Welcome to my latest episode review for The Mandalorian. The reviews will follow my usual 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. Today, we’ll be looking at the opening episode of season 2, Chapter 9: The Marshal.
Din Djarin and The Child make their way through a city to an arena where Din intends to meet an a contact named Gore Keresh. While a pair of Gammoreans fight in the ring, Din explains that he is looking for other Mandalorians to help his quest that he was given by The Armorer. Keresh makes a wager: if his Gammorean loses then he will tell Din the location of a Mandalorian; if his Gammorean wins then Din will give him his beskar armour. Din refuses the wager, leading to Keresh and his men threatening to take it by force. Din gives them one last chance – which they refuse – so he kills Keresh’s men and hangs him upside down from a lamp post in the street. Keresh tells Din that there is a Mandalorian on Tatooine in a town called Mos Pelgo. Din leaves Keresh hanging and shoots out the light, leading to a number of creatures attacking Keresh as Din and The Child leave.
“I promise you will not die by my hand.”
Din and The Child return to Peli Motto’s hangar and asks for information on Mos Pelgo, as he has not heard of it before. Peli gives him directions and lends him her speeder bike to travel there while she and the droids work on the Razor Crest.
Din and The Child make their way to Mos Pelgo. Din goes into the cantina and asks where he can find the Mandalorian, who the bartender calls “The Marshal”. The Marshal arrives and sits down with a drink, taking off his helmet to reveal that he is not a Mandalorian, but instead a man by the name of Cobb Vanth. Din wants to take Vanth’s armour as it should not be worn by someone who is not a Mandalorian. The pair end up in a stand-off, but it is interrupted by the arrival of a Krayt Dragon, which eats a Bantha on the edge of the town. Vanth agrees to give up the armour if Din helps to kill the creature.
As Din and Vanth (with The Child in tow) go hunting for the creature, they join up with a tribe of Tusken Raiders, who also want the creature dead. Initial attempts to kill the Krayt Dragon fail, and the group realise that they need greater numbers and firepower. Din and Vanth convince the people of Mos Pelgo – who have an enmity with the Tuskens due to previous raids – to accept a truce with the Sand People and help kill the creature.
“I don’t think it’s dead.”
With the Krayt Dragon’s weak spot being the stomach, the group bury most of the explosives and plan to detonate them once they have drawn out the creature on top of the explosives. They pull off the plan, but it fails to kill the Krayt Dragon. Din and Vanth use their jetpacks to distract the creature and draw it away from the rest of the group, before drawing it towards a Bantha carrying spare explosives. The Krayt Dragon swallows the Bantha and Din, but Din uses his rifle to electrocute it from the inside, leading to it opening its mouth an allowing him to escape and detonate the explosives inside the creature.
While the people of Mos Pelgo celebrate and the Tuskens deal with the creature’s corpse, Vanth hands over the armour and Din rides away with The Child, unknowingly watched over by a Jango Fett clone.
Wow! Season 1 was great, but season 2 already feels like it is going to a completely new level! This was absolutely incredible!
Season 1 was heavy with the Western vibes, but this episode took things to another level, and I think that the extra time (at 55 minutes, this is the longest episode yet) really helped withthe pacing for an episode of this syle. Between Ludwig Göransson’s score – which was fantastic as always – and scenes like the face-off, Din riding into Mos Pelgo and Din riding off into the horizon while the aspect ratio changed to widescreen to highlight the desert and the suns, I wouldn’t have been shocked to see Clint Eastwood suddenly appear as the Man with No Name.
“We didn’t even have time to celebrate.”
While we may not have got Clint Eastwood, there were a couple of appearances who certainly need discussing. Rumours were proved true as Timothy Olyphant turned up in Boba Fett’s armour, but as Cobb Vanth instead of Fett. While the way that his role had been described made it clear in my mind that it should be Vanth, a part of me still didn’t believe that a character whose only appearances to date were in the Interludes of the Aftermath Trilogy would really appear on screen – especially after the canon nightmare that was The Rise of Skywalker. But he’s here and he was great! I noticed a few differences in his story of how he got the armour, but I can put that down to the idea of Vanth telling the story from a certain point of view. Similarly, I was a little surprised by his and Mos Pelgo’s enmity with the Tusken Raiders given that the Tuskens helped them in the books, but I can easily use the headcanon that as that was approximately 4 years before this episode, relations have worsened since then. Vanth was a great character – performed wonderfully by Olyphant – and I could see him growing as a character through the episode, while I also thought Din’s opinion of him grew throughout the episode, to the point that I genuinely thought he may decide that Vanth had earned the armour by the end of the episode. I have a sneaky feeling we’ll be seeing the Marshal again.
And part of the reason I think that is the reveal of another character currently calling Tatooine his home, as the final shot of the episode revealed Temuera Morrison as a Jango Fett clone. The smart guess is that this is Boba Fett, so unless he’s going to catch up with Din in the next episode before he leaves the planet, it seems likely that we will be returning to the planet before the season is over. The one major disappointment for me is that neither of these characters was a massive surprise after the press worked overtime to report that every character from the Star Wars canon would be appearing in the show this season, along with the actors playing them. What made the reveal of The Child so effective in Chapter 1 was that it was so unexpected, yet after all the reports it just seemed a matter of when not if.
“I guess every once in a while, both suns shine on a womp rat’s tail.”
The Krayt Dragon looked amazing in this episode, and just showed how much money is going into this series. I loved how there was never a moment where we saw the entire beast, so we never got the full scale for it, and while it certainly didn’t quite look like the skeleton w see in A New Hope, it is easy to imagine that the skeleton was of a small/young one or that this one is big even by Krayt Dragon standards, and I loved how it’s vocalisations sounded like the original cry by Obi-Wan Kenobi to scare off the Tuskens – which was always meant to be the cry of a Krayt Dragon.
The call of the Krayt Dragon was just one of many great references and easter eggs for fans of the movies, with a cameo from R5-D4, the second Death Star, Vanth’s speeder being made from a podracer engine not dissimilar to Anakin’s, Gammoreans, Tuskens riding in single file as Obi-Wan noted in A New Hope and the use of the rangefinder and rocket on Boba’s armour. Add to that as well was the way that things followed on well from last season, with Peli remembering Din hated droids, only for Din to be more accepting after coming to trust IG-11, as well as Din’s comment that The Child had seen worse than a stand-off between him and Vanth. As for The Child, he wasn’t really vital to the episode, but was used really well for those moments of cute relief amongst the more serious action – never grow up, kid!
“Take it off. Or I will.”
My final thoughts on the episode:
- While I still felt that Amy Sedaris was a little out of place in the episode as Peli, it was much easier to take with only 1 scene
- I love how the series is taking our perception of Tusken Raiders from a bunch of savage beasts to noble tribes – I can imagine that Anakin murdering the tribe in Attack of the Clones will hit a little different moving forwards
- Between the Aftermath Trilogy and this, I definitely want more Cobb Vanth content
Moments in Canon
- The Aftermath Trilogy Interludes show some of Cobb Vanth’s early attempts to protect Mos Pelgo from mining corporations
- Having survived the stormtroopers’ attack on the Jawas that were trying to sell him, R5-D4 is now in the employ of Peli Motto
- We see a holonet recording of the destruction of the second Death Star
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. This is the Way.