Original Air Date: December 27, 2019
Writer: Jon Favreau
Director: Taika Waititi
“Mandalorian isn’t a race, it’s a creed.”
Chapter 8 –the final episode of Season 1 of The Mandalorian— opens with an amusing scene of two scout troopers from the previous chapter. They are seated on their speeder bikes awaiting instructions from Moff Gideon to deliver the stolen Child (both are played by comedians Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally). There are plenty of jokes as the stormtroopers try to shoot a box on the ground, failing miserably over and over. They are also abusive toward Baby Yoda and thus it is gratifying when the reprogrammed IG-11 arrives and utterly demoralizes these two troopers in order to reclaim the Child. IG-11 then invades the city on Nevarro in an effort to rescue his trapped compatriots consisting of Mando, Cara Dune, and Greef Karga.
IG-11 cruises through the city on a speeder bike shooting stormtroopers left and right. The group enters into a classic Western shootout with Moff Gideon’s forces before returning to their bunker (here, we are offered some vital background information on Mando, as well as on Karga and Cara). Mando is injured but he is nursed back to health by IG-11 via a bacta fusion (in a reversal of the events of Chapter 1 in which Mando once distrusted IG-11). The group escapes through a hatch leading to a sewer where Mando spots a pile of Mandalorian helmets and armor (perhaps from events following Chapter 3). Distraught, he spots the head of his clan as she is melting down the beskar steel –she gives Mando his signet and a jet pack, while also acknowledging that not all the Mandalorians died, some likely escaped off planet. As the group escapes, she remains behind and single-handedly defeats a pod of stormtroopers like a Samurai.
The group, ever aware of approaching Imperial forces, flee to an underground lava river. They board a nearby boat helmed by what appears to be an R2 droid (in a scene reminiscent of classical motifs from antiquity such as the River Styx or Acheron). As they approach the end of the tunnel, Mando uses his infrared capabilities and discovers a huge squad of stormtroopers awaiting them at the end, so IG-11 surprisingly decides to sacrifice himself for the sake of the group –we imagine that this act of self-sacrifice forces Mando to reconsider his prejudice against droids. Once the stormtroopers are eliminated, this leads to a brief but intense battle with Moff Gideon from above in his TIE fighter as Mando employs his new jet pack. He attaches himself to the TIE fighter and detonate it.
Moff Gideon’s TIE fighter then crashes to the ground and the remaining group decides to part ways, Cara and Karga remain on Nevarro to rebuild the Bounty Hunters’ Guild while Mando takes the Child. In the end, Mando returns to the Razor Crest and buries his old friend Kuiil. In the final scene of Season 1 a collection of Jawas are found ransacking the crashed TIE fighter when Moff Gideon suddenly emerges brandishing a dark saber as the series concludes.
The Mandalorian Trivia:
- In this episode we learn that the Mandalorian’s true name is Din Djarin. And we learn that he was a foundling, rescued from the Clone Wars by a covert of Mandalorians. We also see his face under the helmet for the first time in this episode, in violation of the Mandalorian religion.
- Comedians Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally play the two stormtroopers at the outset of this episode.
- We learn that Cara Dune comes from the planet of Alderaan, which was destroyed in A New Hope by the Death Star.
- We learn that Greef Karga was once a “disgraced magistrate.”
- Moff Gideon is a former ISB agent for the Empire (or Information and Security Bureau, a law enforcement branch of the Empire), hence why he knows the name Din Djarin.
- The Mandalorian’s signet in this episode is referred to as “Rising Phoenix.”
- As in Chapter 7, members of the Star Wars fan organization called the “501st Legion” participated as extras in this episode, since the producers did not have enough stormtrooper costumes on hand.