The Mandalorian, “Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore” Review

The Mandalorian, season 3, Bo-Katan poster, Katee SackhoffSERIES: Star Wars: The Mandalorian
S3:E2 – “Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore”
Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Amy Sedaris
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR:  Rachel Morrison
March 8, 2023
The Mandalorian and Grogu journey to Mandalore for the first time.

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By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I haven’t yet seen the majority of Star Wars: Rebels. But my understanding is that during the events of that show, Mandalore is mercilessly bombed by the Empire, to the point that the planet’s desert sands crystalize. Thus, the green crystal we saw Mando with last time. The Mandalorian has explained this to us before. But it bears repeating heading into this episode.

The episode kicks off on Tatooine, as we go back to Peli Motto’s hangar. We learn that it’s Boonta Eve. The only place I can recall hearing this term before is in The Phantom Menace, when Anakin entered the Boonta Eve podrace. It never occurred to me to look into what the holiday was about. Apparently it honors the rise of the hutt Boonta Hestilic Shad’ruu to godhood… Okay, sure.

Peli sells the droid R5-D4 to Mando, so that he can test the air on Mandalore before he breathes it. I was a little unclear on this, but I checked: R5 is in fact the droid from A New Hope that Owen Lars nearly purchases before it breaks down. It’s a small galaxy, after all.

I miss the Razor CrestThe repurposed starfighter is sleek and cool. But it’s also small, and feels kind of cramped. Especially now that they’re traveling with a droid.

I love the look of post-purge Mandalore. Especially the city portion beneath the surface. Very creepy. Very memorable. The bit of action between Mando and the cave aliens was great too. Mando came off legitimately threatened, overwhelmed, and outmatched.

I always thought Mando was controlling Grogu’s little pod thing via magnetization. But as Grogu is able to float away from the big alien robot crab thing, apparently there’s also a mode where he can control it himself. Good to know.

After he’s captured, Mando sends Grogu back to Bo-Katan Kryze on Kalevala. This thought occurred to me last time, and then again this time: What does Bo-Katan do all day in that castle? Is it just her and the droid? It looks like she just sits in that big chair and broods…

Grogu guides Bo back to the caves where Mando is being held. She starts to tell him that she knew Jedi back in the days before the purge. She doesn’t actually drop any names, though. There they go, teasing Clone Wars fans with references.

Incidentally, how old is Bo-Katan supposed to be? Katee Sackhoff is in her early forties. But. I think Bo might be older than that. Late forties? Early fifties, maybe?

As she’s talking to Grogu, Bo refers to Mando as “your dad.” I think that’s the first time we’ve heard Mando formally referred to as Grogu’s father. As he’s not with Luke anymore, I suppose it’s official now, isn’t it?

This episode is also the first time we hear someone refer to Mando simply as “Din.” That might take some getting used to.

And now for another timeline question: How long did Grogu train with Luke Skywalker? It seemed like it was only a short time. But Jon Favreau has indicated they were together for, get this…two years. I don’t know that I buy that, quite frankly. It was two years before Mando tried to visit Grogu? It was two years bef0re Luke brought Yoda up to him? It just doesn’t add up to me.

It would, however, explain how Grogu’s Force abilities are more advanced now, i.e. the big leaping somersault we see him do in this episode.

Am I detecting a hint of something romantic between Mando and Bo-Katan? Not sure how I feel about that…

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