After seven days of watching, re-watching, and analyzing last week’s amazing episode of The Mandalorian, it’s now time for a new chapter, and the second season of the Disney Plus Star Wars show is very quickly coming to an end. The Mandalorian Chapter 15 sets up what should be an exciting — and possibly heartbreaking — finale next week.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There is still a whole episode to discuss, and while it was short on classic Star Wars easter eggs, it still pulsated with action and intrigue. Mando (Pedro Pascal) begins his hunt for Grogu, now with a merry band of outlaws and a lawwoman bent on getting The Child back at all costs.
The Mandalorian Chapter 15, entitled “The Believer,” opened with Migs Mayfield (Bill Burr), last seen in Season 1’s Chapter 6, “The Prisoner,” doing hard labor in a junkyard, breaking down old Imperial TIE fighters. Mayfeld is collected by a New Republic guard droid for marshal Cara Dune (Gina Carano), who has need of his services, so she organized a prisoner transfer.
Mayfeld is confused until he sees Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), now with a new paint job on his worn armor, and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). At first he’s glad it’s not the other guy wearing Mandalorian armor until Mando himself descends Slave-1‘s ramp. The two men have a brief catch up, and Mando explains what he needs Mayfeld for: Din Djarin and the bounty hunters needs the ex-Imperial agent to steal the coordinates to Moff Gideon’s ship.
At first, Mayfeld is reticent about helping, but when he learns that the “little green guy” has been taken, he agrees to help. On board Slave-1, Mayfeld pinpoints a planet that may have an outpost that they can access. Mando gives Boba the coordinates and the ragtag team sets off.
The Imperial outpost is a rhydonium refinery. It’s a highly volatile and explosive fuel source. There’s a full garrison and anti-aircraft batteries, so the team has to sneak in. The catch is, there are ISB scanners that will recognize faces, so Mayfeld is the only one who can get in, as the others are all wanted or New Republic. Mando won’t let him go in alone, so they highjack a Juggernaut and steal the drivers’ armor. Mando switches out of his Beskar for the Imperial uniform and helmet and the two men resume the trip in the Imperial transport.
On the way, they discover the wreckages of other Juggernauts, and they realize that they must drive smoothly to avoid disturbing the volatile rhydonium. They also pass a local village, and Mando spies a few children, reminding him of the mission at hand. Mayfeld has a speech reminiscent of DJ’s (Benicio del Toro) speech in The Last Jedi, arguing the Empire and the New Republic are both the same.
The other Juggernauts on the mission start blowing up, as they were attacked by Shydopp pirates. Mando begins fighting them off as more and more show up on skiffs. Mayfeld has to maintain speed while Mando engages in hand-to-hand fighting on top the transport.
They finally come a bridge as another group of skiffs show up, but then TIE fighters show up to save the day. The Juggernaut and the two drivers are cheered as heroes by the stormtroopers on base as they bring the shipment in safely.
Now in the base, Mayfeld looks for a terminal and goes to the officer’s mess hall. he recognizes his old Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) commander, Valin Hess (Richard Brake), and decides that he can’t complete the mission. The scanner on the terminal needs to scan a face to complete the transfer, and Mando makes the decision to do it himself.
For the second time in The Mandalorian series, Din Djarin removes his helmet.
Mando gets the data as Hess confronts him. Din tries to fake his way through it, but starts to flail. Mayfeld shows up just in time to speak for both men. He tells Hess that his partner is known as “Brown Eyes” and is hard of hearing after an accident.
Hess recognizes that the men are the drivers who successfully delivered the rhydonium, and wants to have a drink with them in celebration. The tense conversation takes a turn when Mayfeld brings up Operation: Cinder, a devastating Imperial campaign that leveled an entire city on Burnin Konn, among others. Mayfeld was on the ground during that mission and lost his whole platoon as well as all the civilians that were incinerated in the attack.
Hess gloats over the success of the mission, and brags that the Empire is stronger because of the operation. Mayfeld finally can’t take anymore and shoots his former superior, triggering a security lockdown. Mayfeld and Mando go through a window and climb to the roof, while Cara Dune and Fennec Shand play overwatch, picking off troopers and the gunners, clearing the way for Boba to swoop in on Slave-1 to pick them up.
Before they pull away from the base, Mayfeld grabs a cycler rifle and shoots the exposed rhydonium on the Juggernaut and blows up the installation.
As the ship flies away, two TIEs begin pursuit. Boba drops a sonic charge, last seen in Attack of the Clones and clearly Boba’s favorite — then and now, and destroys the pursuers.
Safely away from the base, Slave-1 stops to pick up Cara and Fennec. Cara tells Mayfeld she saw him shoot the fuel tanks. She then tells Mando that it’s a shame that prisoner no. 34667 died in the attack. Mando agrees, and Mayfeld realizes he has been given his freedom. He walks away before turning back one last time to look at the bounty hunters and the New Republic marshal as they fly away in Slave-1.
On his ship, Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) receives a message from Din Djarin. The Mandalorian tells the moff that he is coming for The Child, and that he means everything to him and nothing — nothing — will stop him from getting him back.
Is This Star Wars?
There was some deep cuts here. Operation: Cinder was used in both Star Wars Battlefront II and many recent Star Wars books and comics. It was a plan by the Emperor to eradicate certain planets if he were to fall, and, well, he fell, so the Imperial remnant carried out the attack to devastating results.
Some of the troopers at the base wore the same armor as the Scariff troopers last seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. They are called shoretroopers.
Boba Fett’s refreshed armor looked fantastic, and will certainly sell more toys when the inevitable “dad bod” Boba is released by Hasbro. I know I want one or two. Lastly, viewers got to see portion of Slave-1 we’ve never seen before. The ship is much roomier than you would imagine, and there’s way more room that what’s in my toy.
Writing And Directing
The Mandalorian Chapter 15 was written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope, Brown Sugar). Famuyiwa brings a new voice to the series, and there were subtle differences in how the episode played out. As much as I enjoy Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s work on the show, I’m glad the series is branching out with writers as well as directors.
Bill Burr is great. He brings a sense of humor to the role of Mayfeld, now in two chapters. The Mandalorian Chapter 15 needed that humor, as everything about the episode has a tinge of darkness to it. From the urgency of the mission, to even Ludwig Goransson’s score, there was something primal happening here.
The music was reconstructed in new ways that conveyed the rage that Mando is feeling toward Moff Gideon. The Mandalorian Chapter 15 itself was a fun episode that moved the story forward and with Mayfeld surviving yet again, maybe we’ll see Bill Burr back, as he is a treat.
The Mandalorian Chapter 15 is available to stream now, exclusively on Disney Plus. All images courtesy of Disney and Lucasfilm.