The Mandalorian rejoins old allies for a new mission.
PLOT / STORY
A lot of hype was created during The Mandalorian’s last episode thanks to the live-action debut of Bo-Katan and the name drop of Ahsoka. So, it was hard not to be let down when Season two's fourth episode was another filler. That being said, plenty of action still happened this week, and it was truly great to see Mando reunited with his friends.
Episode 12, titled “The Siege,” sees Mando and Baby Yoda heading back to Nevarro. Badly in need of repairs to the Razer Crest, Din Djarin turns to his allies, Greef Karga and Cara Dune, for a decent maintenance job. In the Mandalorian’s absence, the two have made good on their promise of cleaning up the planet from rogue imperial, but they have one problem – an active imperial outpost.
After dropping Baby Yoda off at school, Mando agrees to help shut down the station. The plan is to disable the cooling lines and vaporize the station completely. Unfortunately, things don’t quite go according to plan.
After rigging the tower to explode, Mando and the group stumble upon a series of strange chambers with twisted bodies in tanks. That’s when they discover that this isn’t just an Imperial outpost, it’s a lab. A message from Dr. Pershing (the imperial lab technician from Season one) reveals that they’ve been attempting to use The Child’s blood to transfer its force powers to these clones, but the tests have failed. He signs off the message to Moff Gideon, and Mando learns his arch-enemy is still alive.
With the outpost edging closer to evisceration, Mando and the crew battle to escape. Thankfully, stormtroopers remain consistently bad shots, and the team is able to take them out easily. Dune, Karga, and Mythrol escape in an imperial vehicle in hot pursuit from stormtroopers and TIE fighters.
After a tense chase where it looks like the Imperials have the edge, Mando sweeps in with miracle timing on the Razer Crest to clean up the rest of the fighters. After saving the day, he and The Child head off into the galaxy, presumably to seek Ahsoka Tano, but not before it's revealed that a tracking device has been planted on the Razer Crest, and Moff Gideon is now aware of his every move. – Lauren Rouse
One plot thread that is flying somewhat under the radar is the storyline revolving around the New Republic and the state of the wider galaxy. “The Siege” touched on how Nevarro is starting to thrive after removing Imperial control, spurred on by the fact that they are also unable to rely on the New Republic to solve their problems. This demonstrates how the galaxy has been impacted by the events of Return of the Jedi , which are, by all accounts, still fresh in everyone’s mind in The Mandalorian .
This seems to be a recurring theme throughout season 2, with “The Marshal” addressing civilian responses to the destruction of the second Death Star and “The Passenger” repurposing X-Wing pilots as space cops enforcing the law. While the Skywalker Saga focused on the big events, The Mandalorian goes out of its way to explore the fallout of the Skywalkers’ meddling. The fight of the Rebellion is over, but the task of reconstruction may prove much more difficult. Thanks to the careful attention to detail that is given to this world building, the Star Wars universe has arguably never felt more alive. – Tom Drew
ACTING / PERFORMANCES
It was undeniably great to see Gina Carano and Carl Weathers back in the show. They settled into their old roles with ease, and it was clear that the actors were just as excited to be returning to the show as their characters were.
Perhaps most surprising was the return of Mythrol, Mando’s very first bounty in Season one, episode one. Played by Horatio Sanz, Mythrol acted mostly as the comic relief of the episode. Yet, despite his cowardly nature, he managed to remain useful to the mission, maybe even inching his way to redemption by the end. – Lauren Rouse
PRDUCTION – CINEMATOGRAPHY, MUSIC, EDITING, ETC.
When it comes to production, it’s hard to fault The Mandalorian . Episode 12 was helmed by none other than Carl Weathers, who pulled double duty directing and acting in the episode. Weathers brought a style that felt reminiscent of the original Star Wars trilogy. It was over the top, action-packed, and fun sci-fi in a retro way.
The VFX has remained consistently excellent throughout this season, and it’s getting harder and harder to remember that this show is filmed on a virtual stage and not on location. Despite these impressive special effects, small visual cues - like the targeting system of the imperial transport - stayed intentionally basic in tribute to the original movies.
But, the sound effects were the real winners of the episode. From the shutdown sound of the cooling engines, reminiscent of the Death Star in Episode IV , to the distinctive wail of TIE fighters – it all felt like classic Star Wars. - Lauren Rouse
A LARGER WORLD
Nevarro is a familiar location in The Mandalorian , but the visit to the Imperial outpost really helped place the story in a post- Return of the Jedi world. The base itself was very reminiscent of imperial outposts seen in the era of the Empire, particularly the research facility on Eadu from Rogue One .
Some huge references to Star Wars lore were dropped in this episode, in particular, the reveal of the cloning facility within the research lab. The preserved clone bodies seem to be a direct link to the failed clones of the Emperor in The Rise of Skywalker , as well as Supreme Leader Snoke. This is one of the first instances of an on-screen Star Wars narrative setting up this plot point.
It seems that Moff Gideon’s intentions may be the cause of Snoke and could potentially lead to the Emperor’s eventual rebirth. Dr. Pershing mentions the words ‘M-count’ in his speech, which any Star Wars fan knows refers to Midichlorians – the potential for the force. It looks like Gideon’s intent for harvesting The Child’s force powers could be in service of the Emperor’s cloning project. The New Republic fighter also revealed at the end of the episode that the lab on the Nevarro isn’t the only incident like this that had been seen. So, it seems that there may be multiple labs across the galaxy working on cloning experiments, and Gideon is after Baby Yoda to supply them with midichlorians.
It will be interesting to see whether The Mandalorian continues to set up the story of the sequel trilogy– considering how fans reacted to Snoke and the Emperor’s return.
Another interesting tidbit of information was Cara Dune's past on Alderaan. Another huge name drop in the Star Wars universe, Alderaan is known for being the home-world of Princess Leia. Cara reveals to a New Rebellion soldier that she lost everyone following the events on Alderaan, which explains her hatred for the Empire. But she still declines his invitation to join the rebel forces. – Lauren Rouse
Episode 12 of The Mandalorian was a cheesy, action-packed adventure – reminiscent of all great Star Wars movies. Unfortunately, coming off the back of such a strong, plot-heavy episode last week, this one failed to maintain the hype.
The pacing sometimes felt uneven, attempting to balance riveting action sequences and comedic banter. And while there were plenty of great Baby Yoda moments – he even makes electrocution look adorable – after the third or fourth, it started to feel like overkill. Still, the episode did everything right to look and feel like Star Wars from the '70s. Plus, it's always great to see the core trio reunited.
Despite it feeling like a filler episode, there were still some major reveals in episode 12. The prospect that Moff Gideon could be attempting to create force-powered clones and resurrect the Emperor is nothing short of huge. But, it also leaves enough mystery for fans to speculate how the story will unfold in the coming weeks.
With The Clone Wars creator Dave Filoni helming next week’s episode , it looks even more likely that Mando and Baby Yoda will finally arrive at their destination and meet the long-awaited Jedi, Ahsoka Tano. – Lauren Rouse
While The Mandalorian has been light on story content for another episode, there is still a lot to like about “The Siege.” The episode brought the original crew back together, which made it feel like a familiar throwback to season 1. While a bit slower than other episodes, “Chapter 12” benefited from some killer action sequences with Gina Carano’s Cara Dune, tense TIE Fighter chase scenes and top notch world building. It may take a bit longer for the series to tell its story this season, but at least it’ll be a fun ride if anything.
Many are wondering what Moff Gideon has planned for the rest of this season. While it is certain that he is desperate to get his hands on The Child for nefarious, force-related cloning purposes, how Gideon will accomplish this goal is a bit unclear. Fans were teased with a line up of figures in black armor, but it was a bit difficult to discern what they were supposed to be. Many have theorized that these are the Disney era’s version of the Dark Trooper, an army of droids created by the Empire.
Din Djarin has already shown to have an aversion to droids throughout the series, so the return of Dark Troopers may conjure up some bad feelings and unpleasant memories for him. That said, the Mandalorian was comfortable, albeit somewhat reluctantly so, with leaving Baby Yoda in the care of a protocol droid, so perhaps his opinion will slowly change. All in all, “The Siege” left The Mandalorian in an exciting position for the upcoming episode with Ahsoka Tano, in addition to sowing a few more seeds for later down the line. – Tom Drew