Welcome to my latest episode review for The Mandalorian. I’ve really enjoyed writing my episode reviews of Resistance so there was no way I was going to miss the chance to do the same here. The reviews will take on the same format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole.
I have been looking forward to this show so much, so there was no way that I wasn’t going to watch this as soon as I could. Unfortunately, living in the UK, Disney+ is not going to be available over here for a while, so I’ve had to channel my inner Hondo Ohnaka to see this! Today, we’ll be looking at Chapter 4: Sanctuary.
On the planet Sogan, a group of Klatooinian raiders attack a village of krill farmers, stealing their harvest. While most of the village’s inhabitants flee, a mother and daughter (identified in the credits as Omera and Winta) hide in the waters.
On the Razor Crest, The Mandalorian selects Sogan as a place to lie low with The Child. Arriving just outside a town, the Mandalorian initially tells The Child to stay on the ship while he scouts out the area, but he relents and lets The Child come with him. Arriving in the town, they go to a tavern, where The Mandalorian orders food for The Child while asking about another patron (Cara Dune) he has noticed. Realising that she has slipped away, The Mandalorian goes looking for her, but she ambushes him and the pair fight, ending in a stalemate. The pair get to know each other and Cara explains that she used to be a Rebel shock trooper, who recognised The Mandalorian as a member of the Bounty Hunters Guild and thought he was after her. Cara asks him to leave as she was here first, to which he agrees.
“You stay right here! You stay. Don’t move! You understand? Great.”
As he is prepping the Razor Crest, 2 inhabitants from the village arrive and ask The Mandalorian to help deal with the raiders. They offer him money, which he says is not enough, but he agrees to help when he hears that they are a remote village and would have accommodation for him. He takes their money and gives it to Cara to accompany him on the job. The Mandalorian forms a connection with Omera while The Child forms a connection with Winta and the other children in the village.
Cara and The Mandalorian scout into the forest to find the raiders, but find tracks that reveal the raiders have an AT-ST. Knowing this is too much for the pair to deal with, they try convincing the villagers to leave, but they refuse to go and The Mandalorian decides that the pair will instead train them to help fight back. Cara and The Mandalorian teach the villagers how to fight and supply them with guns (though some are left using sharpened logs), while the villagers also create barricades around the village and a trap for the AT-ST.
“This is the way.”
While the children (including The Child) hide and the adults man the barricades, Cara and the Mandalorian infiltrate the raiders’ camp and blow up a tent – with a few raiders inside – and are chased back to the village by the AT-ST, but it stops just short of the trap. While the AT-ST provides cover fire, the rest of the raiders attack the village. Improvising, the Mandalorian gives Cara his pulse rifle and covers her as she takes up a position closer to the AT-ST, which allows her to shoot through one of the viewports and take out the pilot. This brings down the AT-ST and The Mandalorian finishes it off by throwing a detonator into the cockpit.
A few weeks late, the Mandalorian, Cara and The Child are still at the village, but The Mandalorian tells Cara he is preparing to leave, as so much action in such a quiet area could draw unwanted attention. He tells Cara that he intends to leave the Child, as travelling with him is not the right life for a child. He goes to speak to Omera, who asks him to stay, but when she realises that he won’t change his mind, she agrees to look after The Child.
“You and your boy could have a good life. He could be a child for a while. Wouldn’t that be nice?”
Unbeknown to The Mandalorian, a bounty hunter has tracked The Child to the village. From the edge of the forest, they centre their scope on The Child and prepare to fire their rifle, but Cara kills them first. Finding the tracking fob, The Mandalorian realises that The Child will not be safe at the village and he prepares to leave. He says his farewells to Cara – who is returning to the town where he found her – and Omera, while Winta says an emotional goodbye to The Child before The Mandalorian and The Child begin to make their way back to the Razor Crest.
What an incredible episode. This episode from Bryce Dallas Howard felt very different from the previous 3, but I think that was by design, as they felt like one long act of the larger story, with this being the start of the next act. While I loved the feel of the first 3 episodes, I really liked the change in the feel both visually and also with the score giving variations of some themes we have come to recognise over recent weeks and felt that it did a great job of expanding the galaxy and hinting towards a new phase in The Mandalorian’s life.
I must admit that I don’t have much experience of Gina Carano’s acting going into this series, but I hadn’t heard much positive. However I think a combination of good writing, good directing and good acting made a great combination that got me completely on board with the character straight away. She wasn’t just there as muscle, but she brought attitude and emotion to the role and had a great chemistry with Pedro Pascal. After just 1 episode, I already want so much more Cara Dune content (I would love a novel tracking her through the Galactic Civil War and beyond) and really hope that she was not just here for the one episode.
“That one over there: When did she arrive?”
This episode also begins to give us a new side to The Mandalorian. Having now saved Yoddle and ran away with him, Yoddle is not just a job to him but instead a companion. As such, you could see him talking with Yoddle more throughout the episode and being very protective of him, much like a father with a toddler. I also really loved seeing him develop a connection with Omera through the episode, allowing us to find out more about Mandalorian culture and his personal history. His explanation that the Mandalorians took him in after his parents died makes me confident that we will get another flashback that ends with a Mandalorian saving him from the super battle droid. I also really loved how the show teased us by showing him take his helmet off, but at an angle that stopped us seeing his face. If we don’t see Pedro Pascal’s face by the end of the season, I will be shocked!
As for the story of the episode, it is a very familiar one, but done very well. I’m no expert in cinema, but even I quickly caught how heavily this was influenced by the Akira Kurosawa classic Seven Samurai, which has heavily influenced a number of westerns (eg The Magnificent Seven) and also an episode of The Clone Wars (S2 E17 – “Bounty Hunters”). The idea of a couple of warriors teaching a group of villagers to defend their home from raiders is a common one, but it was done so well in this episode that I still enjoyed it despite having a good idea how the main plot of this episode would play out. I liked The Mandalorian’s initial refusal to help until he heard how remote the village was, though I did feel the line leading up to this was a little too on the nose to feel natural. I also liked how The Mandalorian brought Cara on board to have some support taking down the raiders, coming to trust her through the episode.
“We have money!”
“So you think I’m some kind of mercenary?”
“You are a Mandalorian, right?”
And now onto Yoddle. This kid is giving me emotions I didn’t know were possible and I even found myself saying that “I would die for Baby Yoda” to my friends the other day. The show has done such a great job of getting us invested in him to the point that I was conflicted at The Mandalorian’s decision to leave without him: I didn’t want to lose him but I also agreed with The Mandalorian that he would be safe and happy among the children at the village. The joy of this show’s plot having been kept so secret is that when the bounty hunter had him in his sights, I was genuinely worried as it would have been great motivation for The Mandalorian to go back and fight the Imperial remnant. The relief when it was revealed that the shot we hear was Cara killing the bounty hunter made me realise that they could do a similar fake-out every other episode (between IG-11 and this bounty hunter, we’ve had 2 already) and I would fall for it every time.
As for predictions, I think that we will see Cara again in the near future. With the episode finishing with The Mandalorian still on the planet, I wouldn’t be too shocked if he is attacked on the way to the Razor Crest and she saves him, or alternatively if the people after her (she initially thought he was after her) arrive and he saves her from them, resulting int he pair beginning to travel together. I also think that with The Mandalorian knowing that bounty hunters are still after them, it is only a matter of time before he goes to face off against the Imperial remnant to get rid of the bounty, or takes Yoddle with him to The Tribe in the hope that they will help shelter him.
“Nice bedside manner.”
“You think you can do better?”
“Can’t do much worse.”
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- Omera was a better shot than most troopers, I hope we find out why she is so experienced with a blaster at some point
- Partially due to the point above, I wouldn’t be overly surprised to see Omera and her village return in the future, either as hostages to draw out the Mandalorian or with him returning there once Yoddle is safe so that he can grow up in peace
- I really enjoyed the way that the AT-ST was treated like a beast in this episode, with the red “eyes” and never showing the pilots. I’d love to know how they got hold of an Imperial walker, but I think that more likely we will just see more examples of Imperial tech having fallen into the hands or raiders, pirates and other undesirables
Moments in Canon
“How long has it been since you’ve taken that off?”
“I mean in front of someone else.”
- Cara was fighting Imperial warlords for the New Republic following the Battle of Endor
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. This is the way.