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 12: The Siege.
Din Djarin and The Child are trying to make their way to Corvus, but despite the repairs before leaving the estuary moon of Trask, the damage caused to the Razor Crest on the journey there was to severe, leading to Din deciding to return to Nevarro for repairs.
On Nevarro, the old Mandalorian covert in the sewers has been taken over by a group of Aqualish criminals, but they are dealt with by Cara Dune, who is now marshal of the town, which is prospering under Greef Karga. Cara and Greef meet Din and The Child just outside the town and arrange for repairs. After showing Din how well the town is doing, the group leave The Child at the new school while they go to talk business. Greef and Cara ask Din to help them take out an Imperial forward operating base – where Moff Gideon and his forces had previously come from, but now only containing skeleton crew – in order to finish ridding the system of the Imperial presence. Din agrees to help them while the Razor Crest is repaired.
“Magistrate Karga was generous enough to let me work off my debt. Thank you, by the way.”
“Three hundred and fifty years, but who’s counting?”
“Well, if he runs off on you again, let me know.”
The trio are transported to the base by the Mythrol that Din had previously captured – who is working off his sentence in service to Karga – and all 4 infiltrate the base. During their infiltration, it starts to become clear that there is more than just a skeleton crew at the base, but the group continue with their initial plan to use the natural lava flow beneath the base to destroy it. The group make it to the heat shaft and the Mythrol deactivates the lava cooling system. As the group make their way out of the base, they find a room with bodies in vats, with 2 scientists attempting to purge records of the work. The scientists are killed before the purge is complete and the group watch a recording of a report from Dr Pershing to Moff Gideon. They find that the Imperials had taken blood from The Child (who is said to have had a high M-count) and transfused it into “volunteers”, who died when their bodies rejected the blood. The Mythrol notes that the report was only transmitted a few days earlier and Din realises that Moff Gideon is still alive and The Child at risk.
While Din jetpacks back to the town to get The Child, Cara, Greef and the Mythrol fight their way out of the base, escaping in a Trexler Marauder. They are chased back towards the town by stormtroopers on speeder bikes but take them all out. 4 Outland TIE fighters manage to get away from the base just before it is destroyed and they chase after the trio. Greef manages to shoot down one of the TIEs but the marauder’s gun is destroyed. The remaining TIEs close in on the trio, but Din arrives with The Child in the Razor Crest and takes them out. Knowing that Moff Gideon is still alive and The Child is at risk, Din chooses not to stay on Nevarro any longer and to continue his journey to Corvus.
“Says here you’re from Alderaan. I served during Alderaan. Did you lose anyone?”
“I lost everyone.”
“I’m sorry for your loss.”
Captain Carson Teva arrives on Nevarro to investigate what happened with the base, but Greef refuses to give any information and denies that the Razor Crest had been present. Teva speaks to Cara on his way out and tries convincing her to join the New Republic, but she chooses to stay on Nevarro.
On an Imperial light cruiser, a comms officer receives a transmission from the Mimbanese officer who worked on the Razor Crest repairs. The officer goes to report to Moff Gideon: Din Djarin is still in possession of The Child and the Razor Crest has had a tracking beacon planted on it. Happy with the news, Moff Gideon overlooks the construction of what appears to be mech suits for troopers.
Well this certainly got interesting! What started as a slower episode that appeared to be more of a chance to catch up with our old friends suddenly became a key episode in the run of the show.
“Does he still have the asset?”
“Yes. Our source confirmed it.”
“And we will be ready.”
Coming out of season 1, the biggest questions we had as fans were why “The Way” involved never removing your helmet in the presence of others yet Mandalorians did that all the time in the animated shows – which was answered last week – and what Moff Gideon wanted with The Child. Well we got some answers towards that this week with the revelation that The Child’s blood was being taken and put into other bodies – and the mention of the “M-count” certainly makes it sound as if they are trying to create an army of Force-sensitive beings (or perhaps using them as test subjects to refine before Moff Gideon undergoes the procedure).
As well as answering that big question, it also gave us new questions as to how the story will proceed. Listening back to Dr Pershing’s report, it sounded as if there was a volunteer left when the project was stopped, so will they be appearing later this season/next season? What was Moff Gideon overseeing at the end? Mech suits for the troopers? Droids? Or are we seeing dark troopers make their live action debut, having come into canon as part of the mobile game Star Wars: Commander? And will Cara Dune be sticking around? While I love the character, it would be a bad look for Lucasfilm to allow Gina Carano to continue in the role following her social media antics, and having the character join the New Republic Defence Force and being posted elsewhere in the galaxy would be a great way to remove Carano from the show while allowing the character to continue in other media.
“I will not disappoint you again, Moff Gideon.”
“This must be an old transmission. Moff Gideon is dead.”
“No. This recording’s three days old.”
In terms of the episode itself, I felt that the pacing worked quite well. I was a little worried by the slow first half, but once the reveals began and the pace kicked up in the escape, I felt that it turned into a great episode. I don’t know how necessary the scene between The Child and the kid at school was, but at least it followed in with his side-story this season of always being hungry, while his throwing up at the end may mark the end of this story line. I also felt that Horatio Sanz’s Mythrol was necessary in this episode – or at least not accompanying the trio to the base – but I can understand the decision as he was able to add a bit more of a comedic element to help balance out the tone of what was a pretty serious episode.
Finally I just want to take a moment to mention the score. Ludwig Göransson does a fantastic job in every single episode to the point that it has just become obvious and doesn’t get the recognition that it deserved. However this episode really reminded me of how much I love the score, with Moff Gideon’s theme working so well and a soft version of the main theme as Din arrived on Nevarro and was reunited with his old allies – it really felt like a homecoming. The music as Cara and Captain Teva spoke about Alderaan was beautiful too and so fitting for the moment. It’s always going to be difficult for composers to live up to John Williams, but so far everyone has done a great job when given the chance to score Star Wars and I’d love to see Göransson work on more stories beyond this.
“Your ship’s not looking too good.”
“I had a run-in with the New Republic.”
“They should leave the Outer Rim alone. If the Empire couldn’t settle it, what makes them think they can?”
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- It’s great to see a variety of pre-Disney- and Disney-era species appearing in the show, with a Mimbanese (from Solo: A Star Wars Story) worker in this episode after Quarren and Mon Calamari last week
- With Captain Teva appearing in this episode, it feels like just a matter of time before the New Republic takes a larger role in the story
Moments in Canon
- The bar where Din and company faced off with The Client has ben changed into a school
- The protocol droid at the school can be heard teaching about the Hydian Way, one of the major hyperspace routes, which is mentioned in a variety of stories through the Star Wars media
- Cara confirms that she lost everyone on Alderaan
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. This is the Way….