The latest episode of The Mandalorian delivered one of the most shocking cameos to-date, and in addition to that, it also laser focused Season 3’s plot lines towards a now more clear goal.
Below you will find our full review and Top 5 moments deep dive, as well as our Easter Egg, References and Cameos breakdown for The Mandalorian Chapter 21.
Hey now, fans of favorite animated Star Wars characters becoming live-action characters in the Mando-verse, it’s time to process the latest episode of The Mandalorian, so Spoiler warnings you dirty space pirates, it’s time for some thoughts.
Even though we once again damn near fully predicted this episode’s broad plot points on the SWTS livestream last night, it’s still awesome to be surprised by the little twists and turns The Pirate through at us, because like most Mando episodes do, it reminded us of how interconnected this universe is, and why we love to follow it across any medium that features Star Wars stories to tell.
This episode is further proof that Jon and Dave have interesting things planned for this era, as well as plenty of fan favorite characters to fold into their stories, which makes the fact that this season’s expected Din redemption arc wrapped up by episode 2 even sweeter.
Some fans are complaining that Din has been left in the dust and Bo is doing to him what he did to Boba in The Book, but I for one am thoroughly enjoying this season’s pivot to Ms. Kryze and the broader idea of Mandalorian faction reunification.
The reason for this is that each week provides unexpected surprises. Unlike Season 1 and 2 we really don’t know the true endgame, and I dig that. It’s made this season’s serialized delivery an exciting affair as fans must wait with baited breath each week to find out what may happen next.
This episode in particular has helped to funnel various side plots that weren’t feeling very connected into a more discernible vision. The Mandos, Armorer’s possible ulterior motives aside, are getting more and more open to the idea of reclaiming their home world and coming out of the shadows. In fact, Bo has become their chosen advocate, which is huge considering how she thought about them in Season 2.
The pirates have been linked to the remnant empire, and now Gideon’s true fate is known and more intriguing than ever. The fact that he was freed by Mandos will surly pull Din and his faction, if not more, into Captain Teva’s search. This could lead to some major friction with the New Republic, or some sort of a breakthrough between them and the Mandos. It will also possibly accelerate Armorer’s plan of reunification via Bo walking both worlds. There could be a rogue group of Mandos out there leftover from Saxon’s days, or maybe Bo’s old pals Axe and Koska were responsible as they’re mercs now.
Either way, this episode did a great job of beginning to tie this season’s various narrative threads together, and the fact that it’s still not overly clear how the final three episodes will play out, goes to show that good things come to those who wait, and following one Mandalorian isn’t nearly as exciting as following many.
How about some top moments.
I’m starting with Din’s petition to the clan to help Greef. It’s just another great look into how this Mando faction operates, and how keyed in they are to giving everyone an equal voice and the concept of honor. It was interesting to hear Din pitching to them the idea of leaving the shadows and living on Nevarro, something I’m assuming many in hiding have been wanting to do.
Paz surprised a bit by stumping for Din, but again, that goes to show how much honor means to these people. He doesn’t really dig the guy, but he feels the need to help him because Din saved his son. Also, learning that possession of the forge hammer means you get to talk was another nice insight into the way.
Ok, this next one will be on any true fan’s list and that is the arrival of Zeb Orellios to live action Star Wars. We’ve seen live action Sabine from Ahsoka material, live action chopper in Rogue One, and now we get the big furry purple Lasat.
What an awesome surprise and perfect cameo for this fan fave Rebels character. It’s little casual moments like this that remind you why Dave Filoni is so important to Jon’s story, and keeping the througline of Star Wars alive regardless of the medium a character may have came from. To cap it all off, Zeb looked awesome in what appears to be some sort of Hybrid practical and CGI presentation, which when paired with Steve Blum’s voice makes for a solid live-action Zeb debut.
It should be no surprise that the Mandalorian’s counter attack on Navarro is the next top moment. Everything from Bo’s planning to Din’s distraction and on to the destruction of Shard’s corsair was just amazing to behold. This is the closest we’ve ever been to seeing live action Mandos operate in large numbers in a coordinated attack and boy are they masters of war. I could watch these helmet wearing kool-aid drinkers in action all day. No wonder Gideon and the Empire wanted to exterminate them all.
This next moment wasn’t necessarily overly exciting, but it was revelatory, so it’s justified. I’m talking about Armorer’s pitch to Bo to essentially become the Mandalorian to reunite all of the clans to retake Mandalore. It showcased that she actually did believe Bo’s story about the mythosaur, and that Armorer now feels the time is right to return home thanks to the legends relayed to her.
It also shows the trust she now has in Bo to actually convince Mandos who don’t walk the way to walk it and join her as one who walks both worlds. There is a chance that she’s still setting Bo up, but it’s getting harder and harder to think that the Armorer has some sinister plan to screw over Bo katan and Non-Creed Mandos in favor of a darker ally like Gideon.
See The Mandalorian is fun when it’s about many, not just Din.
Finally, the reveal that Mandos were responsible for Moff Gideon’s escape was another cool surprise featured in this episode, and one that will surly ratchet up everyone’s focus on them, making the mission Armorer gave Bo hairy than ever, while also potentially setting up the idea that Gideon has always been in leagues with bad seed kind of mandalorians, think Gar Saxon and the Imperial Commandos aka the mauldalorians, which makes him an even bigger threat to the new republic and the reunification of Mandalorian people.
Or, it could be Mando mercs making a buck at the expense of their own kind like Axe and Koska, who are mercenaries now according to Bo Katan. No matter how you slice it, this reveal will definitely make the final three episodes very intriguing for all parties involved.
Easter Eggs and Cameo
Hey now fans of speculation wins, we are the champs, listen to the show and you’ll know, anyway, let’s breakdown the geeky stuff featured in The Pirate. Spoilers in 3,2,1, GO
Up first we get a spinward sector mention from greef, this is a reference to a section of the Outer Rim and has been featured in Legends content.
You also hear Shard mention Sabaac, a famous game amongst Star Wars scoundrels and how Han won the falcon from lando.
We’ve seen the New Republic X-Wings before, but I believe this is the first glance at the Y-Wings carryovers from the rebellion. Oh, and this island’s theme music rivals the jam heard on Niamos in Andor.
So the Adelphi Rangers bar is loaded with nuggets starting with some of the rangers themselves, which included Dave Filoni’s Trapper Wolf, Rick Famuiwa’s Jib Dodger, and Deborah Chow’s Sash Ketter. These are all returning characters and they’re all played by creatives who’ve worked on the series.
You’ll also see around the bar a probe droid head, and a nice collection of varied trooper buckets.
Ok, Rebels fans, it’s time for the biggest Cameo to grace this series to date, and it is none other than Zeb Orellios from Star Wars Rebels. We’ve just witnessed another major animated character make their way to live action in the mando-verse and it was glorious. He looked great, and Steve Blum returned to voice. What an unexpected, but much appreciated treat.
Zeb didn’t end the cameo train though, because we then met Colonel Tuttle, who is played by Tim Meadows, long time funny man and character actor. I also have to note how similar his uniform is to Lando’s rebel drip from Return of the jedi.
Green mentioned a Bulloch canyon as a boundary for the Mando’s gift of land, and I couldn’t help but think it was a nod to Jeremy Bulloch, the OG Boba Fett actor himself. RIP.
It was nice to see the Mando covert from Season 1
And finally, this little ugnaught pirate is definitely an homage to Smee from Captain Hook’s crew. Look at the red hat and blue striped shirt. Nice touch!
Nick and I will talk more about “The Pirate” on next week’s episode of the SWTS, so don’t forget to tune into the Star Wars Time Show on a weekly basis via our podcast platforms or via YouTube if you prefer the livestream angle.