The unlikely duo of Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and the Child are back this week on Disney Plus with The Mandalorian Chapter 12. The second season of the super-popular Star Wars show has continued to shock and surprise fans new and old, and as this season reaches its midway point, the surprises keep coming.
We’ve had Tusken Raiders, Krayt dragons, Ice Spiders, and iconic members of the Nite Owls, as they seek to retake Mandalore itself. In short, this season has had a little of everything, and it’s been everything good about the galaxy far, far away. In The Mandalorian Chapter 12, titled “The Siege,” we meet some old friends — old as in from last season, and Mando’s life may never be the same.
The Razor Crest is still limping along, and Mando has to use the small stature of the Child to help him make repairs. When that goes terribly wrong, he decides to set down and Nevarro and ask for help from Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), who is now the governor, with Cara Dune (Gina Carano) as his marshal. Dune has just broken up an Aqualish thieving ring, and is slowly bringing order to the outpost.
Mando is taken aback by the wholesale changes that Karga and Dune have created in such short time — and he’s even more shocked to see Mythrol (Horatio Sanz), the first bounty we watched him nab back in Chapter 1, working in an administrative assistant role.
Since this is The Mandalorian, Karga has a “favor” to ask of his old friend: he wants to shut down an Imperial facility on the far side of the planet to ensure that raiders aren’t attracted to the weapons and tech left behind when Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) was “killed” in Chapter 8. And in what is becoming a pattern, Mando agrees.
Mando, Dune, Karga and Mythrol set out in a speeder after leaving the Child in a classroom full of kids. Their destination is the forward operating base, and Karga plans to shut down the cooling lines and let the lava that they were using as energy take care of the problem for them. Unfortunately, the base is not empty, and the four heroes have to sneak in, sabotage the cooling lines and get out — all under the noses of a battalion of Stormtroopers.
While in the base, Mando discovers two very important things. One, Moff Gideon is still alive, and two, the reason he so badly wants the Child. It seems that the Imperial Remnant has been experimenting with cloning at the facility, led by Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi), last seen in the first season drawing blood from the Child. Not only are they making clones — they are trying to perfect the cloning of persons with high midi-chlorian counts, namely, Jedi!
Mando quickly jetpacks back to the school to collect the Child and Karga, Dune and Mythrol are left to escape the base as its destruction in imminent. Dune steals a “troop transport” and they stave off a small contingent of Scout Troopers on Speeder Bikes and a wing of TIE Fighters as they race back to the settlement.
Mando appears in the nick of time in a fully repaired Razor Crest and takes care the remaining TIEs, allowing the others to get back safely. Once home. Karga invites Mando for a drink, but the Mandalorian refuses, as now with a fully-functioning ship, he is continuing his mission to get the Child to the Jedi.
As the dust settles on Nevarro, a New Republic patrol is taking statements, and Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) asks about the Razor Crest. Greef Karga denies that Mando was there, but Teva is smarter than that. Before he departs, he asks Cara Dune to come back to the Republic, and she declines. We learn she is from Alderaan, and Teva tries to use that sad situation to persuade her. He leaves her a Republic Marshal badge, essentially bringing her back into the fold and then he leaves.
The episode ends with Moff Gideon being informed that the Razor Crest was tagged by one of the repairmen and that Mando still has “the asset.” Bad things are about to happen, folks.
Is This Star Wars?
And how. The Mandalorian Chapter 12 had all the great hallmarks of a Star Wars story, and it was fun to see our “heroes” against the Empire, running and shooting through Imperial corridors reminiscent of the original trilogy. The base even resembled one of the structures in last year’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game.
Also, this is a toy collector’s dream episode. Not only do we see the “Troop Transport” again, there are Speeder Bikes, TIEs, X-Wings, and, of course, the Razor Crest doing what she does best.
Older fans may recognize the Troop Transport as a toy from the original Kenner Star Wars line that was never in any of the movies, but has since been seen twice in The Mandalorian. Now I kinda wish I had kept mine for all these years.
Writing And Directing
The Mandalorian Chapter 12 was once again written by Jon Favreau and it was directed by Carl Weathers. Weathers has had quite a career as a TV director, and he brings that experience to one of the most action-packed episodes of the season.
I particularly liked his intentional call backs to scenes from the original trilogy of films, including lines of dialogue and close-up shots of the Scout Troopers switching gears on the Speeder Bikes, like on the forest moon in Return of the Jedi.
The Mandalorian Chapter 12 was both intense and classic Star Wars. The infiltration of the base, with Horatio Sanz’ comedic performance as Mythrol, pushed the 38 minute episode along as a decent clip, and Weathers juggled the action very well. There were some huge revelations here, secrets with direct ties to even The Rise of Skywalker, which firmly plants The Mandalorian deep into the greater tapestry of all things Star Wars.
The Mandalorian Chapter 12 is available to stream now on Disney Plus. All Images courtesy of Disney and Lucasfilm.