After a stellar and exciting return last week, The Mandalorian is back at it this week on Disney Plus with the second episode of Season 2, titled “The Passenger.” This episode lacked some of the Star Wars goodness of Chapter 9, but it makes up for it in a solid theme. Family, and the relationship between parents and children comes to the forefront in The Mandalorian Chapter 10, as three distinct “family units” are soon forced together in a confrontation that was both touching and frightening.
Fresh off the successful Krayt dragon hunt, Mando (Pedro Pascal) and the Child are zooming across the Jundland Wastes when bandits attack. The speeder is destroyed and the Child is once again in danger, but, as always, Mando outsmarts his adversary. He limps back to Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris), who is in the middle of a card game with a giant ant.
“Dr. Mandible,” as she calls her ant friend, might have info on the whereabouts of more Mandalorians, IF Mando will cover their bet. He does, and Peli wins the pot. She also has a line on a contact that might know the location of another conclave of Mandalorians.
This contact, a frog-like mother (Misty Rosas) and her catch of eggs needs transport to the planet of Trask, where her husband is waiting for her. Mando agrees to transport her, but there’s a snag. He has to travel at sub-light speed, as her brood of eggs — the last of her bloodline — will die in lightspeed travel.
Mando takes the gig and they set off at a safe and normal speed to the next system. During the long journey, the Child realizes that the passenger’s eggs make a tasty snack and he begins eating them. And if that wasn’t enough, a New Republic patrol catches up to the ship demanding transponder codes.
The two X-Wing pilots (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Dave Filoni) are about to let the Razor Crest off with a warning when the events of The Mandalorian Chapter 6 finally catch up to Din Djarin. The ship is made for the attack on the New Republic correctional transport from last season and Mando flees with the X-Wings in hot pursuit.
A chase to a nearby snow planet leads to a crash, leaving our hero and his cargo stranded in an ice cave. The Razor Crest is badly damaged and there is no help coming. As Mando tries to get the ship flight-ready, the frog lady explores the cave and finds more than any of them bargained for.
Is This Star Wars?
Very much so. When Mando returns to Peli Motto while on Tatooine, he finds her in a familiar cantina. Also, there’s an interesting dichotomy this season where the first part took place on a desert planet and the second part took place on a Hoth-like planet. If they go to a forest planet in Chapter 11, then we know it is intentional.
Also, it was nice seeing some classic X-Wings, with pilots. I mean there’s nothing more iconic than the X-Wing in the Star Wars universe, will all due respect to TIE fighters, and it was a nice touch to show them — and to allude to some sort of order being restored to the galaxy after the fall of the empire, even in the Outer Rim.
Writing And Directing
The Mandalorian Chapter 10 was written by Jon Favreau and was directed by Peyton Reed (Ant-Man). Reed’s expertise with insect-based action comes into play with the ice spider assault on Mando and his passenger, and their respective children.
As for the story, this episode was a “breather” episode. After the onslaught to our nerd cores last week, a standalone episode heavy on theme was a nice change of pace, even if I spent a good portion wondering where Boba Fett was and what he was doing.
The Mandalorian Chapter 10 did a great job of showing three different familial units trying to exist in this crazy galaxy. Mando and his battle with the mischievous, always hungry Child; the frog lady and her catch of eggs, trying to ensure the survival of her bloodline; and the ice spider queen and her children, who feel threatened by the Child’s seemingly insatiable hunger all came together in comparison and contrast, and parents everywhere saw something here that rings true.
That’s not something that can be always be said for a Star Wars property, seeing as the Skywalker family is one of the most dysfunctional in all of science-fiction, but Favreau and Reed pulled off the family episode — even if the ice spiders gave me the willies.
The Mandalorian Chapter 10 is available to stream now exclusively on Disney Plus. All images courtesy of Disney and Lucasfilm.