Jared Warner or something you find in dirty diaper. We aren't sure.

Jared Warner

15 Crazy Facts You Don’t Know About Star Wars

(20th Century Fox)

Ghostbusters, Die Hard and Back to the Future all have hardcore fanbases. But people don’t just like Star Wars, they like knowing everything there is to know about it. I grew up with all the Essential Guides, Visual Dictionaries, and Incredible Cross-Sections, but every day Twitter informs me that I am like a mid-grade Star Wars nerd, at best. So, depending on your own level of fandom, the mileage you get on this 15 Facts article may vary, but I promise we dug up some cool things your average nerf-herder wouldn’t know:

1. There Is No Light Side Of The Force

Obviously I have started with a bold claim, but the fact remains that nowhere in the Star Wars movies is there a reference to the “Light” side of the force. In the original movie, the Force was presented as an all-encompassing aspect of life. The “Dark Side” was more of a shadowy corner of the Force, rather than a fully developed B-side. As the series progressed over 40+ years, the idea of duality grew from such a massive good vs. evil story. The prequels made it pretty official by focusing on the whole “Chosen One bringing balance” runaround. Still, the closest the movies have gotten to identifying the Light Side is Kylo Ren struggling with “the call to the light” in The Force Awakens. So what is the true nature of the Force? Is the Force a balanced yin and yang, or is it ~everything~ and that just means there’s a dark corner? The answer is: Star Wars is a fairy tale that is fun to talk about.

2. The Ewok Language Is Real

Ben Burtt, the man behind Darth Vader’s breathing and the lightsaber hum, created most of the languages in the galaxy far, far away. Ewokese was based on the Kalmyk Oirat, a language spoken in Russia after Burtt heard it in a documentary. In fact, most alien languages in movies are created by rearranging sounds and words in real languages, because making them up out on your own is really hard. Yub nub!

3. There Are No Bras In Space

When we lost Carrie Fisher in 2016, we lost not only our Princess and General but one of the most honest and hilarious voices in Hollywood. In her memoir-turned-performance piece, Wishful Drinking, Fisher shares the reasoning George Lucas gave for not letting her wear underwear. 

“What happens is you go to space and you become weightless. So far so good, right? But then your body expands??? But your bra doesn’t — so you get strangled by your own bra. Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit — so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”

I guess Gold Bikinis have a little more room to breathe?

4. Yoda Dang Done Gone To The Damn Dark Side

Dark Yoda
(Star Wars Underworld)

In the Clone Wars-era novel Dark Rendevous, there’s a moment where Yoda and Count Dooku have a little lightsaber fight chit-chat about the nature of the Force. During the debate, Dooku does the basic “you don’t know the power of the dark side” spiel, which Yoda throws back in his face, basically saying “yeah-huh.” Of course, the book is not officially canon, as it was released pre-Disney, but A) “canon” is a made-up way to classify different made-up stories. It’s all made up! But if you insist on following the rules when it comes to imagination stories, then may I refer you to the episode “Destiny” from the sixth season of Clone Wars. Yoda meets his own dark shadow in the Wellspring of Life, and while it’s not spelled out, the implication is that he maybe went through, like, a phase.

5. TIE Fighters Sound Like Elephants

Back in the sound booth, Ben Burtt combined the sound of a car skidding on wet pavement with an elephant…neighing? Honking? What do you call the sound elephants make?* Either way, that goofy noise is what’s behind the intimidating screech of the Imperial Navy’s staple fighter.

*I looked it up, it’s called honking. TIE Fighters honk like elephants. That’s cannon.

6. David Prowse is Banned From All Official Events

David Prowse is the body inside Darth Vader’s armor, and as far as he knew he was the voice of the iconic villain as well…right up until he saw the movie at the premiere. While we can all agree that hiring James Earl Jones to dub Vader’s lines was one of Lucas’ better decisions, he probably should have, like, mentioned it? The British bodybuilder spent years being understandably  -but vocally- frustrated about the snubbing, to the point that he was finally banned from all official Star Wars events in 2010. According to Lucas’ representatives, Prowse had “burned too many bridges.”

6. A New Hope Is The Reason You Have To Leave When Movies Are Over

Back in the day, buying a movie ticket would let you hang out in the cinema all day. Rather than a scheduled attraction, you bought admission to the theater and could stick around for whatever you liked. That changed when Star Wars became so popular that people would sit and watch it multiple times in a row. Film distributors quickly changed the rules to capitalize on multiple viewings. This is why you have to awkwardly smile and nod to the teenagers trying to clean while you wait for a three-second joke after the credits of a Marvel movie.

7. The Original Millennium Falcon Was Kinda Meh.

Before Colin Cantwell landed on the flying hamburger design for Han’s bachelor van, his original concept was much closer to a classic rocket tube. This earlier version, known as the “Pirate Ship” was even built by ILM modelmakers before George Lucas saw the similar-looking ship from Space:1999. The creative direction was to ensure Han’s ship was wholly unique and original; so the Pirate Ship was retooled into Leia’s Tantive IV, which is the very first ship we see in the franchise.

8. The Opening Crawl Cost Lucas His Seat In The Director’s Guild

According to movie rules in the 1970s, a movie needs to have opening credits. Of course, Lucas had a different vision for kicking off the biggest adventure ever. Lucas resigned from the Director’s Guild and paid a fine to have his movie start with the iconic crawl, rather than telling us who the third executive producer was.  This did cost the original trilogy another director, though/ Steven Spielberg, who was in good standing with the guild, was later unable to sign on to direct Return of the Jedi as he originally hoped.

9. “Endor” is Elvish for “Middle-Earth”

Endor’s race of Fozzie Bears may be closer to dwarves than elves in stature, but warriors more attuned to nature than technology is something Tolkien’s elves would surely appreciate. Fantasy writers gotta stick together, yo. Speaking of Ewoks…

10. Kenny Baker Was Originally Supposed To Play Wicket

The man behind – or rather, inside – R2D2 was originally supposed to play the young Ewok in Return of the Jedi. Baker fell ill during filming, and the role was passed to an 11-year-old boy who was an extra on set. The kid was a HUGE Star Wars fan, so getting recast as an actual character and hero to the Rebellion was a big role upgrade. That boy, of course, was Warwick Davis, who would grow up to be a successful actor famous for roles in Willow, the BBC Chronicles of Narnia miniseries, the freakin Leprechaun in Leprechaun, and Harry Potter.

11. There Are No Clone Trooper Costumes From The Prequels In Existence

…Because every single one of them was CGI. Every single one. So, my condolences to the 501st Legion, but if y’all really want film-quality replicas of Clone Trooper armor, you’re gonna have to walk around with those little CGI tracking balls stapled to a unitard.

12. Darth Vader’s Chestplate Has A Secret Message

In Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Vader’s control panel displays three lines of text under the buttons on the left side. While it looks close enough to Aurebesh (the Star Wars language you see on control screens and such through the movies), the lettering is actually Hebrew. The translation isn’t exact, but the general gist reads “His deeds will not be forgiven until he merits” which is, you know, freakin’ rad.

13. Luke “Pulls” His Lightsaber By Throwing It

Movie magic at it’s finest: when Mark Hamil would reach out with the Force to bring his lightsaber to hand, they’d film him just chucking the thing across the room, then reversing the footage in the final edit. Legitimately hilarious visual.

14. The Millennium Falcon Can Travel 25,000 Light Years Per Day

The Falcon Makes the Jump To Lightspeed
(Yahoo.com)

While I think applying any sort of real-world science to the Big Laser Movies misses the point, Han and friends do seem to get places awfully fast, even with the fastest ship in the galaxy. Of course, all fictional spaceships travel at the speed of plot, but it turns out there’s some math that says the Falcon blows the Starship Enterprise out of the water in a space race. With only the vague technobabble of  “.5 past lightspeed” as a reference point, Slate put together a pretty cool interactive chart that maps out how fast various classic sci-fi ships can run.

15. The Force Is Yoga.

This one’s for all of us. As George Lucas explained to Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, “If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it. It’s like yoga, anyone can do it.” So. We are all one with the Force, and the Force is with us.

What’s Up With This “Star Wars: Underworld” Footage That Just Surfaced?

Star Wars Underworld Clip?
(YouTube/• holonet •)

Well, it’s a day of the week, which means that some new Star Wars stuff has surfaced online for all of us to pounce on like a bunch of crackheads let loose in Oakland. Surely proving that Disney has “ruined the franchise” and “franchise fatigue” is setting in, people are freaking out over a snippet of unverified footage from a TV show that does not even exist.

The clip is supposedly test-footage for Star Wars: Underworld, George Lucas’ original proposed TV show set in a galaxy far, far away. The clip is roughly five minutes of a Jedi-looking lady securing Star Destroyer blueprints, and then getting into a gunfight that looks like it was choreographed by a high school theater kid. Being a former high school theater kid, I don’t mean this to be insulting. As my mom would say, “it looks like y’all had lots of fun.” The rest of the video is essentially behind-the-scenes footage of the same thing we just watched, like an unproduced DVD extra. Ah, DVDs. Hey, remember the past?

Anyway, check out the clip below, and then let’s break down what we’re looking at.

Okay, so my first guess was that this was actually discarded footage from some unfinished video game in the vein of Dark Forces II. The live-action cut scene genre of action-adventure games was a relatively short-lived staple for many of us, and this scene looks like the kind of adventure Kyle Katarn would be all over in heartbeat.

After a little digging though, it looks like this is actually legit test footage for the unmade Underworld project…but that doesn’t mean it was made by LucasFilm.

About ten years ago, George Lucas wanted to make a show that focused on the seedy underbelly of the Star Wars galaxy. Not the gleaming jewel of the Old Republic seen in the prequel movies, but the gritty, lived-in world that we’ve seen more recently in Rogue One and The Mandalorian. (And, you know, the original Star Wars movies.) Ole’ G.L. said the Underworld project would have a “noir” vibe, and there’s a real cyberpunk Blade Runner energy happening in the footage here. But rather than looking for clues about the story, the clip is better viewed as a trial for the filming technique.

See, the show Lucas had in mind would have spanned 100 hour-long episodes, each one costing an insane amount of money to produce. To bring down costs, LucasFilm needed alternatives to standard TV production, and the footage in this video was a possible solution.

As you can see in the latter half of the video, the set is a combination of practical scenery and CGI effects. Back in 2005, this was common for an epic space movie, but a little unheard of on a TV show scale. This footage was created by Stargate Studios, which didn’t work on any of the Stargate movies or shows, but is a well-regarded FX company that has created special effects for shows like The Orville, Nightflyers and more. This whole shebang has actually been available on their website for ten years, now – it’s not even a new thing. They were testing how financially viable creating full sets in CGI would be, as that would allow production costs south of eleventy bazillion dollars.

While there’s certainly some promise here – this may look a little bit like an Activision joint, but for test-footage, it’s honestly amazing. But it wasn’t good enough for George Lucas at the time, and the show was scrapped when he began working on treatments for a sequel trilogy of movies before selling the franchise to Disney. Still, this is Star Wars, and so no one -or in this case, nothing- is ever really gone. The first live-action Star Wars show to actually make it to air fulfills the promise of Underworld‘s premise. And, not only that, the filming technique is a more technologically advanced version of what the Stargate Studios footage was going for.

So Underworld may have been a bust, but the thing about George Lucas is that he’s always ahead of his time. We all gave the dude a lot of flack for the prequels at the time, and I still say the scripts were…rough, but the man is truly a DaVinci of movies. He may be remembered as the guy who created Star Wars, but make no mistake, George Lucas is a pioneer of modern filmmaking.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Series Reportedly Casting for Young Luke Skywalker

Kenobi and Luke
(Disney+)

With both Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian season finale getting released this past week, the sun is now setting on this generation of Star Wars, so let us take a moment to reflect on the…

Wait, hold on, sorry. It appears as though our galaxy will never be void of Star Wars.

Time itself belongs to Star Wars now.

If you haven’t heard, Ewan McGregor is reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi for an upcoming Disney+ series centering around the Jedi hermit during what we’ve assumed would be his years on Tattooine. That suspicion is now confirmed; not only because it’s the only thing that would make any sense, but also the producers are reportedly on the search for a young actor to play Luke Skywalker.

The scoop comes from known scoop-guy Daniel Richtman, who has a decent track record of sniffing out film intel on his Patreon account. Yes, that’s right: you can pay people to spoil things for you now! Anyway,  /Film has also confirmed the rumor, so it’s a safe bet we’ll see Obi-Wan watching over his young future apprentice in the series. What we don’t know is how large a role the kid will play in the series. While it’s clear in the original film that Luke and Old Ben have met, it’s not like they are super close. It’s doubtful we’ll see a repeat of the Mando/Baby Yoda relationship, although Disney has been known to reuse things that work. (“On your left”/”You’re not alone,” anyone?).

The series’ is going to be helmed by Deborah Chow, who directed two of the best episodes of The Mandalorian‘s first season, but it’s anyone’s guess what the story will actually…be. According to McGregor, the show will see Obi-Wan dealing with the fall of the Jedi Order and his own exile:

“It will be interesting to take a character we know in a way and show him — well, his arc will be quite interesting, I think, dealing with that the fact that all the Jedi were slaughtered with the end of Episode III. It’s quite something to get over.

Of course, actors are rarely allowed to say anything of substance this early on in a project, so that’s all just a bunch of press talk. Still, Chow has proven herself to be an excellent storyteller who can command action-packed shootouts and simmering tension with equal finesse. Will this Kenobi story take place entirely on Tatooine, as the disgraced Master protects young Luke, or will there be a surprise adventure none of us see coming?

While the odds are that Skywalker will only be a periphery character, there’s always the chance other old friends could pop in. If you listen very closely you can hear Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Ginn in The Rise of Skywalker. Could the new series feature a guest appearance from Obi-Wan’s old master? Perhaps training him to become a force ghost? It certainly seemed like we’d get that cameo in Revenge of The Sith when Yoda was all like, “I’ve been talking to Qui-Gon” and Obi-Wan was like “Really?!!” and then the movie just slurped into a different scene without any payoff. Also, one of the Joel Edgerton played Uncle Owen in the prequel trilogy, and what’s he up to these days? Get that Disney money!

The untitled Kenobi show begins filming in 2020, and while the scripts are written, there’s no word yet on a release date.

*an earlier edition of this article reported that Liam Hemsworth played Uncle Owen instead of Joel Edgerton. Apologies for the error, but in our defense, they’re basically the same.

The Mandalorian Episode 8 Recap: What’s Up With That Lightsaber?

Mandos Save Din
(Disney+)

In the recap for last week’s episode, I talked about how the show played into video game lore by introducing the force-heal power into the live-action Star Wars universe, which most of us now know was a setup for what goes down in The Rise of Skywalker. This week’s finale, however, is essentially the greatest hits album of video game tropes, while also managing to be one of the most heartfelt, nuanced and entertaining episodes yet. We’ve got mini-guns, flame-thrower sub-bosses, and setting aside prejudices to form new friendships!! Taika Waititi, man. Taika Waititi.  As always, *SPOILER ALERT* from here on out.

The episode opens with the greatest scene in the history of Star Wars? The two scout troopers who offed Uncle Ugnaught race back to the city with Baby Yoda in tow, stopping to await orders. Played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally, the two chat idly, the subordinate trying to convince his superior to let him see the baby. It’s a funny scene that mocks what terrible shots Stormtroopers are. Ever since Obi-Wan snuck past some troopers talking about “the new VT-16” in A New Hope, the Empire’s faceless soldiers have always had a bit of a working-man vibe when you catch them having a chat. This scene lays into that hard enough to make you almost like these two dickheads, right up until they start punching Baby Yoda.

Enter my boy, IG-Taika Waititi, the reprogramed killer nanny bot. He drops in to murder the Tag and Bink wannabes and get his kid back. I’m sincerely worried dads are going to start asking their neighbor’s 12-year-old to demonstrate that wrist-breaking maneuver before trusting them to babysit for 20 bucks.

IG and Baby Yoda
(TheNerdStash.com)

Anyway, back in town, things aren’t awesome for Mando and his crew. Moff Gus From Breaking Bad still has the space team cornered in the local bar…which, hey, things could be worse, right? The big bad drops some key points of information to intimidate our friends. He knows Cara Dune is from Alderaan, which is why she hates the Empire so much. He knows The Mandalorian’s real name! And he calls out Carl Wethers for…being kinda old, I guess? Dramatic stuff. Mando and Cara Dune explain to Carl Wethers than being a Mandalorian isn’t a race, because yes, race is a social construct, Ok boomer? Yes, even in a galaxy with fish-people.

We get the full flashback of Din Dijin’s family being killed during the Clone Wars, and Mando explains how Moff Gus was the Imperial behind the big Mandalorian purge we keep hearing about. He was supposed to have been executed for war crimes but it looks like the New Republic is already getting sloppy with paperwork.

Anyway, Moff Gus gives them until nightfall to surrender for no real reason other than it’s a television show. We don’t have to wait that long, though because IG-Taika Waiti saves the day, blasting in on his speeder to start a big ole’ gunfight. Before the fight, Moss Gus made a big deal about how cool his big gun was, so of course, Mando goes right for it and turns it on the Imps. The team hit the standard approx 75-to-1 ratio of kills during a fight with the Empire but is forced to retreat back to the bar when Mando gets hit with one of Moff Gus’ frags. I’ve been playing a lot of Fallen Order lately, and you just gotta watch out for those bonus attacks.

In the bar, a flame-trooper goes in to burn everyone alive (I mean…Jesus) while the team argues about how to get out of there. Mando wants everyone to leave him to die covering their escape, but Cara Dune’s not having any of that because Cara Dune is the best of all of us. Baby Yoda proves to be a Baby Yoda Of Action and saves the day by blasting the flame trooper’s fireball back in his face using the Force. Then, like me, after doing anything remotely taxing, he takes a little nap.

IG-Taika Waitit promises to take care of Mando while everyone else jumps into the garbage shoot sewer grate. This, in my opinion, is the strongest moment of the series so far. All of the connections they have built over the season – Mando’s droid racism, IG-Taika Waititi’s obvious Mandalorian stand-in metaphors, the very question of who Din Dejarin is under that helmet – all come to this perfect, understated moment. Only the droid can save the Mandalorian. And since the droid “is not alive,” removing the Beskar helmet isn’t technically breaking with the code. We see Pedro Pascal’s face for the first time, and he’s just a person under all that armor after all. Fragile and vulnerable.

Mando's Face
(WhereverIlook.com)

The team is reunited in the sewers, where they learn that the entire Mandalorian clan from the beginning of the season has been wiped out by the Empire for helping Mando escape in episode three. Only the Armorer survives, cleaning up the devastation Mando has left in his wake. She finally meets Baby Yoda and declares the child to be a foundling, just like Din was. Until ManDADlorian can train the kid in the creed, or return him to his own kind, they are officially father and son in the eyes of Mandalore. Mando finally receives his signet – the mudhorn monster from episode two that the Armorer tried to give him before. Only this time it is given with the understanding that Mando and Baby Yoda are a clan unto themselves. (Cara Dune and the rest of the gang don’t say anything about that, but like…burn.) He also gets a jetpack, which is less meaningful, but what’s a good cut scene without an equipment upgrade?

The gang leaves the Armorer to her cleanup on aisle 11, and soon Stormtroopers descend on her in what looks like a heroic, ceremonial end for the character. But she ends up beating the shit out of a whole squad of stormtroopers instead, which was just great.

Mando and co make their way out of town playing a big game of The Floor Is (Literally) Lava. With stormtroopers at the exit, however, it’s up to IG-Taika Waititi to save everyone by making the ultimate sacrifice. In episode one, Mando had to stop the assassin droid from blowing himself up for selfish reasons. Now, in the finale Din Dejarin again pleads with the same droid, but this time it’s because -even with no other choice- The Mandalorian wants his friend to live. Cyclical storytelling that highlights character growth: George Lucas 101. As the man himself once said, “It rhymes.”

Still, IG-Taika Waititi does what needs to be done and clears the path by blowing up his central processor and taking all the stormtroopers with him. Flights of Angels, buddy.

The finale of the episode sees the Mandalorian finally get to use a jetpack in a fun air fight with Moff Gus’ TIE Fighter. It’s a very Indiana Jones moment: Mando is badass, but he still drops his little bombs at first, you know, because getting yanked around by a starfighter in low atmosphere is probably kinda hard. Anyway, the ship goes down and Mandalorian gets a 7 for the landing, with a little flourish of his theme music that I’ll miss very much. It’s time to say goodbye to the space team and The Mandalorian flys off with Baby Yoda the same way we saw baby Din flown off to safety in the flashback earlier.

(Collider)

The big surprise cliffhanger tag of the episode is not that Boba Fett shows up, but that Moff Gus cuts his way out of his downed TIE Fighter using the Darksaber. Clone Wars and Rebels fans will recognize this particular “not just any lightsaber” as the legendary weapon used by the first (possibly only?) Mandalorian inducted into the Jedi Order centuries ago. (Mini-Spoiler Alert ahead, if you want to go back and watch those shows totally cold).

The sword has played a big part in Mandalorian culture over the years, passing hands among fan-favorite characters Darth Maul and Sabine Wren. There’s a lot to infer here since we know Moff Gus had some part to play in the Great Purge. His having the ceremonial weapon is probably not going to sit well with The Mandalorian in the future. Are we setting up a story where Mando will reclaim the sword and unite all Mandalorians? Will this all align with his growing beyond and expanding the dogmatic creed as he corrects the sins of the past? IS IT MAYBE GONNA BE LIKE A STAR WARS THING, YOU THINK?

Very frustratingly, we’ll have to wait until Fall 2020 to learn more.

Blaster Fire:

  • The Mandalorians who rescued baby Din Dijarin and brought him into the Creed are members of DEATH WATCH (Dun-dun-dunnnnnnnnn). In Clone Wars the Death Watch clan were all about bringing honor back to Mandalore, and generally speaking, they were sorta portrayed as bad guy terrorists who weren’t very chill with the Jedi. Still, the Jedi were stupid pricks about the Clone Wars in general, so it’s cool to see a more heroic side of the controversial clan of Mandos. It’s always about a certain point of view, after all.
  • There’s a fun bit of narrative trickery when Mando has his flashback. We know that Moff Gus was part of the Mandalorian Purge, but we hear that story while also seeing the Mandalorians rescue Din from certain death during the clone wars. These two events are years apart, but the narrative sleight of hand emphasizes Moff Gus as a nemesis to Mando. It’s not that he was there during the raid on the village, but by learning about these two disconnected stories at the same time, we’re conditioned to see the Moff as an overarching villain in Mando’s story.
  • I could go on all day about the unmasking scene. IG-Taika Waititi claims that because he’s “not alive,” it’s not breaking the Mandolorian creed to see Den’s face. But in seeing his droid buddy face-to-face for the first time, Den lets some of his hatred of droids go. That’s the moment Mando sees the droid as a person, even if not a technically living one. It’s bending the rules, to say the least, but in a way that suggests the growth, our main character is experiencing through this story.
  • Absolutely love how the Armorer and Mando talk about the Jedi as this vague, mysterious band of sorcerers, and how they are “the enemy.” Playing into the Jedi/Mandalorian conflict is great fodder for the story as the Mandalorian dad raises his Jedi baby. Also, I know people who love to obsess over details will be like “how do people not remember the Jedi from like 30 years ago,” but the fact is Star Wars is cooler when the mystical stuff is kept in the shadows. The Jedi are just more interesting when they are unknown and mysterious, rather than a weird law enforcement agency.
  • IG-Taika Waiti is the best version of the Spock character in like thirty years. Not to franchise-hop, but Taika nails delivering an inhuman performance who is subtly full of compassion and humanity. Everything the droid does, including explaining his own “jokes,” is cold and calculated, but it’s obvious that despite his saying otherwise, he was very much alive.

 

The Mandalorian Episode 7 Recap: New Force Power Alert

Grand Moff Gus
(Collider)

For weeks people have been wondering if The Mandalorian was actually going anywhere, or merely spinning its wheels rather than progressing a narrative. Personally, I’ve enjoyed the episodic and self-contained nature of the show, which is deliberately setting the same pace as the old serials the entire Star Wars franchise is based on. Essentially Star Wars is to Flash Gordon and Akira Kurosawa as Stranger Things is to Ghostbusters and Steven King. An elegant storytelling genre, from a more civilized age, so to speak.

But folks should be happy that the penultimate episode of the season finally ups the stakes by bringing back the mystery of Baby Yoda and the Imperial Remnant. We begin with a “last time on…” that could have been easily substituted with a fourteen-second loop of the prisoner from last week’s episode asking “aren’t you a man of honor” over and over again with, like, hypno-rays coming out of the screen. The show would very much like to be clear that this question is the whole banana of the story.

So, Mando and Baby Yoda are crusin’ through space when Carl Wethers calls to offer a “no harm no foul” deal. Apparently Werner Herzog is being a real pain in the ass, and if Mando comes and kills him, Carl will let Mando and Baby Yoda be a happy space family. It sounds like a pretty good deal, which means its definitely a trap, so our boys go and GET THE BAND BACK TOGETHER BABY! Okay, they didn’t all work together before, so it’s more of an “Avengers Assemble” sorta deal, but Disney doesn’t need that much of affirmation right now.

First up, the Razor’s Crest touches down on the dumb-dumb planet of shrimp farmers where Cara Dune is showing some big Marion Ravenwood energy, beating the crap out of dudes for money at the treehouse bar. She’s not really interested in taking a job from Mando until he tells her it would mean killing Imperials, and then as Mar would say “Oh they in the ship and they goin!”

Funny how Mando absolutely avoids going to talk to Step Mom in the shrimp village. Look, I also feel weird calling my ex to catch up when I’m in town for the holidays, but that’s still pretty cold Mando. Especially since they need a babysitter for Baby Yoda on the big space mission. But don’t worry, there’s another character perfectly suited to taking care of the little dude while mom and dad go out assasinatin’.

Amy And Baby Yoda
(Elite Daily)

…Oh wait, no, not the character that’s already shown a proclivity for babysitting? Instead, we’re going and grabbing Uncle Ugnaught, the guy who specifically said “I don’t want to do this” the last time we saw him? Cool, makes total sense. I’m kidding, of course, Nick Nolte is always a welcome addition to the show. Even better is getting the satisfaction I have demanded from day one: The Return of my boy IG-Taika Waititi. But the coolest character in the series coming back is more than just fan service.

As Uncle Ugnaught tells the tale of rebuilding the broken killing machine, we’re treated to a mercifully understated mirror of the Mandalorian’s own story. Just as IG-Taika Waititi was rescued and rebuilt by Uncle Ugnaught, so was Mando rescued and remade by the Mandalorians. And now, Baby Yoda will be raised by Mando, but will he become a tool of destruction…or something else?  Almost as a direct challenge to that question, the very next scene has Baby Yoda force choke Cara Dune when she gets the upper hand in an arm-wrestling match against Mando. it’s pretty clear he thought his dad was under some sort of attack, but YIKES.

Seeing our lil’ bub pull a Vader is deeply disturbing, but there’s no time for Walking Dead-style “what is life?” questions in the Ster Wers. Instead, Uncle Ugnaught builds a new floating crib, giving a speech about earning your freedom with work and toil, and like okay, boomer. It’s a little less clean a metaphor here than the droid-training montage.

Once we get to the planet, Carl Weathers and some Bounty Buddies are waiting to lead the team back to Werner Herzog. Even though supposedly everyone is on the same team, Deborah Chow does a killer job layering tension and uncertainty into the scene. Instead of characters saying “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” the show just sorta makes you think it to yourself. True to form, everything goes very poorly when a pack of flying dinosaurs attacks the team’s camp, taking out some of Uncle Ugnaughts frog dragons in easily the saddest part of the series so far. However, this also leads to a monumental moment in Star Wars history – the day the Gamers won Star Wars.

See, in Star Wars video games, you usually have a force healing power, which makes sense in video game logic, but not really in any other kind of logic. Although the power has been featured in some of the books and maybe cartoons already, and frankly, the whole point of the Force is it can do and be anything. Still, it’s pretty shocking when Carl Weathers gets bit by a monster, and in yet another borrowed Western trope, Baby Yoda comes to suck the venom out. Only instead of sucking out venom, he uses Force Heal. Back in episode two, the kid tried this move on Mando but was brushed aside, and I assumed it was just a nod to his latent power. To actually see it happen is game-changer for how the Force can be used in the live-action stories. It’s also the other side of the coin flipped when Baby Yoda choked Cara Dune. Will The ManDADlorian raise the kid to be a killer or a healer? Mando’s got a lot of armor to break through, after all.

Carl is so thankful for the revive, he kills his Bounty Buddies and reveals their plan was to jump Mando and the team all along. New plan: They’ll send Uncle Ugnaught back to the ship with Baby Yoda, and steal a classic move from Luke, Han and Chewie called “Pretend-To-Have-Captured-The-Biggest-Guy-And-Trust-Stormtroopers-Are-Stupid.” Not as eloquent as “Holdo Maneuver” but Leia was always the clever one, and that was before they met her.

The team bluffs their way into town, which has way more stormtroopers than Carl Weathers said and comes face-to-face with Werner Herzog being a creepy old grandpa.

Werner Would Like To See The Baby
(Collider)

As Star Wars fans know, however, there is always a bigger fish. Just when our heroes’ genius plan of hoping Werner Herzog doesn’t want to look at the baby falls apart, the rascally Imperial gets a phone call from his boss, Gus From Breaking Bad. Moff Gus apparently knows Werner is getting fooled, suddenly his sleek Death Troopers go all Al Capone on the bar. Mando calls Uncle Ugnaught to tell him to GTFO, but that only alerts some Scout Troopers to chase after them on speeder bikes. Gus’ troops arrive in much nicer armor than we’ve seen so far, trapping Mando, Cara Dune and Carl Weathers in a Butch and Sundance situation. Meanwhile, Uncle Ugnaught is supposedly killed, and Baby Yoda is in the hands of the Empire once again. After a season of stand-alone adventures, we’re finally left with a real cliffhanger and some heavy anxiety. Happy?

Blaster Fire

  • Calling Imperials “Imps” is fun. Much more believable than “Remnant.”
  • I don’t know why i never realized it before, but Mandalorian is droid-racist because it was the Separatist droids who murdered his original family. We saw the Battle Droid in episode three’s flashback, which was cool at the time, but the show is proving better and better about giving weight and meaning when it parades the nostalgia stuff around.
  • Mando is a good dad but like a terrible father. How many times does Cara Dune have to ask if Baby Yoda is alright before Baby Yoda does something to almost get everyone killed by mistake before the Mandalorian will learn to, like, keep an eye on the kid?
  • We see Moff Gus in person for the first time, and when he takes a few steps, we don’t hear those spur sounds that were featured at the end of episode 5. There’s still a chance Boba Fett could show up for a last-minute surprise here. (Or Cad Bane, c’monnnnn Cad Bane)

RUMORED: New Vader Series Starring Hayden Christensen & James Earl Jones

Rumored Vader Series
(Getty/Handout)

In case you didn’t have quite enough Star Wars content getting Clockwork Oranged into your brain holes these days, a new rumor has surfaced that could make some Star Wars fans very happy. And other Star Wars fans very unhappy. And then a bunch more people who don’t care that much about Star Wars chime in just to make sure everyone knows that they don’t care that much. And on and on we will dance until the heat death of the universe.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. According to a report by We Got This Covered, there are very very very very early talks about a possible series centering around the galaxy’s greatest dad, Darth Vader.  The idea would reportedly feature James Earl Jones voicing the Dark Lord of the Sith, with Hayden Christensen returning to the role of Anakin Skywalker in flashback sequences. The story would take place between Revenge of the Sith and New Hope, and fill audiences in on how Vader went from broken-ass robot assistant to the most feared agent of the Empire.

If you’re not an obsessive fan of the franchise like certain staff writers for The Dad *ahem*, you might be a bit confused because the general consensus from the movie-going public was that the prequels were bad, and that Hayden Christensen was bad, and that all of this seems not good at all. However, in recent years thanks to The Clone Wars & Rebels TV show, Marvel’s Vader comic series, and the fact that kids from the prequel era are now grown-ups, there’s been a bit of a resurgence of love for the Star Wars galaxy pre-New Hope. 

Even most people can agree that Christensen himself isn’t a bad actor, he just didn’t have Harrison Ford’s Big Grump Energy for telling George Lucas when dialogue didn’t make any damn sense.

So look, we all got excited when Vader showed up in Rogue One, but in just three short years the amount of Star Wars we’ve been through has left some fans a little fatigued. What more could a whole series about arguably the most famous character in the history of pop culture bring to the table?

Well, for one thing, it could give Christensen and Vader a chance at redemption with a story that the actor and character deserve. While some folks have come around on the prequels, it’s safe to say that we’ve gotten a more complex look at the Skywalker patriarch through the comic series and TV shows that have come out since. Bringing those elements into a live-action interpretation of Vader could be amazing.  Other than a little show called The Mandalorian, Disney+ is focusing their TV efforts on the span between episodes III and IV. A Vader show could be a chance for some crossover potential with the already greenlit Cassian Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi focused series’. Disney surely wants to capture some of that Avengers energy with their other major franchise.

There is a good nest egg of stories during this timeline. Throughout the comics and cartoons, we’ve learned that Vader built his castle on Mustafar in order to harness enough bad guy power to bring his wife Padme back to life. When that failed he devoted himself fully to hunting down and exterminating the remaining Jedi with the Fallen Order‘s villains, the Sith Inquisitors. There was even a story where he hunts down the old lady librarian Jedi while she tries to save a bunch of old books, and honestly, it’s pretty badass.

Vader Hunts Jocosta
(Wookiepedia)

She does a pretty good number on him, too (at first). Support your local libraries.

Anyway whether or not this will even happen is nowhere near certain, but the unidentified source who brought this info to We Got This Covered is the same one who first broke that Ewan McGregor was returning as Obi-Wan and that Robert Patterson had been cast as Batman; so it’s safe to say it’s somewhat feasible. Hayden Christensen himself has also been making more and more appearances at Star Wars events lately, including the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. Could this be evidence that he and the Lucasfilm execs are gussying up to each other?

Rumored Vader Series
(Gagloop/pbs.twimg.com)

So what do you think? In my opinion, if this lets us see a live-action Doctor Aphra or Asoka Tano, I’m in. Sure, James Earl Jones’ voice sounded a little…wobbly in Rogue One, but look if we’re gonna run all our favorite things into the ground, we might as well go full throttle.

The Mandalorian Episode 6 Recap: Attack of The Cameos

Mandalorian in Red
(Disney+)

After last week’s Tatooine adventure, The Mandolorian is making a jailbreak in the latest episode that combines heist and horror tropes for the most well-rounded episode yet. The show continues to defy modern TV convention by favoring the old-timey serial format that originally influenced Star Wars; but “The Prisoner” hits a narrative sweet spot with a mid-episode turn that gives this episode more heft without adding excess weight.

As always, slapping a big ole *Spoiler Warning* for the episode here, and let’s talk about it.

Mando arrives at a space station run by That Guy From Sons Of Anarchy, looking for work. Back in the day, these two used to run space capers together, and if I know anything about heists, it’s that coming out of retirement for one last job is usually bad news bears. But with the Bounty Hunter’s Guild on his ass all the time, Mando needs to make cash on the DL, and sometimes that means asking old coworkers if they know of any freelance assignments.

The first chunk of the episode plays out like any good Ocean’s 11-type deal, with Mando meeting a crew and everyone looking at blueprints. There’s Bill Burr as an ex-special ops stormtrooper, continuing the show’s gimmick of giving comedians the most fun role of each episode. It’s cool to see this angle on a formerly faceless Imperial – he’s kind of a jerk, but he’s not outright evil. To quote another space western that takes place after a big war, “We’re all just folk now.”  You might not recognize Tonks from Harry Potter or Osha from Game of Thrones,  but Natalia Tena plays the Twi’Lek Lady, which you just love to see. She has an unspecified but obviously PG-13 history with our Mandalorian friend, but Mandalorians and Twi’Leks don’t kiss and tell. Or whatever it is they did to work around that helmet. Rounding out the squad is big ole’ Clancy Brown as one of those devil guys from the Mos Eisley cantina, and Richard Ayoade reprising his role from IT Crowd, but as a robot.

The job is simple – they let Richard AyoDroid fly the Razor’s Crest in a fancy maneuver that will let them slip by the sensors of a New Republic prison ship, sneak past the all-droid crew, and rescue an old accomplice of The Guy From Sons Of Anarchy. Your basic “smash and grab” as people in heist movies like to say.

Once they’re underway, the team gets to know each other a little better in the ship’s hold, and since they’re all a bunch of scum and villainy, that goes not great. They mostly pick on the Mandalorian way more than necessary, teasing him about his helmet. I’m not sure they are actively making parallels between how Mando is a big droid racist while also the victim of harassment and discrimination or not, but it’s interesting. Anyway, Devil Guy and Mando get in a little scuffle leading to the door to Baby Yoda’s little secret chamber opening. Hey, there’s Baby Yoda! Remember him?

The ruthless gang of mercenaries all coo and kaa over Baby Yoda appropriately, since they’re not part of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild, and don’t know what they’ve just discovered. However, you can tell Mando is running a bunch of different “murder everyone and somehow still get paid” scenarios in his head when Bill Burr gets a little too flippant about our man’s boy. Before everything goes to shit, though, Richard AyoaDroid brings the ship out of hyperspace, throwing everyone into some Star Trek-style turbulence acting. Bill Burr drops Baby Yoda so hard, everyone in my house all shouted “Whoa whoa whoa!” at the screen at the same time.

Once they’ve stealth landed on the Republic ship, we get to phase two of the heist and a nice change of scenery for the first time in the episode. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with gritty back worlds, but for my money, Star Wars is the most Star Wars-iest when there’s a group of weirdly dressed friends doing a bad job of sneaking around monochromatic 70s-era space-hallways.

We pass through the detention cells of the ship, and because he’s bored(?), Devil Guy shoots a mouse droid, alerting the entire ship that they’re there. I always thought the mouse droids seemed too cute to be Imperial purists, so it’s nice to see them getting work in the New Republic after the war.  Anyway, they murder this one, so now there’s a squad of robot guards to deal with. These security droids are new, and I’m glad we get to see some character designs that aren’t recycled. Mando takes the droids out handily, and everyone is still a prick to him.

The control room is where things get really interesting. The all-droid ship apparently has one human onboard, a jittery Republic officer played by none other than Matt Lanter, who voiced Anakin Skywalker on all seven seasons of The Clone Wars! Matt’s got a tracker that will bring the New Republic down on them if he activates it, and the team argues about how to handle the dicey situation.

Showcasing his growing morality, the Mandalorian tries to resolve the Matt situation without violence. He’s come a long way as a negotiator since a few weeks ago when he was *checks notes* …trying to beat up a Sandcrawler. I’ve seen some people complain about the episodic nature of The Mandalorian, thinking that these one-off stories aren’t “about anything” but I have to disagree. We’re getting an incremental look at how the character grows as a person, one adventure at a time. I know people want to know why Baby Yoda is so important but the answer is: “Because the Mandalorian likes him.” One day there will be 2,000 youtube videos about Baby Yoda’s backstory for people to get mad about, but for now the show’s focus is on characters, and I dig it.

All that’s for naught, however, since Twi’Lek Lady kills Matt with one of her little daggers, but hey, good try Mando! Now it’s time to free the prisoner they came for who turns out to be….

…A guy we don’t know. But Mando does, and it’s his fault the guy got pinched in the first place. Here’s the turn of the episode that makes it the most narratively satisfying yet – it turns out the whole mission was a big setup to free Twi-Lek Lady’s brother and trap Mando in the New Republic prison instead. “You deserve this,” Twi-Lek Lady tells him as the crew leaves Mando to his fate.

What happens next is a hard pivot in a genre that some are saying is reminiscent of Die Hard (just in time for Christmas!). In my opinion, though, the next bit plays out more like the last act of Alien. Mando escapes his brig, through some Mando badassery, and in the red gleam of emergency lights, separates and hunts down each of the mercenaries who betrayed him. Even though apparently he betrayed them first a while ago. It’s a moral gray area.

Oh, meanwhile Richard AyoaDroid stumbles onto Carl Wether’s old voicemail about Baby Yoda, prompting him to search the ship while all his friends get merc’d.

 

But back to the action: Devil Guy gets the door treatment Mando is partial to…twice. Twi-Lek Lady tries to go all Knives Chau on her ex, but that Beskar armor ain’t got time for that. And finally, Bill Burr gets full-on Batman-ed.

The Prisoner surrenders to the Mandalorian and promises his fair share, as long as he lets him live. “Aren’t you a man of honor?” That seems to be the million-dollar question of this series, my dude.

Richard AyoDroid finds Baby Yoda at last, and the kid goes to force-choke the droid, only to be surprised when it’s heart explodes in front of him. Turns out Baby Yoda hasn’t tapped the dark side of the force just yet, though: it’s only Mando back onboard and doing his very favorite thing. (Killing robots).

The Mandalorian returns The Prisoner to The Guy From Sons of Anarchy and takes his payment without much ceremony. It seems like nobody has any hard feelings about the ole triple double-cross, and everyone can go on their merry way- oop, nope, Guy From Sons Of Anarchy is gonna blow Mando out of the sky with a gunship. Except it turns out Mando is still an ice-cold badass who slipped Matt’s New Republic tracker into The Prisoner’s back pocket.

Faster than you can say “Porkins” a squadron of old school era X-Wings shows up. This episode is a cameo-spectacular, and the icing on the cake is that the three main directors of the series, Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow and Rick Famuyira, play the X-Wing pilots. Without asking a single question, the New Republic Space Cops blow the hell out of the space station without thinking twice about the Mando’s ship that just high-tailed it out of there.

Mando gives Baby Yoda his favorite little doodad, and tells him that he knew this whole thing had been a bad idea, and off they go. Meanwhile back at the space prison, it turns out Mando didn’t kill his whole crew, and everyone’s locked in a cell- just like how they left him. Mando said they “got what they deserve,” and it looks like he’s a man of honor after all.

Blaster Fire

  • Bill Burr is officially the character I relate to most in this show with the line “I’m a little particular about my personal space.”
  • The way the show discusses honor and morality is the most interesting thing about it, besides Baby Yoda. Mando lives his life by a set code, which he perceives as his morality. By caring for a child, his code changes, but he arguably becomes a more honorable person, even in betraying that preset morality ~*ThEmEs*~.
  • Baby Yoda thinking he blew up Richard AyoDroid and looking at his little hand is the best thing that’s ever happened.
  • Devil Man’s horns are cut off in the last scene, which is a nice little detail after getting double squished by the blast doors.
  • Last week’s mystery is left still hanging. There are only two episodes of the season left to learn the identity of Spurs, and while the bettin’ money is still on Moff Gideon, there’s always the chance we’ll get a big cliffhanger featuring that other guy to wear the Mandalorian armor.

The Mandalorian Episode 5 Recap: Who Was That Masked Man?

Mandalorian Speeder
(Disney)

Dave Filoni has a reputation as The Chosen One of Star Wars thanks to his Clone Wars and Rebels animated shows. Filoni is known for his love of the prequel era of Star Wars, and the latest episode of The Mandalorian is jam-packed with prequel references like pit droids and young heartthrobs who can’t act their way out of a paper bag.

Jake Canavale

The image above was supposed to be a gif, but it won’t play. That’s how bad at acting he is. This is an objective fact, not at all rooted in this writer’s personal jealousy. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The rest of this story will be chock full of Spoilers, and if you haven’t already check out our recap for episode four to catch up.

We pick up with Mando and Baby Yoda stumbling their way into a bit of a star war. Their ship is being attacked by another member of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild, and it’s great. I’m of the mind that as good as Star Wars has been in Disney’s hand, with notable exceptions there have been way too few WW2 dogfights in space.

After the fight, Mando has to set down for repairs and the only place to go is everyone’s favorite planet furthest from the bright center of the universe: Tatooine. We get some lovely shots of the Razor’s Crest soaring into Mos Eisley, including a flyover of the same cliff where a certain Jedi exile and his young apprentice first looked down on the wretched hive of scum and villainy. The ship settles into a docking bay almost identical to the one where we first glimpsed the Millennium Falcon, and we get a Lucas-approved Three Stooges routine from the Pit Droids I mentioned earlier. The Mando is still pretty droid-racist, though.

The garage is run by Amy Sedaris, playing I assume, Amy Sedaris, Actual Space Alien. Some people are bothered by goofy characters in Star Wars, as though Jabba the Snail Gangster and his Pig Guards were hard sci-fi serious creations. As for my money, I’ll take Amy Sedaris playing a million different weirdo characters over more graduates from the Academy of Making Pouty Faces like we’ll meet in a minute.

Having stashed Baby Yoda in the closet, Mando heads to the Cantina looking for work. I love this because it does make perfect sense for him to hide the child considering we know there are countless ruthless bounty hunters after him, but also WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU MAN? You should get arrested for leaving a dog in the car with the windows rolled up, don’t even get me started on you leaving your kid like that. I mean good lord, Mando.

Anyway, at the Cantina, we see things have changed around here since New Hope days. For one thing, droids went from not being allowed in the bar to running the show. Which is fine with me, since the original bartender sold out Han to the stormtroopers and you know, always seemed like an asshole regardless. Like some of these Brooklyn bartenders who won’t serve someone whose mustache isn’t pointy enough, or doesn’t have the death sentence on enough systems.

We learn that because the Hutts no longer control Tattooine, (thanks Leia!) the Guild isn’t active on the desert world anymore. That means nobody will be looking for Baby Yoda, but it also means work to pay for ship repairs is going to be hard to come by. Enter Bobby Cannavale’s Boy. Bobby Cannavale’s Boy is an aspiring bounty hunter who is immediately and obviously an idiot, and he’s out to prove himself to the Bounty Hunter’s Guild by capturing Ming-Na Wen’s character, Space Ming-Na Wen. She’s the most feared and dangerous of all the Ming-Na Wens, according to Bobby Cannavale’s Boy.

The new partners gear up to head out to the Dune Sea (still a cooler-than-your-really-think-about-concept) before Mando gets scolded by Amy Sedaris for being a shit parent leaving Baby Yoda alone like that. Amy Sedaris is all of us. Just like me when my lady wins an argument, The Mandalorian gets all pouty and quiet and goes to hang out with some jackass friend he doesn’t even like that much.

 

Out in the desert, the two bounty bros encounter a group of Tusken Raiders, and we get a neat little spin on the original Luke/Tusken surprise before the Mando negotiates with them. The scene is leaning heavily into the Western influence here, with Mando and the Tuskens playing cowboy and “Indians,” only less racist because Tusken Raiders are make-believe. It’s pretty cool to see The Mandalorian skilled at something even Old Ben didn’t know how to do. When we’ve seen Jedi interact with the Tuskens, they either trick, scare, or outright murder them all. The Mandalorian just talks to them. Remember, a big lesson of the prequels and The Last Jedi is that the ideals and the actions of the fallen order don’t always align.

Further down the road, the two come across a dewback dragging another fallen hunter through the desert; a trap sprung by Space Ming-Na Wen. She’s been camping with a sniper rifle like she’s playing a round of COD, so Mando and Bobby Cannavale’s Boy wait until dark to get the drop on her. It’s a fun action sequence with flash grenades, so maybe they are playing COD actually. After the fight, Mando has to go find the dewback from earlier to get back to Mos Eisley. This errand takes all freaking day, which is plenty of time for Space Ming-Na Wen to get inside Bobby Cannavale’s Boy’s head.  She convinces him that turning in the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda would be much more lucrative than she is.

The poor sweet bounty hunter’s mind clunks its way into a devious plot, and he decides to kill Space Ming-Na Wen instead, then heads back to the Razor’s Crest to get the drop on his partner. Things play out like you’d expect from there, with the Mando and Amy Sedaris getting the upper hand on Bobby Cannavale’s Boy by using his remaining Checkhov’s gun flashbang. The Mando gives Amy Sedaris way more money than they agreed on because A) he’s actually a Pretty Decent Dude and B) he loves his Baby Yoda baby just so much. The boys blast off, leaving Amy Sedaris to toss Bobby Cannavale’s Boy into Beggar’s Canyon, where Luke used to shoot womp rats in his T-16. The En-

OH BUT WAIT THAT’S NOT THE END OF THE EPISODE!!?!!!!!!!!

(Bustle)

The big tease of this week is the mysterious stranger who approaches Space Ming-Na Wen’s body in the desert. There are two big possibilities who this could be, which I’ll break down in the Blaster Fire below. Otherwise tune in next week for the continuing adventures of Space Xena: Warrior Mandalorian!

Blaster Fire:

  • The ship chasing Mando, in the beginning, looks awfully similar to the Z-95 Headhunter ship, created by Brian Daley in his Han Solo Adventures novels. Fans of LucasArts from the 90s will remember the Headhunter ships from the X-Wing and Tie-Fighter Video games. It’s an interesting easter egg because Daley wrote the books during the gap between New Hope and Empire, and had almost no lore or worldbuilding to work with aside from what we saw in the first film. For a show so reliant on parading out the familiar, it’s a nice shoutout to a creator who built Star Wars with imagination rather than nostalgia.
  • Was the Bartender in the Cantina the same droid from Jabba’s torture chamber in Return of the Jedi? It was definitely the same model, but knowing Filoni, it seems likely that it’s an even more direct connection. Hey, you gotta get work where you can, right?
  • TUSKEN RESPECT: It’s cool that Mando and the Tusken Raider Scouts communicate through sign language, but that’s made even cooler by one of the Scouts being played by deaf actor Troy Kotsur.
  • Okay, the mystery boots at the end. Here are the options:
    • Moff Gideon – The upcoming character played by Giancarlo Esposito is a prime suspect. We don’t know anything about him but we do know that he’s wearing a cape in the marketing promos, and this mysterious character was also wearing a cape, so that’s basically what we have to go on.
    • Boba Fett – Yeah, yeah, yeah. The most distinctive thing about this moment was the jingle of spurs as the boots walked towards the fallen body. Boba Fett made the same sound when he walked, and that’s way too specific a reference to be coincidental or throwaway. Also, the gun Space Ming-Na Wen used was mentioned as an MK-modified rifle. That’s an extremely specific Mandalorian-built rifle based on Boba Fett’s own weapon. That’s another cut too deep to not amount to anything.
    • Luke Skywalker – Look, it’s not Luke Skywalker, but someone suggested it and in a previous recap I said I thought he might show up, so I’m including that theory here simply to give myself a little pat on the back.
    • Cad Bane – Dave Filoni is obsessed with Westerns so much that he created a cowboy bounty hunter character who wears a cowboy hat and boots that is essentially a stand-in for who Filoni wishes he actually was. I love Filoni and all he does, but I’ll never understand how anyone takes this character seriously. Still, I haven’t seen anyone else suggest him yet, so this is sorta my bettin’ on the house. If it does turn out to be right, I assure you, I’m gonna be WAY smug about it.
      Cad Bane
      (fandom.com)

 

The Mandalorian Episode 4 Recap: No Time For Love, Dr. Mandalorian

The Mandalorian and Cara Dune
(Digital Trends)

*Pics up megaphone*

THIS IS SEVEN SAMURAI, BUT GINA CARANO IS SO BADASS SHE COUNTS AS SIX OF THE SAMURAIS.

That’s it. That’s the recap. Thank you for coming.

Okay, I’ve been informed that declaring undying loyalty to Gina Carano is not “the assignment” or “my job” so let’s talk about Star Wars, I guess. As always, *spoiler alert y’all*

If you missed last week’s recap, it’s important to note that this episode is a bridge between the first and second arcs of the season, and it starts with the problem, rather than the protagonist. There’s a group of shrimp farmers that you can tell don’t know how to be in a star war who are immediately attacked by the orcs from Lord of the Rings. By starting this story away from the Mandalorian, we get a little clue that despite the name of the episode…

…they won’t be stopping here for very long.

When we do meet up with ManDADlorian and the internet’s new God, Baby Yoda, they’re searching for a place to lay low and find some

It’s a fun little ‘member berry for when Han and Leia were looking for a place to hide in Empire. Baby Yoda does some cute shit to annoy dad, but rather than grab the little wamp rat by the scruff of the neck as he did in the previous episode, Mando gently puts him in his lap. They’re family now, you see.

At a bar in town, The Mandalorian and Cara Dune notice each other and get into an awesome fight that is the reason you hire Gina Carano. Technically the fight is a draw, but make no mistake, she drops his ass. As the two old ~friends catch up, we get some post-Return of the Jedi backstory. Cara was a shock trooper in the Rebellion who was sent to clean up the remaining warlords after the Empire fell. With the New Republic in power, her job shifted to more boring things like escorting diplomats around, which wasn’t her jam.

What we don’t get: How these two know each other. Did Mando do some work for the Rebellion back in the day? Also, why is she hiding out? Did she, like, piss off General Leia or something when she left the New Republic? I can’t tell if these are questions the show is deliberately leaving open, or if they just kinda hope nobody will worry too much about that sort of stuff.

Since Cara has dibs on Hiding Planet, Mando goes to head out…since two people can’t hide on the same planet? This is the first time the show has felt like it could use a little more padding. Normally I’m a fan of the lean episode runtime, and how surgical it is with its storytelling. But this episode feels like it’s relying a bit on the audience’s familiarity with tropes to the point where some stuff just doesn’t really land. It’s still good, but I feel like we’re missing actual story beats this time.

Anyway, some dummy farmers come asking Mando to help their village. They have the standard “I don’t want to get involved” conversation, but when the dumb farmers talk about how dumb and screwed they are, they conveniently reveal that their village might just be what The Mandalorian needs after all.

Mando immediately recruits Cara Dune to go help, and once they arrive the entire village immediately falls in love with Baby Yoda. That is the way.

Mando and the lady from the beginning of the episode have a little meet-cute, where we learn absolutely nothing about her or her daughter. Step-Mom Lady brings food for the Mando, and we get confirmation of what we all probably guessed; the Mandalorian isn’t actually a Mandalorian, but a refugee who was taken in by the tribe. Daughter Character takes Baby Yoda outside to play, and Step-Mom Lady is like “they’ll be fine.” Mando’s like “okay, okay” which is some negligent parenting, honestly. You don’t know these people, Mando.

Anyway, after explaining to a total stranger that he can’t take off his helmet in front of people, he takes his helmet off to eat in full view of the whole village. Little sloppy there, boss.

The next day, Mando and Cara go hunting for the raiders but find evidence of an AT-ST Imperial Walker, which is the same as agreeing to go to a PTA meeting, and when you get there it turns out you’re supposed to be in charge of the PTA meeting. It’s like, nope, nu-uh didn’t sign up for this, Karen. Still, the farmers are pretty stubborn about not just leaving town, so with absolutely no convincing whatsoever, Mando is like “Ah, let’s do a Seven Samurai thing here.” Cara agrees immediately because otherwise, the episode would be over.

Next up we get a training montage. The Mandolorian asks which villagers know how to shoot, and Step-Mom Lady does, because we need a shorthand reason for liking her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking that she’s innately good at something, but it just seems like a moment to endear her to the Mandalorian and us, rather than something that gives her agency unto herself.

Mando and Cara sneak up on the orc village without much of an obvious plan, but it’s a cool little heist sequence, complete with a ticking time bomb. When the bomb goes off, Cara says “I hope the plan worked” and on cue the AT-ST rises from the forest, meaning the plan was basically to poke the bear.

The AT-ST is made into a monster character, which is pretty cool. The cockpit lights give it glowing red eyes, and it’s a great effect. Here’s my thing though….you can clearly see no pilot in the windows. When they try and lead the thing to the ditch they dug, it spots the trap. Is nobody driving it? Is it automated? Controlled remotely? Does it have a droid brain hardwired into it? It just feels like we’re missing the opportunity for a real villain in the episode to give it that extra oompf of satisfaction. There’s nothing personal at stake with the conflict, it’s just another obstacle.

Anyway, Cara baits the walker into the trap by shooting it in the brain, and Mando blows it up by tossing a thermal detonator into its eye. All in all The Mandalorian and Cara Dune are almost, but not quite as good at taking down AT-STs as a bunch of Ewoks.  Weeks later everyone is living peacefully. Cara asks why the Mandalorian won’t just take his armor off and settle down to raise Baby Yoda with Step-Mom Lady. ManDADlorian says he’s going to leave Baby Yoda at the village, and when Cara points out that would break the little dude’s heart, Mando says he’ll get over it.

“They all do.” (just like him) (Do you get it?)

When he goes to say goodbye, Step-Mom Lady tries to take Mando’s helmet off because he should really stay there so they can be in love. He refuses because he doesn’t think he deserves a peaceful life. Step-Mom Lady accepts this and promises to raise Baby Yoda as one of her own, which will be a problem when she’s like a hundred years old and Baby Yoda is still in his toddler phase.

A random bounty hunter shows up, and while BFF Cara Dune takes care of that problem, it’s clear there’s no escaping the bounty on Baby Yoda, so off our heroes go on their own again. Sad to lose Cara Dune, but we might see her again a little way down the road. I can’t imagine you’d waste this character on one episode, but I’m still bitter about IG-Taika Waititi, so.

Daughter-Character says she’s going to miss Baby Yoda “so much,” as if they had developed a relationship during the episode or spent any actual time together, and our space team departs to find a new world of problems to solve!

Blaster Fire

  • I’m being a little harsh on this episode, but it’s still great and I do prefer the commitment to lean storytelling over overdramatizing things. This is just the first one felt like it was using shorthand in the development of character relationships.
  • Everyone just refers to Baby Yoda as The Mandalorian’s kid now, and that’s just really swell.
  • The first time I watched it, I thought the reveal of the AT-ST was kinda out of nowhere, but rewatching the opening scene, it’s clear the mech is doing the major damage there, we just don’t see it outright.
  • There is NO WAY that Baby Yoda can walk as fast as The Mandalorian.
  • Loth cat sighting! The cat-with-duck-feet that hisses at Baby Yoda is from a species introduced in Star Wars: Rebels.

The Best Amazon Black Friday Deals for Dads

Top Amazon Prime Deals for Dads
(Getty / PeopleImages)

Amazon’s Black Friday sales are fast approaching and we’ve uncovered the deals that dads are going to be most interested in. Is Amazon an ethically dubious-at-best corporation that will one day overthrow the governments of man? Probably. But shopping for the holidays the old fashioned way is a major pain in the ass, so here are our picks for what to look for between now and November 29th. Amazon is parsing out its deals over the course of the week, as though they were sending out harbingers of their coming reign. So renounce your family Thanksgiving and unshackle yourself from the toils of tradition, and stare unblinking into the blinding light of these deals!

Save 40% On LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Millennium Falcon

Two things are true in this world. The first is that Lego was better when we were kids and they didn’t rely on licensed properties like Star Wars and Harry Potter. The second True Thing is that the Lego Millennium Falcon is a thing of perfect beauty and to see it is to know desire.

Lego Millennium Falcon
(Amazon)
The perfect nexus of childhood nostalgia and midlife crisis hobbyism, the ultimate Star Wars toy has 7541 pieces. 40% is a sizable chunk off the normal $800 price tag – more than you’d need to get the accompanying lighting set to make this bird truly soar.

Check it out here!

Other planned toy and game deals: 

  • Save up to 30% on select strategy games
  • Save up to 30% on select party games
  • Save up to 30% on Barbie, Hot Wheels and more from Mattel
  • Save up to 30% on select Nintendo Switch Software
  • Save up to 33% on select Nintendo Joy-Con
  • Save up to 33% on PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB bundle
  • Save up to 45% on Netgear products
  • Save over 30% on Netgear wifi & routers

Save Up To 39% On Ecobee Smart Thermostat Bundle

One of a dad’s sacred responsibilities is the management and defense of their home’s thermostat and electricity usage. Not sure about what the bundle will include specifically, but it’s likely to be a combination of an Ecobee Smart Thermostat and Smart Switch. If you haven’t made the jump to smart-ifying your home, this is a good starting place. After all, you’re not paying to heat the whole neighborhood.

Ecobee Smart Thermostat
(Amazon.com)

Check it out here!

$70 OFF Ring Video Doorbell Pro

The next step in making your home smart is a doorbell security system. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro comes with an HD camera that can stream to your phone or tablet, and pairs with Alexa. You can even talk to visitors outside through the app interface.

Ring Video Doorbell
(Amazon.com)

These are ideal for catching people who like to swipe Amazon packages, you know, as long as they don’t get the one this comes in.  What could be more important than adding a little extra security to your home/having a cool future gadget to show off?

Check it out here! 

Other planned smart home deals:

  • Save on Chamberlain MyQ Garage Hub at $17.98
  • Save on iRobot Roomba 960 at $399.00
  • Save on iRobot Roomba 675 at $199.99
  • Save on the new LG 82″ 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV at $1,699.99
  • Save up to $79.90 on Arlo Technologies products
  • Save on Shark IQ Robotic Vacuum at $399.99
  • Save over 30% on Netgear wifi & routers 

$40 OFF Fire 7 Kid’s Edition

Okay, there’s a lot to be said about kids and devices. The screentime argument is not one that we’re here to solve in this list. What we do know is that it is very, very frustrating when our kids “accidentally” buy like $364 worth of Minecraft skins or whatever. That’s why the Fire 7 Kid’s Edition is honestly more useful than regular tablets.

Fire 7 Kids Edition
(Amazon)

Think how content your own little astronaut would be with their own tablet that has absolutely no credit card information saved or important work email accounts accessible.

Check it out here! 

Save $200 on Sony Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos and Wireless Subwoofer

Sound Bars scratch the decades-old itch for a high tech optimum sound system but eliminates most of the tangled Christmas lights quality of setting up surround sound that parents from the 90s will remember all too well. The Sony Sound Bar comes bundled with a Wireless Subwoofer that creates a theater-like experience in your own living room.

Sony Sound System
(Amazon)

No, it will not create a translucent forefield of sound around your family while they watch reality television or Paw Patrol, but it will recreate something called “verticle sound” which is apparently what makes stuff sound good.

Check it out here! 

$0.99 For Four Months Of Music

If you haven’t fully emersed yourself in Amazon Prime but do enjoy a good tune on-demand, you can now get a quarter of a year’s worth of jams for just under a dollar. Amazon Music Unlimited offers about 50 million songs, and this is the best deal in their history. The subscription goes up to ten bucks a month after, but that’s still a fine price to pay for ad-free music.

Check it out here!

Other planned Entertainment and Device deals: 

  • Save $200 on Sony Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos and Wireless Subwoofer
  • Save up to 45% on streaming devices and accessories
  • Get $10 back in eBook credit when you spend $30 on eBooks (activation required).
  • Save up to 80% on select Kindle best-selling books
  • Audible: Between November 25 and 27, new members receive a bonus $15Amazon credit and continue to save 53% on the first three months of an Audible membership at $6.95 a month. Additional offers to be announced through the holiday season.
  • Echo Dot is $27.99 off – just $22.00 or get a 3-pack for just $64.97
  • All-new Echo Dot with clock is $25 off – just $34.99
  • Echo Show 5 is $40 off – just $49.99
  • All-new Echo is $40 off – just $59.99
  • Echo Input is $20 off – just $14.99
  • Get the Echo Show 5 and Amazon Smart Plug for just $54.98
  • Get a Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Dot for just $46.99
  • Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote is $20 off – just $19.99
  • Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote is $25 off – just $24.99
  • All-new Fire TV Cube is $30 off – just $89.99
  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro is $70 off – just $179.00
  • Get the Ring Video Doorbell Pro + Echo Show 5 for just $179.00
  • Get the all-new Blink XT2 3 Camera Kit and an Echo Dot for just $184.99
  • Get Amazon Smart Plug for just $4.99 when purchased with Echo Dot, all-new Echo Dot with Clock, all-new Echo, Echo Plus, all-new Echo Studio, Echo Show 5, all-new Echo Show 8, and Echo Show (2nd gen)
  • Get the eero mesh WiFi system for just $159.99
  • All-new Echo Dot Kids Edition is $30 off – just $39.99 OR get a 3-pack for just $119.97
  • Fire 7 Kids Edition is $40 off – just $59.99
  • All-new Kindle Kids Edition is $30 off – just $79.99
  • Fire 7 Tablet is $20 off – just $29.99

You can find any Amazon Device here!

Happy Hunting, Deal-Dads!

This is not a sponsored article. But if you buy stuff using the links in this article, we’ll get a little kickback from the Amazon Lords. It helps us pay for more free funny content that we put out every day. Thanks for your support! 

The Mandalorian Episode 3 Recap: Look, Don’t Mess With Dad’s Tools

The Mando and Baby Yoda
(Collider)

In last week’s episode, “The Child,”  the Mandalorian had to go fetch a golden egg to give the Jawas in exchange for all his stuff. Once he handed over the prize, the little shits smashed the treasure open and sucked down the yolk like little greedy pigs. It was violent and gross; an innocent devoured by greed.

In this week’s “The Sin,” Mando is taking an egg-shaped crib with a little Baby Yoda nougat center back to noted bad guys, The Empire to exchange for -again- some stuff. What, oh, what could be rattling around in our boy’s head during the hyperspace jump, do you think? Perhaps some sYmBoLiSm?!!!!

Warning: Here there be spoilers. 

At the beginning of the episode, there’s a little moment where Baby Yoda wants to play with ManDADlorian’s spaceship tools, but Mando puts him back to bed. For a “dark/gritty/new take” or whatever on Star Wars, this show is wonderfully playful and charming as heck. I originally expected it to scratch the itch for people who wanted more mature content than the movies typically offer, and am so glad I was wrong because Star Wars should always be weird and kid-appropriate. If you want a Star War that you can’t share with your kid, you’re a greedy egg-sucking Jawa.

Still, a Mandalorian’s gotta pay the bills so despite showing obvious concern for the kid, he turns Baby Yoda over to the Imperials to collect his 40 pieces of silver Super Special Metal™. What can ya do? Bye-bye, Baby Yoda!

Fun Fan Service Alert: Check out the thing Werner Herzog carries his Super Special Metal™ around in. Star Wars has a history of repurposing common items as futuristic props, and Werner’s little piggie bank is actually an ice cream maker, which is a nod to the Cloud City dude that people have been scratching their heads about for years.

Star Wars Ice Cream Maker Prop
(comicbook.com)

Personally, I enjoyed the idea that when the Empire invaded Cloud City, that guy genuinely only cared about getting out with his favorite Cuisinart appliance, but you win some you lose some.

Mando takes his blood money back to Mandalorville, and we’re treated to a feast of backstory and lore. We learn that since a “Great Purge” Mandalorians must stay in hiding, and only one member of their ranks can venture out into the world at a time. We also learn that some of the clan think bounty hunting is beneath them (sorry Boba) and they are pretty pissed our guy even does business the Empire. There’s even a little brawl between our Mandalorian and a bigger, grumpier Mandalorian who tries to yank off our Mando’s helmet, which is a very not chill thing to do to someone.

The Armorer makes everyone calm down and forges a whole new set of armor for our hero. She talks about the “choice” to follow the Mandalore path. *thoughtful chin scratch emoji*

Per standard procedure when getting custom armor forged, Mando stares into the fire thinking deep pensive thoughts about the trauma that *ahem* forged him into the man he is today. In a previous recap, I said that I didn’t want more info on Mando’s backstory; while that seems unlikely now, they are presenting the information with some nourishing dramatic metaphors. It’s not about learning a secret history, it’s about what drives Mando’s current state of mind, and his relationship to Baby Yoda. It’s clear he wasn’t born into a Mandalorian clan since nobody in these flashbacks wears Mandalorian armor, and they JUST made a big deal about that. So it seems likely that Lil’ Mando was, oh, I dunno, rescued as a child by a compassionate warrior, and, like, um, does that remind you of anyone?

With his shiny new suite, The Mandalorian heads to the cantina for any job Carl Wethers can find that will get him out of the system and away from his demons. Carl doesn’t understand why he doesn’t want to stick around and go to the “Twi’lek Baths,” which are clearly actually some sort of space sex palace. But as I said earlier, this is Star Wars, we’ve got kids here, and besides, what good is a brothel if you won’t ever take off your armor? Come to think of it, I now have questions about how there are ever any baby Mandalorians…

Back at the ship, our ice-cold bounty hunter loner badass is ready for takeoff but stops short when he sees the little doodad Baby Yoda was playing with at the beginning of the episode. I assume Harry Chapin’s Cat’s In The Cradle starts playing in Mando’s helmet stereo system, cause my dude just cannot shake his guilt, and flips all the switches back off. People flicking switches to turn on their spaceship is one of the purest tactile pleasures of the Star Wars universe, and director Deborah Chow plays the mirror of that beat perfectly here. Seeing The Mandalorian flip all his little switches to “off” is so satisfying. Go get your boy, Mando!

Star Wars has always had a lot of Japanese story influence, and this show is wearing its Spaghetti Western on its sleeve, but the rest of this episode introduces a Hong Kong action flick vibe. The Mandalorian fighting his way out with the kid tucked under his arm is pulled right from John Woo’s Hard Boiled. The success of the show isn’t that it’s doing something wholly unique, but rather playing with existing tropes so deftly.

Werner Herzog escapes, the Mad Scientist reveals he was trying to secretly protect Baby Yoda, and The Mandalorian uses his fancy new weapon on all the Stormtroopers. Remember in the first episode they were all like “It’s four to one!” Ah, payoff.  But the Empire isn’t the only problem. Apparently this is like the bounty hunter home planet, cause Carl Wethers shows up with all of the bounty hunters. Was the titular “sin” of this episode when Mando left Baby Yoda in the hands of the ravenous Empire or was it when he went against his bounty hunter code to save him? Or was it both and having titles with a double meaning is this show’s, like, thing?

The next moment felt like a scene right out of Clone Wars and Rebels made into live-action. All of the other Mandalorians jetpack in to save the day. It’s visually stunning, but as always with this show, the moment works because of the story being told but not spoken: by breaking with the Empire, and doing the right thing, the Mandalorian has finally become a true Mandalorian.

Together again, the Mandolorian and Baby Yoda hit the road. He’s earned the respect of his clan, but now the hunter will become the hunted…which you know, is pretty standard stuff but wow they’re really killing it. This time Mando lets the kid play with the little spaceship thingamajig because he’s a good dad and because bookending is a delightful storytelling device.

Blaster Fire:

  • Mando calling Baby Yoda “the kid” is subtly great. Sometimes Star Wars has trouble with using common vernacular or slang, even though that’s it’s an important ingredient in the franchise’s recipe. For example, when Owen calls Beru his “girlfriend” in Episode III, it’s like…wildly distracting and weird. But here it fits and harkens back to when Han would call Luke that. It tells you all you need to know about the relationship going on there.
  • Super Battle Droid spotted!
  • Big Mean Mandalorian Guy is named Paz Vizsla, making him a relative of Prie Vizsla, the character voiced by (The Mandalorian creator) John Favreau in Clone Wars. And I’m sorry, but the salute he gives at the end was kinda dumb. But I mean what kind of Star Wars fan would I be if I bitched about any little thing just because it didn’t match my specific taste? *cough*
  • We overhear Werner and the scientist talking about how Werner wants to kill Baby Yoda to extract something from him. My guess: Medichlorians, the Star Wars concept that just won’t go away.
  • Interesting how this show parallels the Mandalorians with the Jedi as a fallen order forced into hiding. The director of this episode, Deborah Chow will be heading up Ewan McGregor’s return as Obi-Wan Kenobi, so now all signs point to that being mm-MMMM Good. 

This is the way.

Jon Favreau Wants to Make a New Star Wars Holiday Special for Some Reason

The Star Wars Holiday Special
(Daily Beast)

*Extreme Jeff Goldblum Voice*

Your [Disney+ executives] were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they never stopped to think if they should!

For anyone watching The Mandalorian, it’s pretty clear Jon Favreau has a soft spot for 1978’s Star Wars Holiday Special. The new series has featured more than one reference to the extremely weird musical variety program set in the Star Wars galaxy; In the first episode, Horatio Sanz’s character talks about wanting to make it home for “Life Day,” and in the second episode, we got a gorgeous visual homage to the first-ever appearance of Boba Fett.

Boba Fett in the Star Wars Holiday Special
(cracked.com)
The Mandalorian
(Cracked.com)

So it’s no surprise Disney’s new favorite filmmaker is considering the possibility of bringing a new Star Wars Holiday Special to the Disney+ streaming service. During the promotional tour for the new show, Favreau had this to say:

“I love the Holiday Special — certain sequences more than others…That’s my generation. I loved the introduction of Boba Fett and that rifle that he had. That animated piece still holds up; it’s pretty cool. I draw inspiration from that. I would love to do a Holiday Special. I gotta pitch that to Disney Plus.”

Now that’s the kind of blithering nonsense someone on a press tour says after days of getting asked the same boring-ass questions. The original Holiday Special has achieved cult status by being absolute garbage. The story revolved around the Star Wars gang helping Chewbacca make it to the Wookie homeworld to celebrate “Life Day” with his family of rejected Chuck E. Cheese robots.  In case you didn’t know, Chewbacca has a son named Lumpy. There, now you’re cursed with that information forever, sorry.

Lumpy, Chebacca's boy
(slashfilm)

Anyway, the whole thing’s a bit of a hilarious mess that nobody in their right mind would consider reviving. But recently, the guy who once thought he was a believable love interest for Heather Graham has said he’s even got a story flushed out and everything.

“Oh, I would definitely be interested in doing a holiday special. And I’m not going to say who I would be interested in. But one of the people is the member of the cast in an upcoming episode of the show…I’ve been thinking about it. It’s ready, the ideas are ready. I think it could be really fun. Not as part of this, but there’s an excitement around it because it was so fun and weird, and off and not connected to what ‘Star Wars’ was in the theater.”

The cast and crew of The Mandalorian
(Getty/Alberto E Rodriguez/Stringer)

It’s anyone’s guess which cast member Favreau wants to base his galactic holiday story around; Breaking Bad’s  Giancarlo Esposito and supreme badass Gina Carano are both slated for roles in upcoming episodes. If this writer ran the zoo, though, we’d be getting the pilot episode’s IG-Taika Waititi droid blasting his way through another hour of television, hands down. What says “Happy Holidays” more than a killer with a heart of cortosis alloy learning the value of Life Day?

Whether or not any of this actually happens is in the hands of Disney executives, but in case you haven’t seen the original, you can watch it online despite it being buried for years and disowned by George Lucas…and every single other person involved. Not saying you should. Just, the option is available to you. Thanks, Internet!

Ah, 1978, when drugs were just all over the place. You’re welcome?

The Mandalorian Episode 2 Recap: Light On Plot, Big On ~Themes~

The Mandolorian climbs a sandcrawler
(Twitter/themandalorian)

This was a big weekend for Star Wars. Along with the launch of the new first-person, story-driven, apparently very good video game Jedi: Fallen Order,  they went ahead and did the damn thing by dropping the second episode of The Mandalorian sooner than we could have hoped for. I mean, it’s on a Friday release schedule, so it makes sense, but it was still exciting.

This episode was a little shorter than the first, and while some people may want as much show as they can get, I really admire Favreau & Friends for cutting to the chase. So many shows suffer from bloat by adhering to the 45-minute format that commercial breaks dictated, and it’s refreshing to see a show that just rolls up its sleeves, so let’s do the same.

This here is Spoiler Warning territory, so if you haven’t already, get that Disney+ in your life and catch up. Be sure to check out The Dad’s recap of the premiere episode before we dig into the second one below.

Chapter Two: The Child

Apparently, the Dragon Frog can’t carry Baby Yoda’s crib, cause the Mandalorian and is newly adopted muppet baby are hoofin’ it back to the ship. They get attacked by some…guys? For a top-secret-under-the-table-bounty, freakin’ everybody is after this kid. Mando gets injured in the attack, and there is an adorable scene where Baby Yoda tries to force heal his new dad. Ah, but the Mandolorian is far too grumpy for such cuteness. 

When they get back to the Razor’s Crest, it’s being raided by Jawas, and the Mandolorian goes a little bit apeshit on them. I get it, they’re stealing his stuff, but now we finally know why Boba Fett got a little miffed at Vader’s “No disintegrations” order in Empire: Mandalorians are way into disintegrating things. The Jawas bail and The Mandalorian gives a good chase, with Baby Yoda hot on their tails. If the crib can move so fast, though, why didn’t they ride the Dragon Frog back to the ship after all?

Unable to chase down the Sandcrawler, Mando and Baby Yoda return to Ugnaught Notle, who I’m now renaming Uncle Ugnaught. He again agrees to help them, and Notle’s Very Serious Voice™  lets you forget that he really has no reason to keep going out of his way like this. Baby Yoda eats a frog because we all do what we must to survive, violence is a cycle and all that.

When Uncle Ugnaught takes our boys to parlay with the Jawas, The Mandalorian refuses to put down his rifle at first because “weapons are a part of [his] religion,” but does relent when he realizes he is out of options. While this episode has less plot compared to the first one, I think we’re getting the first real hints of what the overall story is about, here. There are a lot of Baby Yoda reaction shots, so we constantly see Mando’s relationship to violence through the eyes of an innocent lil’ dude.

The Jawas demand “The Egg” to trade back the equipment they stole, so the title isn’t just a reference to Baby Yoda. This episode isn’t just a fetch quest, though – we’re learning how morality is going to work in this corner of the greater Star Wars saga. Plus we get to see the control bridge of a Sandcrawler, so that’s fun. Because this is a Star Wars show, our hero must descend into a cave to retrieve his prize, but for some reason, he brings Baby Yoda on this mission. Leave Baby Yoda with Uncle Ugnaught, Mandolorian, wtf you doin?!

Anyway, there’s a fight with a giant Rhino Elephant for “The Egg,” and at last Baby Yoda showcases force powers to suspend the monster in mid-air so Mando can kill it. Look, I know it’s Star Wars, and I know it’s a monster, but it feels like we’re focusing a lot on killing here. Will the show be about Baby Yoda learning violence, or The Mandolorian learning peace?

Not for nothing, but “The Egg” turns out to be a disgusting hairy mess. The Mandalorian brings it back in time for the Jawa’s brunch, and he gets all his spaceship parts back. Baby Yoda is knocked out cold from using the force, and Uncle Ugnaught and Mando discuss how they don’t really understand what happened. I know the Jedi have been mostly gone for like 30 years at this point but is the force itself something that’s fallen into obscurity? People throw “May the force be with you” around so much, mothers from the southern planets probably say it as passive-aggressive shade like my mom says “bless your heart.”

Mando offers Uncle Ugnaught a job on the ship, but he turns it down, saying that he’s worked hard to leave a life of service. I really think this show’s gonna be a journey to our boy taking his helmet off and putting the warrior’s life behind him. At the end of the day, Star Wars has always been about how wars are actually, you know…bad.

The episode ends as Baby Yoda wakes from Force Coma while the ship departs, and our boys are off to whatever fate the galaxy holds.

Blaster Fire:

  • I like that the Jawas cheer when the Sandcrawler goes down a big hill.
  • Star Wars is about balance. It’s in the past, but it’s the future. It’s high-tech, but shit looks old. There are lasers guns, but also wizards. It’s this dichotomy that makes the franchise feel unique and special, and the show is wise to not focus on one element over any other.
  • Loving the concept art over the end credits. It feels both very 70’s Western, and like a love letter to Ralph McQuarrie.
  • Okay, Crazy Theory Time: We’re gonna see a CGI de-aged Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker at his Jedi Temple by the end of this. I know he’s not listed on IMDB, but I’m manifesting it into the universe. Then again, I was DEAD SURE Rey was a Kenobi, so what do I know? But you gotta admit shoving 60-year-old actors into a 30-year-old hologram of themselves is a trend lately.

New episodes of The Mandalorian drop every Friday, and I’ll be recapping them in a much more timely fashion from here on out.

Get Disney+ for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.

I have spoken.