Mando’s quest continues in this episode as we finally reach Trask. This time around he is once again finding both himself and The Child in jeopardy. However there are plenty of other shenanigans going on in the galaxy and Mando once again ends up bartered into helping out. Spoilers ahead so proceed with caution.
After an extremely rough landing on the moon planet of Trask, Frog Lady is reunited with Frog Man and they direct Mando to a nearby inn to seek out more information about the other Mandalorians. To find these other Mandalorians Mando strikes a deal with a member of the Quarren only to be double-crossed. He and The Child are saved at the last moment by three Mandalorians. The Clan Kryze members are Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado) Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides) and lead by Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff). Bo-Katan offers to give Mando the information he needs to reunite The Child with other Jedi, but only if he agrees to help them with ransacking an Imperial freighter loaded with weapons. The mission, of course, is not as straightforward as it seems.
‘Chapter 11 – The Heiress’ is probably the first episode so far in this series that truly rewards Star Wars fans and particularly those who have watched The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series (both of which are available on Disney+). The depiction of Trask’s inhabitants, particularly the Mon Calamari, the Quarren and also the inclusion of Bo-Katan gives this series the long through-line that fans have been waiting for and speculating since the end of season one. The character also gives some clarifying exposition that reveals that Mando is a Child of The Watch, a group of religious zealots intent on returning Mandalore to its more ancient teachings.
Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard who also directed Season 1 Episode 4 ‘Sanctuary’, ‘The Heiress’ delves into both Mandalorian culture and the lengths the Imperial Remnant will go to ensure they continue their work. Firstly, that Mandalorian culture has several differing clans and sects. In the first season we met a few other Mandalorians who clearly followed the Watch’s ways, refusing to remove their helmets in the presence of other living beings, citing “This is the way”. However it’s quite clear that it’s also not the only way, and that there are other Mandalorians who don’t share the same taboos. All are known as fierce warriors though, many of whom have seen death and destruction.
Gideon’s own Imperial Remnant feels divided from the Empire we know best. They’re extreme enough to purposefully crash a ship rather than allow Mandalorians to steal their weapons, and intense enough to bite down on their own version of a cyanide pill, but with a more electrical end. The similarities in their level of intensity and ruthlessness do not go unnoticed.
With Bo-Katan delivering so much exposition in this episode, it surprisingly feels like it centres more on her than it does on Mando. And it’s revealed that she is more interested in getting a hold of Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) dark saber and re-establishing herself as ruler of Mandalore. A bold decision considering that we are still needing some progress to his own quest. This comes in the form of the location of Ahsoka Tano, a Jedi that Bo-Katan has previously had dealings with (see The Clone Wars) and provides the location to Mando.
Pacing wise the episode does jump through peaks and troughs. There are betrayals and double-crosses both on the sea and in the sky. The highlight of course being the storming of the Imperial Freighter. The stormtroopers are hopelessly overrun by the clan of 4 Mandalorians, even mistaking them for being much larger in number than they are.
Once again The Mandalorian delivers another episode that is fun to watch, but this time it rewards fans that have invested in some of the other spin-off series. At a tight 30ish minutes it also manages to provide some more backstory and context for our characters without having too much unnecessary fat in the episode. It might feel like it’s a bit less about our main protagonist, but it also feels like some juicy stuff is on the way.
THREE AND A HALF STARS
The Mandalorian is now streaming on Disney+