The Mandalorian: Season 1, “Chapter 4: Sanctuary”

Original Air Date: November 29, 2019
Writer: Jon Favreau
Director: Bryce Dallas Howard

“This nice man is going to help protect us from the bad ones.”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Chapter 4 begins on a lush heavily forested planet called Sorgan (created exclusively for this episode) as a group of rural krill-farming villagers are suddenly attacked by a warring band of medieval soldiers known as Klatooinians. A mother and daughter barely survive the assault by hiding beneath a reed basket in a river.

Back aboard the Razor Crest, Mando pulls up a holomap in search of a remote place to lay low. Sorgan appears to be the best planet –a backwater locale with no major spaceport. When they land, Mando and the Child walk into a restaurant for some broth and Mando encounters another bounty hunter named Carasynthia “Cara” Dune (played by former MMA fighter Gina Carano). She is a former rebel alliance shock trooper who previously made several fast and quiet missions “mopping up after Endor” for the New Republic, mostly killing ex-Imperial warlords. However, when the war ended her work became political in nature, protecting delegates and suppressing riots which was not to her taste. At any rate, she suggests to the Mandalorian that he should move along to another planet.

Before he can depart, however, a pair of krill farmers appear in the dead of night to plead with the Mandalorian for protection of their village. They promise their village is located “in the middle of nowhere” so Mando agrees (hoping to protect The Child) and he invites Cara to join him. They spend a day or two living blissfully among the villagers where Mando is hosted by a woman named Omera (Julia Jones) with whom he develops a certain vague romantic affinity, however Cara and Mando soon discover massive AT-ST tracks in the woods. They try to persuade the villagers to abandon the village but the villagers refuse so Mando and Cara devise a plan to train the villagers to defend themselves against a forthcoming attack (a la Seven Samurai). They instigate a trap to lure the raiders to the village which leads to an all-out battle that only ends when Mando detonates the collapsed AT-ST.

A few weeks pass and Mando contemplates staying with the villagers and perhaps pursuing his romantic interest with Omera while also considering leaving the Child in the village where it can be safe, however all future plans are thrown into disarray when a rogue Kubaz bounty hunter is killed in the woods by Cara moments before it would have sniped Mando and the Child. All sentimentality felt by Mando dies and he quickly snatches the Child in hopes of making way for his ship through the woods by avoiding any crowded areas. Mando and Cara part ways and the villagers wave as he departs.

This was another enjoyable installment in the series, I especially loved the nod to Seven Samurai/The Magnificent Seven. It is a good reminder that Mando is now an outlaw being chased by other outlaws, akin to Clint Eastwood’s “The Man With No Name.”

The Mandalorian Trivia:

  • This episode was directed by Ron Howard’s daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard. She had grown up with George Lucas being a family friend. She completed work on this episode almost a year to the day after her father Ron Howard finished Solo:A Star Wars Story.
  • The plot for this episode is wholly based on Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Seven Samurai (which was famously remade into Hollywood’s The Magnificent Seven).
  • Lead actor Pedro Pascal was actually not featured in this episode as he was away working on a broadway performance of King Lear. He performed his vocal segments in post production.
  • The blue vats which are visible at the raider camp in this episode hold a special kind of drink called Spotchka mined by the krill farmers.
  • The battle in this episode is a nod to the similar story of the low-tech Ewoks who defeated the Empire on Endor in Return of the Jedi.

Return to my survey of The Mandalorian series

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