Review: Chapter 21 of "The Mandalorian"

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In “The Pirate,” Mandalorians take a new course and realize “the way” may be a wider concept

The episode starts right off in Nevarro, the thriving city under Greef Carga’s leadership. But everything starts to go sideways as Carga is hailed by Gorian Shard. The High Magistrate is still riled up due to the last disruption that occurred in the planet with his pirates, which likely sounds like an excuse just to take over the planet. Carga rules out the option to haggle with the pirates since he very well knows that would work against his reputation, but Gorian shrugs him away and starts pelting the planet unceremoniously. Nevertheless, Greef decides to stay which unavoidably reminded me of Boba’s Daimyo role in Tatooine. Both of them opt for taking care of their people. When I first watched the scene I could already see the parallel that they were recreating: losing your home, as Din did as well as Bo-Katan and Boba Fett. It’s such a deep experience that unites all the characters somehow and, at the same time, unleashes a unique bond between them.

The intro cuts to the chase which is something I appreciate after all the sluggish plot deviations (however good ones) we’ve been getting lately. The visuals are high peak as well. Gorian Shard deserves a special mention too. His character sort of reminds me to Trench from “The Clone Wars” plus his Corsair battleship has a doozy design that brings me back to the pre-Empire era. I guess I’m used to seeing pirates on that part of the timeline.

After the rampage on the far-flung planet, the scene switches and what sparks my attention the most is the music in the background: an Aboriginal-sounding chant accompanied by rhythmical toms plus some synthesizers make a great transition to the next scene where we see Captain Carson Teva who is tipped off Nevarro’s sitrep by Greef Carga who was asking him desperately for help. And here goes one of the huge reveals from the chapter which goes out to all “Rebels” fans: Zeb Orrelios in live action! I still haven’t managed to watch that series yet but it’s definitely on my to-do list, and I was still happy to see him on screen with such great CG result. I can’t imagine the reaction of other people who are actual fans of him! Hopefully he will appear more in the upcoming episodes, although it may be possible that this just remains as a nod to “Rebels” fans. On the contrary, it’s a way to introduce more characters like Sabine Wren, which would fit knowing how the episode wraps. We shall see.

Teva decides to make his way to Coruscant to seek their permission so he could take action on Nevarro’s ambush. I must say, by the way, how amazing Coruscant shines. Unfortunately the response he gets from the New Republic is not as shiny as the planet. Since the Outer Rim planet of Nevarro is not enrolled in the New Republic, they refuse to offer them any support. And just when Elia Kane mentions that this way Nevarro may realize the good choice is to join them, it dawns on Teva how the so-called ideal new system is actually acting as the Empire would. Teva foreshadows how something odd is happening on the down low and how the pirates may have something to do with the Empire. Even though we still have to figure it out, that’s an important clue for us, and we will have to keep that in mind for future episodes. Elia Kane keeps being a shifty character that seems to know what’s actually happening out there. I’m really liking how everything is being connected in the series. When the plot veered off to Dr. Pershing’s point of view I knew it was because of something positive for the series. I understand that they could have summed up that story a bit not to deviate too much from Din and his fellow friends, but I still liked the idea. They are weaving all what is happening and steering it to one common place.

Teva doesn’t sit idle. Thanks to R5, he’s able to locate Din Djarin’s location since he knows the Mandalorian is friends with Carga and would not let him die, unlike the New Republic. Before he leaves, Teva swears he will not unveil their location. I wonder what would have been Mandalorians decision taking into account how important oaths and loyalty are in Mandalorian culture. Din realizes he must help Carga, and they assemble to discuss whether they should or should not give their help. I found it so interesting how The Armorer’s hammer represented a symbol of authority, giving Mandalorians the right to speak when they held it. My fellow friend TheIronWolf (aka @BestOfFett on Twitter) shared with me that Vikings used what they called “Thing,” or assemblies to debate business of any sort. While one of them takes the role of the speaker, the rest of the crew listens. Plus, the hammer depicts the judicial figure in our culture. So we have a possible tie-in here. It’s wholesome how Mandalorian culture flourishes from so many resources and I love how they set that detail up.

After Din elaborates why Greef Carga is a good friend of his and should lend him a helping hand, I love Paz Vizsla’s speech. At first he seems to be backing out, mentioning why they should sacrifice themselves again and Mandalorians’ reaction seemed to be understanding that too. (I must highlight how while some Mandalorians were mumbling, a few rested silently. For some reason, I associate Mandalorians’ identity with Boba Fett’s Expanded Universe persona: loyal warriors of few words.) But Vizsla ends up laying out that they must intervene because “they’re Mandalorians.” Their culture stands out for their allegiance, and I love how they always prepend helping their beloved ones. They know well how it feels to see their home being squelched, and this is a possible lead-in to the connection between all these characters I mentioned earlier.

On their way to Nevarro, Bo-Katan explains their plan to the Mandalorian squad, bringing out how a tactical surprise could defeat the pirates, even if outnumbered. I do think that Mandalorians, after so many years remaining hidden, are aware this was a great opportunity for them to settle down themselves on Nevarro — once living in the sewers, but now having a chance to retrieve the honor they once had, before The Purge.

Nevarro doesn’t look as bright as always, now a beaten-up city dwarfed into dust and occupied by the pirates. But Bo-Katan’s plan was about to start, since we can spot Din’s N1 Starfighter trying to catch Gorian Shard’s attention so the Mandalorians can drop in from the Komr’k and counterattack from below. The N1 doesn’t really have me convinced as being a bounty hunter’s ship, but I have to say that Din makes the most of it with his flying skills, causing it to be difficult for his opponents to hit the target. I still miss a vessel like the Razor Crest since I’m a huge fan of this kind of ships. The secret cabins, storage spaces like with a freezing chamber… it had that worn-out look that made it even look more special. I could imagine all the adventures it went through years just looking at it. But even though the N1 is not made for bounty hunters at all, Din knows how to handle it. At least we still have the Slave I…

While Din starts wiping out the pirate snub-fighters, we get to see Mandalorians facing the pirates on the ground, surprising them by appearing out of the blue from above with their jetpacks. I’m a huge fan of their battle style, combining blasters, grapple lines and melee hits. It’s great to see a sequence like this again with a very well done choreography in my opinion. Despite the Mandalorians’ great experience in combat, they get pinned down by the pirates, but then Paz Vizsla shows up to ease the confrontation, mowing down with most of the pirates. The shot of him appearing was like Boba Fett’s comeback in Season 2. I love the brutality given to this character. His Z-6 blaster machine-gun style reminds me of Hevy from “The Clone Wars.” I have beautiful memories of play as him in “LEGO Star Wars III.”

But it isn’t that easy when heavy artillery gets set up, pushing the Mandalorians back. Even Paz is hit but, fortunately enough, his armor shields him from the powerful shot. The green color of the blaster called my attention, which could mean they are likely cooperating with the Empire.

But, to our surprise, The Armorer appears from behind in the tower and gets rid of the pirates there so the Mandalorians can advance their position. It’s so great to see her in combat, using only a hammer and a clamp as she manages to clear the way out by herself. These weapons were commonly used in medieval times, showing some more backstory in Mandalorian culture.

While Bo-Katan attacks from her ship, Din disposes of every single snub-fighter except Vane’s, who ends up bailing on Gorian Shard to get away himself. My stake is that he will appear sometime in the future. After being defeated both in the air and on land, Gorian makes one last-ditch effort by attempting to shoot the Mandalorians and Nevarro citizens with his ship’s cannons. Din and Bo-Katan shoot the last remaining engine, which makes the ship crash and therefore claim victory.

Nevarro’s remaining civilians are relieved and Greef Carga declares his gratitude to Mandalorians for their deeds, offer them part of the land to make a new home — including name-dropping Bulloch Canyon, a reference to Boba Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch. I love how respect extols here. I want to point out again how both of them have experienced the meaning of losing their homes, and that same feeling united them to work and even to live together now.

Among all the excitement, Paz approaches Bo-Katan to let her know The Armorer wanted to see her. This is one of the deepest scenes in the series. They meet in what used to be their lair and forge, now an abandoned and dusky place. The Armorer catches on what Bo-Katan has been doing — helping and honoring Children of the Watch without even being part of the clan until recently. Here comes an essential part of the chapter, since The Armorer understands that what Mandalorians need is to unify rather than split up. And it’s now when she asks Bo-Katan to remove her helmet. She believes that Bo-Katan walks two different ways simultaneously and that makes her no less Mandalorian. Despite taking the creed earlier in the season, Kryze removes her helmet. After such an impactful moment, The Armorer tells Bo-Katan that when it comes to unite Mandalorians she may be right for it. I assume that means The Armorer thinks Bo-Katan should become Mand’alor, the title of the leader of the Mandalorian people.

I must add that my first impression on this was that The Armorer was going to take her helmet off as well to unite all clans at once but, since she didn’t, I would understand it as a “let’s accept our differences” statement instead.

When the rest of the Mandalorians see her with her face uncovered, they seem puzzled, but The Armorer clarifies that she walks two different paths. And the key point: Bo-Katan will search for other exiled Mandalorians so they can team up and retake Mandalore. Since The Armorer seems to be open to accepting different clans now, I wonder if Boba Fett will join them this way. He has said before he does not identify as a Mandalorian but this wasn’t too elaborated either. Maybe Boba indeed feels a special link to Mandalorian culture since his father was one, confirmed as canon in Season 2. Perhaps it is now when they’re finally drawing on the would-be detail to use it on the plot. They know very well what fans want and it might be time to see Boba involved with Mandalorians again and in live action. And Boba’s Mandalorian bond could awake, now that The Armorer is just looking for Mandalorians of any sort. I can feel this coming, Fett fans.

Will the Empire be interested in assailing Mandalore after we saw Moff Gideon might be using a powerful beskar-made weapon? Is Elia Kane behind this? Either Gideon is taking Beskar from the planet itself exploiting it, or some Mandalorians are helping him out, just as Clan Claxon served the Empire once. This sounds incredibly interesting to me. What will be the final roaster to face the Empire or whatever else is coming to get in Mandalorians’ way? Will Boba be on it? And there’s still the Mythosaur that will surely have an important role in all this… Bo-Katan seems to be the indicated to rule Mandalore but… Will she ride it? Or someone worth their salt will do it for her instead and become Mand’alor?

Due to the epic confrontations, great visuals and the outstanding finale with such potential lead-ins, I’m going to give it a 5 star rating. Hopefully, the series will keep this good level of content. This is the way.


5 / 5
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About the Author, Juan Fuentes

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