor Baby Yoda.

The Mandalorian is certainly a triumph. Outside of Rogue One it's the single best thing the Disney Star Wars era has given us and a very positive sign for the future. If Disney continue doing what they started with The Mandalorian all the endless squabbles about the sequel movies will soon be forgotten. Fandom can be reunited. The vast majority of fans are in love with The Mandalorian. Let's use that to look ahead! Let's not look back all that much anymore. The sequels are the sequels, like them, dislike them, but let's all look forward. Season two of The Mandalorian cannot come soon enough. Maybe if we are lucky we will see new episodes in 2020. Season two is in production already. Deborah Chow will go on and direct the Kenobi series. The Clone Wars gets a final season and even the Cassian Andor show has the potential to be great. There are plenty of things to be happy about in the future.

Added: December 27, 2019
Category: The Mandalorian
Reviewer: Thomas
Score:
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