The Mandalorian Recap: S03E02, “Star Wars: Into Darkness”

An iconic shot.

As we’ve learned far too often, after its first season, The Mandalorian became all about revisiting old friends instead of having fun guest stars in one-off adventures.

Season three’s second episode does not disappoint on that disappointing front. But we’ll give it a pass, because at least Amy Sedaris is back.

She opens the episode in a discussion with some Greedo guy about how many months it will take to fix his speeder. We don’t actually know how long a month is in Star Wars or on Tatooine specifically, but it’s apparently long enough to get this guy pissed off.

Like so much in the world of Star Wars, it doesn’t really matter.

Mando soon shows up and asks for the part he needs to fix his droid friend Taika WaiT1-T1. (See last episode, dear readers!) He’s been weirdly fixated on bringing that robot back from the dead, rebuffing Mayor Carl Weathers’ attempts to give him a new, similar model. So it’s weird that when Amy Sedaris says she can’t get the part and offers him an even shittier droid, he’s almost immediately like, “Fine!”

And the whole point of needing a droid at all was to assess whether the planet Mandalore is safe to walk around on without life support. As if the idea of scout probes hasn’t already been established in this universe. Oh, also the droid seems to be the one Luke nearly bought instead of R2-D2 back in 1977. Because what is a modern Star War without constant familiar references?

Well, Mando takes the droid; he gets down there to the Mandalore surface; he sends out the droid; and it disappears from his tracker.

So now Mando decides to reveal that he could have just turned his helmet on to sealed-off mode all along and done this himself. He didn’t need to breathe here! It doesn’t matter whether Mandalore is breathable! He could have just sealed off his suit and taken care of this! Nonetheless, he’s now going to seal off his helmet to retrieve the droid.

Mando heads into this cave the droid spelunked into, and he’s quickly attacked by whatever are the Star Wars version of the Morlocks from The Time Machine. He tries to fight these cave trolls with the Darksaber®, but it’s a whole thing, because they have to deal with Darksaber® creator Dave Filoni’s baloney about how it’s hard to swing if you don’t believe in it or something. As if Star Wars needed more convoluted, magical mechanics.

Finally, Mando rescues the droid and proceeds to get its readings: turns out, Mandalore is fine. Just as he didn’t need the first droid, he didn’t need this one either. And just as he could have simply gone straight to Mandalore, we could have just skipped most of these first two episodes. We’re all really spinning our wheels here.

Thusly, Mando heads down into the Mandalore mines with Baby Yoda—who here basically acts as the player surrogate of this Lucasarts SCUMM adventure game.

“Look: that passage heads down,” Mando says for some reason. Great! Click the walk icon over there to descend, Baby Yoda!

He does! And as he does, he heads into the darkness, and like countless times before with streaming series—these Star Wars ones in particular—the darkness looks like dogshit. (In fairness, this episode looks better than a lot of The Mandalorian’s prior dark efforts.)

At this point, Mando decides to start rooting around the wreckage of Mandalore, and he’s caught unaware by this big bug idiot.

People—George Lucas included until recently—keep wanting to make films and series set in “the Star Wars universe,” but keep forgetting that simple, iconic designs are a huge part of that. They get all busy with it. So now we’ve got this big, multi-limbed idiot and pilot that are some mix of General Grievous, the BT-16 perimeter droid, Maz Kanata, and The Matrix.

Anyway, this idiot steals off with Mando and puts him in this spit-roast campfire cooker. Now it’s up to Baby Yoda to click around enough to sort this tedium out.

And indeed he does!

Baby Yoda heads back to Katee Sackhoff, who is still lounging on her throne and not even doing anything. Read a book! Stream a series! Do something! It’s so insane that her thing is sitting in a chair. And acting about as well as community theater. And having an atrocious dye-job.

It seems like she’s ready to off Mando “once and for all,” but once she finds out Mando is actually in trouble, she’s like, “Alright, let’s save him instead.”

Off to the mines of Mandalore!

She gets down there, and it becomes even more apparent how bad this looks.

Look, we’ve gone on about this endlessly, but seriously, look at the difference between this episode versus Prometheus as a comparison of ladies in a weird planet’s creepy ruins lit only by a yellowish light on their heads:

Quite a contrast! Or, in one case, lack thereof.

Yada yada, they go down, they have a fight, they save Mando, and, finally, they have a little campout. The main takeaway is that Sackhoff briefly used the Darksaber® and it was more responsive to her because of the magic—yet she gives it back to Mando for reasons presumably related to its convoluted mechanics.

Finally, the crew reaches the Living Water or whatever, and, like a husky boy, Mando walks into the pool almost fully clothed.

Unfortunately, there he encounters what has long been his stock enemy: a big ol’ monster MF’er.

Mando is immediately wrecked by this Jurassic World castoff, but thankfully for him, Sackhoff shows up to do a bad job recreating the sewer level of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire and save him.

And that’s that.

You’d figure there was going to be some sort of resolution, but that’s it.

See ya next week!

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