The Mandalorian, or shall we say “The Misadventures of Mando,” returned with the bounty hunter making yet another pitstop on his quest to return The Child to its homeworld. Fortunately, in Episode 4, “The Siege,” that meant the clan of two were reunited with old pals Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) on the planet Nevarro, where they’ve been rebuilding the community since that fateful fight with Imperial forces in the climactic season 1 finale. This installment is brimming with action, intrigue, and more answers as to why nefarious forces would dare harm a gray hair on the head of our precious green cargo!
The episode begins with Mando (Pedro Pascal) trying to make Baby Yoda earn his keep by getting him to fix some wiring in an unreachable space in the Razor Crest. Of course, the little one fails the task—he is, after all, still a child—so Mando decides to visit Nevarro to see if his buddies can get the ship fixed on the cheap. After a very warm welcome from Cara and Greef (can Carl Weathers hug and coo at me like Baby Yoda, please??), Mando discovers the planet is not the lawless outpost it used to be.
In fact, Cara is the Marshal now, and has cleaned up the place to function as a proper community without fear; the bustling marketing place is proof of that. And Greef seems to have ditched his role at the Bounty Hunters Guild to become a magistrate once more. Together, he and Cara want to turn Nevarro into a trade anchor for the Outer Rim, and it’s a rather pleasant coincidence that Mando turned up the moment they need help with something.
Nothing big: Just the abandoned Imperial base where the stormtroopers, led by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), laid siege to the town at the end of season 1. Greef wants to destroy the entire structure to “free the planet” from the shadow of the Empire. He reckons, as Mando has some free time while the Razor Crest is in the shop, that the bounty hunter can take out the remaining Imperial soldiers and blow it up. Who is Mando to say no to such a request? The poor bastard.
Having already dropped Baby Yoda off at the bar-turned-school, where he’s using his Jedi powers to steal blue macarons like a lil’ legend, Mando sets off with Cara, Greef, and Mythrol (Horatio Sanz), the blue amphibious alien captured and frozen on the Razor Crest in the pilot. He’s now paying off his debts as Greef’s indentured servant for the next 350 years. It’s better than carbonite, right?
Maybe not, as he’s forced to take on more responsibility than expected when the group arrives at the base to discover it’s built on a molten lava river—and there’s more than a skeleton crew of stormtroopers manning it. In fact, it’s not even a base. It’s a lab where Moff Gideon ordered Dr. Pershing (Omid Abthai), the scientist working with The Client in season 1, to conduct experiments on living beings using… BABY YODA’S BLOOD!
GHOULS! The lot of ‘em!
According to a message delivered to Gideon three days earlier, Pershing’s test subject (seen lifeless in a watery jail) had “rejected the blood,” “exhausted” the lab’s reserves of it, and if they were to repeat the experiment, they may well need “a donor with a higher M count.” The M stands for Midi-Chlorians, which, to use the Star Wars fandom definition, “are intelligent microscopic life-forms that live symbiotically inside the cells of all living things.” Where there are significantly high numbers in a host, the person can access the “pervasive energy field known as the Force.” Now we know exactly why Gideon is bent on kidnapping The Child: He wants to create Force-sensitive hybrid warriors to help the Empire, well, strike back against the New Republic and the Jedi powers who defend it.
Realizing now that reports of Gideon’s death had been greatly exaggerated, Mando rockets back to town to protect The Child, leaving Cara, Greef and Mothryl to find their way back before the base blow ups. They have less than ten minutes before the reactor Mothryl fiddled with explodes—and a lot of stormtroopers to get past to escape. Luckily, ultimate fighting champion Cara Dune commandeers an Imperial vehicle.
But they aren’t in the clear yet, as the stormtroopers make chase on speeders and in Tie Fighters. This requires some evasive maneuvers from Cara behind the wheel, with Greef taking aim with a gun in the back. Star Wars loves a canyon chase sequence and this episode delivers a particularly entertaining one: At the last minute, Mando swoops down in the fixed-up Razor Crest to take out the enemy ships and blast his and The Child’s way back on course to the forest planet Corvus. (They’re still looking for a Jedi by the name of Ahsoka Tano in the city of Caladon.)
Cara and Greef are left to deal with Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee), of the New Republic Starfighter Corps, from episode 2. He’s investigating the explosion and is worried about increasing Imperial activity in the Outer Rim. Greef keeps Mando out of the drama and Mythrol reminds him that “this isn’t Coruscant,” which was the capital planet of the Galactic Empire. Teva tries to enlist Cara to join the Corps as they need “local support” to help protect the Outer Rim—he’s finding it hard to convince the Core Worlds that a threat is building. He mentions Alderaan, her home planet located in the Core Worlds, which was destroyed by the Death Star in A New Hope. She says she lost “everyone” there. Unable to convince Cara, Teva leaves her with her new meerkat-looking pet and a New Republic badge in case she changes her mind.
Meanwhile, on Moff Gideon’s ship, an officer reports to him that their asset on Nevarro, an alien mechanic who gave Mando a funny look at the beginning of the episode, had placed a tracking device on the Razor Crest. Not good for our clan of two, as now they have an Imperial tail, one whose cargo includes an army of Dark Trooper suits.
This Carl Weathers-directed installment really upped the ante for Baby Yoda cuteness, but also managed to sneak in some geographical exposition. While The Child is eating blue macarons, the teacher-droid explains what regions their galaxy is made up of, including the Outer Rim, the Core Worlds, the Mid Rim, Expansion Region, Inner Rim, the Colonies, Core, Deep Core, as well as the planet Chandrila, which is the capital of the New Republic. There’s also a nod to Han Solo with a mention of Akkadese Maelstrom in the Kessel sector (which he famously navigated in less than 12 parsecs). It never hurts to know a bit more about the backdrop of these adventures, and more often than not, these info drops serve as clues for future plot lines, so they’re worth paying attention to.
“The Seige” certainly provides an essential side-quest for Mando and friends to learn more about the significance of The Child, and understand that their biggest adversary is not dead yet. But at this halfway point, it would be exciting to see a bit more narrative progression for the quest that laid the path for season 2’s journey. And isn’t about time we met a Jedi already? Dank Farrik!
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