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The Mandalorian

The Pirate (The Mandalorian - S03E05) - Live Action Series

Series: The Mandalorian

Title: Chapter 21 - The Pirate

Season: Three

Episode: 5

Original Air Date: March 29th, 2023

Runtime: 39 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"Bo-Katan walks both worlds!" SPOILERS.

Space Davy Jones wants Nevarro

We are now in the second half of The Mandalorian season 3. The first half meandered and zigzagged for quite a bit, but with episode five out of eight we finally know for sure what the season 3 endgame will probably be. "The Pirate" delivered some solid action once again, but then again, the action has almost always been fun on The Mandalorian. My issues with the series are more of a philosphical nature though, and one major issue I have isn't even with just The Mandalorian, it's an issue I have with the entire sequel storyline created by Disney Lucasfilm. But more about that later.

Oh look, it's Zeb. He's working for the New Republic now. I feel sad for him

The episode opens on Nevarro where space muppet pirate Davy Jones wants to take over the planet, or at least the flourishing town. His corvette hangs over the city and starts bombarding the infrastructure. Greef Karga and what feels like 20 citizens have to flee the city. But Greef manages to send out a call to the New Republic for help. There is one issue though, Nevarro is independent and not under the jurisdiction or protection of the New Republic. Still, X-Wing pilot Carson Teva (seen in the previous seasons) receives the call for help. On the base we find him talking to Zeb Orelios of all people, who is now working for the New Republic. Good to know he's still around. I suppose we will see him again in Ahsoka.

Cameo overload... Zeb from Rebels, then directors/producers Deborah Chow, Rick Famiyuwa and of course Dave Filoni as Trapper Wolf sitting at the bar to the right

Zeb informs Carson and the audience that the New Republic is swamped with requests and that Carson will never get a reply from them. So Carson decides to ask for permission to help Nevarro in person. Off to Coruscant it is!

Somehow, no one found out Kane dialed up the mind flayer to 11

On Coruscant we learn how the New Republic and its bureaucrats could not care less about some independent world in the Outer Rim. It's also very convenient that Little Miss Honeytrap, aka Elia Kane, is working in the office next to the bureaucrat who could greenlight help for Nevarro. Kane, the warm and caring person that she is, suggests that it's better to let Nevarro suffer, so they learn that being a part of the New Republic would have its perks. Also, for some reason, not explained at all, no one found out about her manipulating the mind flayer. I suppose no one found it suspicious that Pershing's mind was roasted with Kane being the only person in the control booth. Just a coincidence. Nothing to see here. Move along. And the incompetent pencil pusher does not heed Teva's warning that the Remnant activity and space pirates all hint at something bigger and that if they don't act now it could be much too late when they finally do decide to do something. Someone give Ranger Carson Teva a medal, please. I hope he wasn't on Hosnian Prime when it was blown up by the First Order. At least he deserves to live.

R5-D4 sure gets around a lot

Since Carson can't expect any help from the New Republic, he instead flies to the Mandalorian hideout. Which is supposed to be in a secret location. They are not keen on being found, but it turns out R5-D4 transmitted the coordinates to Carson somehow, it is revealed that Carson worked with R5 before when he was with the Rebel Alliance. Now why such a hero would end up in Peli Motto's workshop is not explained. It is also not explained how an astromech can send signals halfway through the galaxy now. Whatever. Lazy writing for beginners... please don't think too hard. Carson manages to convince Din Djarin and the other Mandalorians to at least consider helping Greef Karga, but not after the Helmet Cultists have a little debate, Greef Karga fought against the Mandalorians in season 1, after all, but all is forgiven now and they decide to fly to Nevarro and to help. There's also Greef's standing offer to hand over a plot of land, and anything would be better than planet Kaiju where space monsters eat your foundlings every other day.

Mandalorians fight space pirates in Nevarro

So the Mandalorians fly off to Nevarro. Bo-Katan carries the troops on her ship, Din Djarin is supposed to engage the corvette and any fighters in the air, so they are busy chasing him instead of shooting the troops on the ground. The plan works flawlessly. While the Mandalorians on the ground are met with heavy resistance they manage to take out the pirates in the town, the Armorer manages to take out a machine gunner positioned on the balcony of Karga's office and we see once more that she knows how to use her hammer in more than one way.

A good captain always goes down with his ship, au revoir Space Davy Jones! You shall not be missed at all

Din meanwhile takes out one fighter after another in the air, ultimately only the hero pirate we met in episode 1 survives, he realizes they stand no chance and makes his escape. That leaves Space Davy Jones. But instead of trying to escape he decides to go down in a blaze of glory like some idiot. When the last engine of the corvette is taken out the ship crashes to the ground where it explodes. Also, have I mentioned the corvette has an actual steering wheel like on a sailing ship? Really now? How would you even control three dimensional movement with a huge steering wheel like one you find on some ancient ship of the line?

The fifty citizens of Nevarro welcome their saviors and new neighbors

As mentioned above Din Djarin had decided previously that it would be a good idea to accept Greef Karga's offer after all and to take over the plot on Nevarro. And the Covert decides that it would be best to stay on Nevarro for good, to reintegrate into society and stop hiding from the world. But the Armorer has even some more ambitious plans.

Bo-Katan walks both worlds now

The Armorer has Bo-Katan summoned to the old forge in the sewers of Nevarro, where the Mandos had their hidden base in season 1. And it turns out the Armorer is surprisingly pragmatic and actually somewhat of a reformer. She wants Bo-Katan to remove her helmet. The Armorer has decided that Bo walks both worlds and that she should reunite all the Mandalorians from all across the galaxy, so they can become one again and retake Mandalore. Bo no longer needs to wear the helmet now. It appears that Bo's confession that she saw an actual mythosaur in the flesh has left a lasting impression on the Armorer. The other Mandalorians are a bit skeptical at first, but the Armorer is their spiritual leader and they ultimately accept her wisdom. Bo-Katan will no longer wear a helmet, her destiny is to reunite all scattered Mandalorians and to retake the homeworld.

Moff Gideon's prisoner transport met an unfortunate fate

Back in space Ranger Carson Teva happens upon a derelict Lambda shuttle. And we learn it's Moff Gideon's prisoner transport. There were rumors that Gideon never made it to his trial, but the details are all top secret. While all the New Republic personnal in the wreckage are dead Moff Gideon's body is nowhere to be found. So now Carson knows for sure Gideon never made it to his trial and it's now pretty evident that he is the warlord that had Bo-Katan's palace bombed. And of course Elia Kane is his inside woman on Coruscant. Not that that should surprise anyone. And with that the endgame is now pretty clear: Bo-Katan and the Mandalorians will have to face off Moff Gideon once more.

All in all "The Pirate" was one of the better season 3 episodes, however, while watching the episode I finally realized what is bothering me so much this season, what has been bothering me for a long time actually. But there's more than one issue, one that is specific to The Mandalorian season 3 and one that haunts all of Disney Star Wars.

Let's talk about The Mandalorian issue first... to me it seems that in season 3 Din Djarin lacks any clear goal or direction. In fact, as season 3 progresses it turns out the series has slowly turned into the Bo-Katan show. Now I like Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan, but the fact that all the important plot points now revolve around her means that Din Djarin is merely along for the ride this season, he is a glorified guest star on his own show. Something Boba Fett has a few words to say about as well. I don't know what happened here, rumors say Disney demanded Jon Favreau gets Grogu back immediately after the season 2 finale. But what is Din's purpose now? What is his character arc? He has none. Instead he regressed in season 3 and decided to put his helmet back on for good, which was the major character arc for him in the previous two seasons, to let silly helmet rules be silly helmet rules and to think for himself. Now that helmet rule is put even more into question with the Armorer suddenly (without much real explanation) deciding that Bo-Katan is special and doesn't need to wear her helmet after all. Now one may argue that Din Djarin has also "walked both worlds" and has all the right to remove his helmet. Too bad Pedro Pascal was never on set and not available, probably the primary reason why we never see Din Djarin anymore, it's always Brendan Wayne under the suit now, or Lateef Crowder in the stunt sequences.

The fact that Bo-Katan has completely taken over the show is probably rooted in the fact that Jon Favreau could not come up with a convincing arc for Din Djarin after he reunited with Grogu in The Book of Boba Fett. He needs a purpose again. Soon. And that purpose can't be to be with the Mando cultists or to be Bo-Katan's prince regent. Maybe it would have been better to title the series "The Mandalorians" and to set it up as more of an anthology series if they can't come up with a good character arc for Din Djarin.

But let's talk about my real issue I have with not just The Mandalorian, but with ALL of Disney Star Wars. It's just that The Mandalorian makes it painfully obvious what this issue is: the complete undoing of anything accomplished in the Original Trilogy. Now the sequels made short work of the New Republic, it gets basically wiped out early on, the sequels also made short work of all the Original Trilogy characters by killing them all off as quickly as humanly possible. But while fans complained about how the heroes of the original movies all turned out to be deadbeat losers (more or less), The Mandalorian highlights yet another issue: Luke, Leia, Han and Mon Mothma as the political leader fought and defeated the Empire for literally nothing. The New Republic is constantly portrayed as a chaotic, uncaring, bureaucratic hellhole where idiots are in charge. The first lunacy is the complete dismantling of the (Imperial) navy, the galaxy is apparently very much not a peaceful place, there are strong pockets of Imperial Remnants, but according to canon the New Republic decided to get rid of most of their armed forces, especially the navy. Even though the New Republic captured a good number of Star Destroyers.

But it doesn't stop here... because the New Republic is consistently portrayed as a dystopian society where uncaring bureaucrats call the shots. The New Republic is not even above using Imperial methods. Think about it: the New Republic considers it a good idea to use mind flayers to basically reprogram people, to make them into happy drones who love the New Republic. The former Imperials who are meant to be reintegrated are given anonymous codenames that dehumanize them. The New Republic turns a blind eye to the Outer Rim, the New Republic doesn't have the manpower or navy needed to pacify the galaxy, making the decision to get rid of most of the navy even more idiotic. Did Mon Mothma accidentally put herself in a mind flayer and had her mind scrambled? The utter idiocy of the New Republic can hardly be explained. And I think this is the biggest sin of them all in Disney Star Wars: that everything was for literally nothing. The New Republic is a terrible place. People are still left to their own devices, pirates and Imperial Remnants can do as they please, apparently. The New Republic is too weak to do anything. It's also not a very humane society, because a humane society would not use mind flayers to brainwash people. Luke, Leia, Han and all the others fought for basically nothing. Luke's Jedi Order adopted the same flawed philosophy as the original order. Leia never moved beyond being a rebel general. Han reverted to his old ways. And the New Republic is in some ways a worse place than the Empire. The Empire, while a fascist regime and extremely cold and uncaring, at least brought order and something like peace. The New Republic stands for total chaos, incompetence and bureaucrats who are just as uncaring as any Imperial bureaucrat. So what was the point even?

The New Republic should have been a better place, of course you need some conflict and some drama, but Lucasfilm's only idea they could come up with was to negate everything, all the old heroes are failures, even the New Republic is a joke and complete failure. And The Mandalorian has given us a lot of insight into what kind of terrible regime the New Republic is. I no longer feel sorry for its destruction in The Force Awakens, they had it coming.

So you watch all these episodes and you wonder if this is the best they could come up with for the New Republic. To depict it as a bureaucratic silly insitution that deserves to be destroyed, because it's not really better than before. Just different kinds of bad. Is that he message Star Wars wants to have for us? That the New Republic is run by idiots on the top levels and uncaring bureaucrats on the mid levels and that only the people on the bottom rung of the ladder, like Ranger Carson Teva, have some morals and decency? Is the New Republic supposed to be an analogy for modern day Iraq, a place that is in some ways much worse off than when it was under tyrannical rule?

And that is the fundamental issue that robs me of a lot of enjoyment here. To see how stupid, incompetent and actually evil the New Republic is. That Luke and the others fought for THIS. A complete travesty and joke.

Apart from all that the episode itself was ok, the action was fine, the space pirates were over the top silly of course, also the Davy Jones muppet looked bad, CGI is not the devil and I think a CGI face with proper lip synced mouth movements would have been better here, instead of the "Kermit flaps his mouth open" thing they went for here. At least the plot moved forward, Bo-Katan has her new task, not that that should surprise anyone, and we can at least see Katee Sackhoff's face again. Din Djarin however has been relegated to being a secondary character on his own show. He needs a proper purpose again sooner than later. I wish the Armorer's sudden change of mind regarding helmets would have been explained better. Also, the others accept her wisdom just like that? No dissenters at all? When "always helmet on" is what defines this cult? Also, does no one, not even Paz Vizsla, know about Bo-Katan's shady past? She was a literal terrorist and failed miserably several times. She of all people is now that beacon of hope? Really?

What else... I get it that it's a tv series (streaming series) with somewhat limited budgets. But the scene with Greef Karga seeking refuge with what looks like twenty civilians was laughably bad. Really, Nevarro has a couple dozen citizens at best? Couldn't they have inserted some extras with CGI at least? Anyway... let's hope Bo-Katan becomes queen of all Mandalore again sooner than later so we can leave all this behind. Maybe season 4 will be about Din Djarin again for a change. And maybe he will go on adventures of his own in the galaxy again, instead of being Bo's second or someone who just hangs around with the Armorer and her Covert. And maybe Jon Favreau should replace Pedro Pascal with an actor who has time to be on set for a change. Never seeing Din Djarin's face anymore is disappointing.

Added: March 29, 2023
Category: The Mandalorian
Reviewer: Thomas
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