(WARNING: Spoilers for this week’s The Mandalorian episode will be found below.)
Earlier this week, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed that a new Star Wars movie is coming in 2022 and that, although Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has lined up a director, she’s not saying who it is until January 2020, at the earliest. The expected jokes followed: “The next Star Wars film(s) needs a true visionary. Not the next upcoming white male director for hire,” “I mean what are the odds that Star Wars film dated for 2022 will end up being directed by another nerdy white guy?” etc. It’s not an unfair criticism: every Star Wars movie has been directed by a white guy: A New Hope, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith by George Lucas; The Empire Strikes Back by Irvin Kershner; Return of the Jedi by Richard Marquand; The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker by J.J. Abrams; The Last Jedi by Rian Johnson; Rogue One by Gareth Edwards; and Solo by Ron Howard, the whitest man alive. That’s not a knock on any of those talented filmmakers — as a nerdy white guy, I would not turn down the opportunity to direct a freaking Star Wars movie, if offered (I have not been offered) — but some diversity would be nice. Enter: The Mandalorian.
The first episode of the series was directed by Dave Filoni, who is, well, white, but episodes two (“The Child”) and three (“The Sin”) were helmed by Rick Famuyiwa, a Nigerian-American, and Deborah Chow, who became the first woman to direct a live-action Star Wars movie or episode. And what an episode it was! (No wonder Chow was already announced as the sole director of the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series.)
1. Flashbacks to a young “Mando,” as Greef calls him (what works for Carl Weathers, works for me), as super battle droids, which were used during the Clone Wars, lay waste to his home and his family. The painful reminiscing ends as one of the droids is about to kill Mando, and I’m sure we’ll find out how he survived in later episodes. No wonder he, like most of the Star Wars universe, hates those overweight globs of grease.
2. More details on the Great Purge, the “reason that we live hidden like sand rats,” as Heavy Infantry so eloquently put it. It’s not clear if the Great Purge is the same event as Order 66, when the clone troopers were ordered by Darth Sidious to kill the Jedis, but it had the same effect, just with Mandalorians. That made the scene where Mando’s brothers-in-jetpack, who were previously disgusted that his reward was Empire-imprinted Beskar metal, rescue him from the other bounty hunters all the more impactful. And now he’s on the run from the Guild after breaking the rules — Mando is basically space John Wick, except instead of a very good dog, he has a very good Baby Yoda. Speaking of:
3. A sense of what the bad guys want to do with Baby Yoda. Before busting into the compound where the “asset” is being held, Mando overhears the Client telling Dr. Pershing, “I order you to extract the necessary material and be done with it.” Could the “necessary material” be Midi-chlorians, as I theorized last week? We never find out, as Mando rescues Baby Yoda, although we do see an IT-O Interrogator, the same droid that scared the crap out of me as a kid when Darth Vader used it on Leia.
4. This is when my heart broke…
5. …and this is when it grew three sizes.
Mando: the only good dad in Star Wars? Discuss.