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Mando, Baby Yoda, Bill Burr, and an ex-lover: Breaking down Chapter 6 of The Mandalorian
Who exactly was the person in the boots at the end of Chapter 5 of The Mandalorian? What happened next for our main Mando and Baby Yoda, everyone's favorite little darling? Some answers may (or may not) have been revealed, as the first ever live-action Star Wars series has dropped Chapter 6 this morning on Disney+.
Directed by the returning Rick Famuyiwa with a teleplay by Christopher Yost (based on a story by him and Famuyiwa), the new episode was not short on excitement, action, and expansion of the Mando story. Tussle those adorable floppy ears, come to momma, and clean up that carbon scoring because it's time for a breakdown of everything that the new installment has to offer.
**SPOILER WARNING: From this point forward, there will be spoilers for Chapter 6 of The Mandalorian, as well as every chapter up to this point. If you are not caught up and do not wish to be spoiled, then consider the spoiler klaxon sounded. Make like Toro Calican on a bender and run off into the desert.**
To catch up with the previous five installments of the series (as well as join in the celebration for everything and anything to do with Star Wars) be sure to take a listen to SYFY WIRE's podcast Jabba the Pod, embedded at the bottom of the story.
LOOKING FOR WORK IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
The Razor Crest pulls into a space station, and Mando meets up with his old comrade Ranzar "Ran" Malk (Mark Boone Jr.). Ran has heard rumblings, but the general policy here is to ask no questions. There's a job on the table and Mando has to pay those bills. Ran needs a fifth person for a job, and more pressingly, he needs Mando's ship — it can go under the radar of both Imperials and the New Republic.
Ran introduces Mando to his team — running point will be Mayfeld (Bill Burr), a former Imperial Sharpshooter. Mando remarks that that's not saying much, to which Mayfeld replies, "I wasn’t a stormtrooper, wiseass." The jab at stormtrooper shot accuracy was not appreciated. Mayfeld then says that the Razor Crest looks like "a Canto Bight slot machine." What a great guy. Also on the team is a Devaronian named Burg (Clancy Brown), and a droid named Q9-0 (called Zero) played by the great Richard Ayoade.
Zero's model looks somewhat similar to 4-LOM. Rounding out the team is a purple Twi'lek named Xi'an (Natalia Tena) who may have had some steamy times (or not) with the Mando in the past. She's all business now though, saying that she "learned from the best." After Burg calls Mando tiny, we cut to our title — Chapter 6: The Prisoner.
TEAM OF JERKS
Zero starts to hack into the Crest using a plug-in prod, and begins to decode the holo message from Greef Carga from a few episodes back. The job in question involves rescuing "a friend" from a New Republic Prison Ship. Mando hears this, realizes that the target was arrested, and not taken — no one but him seems to care. As Ran says, "a job is a job." The ship in question is manned solely by droids, and Xi'an asks Mando if he still hates them.
After a holo map planning session, they plan the job. Zero is going to be flying, and also in the hacker "tech guy" position. Appropriate then, that Ayoade is playing him... if something goes wrong, he can try turning it on and off again. They fly off, and we get the classic white lines that jump is to hyperspace. There's already friction on the team, and Burg goes through some of Mando's things. Mayfeld and Burg ask Xi'an if the Mandos are as good as they say, and she says "ask him about the job on Alzoc III." The planet in question is a deep cut from the old legends, memorably featuring as the location for the demo of the game Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, which featured Kyle Katarn. While Katarn hasn't been re-canonized, welcome back Alzoc III!
Xi'an assures Mayfeld that Mando never takes the helmet off, and she mockingly says, "this is the way." The nerve! Mayfeld says, "I wonder what you look like under there. Maybe he’s a Gungan. Is that why yousa don’t wanna show your face?” Burg tries to get the helmet off, Mando knocks him into the vac tube, and a hatch opens revealing Baby Yoda. Xi'an says, “Didn’t take you for the type. Maybe that code of yours has made you soft.”
Mayfeld picks the child up (putting his filthy mitts on him, not cool), but soon drops him as the ship lurches out of hyperspace, Zero does some fancy flying, and docks with the New Republic prison ship. The team of jerks (and Mando) go aboard. In one of the cells, we see a four-armed Ardennian, the same species as Rio Durant from Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, who was voiced by the creator of this series, Jon Favreau.
They come across a MSE-6 series droid, aka a mouse droid. Burg blasts it after toying with it for a moment. Security droids are on the scene quick, and Mayfeld deploys a third blaster on a little prod that extends from his back. Mando wastes no time in taking all of the droids out, using his pistol, blade, wire shot, and flame thrower. Zero detects an organic signature, and sure enough there is one New Republic Officer onboard — he's named Devan, and played by Matt Lanter.
Lanter voiced Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and here he is in live-action. Devan has a tracker that can call New Republic ships to their location, but after a little standoff Xi'an throws a knife in his throat and Devan's dead. The tracker, however, is now active.
THE NOT SO GREAT ESCAPE
They reach the prisoner — it is Qin (Ismael Cruz Cordova), and he's Xi'an's brother. He also has some history with Mando, and it doesn't sound pleasant. Before we know it, Burg smacks Mando into the cell, and Mayfeld locks him in. He doesn't stay caged for long, though — he uses his wire shot to grapple a security droid, rips its arm off, and uses its plug prod to open the cell. Zero becomes aware of this and alerts the team, but then the comms get jammed. He tells them they are on their own right as Baby Yoda enters the cockpit. Zero takes up an EE-3 carbine rifle (the same model used by Boba Fett) to deal with our little friend, but thankfully Baby Yoda is once again playing "hide and go screw yourself."
Mando makes his way to the control room, and grabs the New Republic tracker. He starts cutting the jerks off from one another with doors, and now Qin just wants off the ship, to hell with his sister. He offers more money to Mayfeld to just get him out. Burg gets to the control room and has a throw-down with Mando — nothing that Mando does affects this guy, including a blast of fire right in his face. Devaronians (at least this one) are flame-resistant? Mando tries slamming a horizontal door on him but that doesn't work, so he tries a vertical door.
Mando encounters Xi'an in the hallway, and she lets loose with a seemingly endless supply of vibroblade knives. Mando gets her in the neck, but we don't see her die. Mayfeld gets spooked by another mouse droid, before Mando comes up behind him. Mando then confronts Qin, the only one left. Qin naturally starts making deals, questioning Mando about his honor. Back on the ship, Zero finds Baby Yoda in his hiding place, and Baby Yoda reaches his adorable little hand up. Zero falls apart, but it wasn't the force — it was Mando, blasting Zero from behind.
BACK TO BETRAYAL STATION, A HAROLD PINTER SEQUEL
Mando lands back at the station, with Qin in custody. Ran asks where the others are, and Mando says, “No questions asked, that is the policy, right?” Ran pays him says it's just like the good old days, and Mando takes off. As soon as he does, Ran opens a huge hatch and a gunship rises into the hangar. Ran says to kill him, but then Qin notices that Mando placed the New Republic tracker on him, and it is still active.
As Mando flies off, three New Republic X-Wings blast in from hyperspace, piloted by none other than series producer/director Dave Filoni (as Trapper Wolf), director of this chapter, Rick Famuyiwa (as Job Dodger), and director of chapters 3 and 7, Deborah Chow (as Sash Ketter). The lock their S-foils into attack position, blast the gunship to bits, and start firing on the station. Mando jumps away, and once more we get those classic white lines.
In the cockpit, Mando unscrews Baby Yoda favorite little toggle-ball and hands it to him. We then cut back to the prison, where we see Mayfeld, Burg, and Xi'an all locked in a cell. Mando didn't kill any of them. They are, however, fairly pissed off.
SO ... WHAT NOW, MANDO?
We think we are now quite aware that everyone and anyone (aside from Cara Dune and his fellow Mandos) are going to betray our hero. Everyone is after him, and now seems like the time for some bigger fish to come around. Might the next episode finally bring in Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon? We hope so. We also hope that we get an answer on who was walking up to the body of Fennec Shand at the end of the previous episode. We're hoping against hope that it was Cad Bane. We can dream.
The Mandalorian will return earlier than usual for Chapter 7, coming on December 18th before all of The Rise of Skywalker madness envelops the galaxy. For more on the Mando, the Skywalkers, Ackmena, and everything else, be sure to listen and subscribe to Jabba the Pod. We have spoken!