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The great Baby Yoda caper: The Mandalorian Episode 3 is a heavy metal chase
It's been a week since we last saw our hero fly away from Arvala 7 and into the stars, so you know what that means! The third installment of the new live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, is upon us. Chapter 3 landed on Disney+ this morning.
Written by Jon Favreau and directed by Deborah Chow, the latest episode continued to hit us right in the force feels, and it gave us some surprises and Easter eggs (the egg!) along the way, because of course it did. We're here to break it all down, because breaking things down is a part of our religion. So extra, our hero is!
WARNING: From this point forward, there will be spoilers for Chapter 3 (and Chapters 1 and 2) of The Mandalorian. If you are not caught up, then hop the nearest sandcrawler and get riding on out of here.
If you want to catch up on the big reveals from Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 before blasting off into a whole new chapter, then SYFY WIRE's new Star Wars podcast, Jabba the Pod, will catch you up on all of that and more. It is embedded at the bottom of this post.
BACK TO THE CARL WEATHERS PLANET
The Mando comes out of hyperspace back at the still-unnamed planet that is the base of Greef Carga (Carl Weathers), many other bounty hunters, The Client (Wener Herzog), and a hidden Mando sanctuary. Yoda Baby ("The Child," as Disney is now calling it in merchandising) pokes his head out and is curious.
The Mando gets a holo-call from Carga, who tells him that he's to return his quarry to the Client immediately. "I have no idea if he wants to eat it or hang it on his wall, but he’s very antsy," he says. The Child climbs out of his crib and starts to play with a little control bobble, but the Mando, all business, tells him it's not a toy. He takes it away, and places the little guy back in his crib like he's an animal. The Child... forget that, Yoda Baby... wonders what he did wrong.
Is he really going to give this little guy up? Is the Mando going to be like DJ (Benicio Del Toro) from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and "live free, don't join?" Is he going to be more like Han Solo, and eventually make a selfless call at his own expense? Is he going to be more in the middle, like Jango Fett... just a simple man trying to make his way in the universe? We definitely find out.
The Mando once again strides through the marketplace, where we see a Twi'lek, some astromechs, and a Jawa... which we kind of see in a whole new light now.
RETURN TO THE CLIENT
After the gatekeeper droid and some Stormtroopers let him in, the Mando gives over the quarry to the Client and Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi), and they are both so happy to have it. "Your reputation was not unwarranted," the Client says, and confirms that multiple tracking fobs were given out for this job. Still, to the winner go the spoils... and the Client gives the Mando a lot of Beskar. "Such a large bounty for such a small package," the Client says, way too happy about everything.
Dr. Pershing takes Yoda Baby away, and our hearts die a little. The Mando asks what they're gonna do with the little guy, and the Client is surprised that someone with the Mando's reputation even cares. The job is done, the payment has been received, and "... is it not the count of the guild that these events are now forgotten? That Beskar is enough to make a handsome replacement for your armor. Unfortunately, finding a Mandalorian in these trying times is more difficult than finding the steel."
With that, we cut to the credits, and get our chapter title: "The Sin."
We're back in the Mando sanctuary, and this time we see many other Mandalorians milling around the Armorer's den. The Mando makes his way inside to talk with the Armorer (Emily Swallow) once more. She tells him that with the Beskar he has brought, she can make him a full cuirass, which will "draw many eyes."
A brawny Mando comes in and throws shade, saying that the Beskar was all cast in an Imperial smelter...he adds that it is also spoils from the Great Purge. "There’s a reason we’ve hidden like sand rats," he says, to which the Armorer responds, "Our secrecy is our survival. Our survival is our strength."
Brawny Mando isn't buying it, and says again that their world was "shattered" by the Empire. What exactly happened after we last saw that planet in Star Wars Rebels? Nothing good, we're thinking. Brawny Mando calls our Mando a coward, and after a bit of a knife-fight, the Armorer calms things down.
"The Empire is no longer, and the Beskar has returned. When one chooses to walk the way of the Mandalore, you are both hunter and prey. How can one be a coward if one chooses this way of life?" she says. She also asks the Mando if he's ever removed his helmet or whether it's ever been "removed by others." His answer to both is no, and she says, "This is the way."
Perhaps after the events that we see on Mandalore in Rebels, the Mandos have adopted a "helmets on, all the time" policy... they took them off plenty of times in the past, but not anymore. As with everything, the Mandos are extreme and highly extra.
She asks what did the damage to his current armor, and Mando tells her that it was a Mudhorn. She decides that should be his signet, but the Mando declines because he was "helped by an enemy" in the kill. Instead, the Armorer makes him a special weapon called Whistling Birds... so consider "Chekhow's Whistling Birds" officially hung on the wall. He also makes sure that some is left over for the foundlings (again), and we have another smithing sequence where the Mando flashes back to childhood trauma. We get clearer imagery this time, including Super Battle Droids and other designs that are right out of The Clone Wars. Wherever this trauma took place, it doesn't look like Mandalore.
LET'S GET A STEW GOIN'
Carga is in his usual spot in the cantina, telling off the Kyuzo that we saw in the premiere. We also see a Zabrak present, and many other alien species. The Mando struts in wearing his shiny new armor, and everyone looks pissed except for Carga. As he says, "They all hate you Mando, because you’re a legend!"
Yep, pretty much everyone in that cantina is a bounty hunter, and they all had tracking fobs. The Mando is the only one who got the job done, and the Kyuzo gives him a classic insult in Huttese — "E chu ta!" The Mando wants another job immediately, but Carga says he should relax, and offers to take him to the Twi'lek healing baths. Mando holds firm, so Cargar offers him his choice of pucks — the one Mando takes is a Mon Calamari bail jumper, last seen on the ocean dunes of Carlac, a planet seen in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "A Friend in Need."
Before he leaves, however, Mando asks Carga what they're gonna do with the Yoda Baby. Carga responds, "I didn’t ask. It’s against the guild code." Mando questions further, asking why the Imperials are here at all. Cargar lays it out: "The Empire is gone, Mando. All that is left are mercenaries and warlords. If it bothers you, just go back to the core, and report them to the New Republic."
With that, we have our first mention of the New Republic in this series. The Mando is obviously not going anywhere near them, though.
SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO
The Mando is back on his ship and about to punch it, when he sees the little bobble that the Yoda Baby was playing with at the beginning of the chapter. He's about to leave... but we really, really don't want him to. What is he going to do? Who is he going to be? What is his way? This is his defining moment... what choice does he make?
He shuts his engines off, leaves his ship, and decides to do the right thing. He's our main Mando! He goes back to the Client's location, and sees Yoda Baby's crib in the trash. From a sniper position, he spies on the Client and Pershing using infrared... but then decides to just march in and trash the place.
He wastes the gatekeeper droid, as well as the Stormtrooper who comes out to investigate. He makes his way through the compound like Batman, taking out troopers with his entire array of tricks. His armor serves him well. Eventually he gets to Dr. Pershing, who pleads with him not to hurt the child...who thankfully, is alright.
There's also an IT-O Interrogator droid in the room (the floating ball with the syringe model), and Mando blows it away. Pershing says that he himself is the only reason the child is still alive. Mando grabs the child, and spares Pershing. He's off for more trooper-killing (this time with a baby on board), and goes so far as to roast one right in the face with his fire blaster. He gets surrounded by around six of seven of them eventually... but worry not. The Whistling Birds (little homing darts of some kind) prove highly effective.
THIS IS THE WAY
Every bounty hunter's tracking fob starts going off again in the cantina, including Carga's. The Mando is making he way back to his ship, but now he's being followed by every hunter in the guild, all of them bearing fobs. Carga and co. soon have him surrounded. Carga really wants the Mando to trust him, but nope! Mando goes spinning and shooting instead, holding a gun to a speeder driven by an astromech and ordering it to get going.
Everyone's shooting now, but Carga takes time with his shot — he aims for the astromech, and the speeder is down. Out of the crash, the now very familiar front end of the Mando's rifle comes poking out, and then everyone starts getting disintegrated left and right. Even Carga is impressed, saying, "That’s one impressive weapon!"
The mob is still closing in, just as Yoda Baby wakes up. Turns out the little guy doesn't have to save the day again...because a whole contingent of Mandalorians on jetpacks come blazing out of the sky.
They lay waste, and the brawny Mando from earlier is in their ranks, wielding a huge repeating blaster that does some serious damage. The Mando tells him that they're gonna have to relocate after this, but the brawny Mando only says, "This is the way."
Mando is back on his ship, but Carga has followed: "I didn’t want it to come to this… but then you broke the code." Doesn't matter — Mando gets the best of him, shoots him in the chest, and dumps his body outside the ship. Mando takes off, but Carga survives thanks to a very conveniently placed piece of Beskar that protected him from the Mando's blast.
As the ship flies away, the brawny Mando sails alongside on a jetpack and salutes. The Mando says, "I gotta get one of those." That may count as Chekhov's jetpack. Back in space, Yoda baby comes an sits in the cockpit with him. He reaches for the same little bobble that he did in the beginning of the episode... and this time, the Mando lets him play with it.
SO ... WHAT NOW?
Trouble with everyone, that's what! Mando (Carga calls him that, so we're gonna keep calling him that too) is in trouble with the Imperial remnant, the Client, every bounty hunter out there, and Carga. He's gonna need some help (his fellow Mandos have problems of their own now), so we're guessing this is where Cara Dune (Gina Carano) will finally enter the tale.
Whatever happens next, we're relieved that the Mando made the choices he did, and proved who he really was. This was his way... a bonkers, action-packed, messy way... but a good one all the same.
The Mandalorian will come flying back with Chapter 4 next week, only on DIsney+. For more on Chapter 3 of The Mandalorian (as well as Chapters 1, 2, and everything else going on in the galaxy far, far away), be sure to listen and subscribe to Jabba the Pod, SYFY WIRE's aural home for everything Star Wars. Until next week, we have spoken.