Original Air Date: November 13, 2020
Writer: Jon Favreau
Director: Bryce Dallas Howard
The opening shot of this episode features a damaged Razor Crest as it passes the gas giant Kol Iben and drifts toward the estuary moon of Trask. In its fragile state, the Razor Crest narrowly avoids crash-landing into the harbor station on Trask and once outside Mando strolls around the harbor city where a large number of aquatic creatures roam. The Frog Lady from the previous episode is reunited with her husband. Here we are treated to some wonderful symphonic music reminiscent of old Hollywood which I found delightful.
On Trask we see Mando enter a tavern at an inn filled with Quarrens and Mon Calamari creatures. While asking around in search of any fellow Mandalorians on this planet, Mando is offered transportation aboard a boat helmed by Quarrens, however shortly after departing he is betrayed and nearly killed by a massive sea creature before a trio of Mandalorians suddenly appears to rescue him. This trio consists of Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica and who voiced Bo-Katan in The Clone Wars and Rebels) and her teammates Koska Reeves (WWE fighter Sasha Banks) and Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides). Mando is thankful but he quickly distrusts them after breaking religious protocol and removing their helmets so Bo-Katan explains that she belongs to an ancient tradition of Mandalore, whereas our protagonist is actually a child of “the Watch” or part of a religious zealot group that broke away from the true path of Mandalorians. She also hints at the fact that the planet Mandalore might not be in as bad a condition as propaganda from the Empire would have us believe.
Bo-Katan offers to help Mando find a Jedi for Baby Yoda if he can first help take down an Imperial freighter parked in the Trask harbor. The squad of Mandalorians leads an impressive attack on the ship, evacuating a number of Imperial guards out an airlock, however the pilots communicate with Moff Gideon who commands that they crash the ship into the ground instead while proclaiming, “long live the Empire.” Nevertheless, the Mandalorian squad rescues the ship just in time and Bo-Katan reveals her true purpose: to locate Moff Gideon so she can recover the illustrious Dark Saber in order to rule Mandalore (she is now the last of her family lineage). She advises Mando to seek a Jedi named Ahsoko-Tano –a name familiar to die-hard fans of Star Wars— on the old forest planet Corvus in a city called Calodan. Mando then departs from Trask with Baby Yoda aboard his damaged ship.
I thought this was a terrific episode in the series. Thus far each episode in Season 2 has served as an extended side-quest for Mando with minimal forward momentum, but each little adventure has been unique and memorable so far. This episode sets us up for an exciting quest in the next episode, as well. Bryce Dallas Howard has directed truly some of the best Star Wars extended material.
The Mandalorian Trivia:
- The swearing phrase “dank farrick” is used several times in this episode. It first appeared in “Chapter 1” of The Mandalorian.
- The characters Bo-Katan and Ahsoka Tano first appeared in Dave Filoni’s animated The Clone Wars series. Bo-Katan was a member of the resistance exiled terrorist Mandalorian group known as Death Watch (in the Nite owls division). They were a conservative group who sought revive Mandalorian warrior heritage. Her sister was the Duchess Satine, ruler of Mandalore and lover of Obi-Wan Kenobi who was tragically executed in front of Kenobi by Darth Maul in The Clone Wars. Maul and his brother overthrew Satine initially with the support of Death Watch and Maul formed the “Shadow Collective.” However, Bo-Katan and her supporters soon rejected Maul’s tyrannical rule, and Bo-Katan was then made Lady of the House of Kyrze (her familial house name), but her regency was short-lived as she rejected the rule of the Emperor. The Imperial presence on Mandalore led to yet another civil war.
- The opening scene of the Razor Crest nearly crashing into Trask is an homage to Apollo 13.
- The large harbor cranes on Trask are actually repurposed AT-ATs. Note: the original cranes in the classic Star Wars were based on the harbor machinery in Oakland, CA.
- Katee Sackhoff had a difficult time playing Bo-Katan, whom she previously voiced in more than one Star Wars animated series. Of course she most famously played Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica.
- As in the previous episode, there are two more brief allusions to Ridley Scott’s Alien in this episode with a similar xenomorphic “face-hugger” creature which latches onto Baby Yoda for a moment.
- Titus Welliver of Lost and Deadwood fame plays the anonymous Imperial captain who kills himself instead of revealing information to Bo-Katan about Moff Gideon.
- This episode’s title “The Heiress” is a reference to Bo-Katan’s relationship with the leadership of Mandalore.