Apologies for missing last week.
Director: Dave Filoni
Writer(s): Dave Filoni
Cast: Pedro Pascal, Rosario Dawson
Synopsis: The Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey through a dangerous galaxy.
Dave Filoni might be one of the biggest Star Wars nerds in the galaxy. The way he cares for these characters, situations, meanings, and frankly just everything that has to deal with a galaxy far away is so adamant in how he creates this episode of The Mandalorian, which I think is the best one to date.
This episode is jam-packed with a ton of references that Star Wars fans will love and introduces Ahsoka Tano to the Mandalorian in an absolutely cool and action-packed way. Tano, a fan favorite from the animated Clone Wars TV show, could have been a huge miss for the series, potentially to the point of derailing what they have set up so far. Of course, bringing over such a beloved character from animation to live-action is a difficult step to take, but letting Dave Filoni be at the helm for this episode was probably the best choice they could have made as she was introduced with as much intimacy and grace as she needed. Rosario Dawson really captured what Ahsoka Tano is meant to be and it worked better than I thought it would have.
This episode was also one of the truest renditions of the original Star Wars trilogy that we have had since. Recent Star Wars media attempts to focus more on the action over the exposition, wherein this episode we were given much more exposition and the perfect amount of incredible action. From an action standpoint, this was some of the best of the entire series, including two impressive duels towards the end of the episode.
However, what we learned in this episode is what struck me more than anything. It is no secret to say that Mando is a sheltered character, not even knowing the full history of his own people, so to find out about the Jedi and the Force, you can see, even under his mask, his knowledge of the world expanding and adapting. So much is opened up in this episode including the real name of The Child. This is one of those episodes that can serve as a stepping stone into a more expansive story and broaden the possibilities that The Mandalorian can take.
For really the first time in the show, we are also shown the real bond that The Child (I will call him that for this review to avoid spoilers) and Mando really have for each other. The Child is far stronger than even we realize, but he confides in Mando like no other. Not only was Mando’s world expanding, I believe this will be a chance to see The Child’s role really expand into something that will be memorable past the “cuteness” factor of it.
Final: This is one of the truest-to-form pieces of Star Wars media that we have seen since the original trilogy. A pure story with some killer action sequences and memorable tie ins. Dave Filoni captures pure Star Wars in the best episode of The Mandalorian to date.
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.