Fans of The Mandalorian will now be settling in for a week to week drop of episodes now that Disney Plus has regained everybody’s attention. In the latest episode of Mando and the Child, the show throws a variety of things into the mix but the most prominent of all is it ramps up the sci-fi creepy scares. Spoilers ahead in this episode review.
Chapter 10 – The Passenger picks up moments after where we left off in Chapter 9, Mando (Pedro Pascal) and the Child are making their way back to Mos Eisley when they’re waylaid by bandits. Initially the bandits almost get the better of Mando and when threatening the life of the Child, Mando offers the kidnapper a barter exchange on his jetpack. Only for a Wile E. Coyote style ending for the bandit. Reuniting with Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) they are tasked with providing safe passage for a female frog-lizard like character to a nearby system called Trask. Unfortunately for Mando they can’t jump through hyperspace and have to travel the slow way putting him at risk of running into pirates or the authorities. However sometimes running into the authorities isn’t the worst thing that can happen, and space is vast and full of creatures.
Thematically this episode moves away from the last episode’s western feel and into a familiar sci-fi territory of running into awful space creatures. Something that also appears to be a trend with these episodes is how “stand-alone” each one is. You could’ve skipped the previous episode and landed on this one and still been able to follow along quite comfortably. Which is nice considering that for so long Star Wars has been a saga and required a certain level of commitment to its film journey. Sure those who are buried deep in the franchise canon will pick up on great easter eggs along the way. But the franchise is due a bit of a refresh and reboot and to welcome in some new fans.
Interestingly this episode prefers to go for the sci-fi scares that remind us of such classic films as Alien or The Thing. The immediate primal fear of being overwhelmed by an adversary that’s too great in both numbers or size and being backed into a literal corner with nowhere left to go. Star Wars is well known for its bountiful and varied aliens. The Sarlacc, the Rankor, the thing in the trash compactor and even last week’s Krayt Dragon. But whatever these guys are, take the cake with their squid-spider like design. It is definitely going to leave arachnophobes with the heebie jeebies afterward. All because the Child couldn’t help itself and had to snack upon one single alien egg sac.
And speaking of the Child, we’re still coming to learn more and understand it’s physiology, biology and behaviours. We know that it quite fancies eating live frogs, so frog spawn eggs were definitely not going to be off the menu. The Child also seems to be fond of krayt dragon meat, drooling at the sight of it cooking on a rotisserie. And had it not been for an eruption of spider-squid spawn, it’s entirely possible the Child could have kept gnawing through more of those egg sacs, which is a bit stomach curdling. We think the Child is cute and adorable but it’s clearly a lean green eating machine.
Another fun moment is getting to see Mando pilot the Razor Crest in a high speed chase trying to escape two New Republic X-Wing pilots (one played by Kim’s Convenience star Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and the other by The Mandalorian exec-producer and collaborator Dave Filoni). The spaceships of the Star Wars universe have always been an exciting component of the stories and can provide just as much atmosphere as a planet, or have just as much charm and character as a droid. The Razor Crest is beginning to resemble the Millennium Falcon in some ways, as this worn out old bucket of bolts that still has it where it counts.
It definitely does feel deliberate that they are pacing this season out a little slower though. Mando is desperately trying to find other Mandalorians to utilise their knowledge to help him fulfil his quest and bring the Child back to other’s of its kind. After his latest run in the ship is badly damaged and will be limping its way to Trask. So he is not having the best of luck as yet, surely something will go in his favour soon. I’m also still trying to decide if the character of Dr Mandible was an extreme on-the-nose joke to the fact that Ant-Man director Peyton Reed directed this episode also.
These small self contained stories have been a refreshing shift away from feeling shackled to a larger overarching all encompassing storyline. Yes, there is the overall goal and Mando’s quest to consider. But a nice high speed ship chase followed by a detour on a frozen planet riddled with squid-spiders is also fun sometimes too.
THREE AND A HALF STARS
The Mandalorian is currently streaming on Disney+, episodes drop at 7:01pm AEDST each Friday night.