This week on The Mandalorian, the Mandalorian runs out of gas.
After a brief altercation with some nobody bounty hunter, wherein Mando stakes claim over “I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold” as a lengthy catchphrase, our hero faces his most boringly pedestrian conflict yet: letting the tank go a bit too low.
He’s forced to land on the nearest planet, and whatta ya know if it isn’t goddamn Tatooine, home of many a Skywalker and so much irritating sand.
Mando gets clearance for Mos Eisley’s docking bay 35—which I’ll just tell you right now is thankfully not a reference to Han Solo’s original bay, 94. We’ll get to the eye-rolling familiarity later.
So, Mando makes his landing, and what does he find but a truly unexpected crossover with a different beloved late-’70s sci-fi franchise: it’s Amy Sedaris doing full-on Ripley Alien cosplay.
At this point, anyone who’s seen Strangers with Candy is hoping for a dozen variants of Jerri Blank promising to implant her alien all up inside Mando’s randos, but instead she just demands payment for getting his ship ready to fly again. Since Mando spent all his money on fancy clothes a couple episodes ago, he’s off to find another gig.
But good luck telling his young Yoda bride that, because the dude just heads straight to the bar.
Rather, Mando heads to the bar—the cantina where the young man watched as the old man cut off the man’s arm, then they met the vest man and his dog friend.
But if the place was meant to be shit then, it’s definitely trash now. It has like a tenth of the clientele, and they don’t even have gross people playing live music. Yet, with writer-director Dave Filoni giving us just a few casual shots of the idiot patrons—no dramatic dollies through them, no copious bullshit—it gives us a moment that quite clearly defines why The Mandalorian feels more like the original trilogy than anything since.
Anyway, while the robo-bartender doesn’t have any jobs to offer, someone else does. It’s Jake Cannavale, an actor whose skill immediately informs you that he’s the scion of more famous people (his dad is Bobby Cannavale and his mother is Jenny Lumet, screenwriter and daughter of Sidney Lumet). At the very booth where Han Solo was so smug about committing a public murder, Jake Cannavale explains that he has a big, high-paying bounty lined up. He looks and plays it like a hotshot rookie in a new CBS procedural that won’t make it a season.
In this video game of a series, Cannavale is apparently behind Mando, still trying to finish the quest that gives him guild membership, and he’s willing to pay for this higher-level character with awesome armor to help him. Mando points out that she’s actually a known character, and that this will be a really tough PVP fight, but they do it anyway.
The two set out on speeders across the desert, running into a dewback along the way, and it’s around then that you start to wonder, “How was this not the pilot?” Beyond already having Baby Yoda in the crew, it’s exactly what the pilot would regrettably be: this young new guy introducing us to the world of The Mandalorian by way of winking locales fans are already familiar with. Baby Yoda is only in a few scenes anyway, so it may as well have been.
These coupla fellas eventually come across their quarry, and it’s Ming-Na Wen, who still looks absolutely fantastic at 56. Tom Cruise gets all the press for looking good in the mid-50s, but he’s got nothing on her.
Well, Cannavale ends up screwing over the simple plan to capture her, and it almost becomes an issue, but then it isn’t really, so never mind. Though it scuffs up the front of Mando’s fresh new armor, so you know he’s seething under that helmet.
So, they capture Ming-Na, but apparently the destruction of Mando’s speeder earlier in the scene means that they can’t all get back on the one. Sure, we’ve seen Luke and Leia ride the same vehicle together, and it didn’t even seem to be taxing it all that much, but whatever. As we learned last episode, no one in this series seems to have seen Return of the Jedi.
Mando walks back to get that dewback they passed ages ago, while Cannavale and Ming-Na wait literally all night for him. Ming-Na does that stock scene where someone convinces the young fool trying to make a name for themselves into betraying their leader, but ends up getting offed in the process. By the time Mando gets back with this dino-ride, he’s left with a corpse and an even longer trek.
When Mando gets back to Mos Eisley’s docking bay 35, Cannavale is like, “Took you long enough!” He’s got Baby Yoda and Adult Amy Sedaris held hostage, and while he has the upper hand, it’s also kind of pathetic how he waited all night, then waited all day again. This guy is a joke.
Baby yada yada, Mando kills Cannavale pretty easily, pays off Sigourney Sedaris, and he’s off to his next extremely episodic chapter.
BUT! As the episode closes, we revisit Ming-Na Wen’s corpse, and not just for Disney to underline that they’ve given us a new Mulan more in line with the Chinese government. Some boots approach the body, and though they don’t have spurs, for some reason they clink around like they do. And while Boba Fett should definitely stay dead, and also doesn’t wear a cape so lengthy as the one seen here, well, there’s only one guy with such an egregious established foley work…
Whether or not it’s Boba Fett, one thing is certainly made clear by the usual credits concept art sequence: Amy Sedaris was definitely meant to be played by Linda Hunt.