The latest episode of The Mandalorian, “Guns for Hire”, has to be one of the most unique entries to date for both the series, and live-action Star Wars TV in general. It was weird in a good way, loaded with surprising cameos, and if we didn’t know the era, one could have mistaken it for a live-action version of The Clone Wars. It even, pushed the overarching plot to a point where an endgame is becoming a bit more clear.
Make sure to check down our deep dive breakdown of the episode below. First you will find a review and top moments video, and then you will find the Easter egg, references, and cameos analysis after.
Review and Top Moments
Hey now fans of a franchise you may love to hate, let’s dive into the latest episode of The Mandalorian to discuss our feelings and things, but first Spoilers and such.
First things first, if you’re a fan that loves to hate watch Star Wars, you’re probably ready to light yourself on fire, but Guns for Hire to me felt very George Lucas-esque, so take a deep breath and calm down. Everything about this episode had George’s influence, which is no surprise considering BDH’s connection to the Maker.
It was full of weird, it looked visually different than most of the live action Star Wars shows we’ve seen, it even featured a story within a story that provided commentary on society. If anything, it felt like one of those oddball clone wars episodes from years past, so while it may not have jived with your head canon, it’s far from being the pile of poodoo some fans are claiming it to be.
Isn’t it a bit fun to be surprised by an episode of Star Wars? Isn’t it ok if the plot doesn’t follow exactly what we’ve all been speculating or wanting to happen? Personally, I appreciate how this season has bucked the Mando formula and has mostly kept us guessing what the ultimate endgame is.
It’s been too easy to see where the story of Din was going in the past, but thanks to him completing his mission early in this season, we’ve been treated to a fresh slate of sorts that has allowed us to experience the Mandlorian people and culture in ways past seasons have avoided.
It is called The Mandalorian after all, so the fact that this season is pushing forward their collective narrative is fresh versus just focusing on the lovable Dad and Son pair in Din and Grogu.
Again, this episode was fun purely for how unique and strange it was, and in the end it most definitely moved this season’s overarching plot forward. It was surprising that nothing was mentioned about Gideon’s escape, or how the New Republic is processing the fact that Mandos helped, but one must trust the creatives.
Christopher Lloyd’s cameo did seem a bit underwhelming, but again, this is more than likely a case of being more disappointed because his character wasn’t in our head canon, and his inclusion in this season has been known for some time. That happens, head canon can get dangerous, but don’t let it sour something new just because your version of suspected events doesn’t play out.
This season, many fans are turning on the same people they once proclaimed as Star Wars gods, which isn’t surprising with this at times awful fandom, but I ask you all to showcase some patience. Let the season play out before you judge it as a waste. Solid storytelling is taking place, you just have to trust in the process, or come to terms with the fact that you really don’t enjoy Star Wars after all. I have spoken.
Alright, how about some top moments!
I’m starting with the introduction of Bombradier and The Duchess. The cameos were definitely surprising and cool, but this scene stood out to me mostly because it embodied the zaniness of this episode and Lucas’ flare. What a visual spectacle to take in for a fan. There were a plethora of aliens, reformed troopers, royalty, wild looking alien drinks and food. It just felt like vintage Star Wars, and is easily the most unique looking and feeling scene from this series.
Up next is the B2 chase, but Din gets an honorable mention for bullying them to see if one would break. The chase itself was pretty rad though. Who knew B2’s could sprint like that? Maybe they should have done that more during the clone wars, but either way it was a cool little chase, and reinforced the detective show feel this episode had.
Finally, let’s honor Bo’s challenge. It’s exciting anytime we get to see Mandalorians interact and deal with their various traditions together, and this duel was no different. It was a cool little action segment that reinforced how damn skilled Bo is at pretty much everything, and why she has always been a leader.
But more importantly, and I know some of you are broke over this, I appreciated how efficiently it put the Darksaber BS to bed. Din has never wanted the thing, nor to be the leader of Mandalore. Even in this episode he still could barely swing the thing, so it was never meant for him. It is meant for Bo, at least to honor tradition, so the fact that she now has it and earned it righteously, even if Din had to litigate that fact, allows for the Mandalorian reunification plot to move forward in earnest. Therefore, the final two episodes can be fully dedicated to the retaking of Mandalore and the inevitable confrontation with Gideon’s forces.
Easter Eggs and Cameos
Hey now fans of George Lucas style Star Wars, it’s time to discuss all of the eggs, references, surprising cameos, and even a Spider Man connection from the latest episode of The Mandalorian, Guns for hire, but first SPOILERS. Ok, here we go.
Up first, our quarren captain gave us a Trask mention, which is the planet Mando took Frog Lady to back in Season 2 and also where he first met Bo Katan and her nite owls.
This next one has some levels, so bear with me. This Mon Cal prince could very well be the same Mon Cal that Din had a bounty puck for back in Season 1 before he left the guild to save Grogu. Even if that doesn’t line up, he is played or at least voices by Spider-Man’s brother, Harry Holland, the not Tom one.
Hey a Death Star RA-7 droid, one of many familiar droids featured in this episode!
Alright, cameo time in the form of Jack Black as Captain Bombradier and Lizzo as The Duchess, two very surprising guest spots, but welcome ones for sure.
This scene also featured a who’s who of Star Wars aliens with sullustans, ithorians, ishi tib, rodians, frog people and more. Hell it even had helmet less Stormtroopers in it.
If those cameos weren’t enough, the fandom finally got to see who Christopher Lloyd was playing, and while he wasn’t a Mando chief, he played a great minor aging bad guy in Commissioner Helgait.
I forget who actually muttered the word Karthon, which is the planet Mayfield was on when Cara got him out of prison, so I’ll just pretend it was when Din was talking with the Ugnaughts, because at least they concretely gave us a callback to Kuil and their use of I have Spoken.
We’ve seen live action Battledroids before, but now we know they at least still use Matt Wood’s iconic droid voice, and Bo also gave us a Clone Wars mention.
You Book of Boba fett vespa fans had to appreciate these white whips. The mod squad would be jealous.
Again, the droid bar was loaded with all sorts of memorable droid models from protocol droids, to RX droids, and even CZ-1 from a new hope. But yeah droids!
Speaking of which, how about that albino interrogation droid?
While investigating the nano-bots, it’s revealed that they came from the Techno Union, one of the major Separatist factions from the clone wars.
Which made sense when we learned that Helgait is a former Separatist zealot who is still a massive Dooku fanboy and fully bought into the narrative that the Jedi and Republic were corrupt.
And finally, Helgait drops a Quanta calling the Stiffling slimy quip, which is an Mando-verse staple these days.
Nick and I will talk more about Chapter 22 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.