Catching Up With The Mandalorian – “Chapter 7: The Reckoning”

The Mandalorian, season 1 posterSERIES: The Mandalorian
S1:E7 – “Chapter 7: The Reckoning”
Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Nick Nolte (voice)
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Deborah Chow
December 18, 2019
The Mandalorian recruits help to take down his former client.

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By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The objective in this episode is to neutralize Mando’s former client, played by Werner Herzog, thus ensuring the safety of the child. Herzog’s character is only known as “the client.” He gets no name, no backstory details, nothin’. That’s not to say we need a lot in that sense for this character. He shows up, serves his purpose, and exits at the natural time. The fact that (and the way that) Werner Herzog plays him is enough to make him memorable. It would just be nice to have something to call him other than “the client.”

Even years later, I can’t decide if it’s a little too convenient that the people Mando recruits for the mission just happen to be the ones he’s recently met during the events of the show. Obviously I get it in the sense that they’re telling a story, and it might be a little late in the season to be introducing new allies. It just feels a little, well…convenient. You’d think he’d have some other contacts or comrades, not unlike the lot we met in “The Prisoner.”

After picking up Cara Dune, they travel to Arvala-7 to meet with Kuiil. When he sees the child, Kuiil remarks, “It hasn’t grown much.” How much time has passed since the last time these two saw each other? A few months, maybe? How much did Kuiil expect the kid to have grown?

We see Kuiil has repurposed IG-11 as a sort of butler/protector. It definitely makes sense that someone as small as Kuiil would want a guardian of sorts. He’s apparently very resourceful, but doesn’t seem like a fighter.

Mando and Cara pass time aboard the ship by arm-wrestling. Even with a Force-powered little goblin on my side, I don’t think you could pay me to wrestle Gina Carano. I base that purely on the size of her arms compared to mine…

Nice little monologue by Werner Herzog’s character about what life was like under Imperial rule as opposed to what things have been like since “the revolution.” Great insight into his character, his privilege, and his justification for the horrors of the Empire.

We meet Moff Gideon in this episode, played by Giancarlo Esposito. I mention this in a future review, but I’ll say it here too: Moff Gideon really wants to be Darth Vader. He’s got the black armor, the cape, his own personal TIE fighter. I wouldn’t be shocked to see he had a black helmet laying around somewhere.

In our final shot of the episode, we see that the speeder bike troopers have killed Kuiil and taken the child. Kind of a shame to see Kuiil go. But like the client, he arrived and left the story very naturally, and was memorable in his own right. I couldn’t have asked for much more from him.

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Rob Watches The Mandalorian – The Genius of Baby Yoda

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE: S1:E2. “Chapter Two: The Child.”
STARRING: Pedro Pascal, Misty Rosas, Nick Nolte (voice)
WRITER: Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Rick Famuyiwa
PREMIERE DATE: November 15, 2019
SYNOPSIS: After the Razor Crest is stripped for parts by jawas, Mando must retrieve a bargaining chip in the form of a beast’s egg.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The child, a.k.a. Baby Yoda, is a stroke of genius. Walk into a Target, Walmart, or Costco these days and you’ll see why. His diminutive size and not-so-diminutive cuteness appeal make him a marketing gold mine. In the grand tradition of Star Wars merchandising, his visage begs to be put on clothes, posters, and of course toys. Frankly, I’m shocked we didn’t see more Baby Yoda merchandise as the first season was in progress. That’s a giant missed opportunity you’d never associate with a titan like Disney.

But at the same time, Baby Yoda teases at answers to questions Star Wars fans have had for decades: What species is Yoda? Why are there so few of them? Did something happen to them? Did they get wiped out? Are they somehow tied into the Jedi and the Force? When you add it all together, Baby Yoda has that rare combination of geek appeal and corporate appeal.

Indeed, the jawas are back. I remember seeing an “Offworld Jawa” action figure in stores, and wondering what the deal was. The irony is if you came into this episode as a relative newbie, you wouldn’t think they were offworld, i.e. not on Tatooine. Sadly, Arvala-7 is yet another indistinguishable desert planet.

The sequence with Mando chasing the sandcrawler reminded me of a level from Super Star Wars, the old Super Nintendo game. You play as Luke, climbing all over the thing and slashing at jawas with a lightsaber. That’s basically what Mando is doing here, sans lightsaber.

In terms of the Kuiil character, voiced by Nick Nolte, it’s funny to me how once you know what a voice actor in question looks like, you sometimes start to read their face into the character. For instance, Kuiil looks like Nick Nolte to me, even though they objectively don’t share many features.

“I’m a Mandalorian. Weapons are part of my religion.” I love that line. It’s my favorite in the series thus far.

The hero fighting a big monster is a recurring theme in the George Lucas Star Wars movies. You’ve got the snow monster in The Empire Strikes Back, the rancor in Return of the Jedi, the arena monsters in Attack of the Clones. Depending on how liberal you want to be with the concept, you can extend it to various other moments in the Star Wars saga.

Odd as it sounds, I appreciated how muddy Mando got during the fight with the… *checks Wookiepedia*…mudhorn? That’s the name they came up with?

Anyway, the mud added a bit of a grittier texture to the whole thing. I can’t imagine it was fun to film. But it was appreciated.

So Baby Yoda uses the force to lift the mudhorn into the air so Mando can make the kill. Obviously, this only lends credence to the theory that Yoda’s species is somehow linked with the Jedi and the Force.

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