I'm kind of divided on this episode. It was such a weird and bizarre episode, but I actually enjoyed it, mainly BECAUSE it was so weird and bizarre. But, it seemed so out of place on the Mandalorian. Maybe, that's why I liked it. You have these two serious, hardened warriors in this absurd almost comical situation, that they both obviously feel is beneath their skill set. I did kind of like how we saw many of the same types of aliens around from the previous episode that Bryce Dallas Howard directed (including Bo Katan's Mandalorians).
The beginning started off pretty interesting, with the rest of Mando's working as Mercenaries. Nice to see they still have Moff Gideon's cruiser. Didn't they mention in the previous Coruscant episode about a "Mon Calamari prince" being "kidnapped" in the outer rim? Thought that was a neat tie-in. Arriving at the planet looking for the other Mando's, those two shiny black Imperial droids gave me a very 0-0-0 and BT-1 vibe (from the Vader and Dr. Aphra comics). I was half expecting Doctor Aphra to show up from the comics, as well. The domed city felt very much like a nod to Logan's Run, which was pretty cool, with a mix of the Futurama exhibit from the 1939 Worlds Fair; very "EPCOT-esque." The whole dinner table scene felt very "Alice in Wonderland." Even moreso, towards the end, when they're playing that weird handball type game with the roly-poly bugs. I honestly didn't have an issue with the actors they cast. I know both are big Star Wars fans, and if I were an actor I would definitely love to get a cameo in my favorite show, too. It was a bit over the top, but I believe that was the whole intent. Hence, the whole "what kind of freak show did we walk in to" looks from Bo Katan and Din Djarin.
The majority of the episode was like an episode of "CSI: Mandalore" meets "I, Robot." Very, very weird and odd. Especially having the Battle Droid on a "slab" at what's basically a "Droid Morgue." I guess having Christopher Lloyd in there was perfect casting for an episode like this. Few actors can do "weird and odd" better than him. The underbelly of the city and the interaction with the Ugnauts work area was actually pretty neat. It was interesting to see the roles of "diplomat" switching between Bo Katan and Din Djarin. To each their own strength. Watching Djarin kick the ever loving crap out of those Battle Droids was too funny. It reminded me of those videos with the guys designing those robot dogs (like the ones they used for background props in Book of Boba Fett) showing how resilient they are at maintaining their balance by basically doing the same. That must've been very cathartic for Din Djarin. That had to be the fastest I've ever seen a Super Battle Droid ever move. It was like they were chasing "Sonny" from "I, Robot" down the street. If they'd moved like that in the Clone Wars, they would've been the most menacing thing on the battle field, instead of just "klanker" cannon fodder for Clones. The Droid bar... again, pretty neat and also so bizarre. Like something you'd expect in the Droids cartoon, back in the 80's. It should be weird there are still places that use Separatist Battle Droids for anything, but honestly, would you really waste an easily re-programmable resource like that?
For the end, I was honestly expecting a lot more Mandalorians and ships in their "little fleet." It was good to see some familiar faces again, and I honestly liked how they "upgraded" Axe Woves costume with a more traditional style Mandalorian chest armor, instead of that odd design you see alot of "The Tribe" Mando's using. The token Mandalorian "fight for control" was expected. Still, always fun to watch, though. However, why did Bo Katan not have her helmet with her this entire time? That never made sense to me. My biggest beef, as I've seen a lot of others complaining about online, was how Bo Katan got the Darksaber back. I think the logic they used was flawed and kind of lazy. Yes, he lost the Darksaber to that crab droid thing under Sundari, but the crab droid thing was NOT actively using the Darksaber against her. She just grabbed it from off the ground (in a very Sabine Wren move; nice touch with that), but she didn't take it from the thing in combat. The gist I always got with the Darksaber is you're supposed to take it from the person who is actually using it against you in personal combat. She basically just had it handed to her again. That, in itself, killed the entire importance of her getting it back to me. She still hasn't "earned" it in combat. Having Moff Gideon show back up again, taking it from Djarin, and then having her take it back from him. Now THAT would be THE WAY to give complete validity to her claim over the Darksaber and not have to kill Din Djarin to get it.
Like I said, I'm kind of divided on the episode. I could go 4/5 stars or 3/5 stars. It's one of those, it's so bizarre it's kind of good. It felt like when you were a kid and you had your own adventures with your Star Wars figures, using elements of every other tv show you liked at the time. It was a very kid friendly and imaginative episode. However, what I felt was lazy writing on how Bo Katan gets the Darksaber back just didn't sit well with me. That was just some pretty lame reasoning. So, I'm going to have to go with 3/5 stars.
--Sadriel Fett (BFFC Moderator)
"I'm just a simple Fan, trying to make my way in the universe."