Episode 5 of “The Mandalorian” was a real blast from the past.
Mando and Baby Yo landed on the planet of Tatooine, where so many iconic moments from the “Star Wars” franchise have taken place. But this time around, the desert town of Mos Eisley, known of course for its famous cantina, seemed mostly, well, deserted. From the Stormtrooper heads on spikes, it’s clear the Empire has been ousted from the planet, but so has the bounty hunter’s guild apparently, which is good and bad for Mando. Good because he’s running from the guild, bad because he also happens to be looking for a job to gather enough money to repair his ship after a nasty dogfight left it the worse for wear at the beginning of the episode.
After yet more run-ins with a couple treacherous bounty hunters, some bumbling droids and friendly mechanic (played by Amy Sedaris with a hefty wig), Mando and the Child emerge from the planet unscathed yet again. Surely it’s only a matter of time before some of the more dangerous figures from their past catch up with them.
But enough Jabba-ing, here are some burning questions following this week’s episode.
So that guy on the speeder with his face exposed in the trailer wasn’t the Mandalorian???
Plenty of fans, myself included, caught a glimpse of a man screeching to a halt on a speeder in “The Mandalorian” trailer, his face unmasked, but obscured with goggles and cloth over his mouth. Given his short brown hair, his devilishly handsome looks and the apparent importance of that single shot, many assumed that to be Pedro Pascal sans helmet. But no! Turns out that is the jock-like wannabe bounty hunter played by Jake Cannavale, son of Bobby Cannavale. It would appear that Jake’s appearance in the series was hitherto unknown, but his character becomes a key figure in the episode, begging Mando to help him hunt down a notoriously dangerous target called Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), only to betray him later on in a ploy to kidnap Baby Yoda. Fortunately for Baby Yo fans everywhere and for Disney’s merchandising department, Mando is able to dispatch the sycophant with relative ease and take the little green fella back into his care.
What happened to the Mos Eisley cantina band?
Mando stepping into the iconic Mos Eisley cantina might have been a cue for a certain legendary, jazzy tune to play, you all know the one. But alas it would appear that the bug-eyed, bulbous-headed alien band from the original trilogy has moved on. Shame, would have loved to hear what jaunty tune series composer Ludwig Göransson might have come up with.
Is “The Mandalorian” becoming a little formulaic?
That’s two episodes in a row with a very similar formula. Mando and Baby Yo land on a planet trying to lay low. A kindly lady takes care of the Child while Mando goes off on some intrepid adventure. He shoots up a couple people, is pursued by yet more bounty hunters and manages to best them all by the end of the episode, before leaving said kindly lady behind. Here’s hoping for something a little different next episode!
Who is the mysterious figure at the end of the episode?
He or she clinks like Mando while walking, so could it be a less friendly member of the Mandalorian tribe trying to hunt him down? Perhaps even Boba Fett resurrected from the depths of the Sarlacc Pit? Could it be Werner Herzog’s the Client looking to finally recapture his Baby Yoda prize and deliver a line like, “I told you Mando, bounty hunting is a dangerous, even deadly profession?” Perhaps it’s Greef Carga also on his tail? After all, Carl Weathers cryptically told Variety that his character has “something planned” for Mando following his daring escape in episode 3.
Did anyone else think characters would stick around a little longer in this show?
So far, other than Mando and the Child, the arc of every other character in “The Mandalorian” has risen and set as fast as the two suns of Tatooine. I must confess I was expecting the likes of Taika Waititi’s IG-11, Ming-Na Wen’s Fennec Shand and Julia Jones’ Omera to stick around a little longer. But I guess the show’s style so far has been in keeping with the Samurai and Western works that inspired it. Mando moves from planet to planet, town to town as an outlaw, never welcome anywhere, leaving both his enemies and the people he loves in his wake.