****CAUTION, HEAVY SPOILERS AHEAD****
The Mandalorian is back on Disney+ and it couldn't have come soon enough. After waiting almost a year since the season 1 finale, we got to watch "Chapter 9: The Marshal" on Friday Oct 30th.
I did a review and easter blog when the season 2 trailer was released (you can read that here) and this is going to be similar. I'm going to bring up all the references and easter eggs I found while watching the show and at the end I'm going to talk about some theories for this season. Let's Go!
The episode opens to the Mando walking through empty streets at night with multiple red glowing eyes hiding in the shadows. The streets are covered in graffiti and some of the images look like the are references to other parts of Star Wars lore. There is a tag that looks like C3P0, some either clone trooper helmets or maybe some snow trooper helmets, and lots of layers making it seem like the graffiti has been there for a while. We know the clone wars ended about 25 years ago so if the stormtroopers on the walls are clone troopers, it's been that long.
One of the first major call backs to the original series was a scene we saw in the trailer. The Mando walks into an under ground fight club style venue where two Gamorreans (the pig-faced guards from Jabba the Hutt’s Palace in Return of the Jedi) are fighting.
It turns out Mando is there looking for information about the location of other Mandalorians so he can get their help finding the location of Baby Yoda's people (Jedi). It turns out, the Cyclops character, named Gore Keresh, lured The Mandalorian there so he can steal his new Baskar armor. This is in the trailer, when we see the Mandalorian in a tight situation with guns drawn all around him. Like I mentioned in my trailer review blog, The last thug the Mando takes care of is a Dathomirian species, the same species as Darth Maul.
We get another cameo from Amy Sedaris' character, Peli Motto, and find out that the Mando is actually ok with droids now, after the events of last season and IG-11's sacrifice. As soon as Peli sees Baby Yoda, she acts the same way all of us would which is an awesome touch that makes her character instantly relatable. Another easter egg we get is an old R4 droid. In the Original Series, the Jawas try and sell Luke Skywalker's Uncle Owen the R4 droid, but when it malfunctions, Luke's uncle buys R2-D2 instead. This is the same droid as the one Luke and Owen returned. The director said he imagined R4 never got off Tattooine.
The Mando ask for help finding more Mandalorians and Peli pulls up a map of Tatooine. She mentions Mos Espa (where Anakin Skywalker grew up) before showing Mando where Mos Pelgo was on the projected map from R4. That is where Gore Keresh said another Mandalorian would be. On his way to Mos Pelgo, he takes the same speeder bike we saw him use in the first season and we get an awesome shot of Baby Yoda with his ears flopping in the wind. No easter egg there, its just adorable lol.
As they head on their way to find this mystery Mandalorian, They pass a Banta skeleton. This was an awesome call back to A New Hope when C3P0 is wandering in the desert and passes a Krayt Dragon skeleton. This isn't the only New Hope reference where the Krayt Dragon gets brought up.
As he comes up to the town we get a lot of nostalgic imagery and familiar scenes. He slow-rolls up to the town and it looks like a abandoned at first, just like in an old western ghost town. We get shots of some moisture farming towers too. It look like it could be a scene from the originals. Very well done.
Next we see him ride through the streets and up to the cantina. This looks just like the Mos Eisley cantina from the original series and this is where we meet Timothy Olyphant who plays Cobb Vanth. Cobb Vanth first appeared in the Aftermath Novels. The Mando heads into the bar and asked the bartender if there are any Mandalorians around.
This is when we get the big first reveal. The Bartender says the Marshal wears Mandalorian armor and we turn around to see Marshal Cobb standing in the door way. They shot this scene perfectly. The light pouring in from outside really hides what colors the armor really is right away. I was asking my wife if she thought the armor was green, as Cobb walks into the bar. I realized that it IS, in fact, Boba Fett's armor when he sets the helmet on the table and we see the iconic dent.
How did he get the armor? Where is Boba Fett? There are so many questions all from a simple scene.
When Cobb sits down and removes his helmet, it stops the Mando dead in his tracks. He stops listening and all he will talk about is getting the armor back. When a non-Mandalorian is found wearing Mandalorian armor, it is the responsibility of any Mando who sees it to take back the armor by any means necessary and return it to its ancestral home. Cobb knows the Mando won't stop until he either has the armor or dies trying, and this is where we meet the great Krayt Dragon. Just like in Dune, we are introduced to this sand monster as it moves under the ground instead of flying like you would expect a dragon to do. Side note, the blue drink is made from the krill/shrimp creatures they were mining in those little ponds in season 1.
They give us the classic western stand off between the Marshal and the Mandalorian but they get interrupted. The Dragon rolls straight down main street (under ground) while everyone runs for cover and we see it breach the surface only to grab a Bantha.
After the Dragon leaves, Cobb agrees to give the armor back to the Mando if he helps them kill the Dragon because it has been bothering them for years. Then we get some of Cobb's back story and how he acquired the armor. We get a flash back to the destruction of the Death Star. And a fun lil easter egg: the writing around the bottom of the hologram has been translated to the opening credit crawl of the original series.
In Cobb's flashback, he goes on to say the Mining Consortium just moved in during the vacuum of power and forcefully took over. We see Cobb barely escaping and on his way out of town, he grabs one of the infamous ice cream makers from Empire Strikes Back. We know from season one that these are actually safes and this one contains valuable crystals. Cobb wanders the desert until he is picked up by a Jawa Sandcrawler. He ends up trading all the crystals for Boba Fett's armor so he can go take the town back. They give us zero explanation why the Jawa's had it.
Then he heads back into town and proceeds to take care of the Mining Consortium and become the Marshal. Another cool easter egg was how he bent over to use his rocket launcher on his jet pack. It looked a lot like that original Rocket Firing Boba Fett toy they advertised back in the 70's. This toy is famous because you had to collect proof of purchases and send them in to get this figure. But, by the time production came, they decided that it was too dangerous and cancelled the whole Rocket Firing detail.
Cobb tells Mando that he knows where the Dragon sleeps so they jump on their hover bikes and take off. You can tell right away that Cobb's hover bike is a reused part of an old pod racer, like Anakin Skywalker uses in The Phantom Menace. I can't 100% tell if it is the same one but they both have red on them. I'm not sure but its a pretty cool throw back reference to the Prequel Series.
In classic western form, the protagonist has to work with the locals (Tuskin Raiders) and the town's people don't want to help until Mando gives the most inspiring, or in this case depressing, speech about what will happen if they don't all work together. My favorite part of this whole scene was when the Mando used his flame thrower to get everyone's attention. I think he has used it in every single episode.
Another cool throwback was when the Mando and Cobb got to the Tuskin Raiders' camp, Mando used a Krayt Dragon calling noise just like Obi Wan Kenobi did to scare the Tuskin Raiders away from Luke in A New Hope.
In the climax fight scene between the town, the Tuskin Raiders, Mando, and Cobb versus the Dragon, they come up with an idea to blow it up from the under side. They start burying charges and setting the trap. This reminded me of the scene in season 1 where the village takes on that AT-ST and how they set all the traps for it.
They get the Dragon out pretty far and set off half of their charges but it only makes it angrier. In a last ditch effort, Mando tells Cobb to take care of the Kid and hits Cobb's (Fett's) jet pack making it malfunction, just like it did in Return of the Jedi, sending Cobb flying out of the scene. The Mando then takes the Bantha with the remaining charges and lets the Dragon eat them both.
There are a few moments of tension, but then the ground starts to shake and you see the Dragon breach up through the surface, as its mouth opens and you see the blue electrical charges from The Mando's rifle. He used a similar charge to get the Krayt Dragon off his ship in Season 1, episode 1. He then rockets out of the Dragon's mouth and sets the charges off, killing it for good.
Cobb sticks to his word and returns Boba Fett's armor to The Mando as the Tuskin Raiders are harvesting the Dragon's remains per their deal. Right before the scene ends, we get a shot of a Raider holding up a Krayt Dragon Pearl. One of the more valuable items in this universe.
At the end of the show we get the first big pay off shot and see an older Boba Fett watching the Mando drive off into the sunset. Again, this is a very western feeling scene with Tatooine two suns setting, with Boba Fett appearing as a silhouette then turning for the reveal of his face and all his scars. It was great, I am so excited for what's going to happen the rest of the season. I think they are going to make Boba Fett a pretty big part of season three so we will probably only see him for a few episodes before we meet some of the other characters we are excited about! Also, I feel like I need a huge print out of this Boba Fett reveal shot on the Tatooine sunset in my office now!
That's most of the easter eggs and references I could think of off the top of my head. This was a great first episode for a new season. We picked up right where we left off, there was a ton of action, we learned more about the world, and got to see Boba Fett for the first time in 30 years.
Here are some of my predictions for this season. These are just some things I think would be cool to see. Let me know what yours are in the comments below!
Boba Fett has been living with the Tuskins this whole time but when he sees the Mando with his armor, he decides he needs to get it back.
We might meet Boba Fett's daughter Ailyn Vel and that is who we saw in the trailer, not Sabine Wren.
Boba Fett and Ahsoka Tano won't over lap in this season but they will in season 3.
This season is shaping up to be just as great as the last and I can't wait to dive into more easter eggs, references, and theories though out the season.
Thanks for reading!
Writer: Nate Johnson
I have been a Star Wars Fanatic for as long as I can remember, and I love deep diving into the lore and finding all the little details the creators leave for us. I can't wait to share what I find with you guys in the next installment of The Blog of Force!