The Mandalorian and Baby Grogu solve a mystery in “Guns For Hire”

Welcome to the latest instalment of my episode by episode reviews of season three of The Mandalorian. Previous installments may be found here.

Warning! Spoilers behind the cut!

The last episode seemed to give a new quest to Bo-Katan and Din Djarin, namely to locate other Mandalorians and bring them to Nevarro to unite the people of Mandalore. That is, the Armourer gave the quest to Bo-Katan. Din and Grogu are just along for the ride, because it Din, Bo-Katan and Grogu seem to have become a inseparable trio in the meantime. Which is both interesting and unexpected.

But more about that later. Cause this episode opens not with Din, Grogu and Bo-Katan, but with an organic looking ship crewed entirely by Quarrens (those are the squid-headed creatures living on Trask, the planet that is the Bremerhaven of the Star Wars universe). The captain is a female Quarren named Shuggoth. AV-Club reviewer Sam Barsanti finds that giving a member of a tentacled species such a Lovecraftian name is overkill and I tend to agree.

Captain Shuggoth is just enjoying a fishy snack, when her ship finds itself faced by an old Star Destroyer. Captain Shuggoth is confused, since she had no idea that there were Imperial leftover operating in this part of space. So she hails the Star Destroyer and apologises for the oversight of failing to pay protection money to the local warlord. The crew of the Star Destroyer responds that they do not serve any local warlord and that they’re not Imperial either.

The episode then cuts to the bridge of the Star Destroyer to reveal that the crew are not Imperial. They’re Mandalorians. More precisely, they’re Bo-Katan’s old followers, the Nite Owls, now led by her former associate Axe Woves. Bo-Katan’s other former associate Koska Reeves is also present as are a bunch of Mandalorians we’ve never seen before.

Axe Woves and his friends absconded with the Imperial ships Bo-Katan had taken from Moff Gideon and other warlords and now ply their trade as mercenaries. As for why they’re after Captain Shuggoth, it turns out that she eloped with a young Mon Calamari nobleman. His mother disapproves of the relationship – the Quarren and Mon Calamari (that’s Admiral Akbar’s people) are ancient enemies, even though they live on the same world, and a Quarren captain is not considered a suitable partner for a Mon Calamari nobleman. So the mother hired Axe Woves to return her son. The son (I don’t think the character ever gets a name) doesn’t want to leave his lover, but the Captain tells him it will be okay and that they’ll see each other again. There is a touching farewell scene, which involves the Captain stroking her lover with her facial tentacles, then the Mon Calamari prince is dragged away.

This scene is a remarkably touching interlude, especially considering that Captain Shuggoth and her Mon Calamari lover are throwaway characters we’ll likely never see again. However, the episode makes you feel for those two and also makes you want to learn more about their story, how they fell in love and came to run off together. reviewer Emmet Asher-Perrin points out that this love story is doubly unusual, first of all because both participants are aliens and secondly, because it reverses the genders of the typical pirate romance, where a dashing male pirate captain carries off a a princess or noblewoman who has fallen for him. In fact, I’ve written one of those myself.

Meanwhile, Axe Woves and his squad of Mandalorians are eager to return the wayward Mon Calamari prince to his mother, because they already have their next job lined up – on a world called Plazir-15. The name of the planet is pronounced like the French word “plaisir”, i.e. “pleasure”.

The scene shifts again and we see Din, Grogu and Bo-Katan aboard Bo-Katan’s ship, heading for – yes, you guessed it – Plazir-15.  Bo-Katan doesn’t know much about the planet and Din has never even heard of it. However, that’s where Bo-Katan’s former associates are, so that’s where they’ll go.

It’s notable how comfortable Din and Bo-Katan are with each other by now, especially considering that they didn’t particularly like each other up to the first episode of this season. I guess Bo-Katan’s time with Din’s people have softened these two towards each other. It’s also notable how comfortable Grogu is with Bo-Katan by now, to the point that his crib floats next to her in the pilot’s seat rather than next to where Din is seated. In general, we have seen Grogu’s world expand to include people who are not Daddy this season, whereas Grogu was very wary of anybody who was not Din but interacted with him in season 1 and also partly season 2. This matches the development of human children who start to become wary of strangers around six to eight months (which tends to express itself in crying bitterly when being held by grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives they don’t know very well) and then gradually become more independent of their parents and immediate caregivers and more open towards new people. As for Grogu, I suspect he decided that Bo-Katan was okay, after she saved Din’s life in “The Mines of Mandalore”.

Bo-Katan wants to land her ship next to the Mandalorian fleet and not interact with Plazir-15 and its people at all. However, Plazir-15 has other ideas. A robotic voice that’s so chipper it’s almost creepy welcomes Din, Bo-Katan and Grogu to Plazir-15, “the only direct democracy in the Outer Rim” and proceeds to direct them to a landing platform. And just to make sure that they land on the designated platform, the system promptly takes over the controls from Bo-Katan.

After landing, Din, Grogu and Bo-Katan get into a automated vacuum tube train, which requests to see their chain codes (a kind of personal ID) before it will even move. Bo-Katan once more tries to get the train to take her to the Mandalorian fleet, but once again the train has other ideas and informs them that the planetary government wants to see them and that the train will take them there. Din and Bo-Katan are not happy about this, but decide to go along for it for now.

The train takes them to the capital, where they are greeted by two droids, who look a lot like C-3PO and R2-D2 and stand there in the same pose as the famous publicity shot, only in all black. “If this is an independent democracy…” Bo-Katan wonders, “…why do they have Imperial droids?”

The black droids escort Din, Grogu and Bo-Katan to see the rulers of Plazir-15. They stand in front of a big white door, which slides open with a hiss to reveal a banquet table. At nerds of a feather, Haley Zapal points out that the scene is framed almost identically to the scene in The Empire Strikes Back, when another white door slides open to reveal a banquet table… and Darth Vader as well as Boba Fett.

Director Bryce Dallas-Howard has set the the scene up very well. Not just the framing, but also the slowly increasing feeling of dread that something is very off about Plazir-15. However, when the door slides open, there is no Darth Vader or Moff Gideon waiting. Instead, there’s a banquet table with lots of different alien species eating. A cheery female voice exclaims, “Oh look, it’s a family.”

The voice (I’ll go into who that voice belongs to later) is not all that wrong, because Din, Bo-Katan and Grogu very much look like a family in this scene. Now women have shown interest in Din ever since episode 4 of season 1, which is the first episode to air after Din has decided to keep Grogu (Grogu, of course, decided to keep Din by the end of episode 1) and coincidentally also the first episode to feature female characters other than the Armourer (also coincidentally, Bryce Dallas-Howard, director of “Guns for Hire”, also directed that episode). And ever since then, there has been no shortage of women who would love to be Grogu’s Mom. Talking of which, here is an article by Susanne Romanowski from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in which she attempts to explain why the entire Internet thinks that Pedro Pascal is sexy and why he is “the Internet’s Daddy”*. I initially assumed that Cara Dune would eventually be the one who ends up with Din, but since Cara is out for obvious reasons, it seems as if Bo-Katan might become Grogu’s Mom. At any rate, there are sparks flying between her and Din. And they would make a good couple. They’re both Mandalorians and they both want to restore Mandalore. And Din would be perfectly happy to let Bo-Katan lead the Mandalorians and be her house husband/consort. Provided that Disney does allow a Star Wars main character to be in a happy committed relationship.

In fact, AV-Club reviewer Sam Barsanti points out that “Guns For Hire” features not one but two committed couples (one of whom is happy and together by the end of the episode) in addition to the potential couple of Din and Bo-Katan. This is very unusual for Disney era Star Wars, which doesn’t seem to want romantic couples in its Star Wars movies. Hence, everybody is alone by the end of the sequel trilogy in spite of sparks flying in all directions. Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor don’t even get to kiss before they are blown up by the Death Star in Rogue One. In the same movie, Chirut Imwe and Baze Malbus also get killed and their relationship is barely hinted it. Boba Fett and Fennec Shand are very much just friends. Hell, Disney even broke up Han and Leia, the central couple of the original trilogy in The Force Awakens. Considering how central relationships of Han and Leia and Anakin and Padme respectively were to the original and the prequel trilogy, the absence of romance from Disney era Star Wars is really notable and IMO also lessens the films. True, not every story has to be about romance (e.g. The Mandalorian is about the love between parents and children, while Obi-Wan is about a man coming to terms with his own demons). But if no couple ever gets together and the most beloved couple of the entire franchise is broken up, it leaves a notable absence in the Disney era movies. I also don’t understand why Disney is apparently so opposed to romance in Star Wars, when it was an integral part of the franchise before. It’s probably some nonsense about being “family friendly” and how Star Wars is for little kids who don’t want romance in their entertainment. That last bit is a reason I’ve heard for why romantic content was (and continues to be in many cases) so dialed down in cartoons aimed at kids, ironically while the young viewers (both boys and girls) were scrutinising episodes for any hint of romantic attraction and were also shipping the characters like crazy.

As for the second committed couple of this episode, the voice who exclaims “Oh look, it’s a family” belongs to a woman known only as “the Duchess”, who is both the heriditary ruler of Plazir-15 as well as the elected leader, since Plazir-15 is a direct democracy (which normally means they have plebicites, but political systems in Star Wars have always been weird).  The actress playing the Duchess is none other than the singer, rapper and flautist Lizzo. And because one celebrity guest star in a scene isn’t enough, we also meet the Duchess’ husband Captain Bombardier (spelled and pronounced like the Canadian manufacturer of plans and train wagons), who is played by actor and comedian Jack Black. The story of the Duchess and Captain Bombardier is a true Romeo and Juliet tale – except with a happy ending. She was the daughter of the former aristocratic rulers of Plazir-15 and he was a former Imperial officer who was sent to Plazir-15 as part of the New Republic’s amnesty program. They fell in love and got married and now Captain Bombardier gets to live in the palace and wear an operetta uniform and have banquets and play crocket with plenty of colourful aliens. It’s a far cry from the depressing 1970s dystopian movie starring a guy in a turtleneck that Doctor Pershing wound up in.

Some people, such as io9 reviewer Germain Lussier, have complained that the celebrity guest stars are distracting and they have problems to stop seeing them as Jack Black and Lizzo. And indeed, it is notable that we’re seeing a lot more big name actors (and also directors) in the various Star Wars movies and TV shows, the various Marvel movies and TV shows, the various Star Trek shows, Doctor Who and other geeky properties (see the star-studded voice cast of Masters of the Universe: Revelation). But then, whole generations have grown up loving these properties. A lot of today’s big name stars watched Star Wars, Star Trek or Doctor Who and read Marvel comics as kids like the rest of us. And for these people, actually guest-starring in Star Wars, Star Trek, a Marvel movie or Doctor Who is a dream come true. There are so many celebrity guest stars in geeky movies and TV shows these days, because they want to do these films and shows. As for the producers, if a big name celebrity showed up on your doorstep and begged for a role, any role, in your movie or TV series, would you tell them to take a hike? No, of course not. And besides, Lizzo and Jack Black do a good job with their vaguely absurd roles.

The Duchess and Captain Bombardier invite Din and Bo-Katan to dinner and Din and Bo-Katan accept, at least party because they have no other choice, since it’s made very clear that they can’t go where they want to go, unless they listen to what the Duchess and Captain Bombardier have to say first. Like everybody else, the Duchess is also very taken by Grogu. “He does not take kindly to strangers”, Din grumbles, but Grogu clearly has other ideas and jumps out of his crib and straight into the Duchess’ arms, when she tempts him with what looks like a sardine. The way to Grogu’s heart still goes through his stomach.

During the dinner, the Duchess and Captain Bombardier also finally explain that they are of course happy for Bo-Katan and Din to pay a visit to the Mandalorian fleet, provided they do a little favour for them first. And what is that favour? Like much of the Star Wars universe, Plazir-15’s wealth, freedom and direct democracy rests on droid labour. More specifically, Imperial droids, including battle droids, that have been reprogrammed for peaceful purposes by Captain Bombardier. However, there is a problem. Because some of the droids have been malfunctioning of late, apparently returning to their aggressive original programming and attacking citizens. The Duchess and Captain Bombardier want to know why and they want Din and Bo-Katan to find the cause for the mysterious malfunctions.

Din quite reasonably asks why they don’t have their hired Mandalorian security force investigate the problem. It turns out that they can’t because the New Republic charter forbids armed mercenaries from entering the city. The same charter also forbids Plazir-15’s own security forces from bearing weapons or investigating the problem. After all, Captain Bombardier is a member of the amnesty program and can’t possibly be trusted (whereas Elia Kane, who really cannot be trusted, apparently enjoys a high degree of trust). So the New Republic won’t allow member worlds to protect themselves – in what is a very dangerous galaxy – and they also won’t respond to requests for help, as we saw last episode. Tell me again why anybody would want to join this bunch?

So Din and Bo-Katan go off to investigate the mystery of the malfunctioning droids – not that they have any other choice. As for why they are allowed to walk around the city armed, well, they’re Mandalorians and weapons are part of their culture. The episode now turns into a science fiction mystery. Sam Barsanti compares the investigation part to Law & Order, but Law & Order devotes at least half of every episode to the ‘law” part. A buddy cop show is a far better comparison. And the second half of “Guns for Hire” is very much structured like a buddy cop show with our mismatched partners questioning witnesses and suspects, gathering clues and finally cracking the case.

Grogu remains with the Duchess, while Din and Bo-Katan begin their investigation by talking to the head of Plazir-15’s unarmed security force, one Commissioner Helgait, whose name practically screams “villain”. We also get another celebrity guest star, because Commissioner Helgait is played by none other than Christopher Lloyd, who amazingly has never been in anything Star Wars to date, even though his career very much paralleled the course of Star Wars. Commissioner Helgait shows Din and Bo-Katan some security footage of droid malfunctions ranging from the funny (a droid throws boxes he’s supposed to carry at a random woman) to the dangerous (a multi-armed and knifed sushi chef droid tries to slice and dice the patrons of the sushi bar where he works). BTW, I totally want a sushi chef droid now.

Din, who has deep-seated issues with doids after all, asks Helgait why they don’t just shut all the droids down. Helgait shows them one of those big red buttons of doom and says that he could easily shut down every single droid on Plazir-15 by pressing that button. However, he can’t do that, because Plazir-15 is a direct democracy and the people voted against shutting down the droids, because then they would have to do all the menial work themselves. Ironically, Plazir-15 with its direct democracy is exactly what I wanted a post-Empire Star Wars universe to look like, when I was fifteen.

Now my teenaged years coincided with the long leaden reign of Helmut Kohl, who became chancellor when I was nine and governed until I was twenty-five. Now I did not like Kohl and I liked much of his cabinet even less. The four successive Kohl governments were dominated by conservative and xenophobic men who wanted to keep (West) Germany stuck in the 1950s forever. The Kohl era was grey and leaden and endless. No one liked Kohl, he was the butt of jokes, a gift to political cartoonists. Pretty much everybody of my generation and many of the older generation wanted nothing more than Kohl gone and yet someone (the Bavarians, the East Germans, the Catholics, old people, your Nazi uncle) kept electing the guy again and again and again.

For a teenager who was politically interested and had many ideas about how (West) Germany could be so much better, it was torture, because I couldn’t even vote. Even though I was certain that if I could only vote, Kohl would finally be gone (spoiler alert: it didn’t work). Meanwhile, politics class in school dutifully taught us about the difference between representative and direct democracy and why the West German system was the best ever, even though it was plain to see that it wasn’t. When I asked the teacher, “Why don’t we have plebicites like the Swiss, and why can’t we even directly elect our president like the Americans or the French, especially since that was possible in the Weimar Republic?” the answer was basically, “Because Germans can’t be trusted not to a elect a Hitler or Hindenburg again.” Which was as fucking offensive in 1988 as it is today.

Personally, I really, really liked the idea of direct democracy, because it meant you could vote on everything without having to trust that some elected politician would vote the way you wanted them to. And so I privately decided that of course the Rebellion would install a direct democracy in the galaxy, after defeating the Empire, because it was obviously the best and fairest form of government. I also decided that the Rebellion would obviously function like a direct democracy, because they were not the Empire. Mind you, none of this is even remotely implied in the movies or the early tie-in novels and I have no idea how a galactic scale direct democracy would function. However, it could function on a planet with a smallish population like Plazir-15 or coincidentally also among a small group like the Mandalorians. Coincidentally, I now wonder whether Jon Favreau or Dave Filoni also imagined the New Republic as a direct democracy.

Commissioner Helgait claims to have no idea why the droids malfunction. But maybe the Ugnaughts in charge of repairing the droids might know something. So Din and Bo-Katan go to see the Ugnaughts residing in the lower levels of the capital Plazir-15. Bo-Katan tries to question the Ugnaughts and gets precisely nowhere – the Ugnaughts just ignore her and continue their work. Din draws on his friendship with Kuill from season 1 and manages to get through to the Ugnaughts by using their communication style (“I have spoken”) and also by respecting and praising their work. The Ugnaughts, so Din tells Bo-Katan, would never admit to the droids malfunctioning, because that would be an insult to their hard work. However, Din gets the Ugnaughts to tell him where they expect the next droid problem to happen, namely at the spaceport loading docks. So Din and Bo-Katan have another clue and a new destination.

At the loading dock, Bo-Katan interviews the repurposed battle droid (one of the goofy looking battle droids from The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones) overseeing the work done by somewhat bulkier battle droids. The droid is utterly shocked and claims that there are no malfunctions and that no droid at the dock would even think of attacking humans. Din – who really, really doesn’t like droids – meanwhile starts kicking random droid carrying boxes to see if one of them will attack him. The scene is reminiscent of those videos of Boston Dynamics robots getting kicked in order to show their stability. It’s also disturbing, because what Din is doing here is basically the equivalent of a cop beating up a suspect. Finally, one of the droids does snap and attack Din – not that I can really blame him. Because Din does behave like an arsehole here.

Now that Din has provoked a droid into malfunctioning, we are treated to a chase scene through a cyberpunky street, until Din and Bo-Katan take down the droid. On the droid’s body, they find another clue. A spark plug – the droid equivalent of a matchbook – from a place ominously named The Resistor.

So Bo-Katan and Din head to The Resistor and it turns out to be the droid equivalent of the Mos Eisley Cantina, a bar that’s entirely patronised by droids of all shapes, types and sizes. I think every type of droid ever seen in Star Wars can be spotted at The Resistor.

This is as good a moment as any to discuss the general issue of the position of droids in the Star Wars universe. Star Wars droids are clearly sentient and intelligent beings, true artificial intelligence. And yet every group, whether the Old Republic, the Empire, the Rebellion or the New Republic, persists in treating droids like slave labour. This isn’t even particularly subtle. The “We don’t serve their kind in here” comment of the Cantina bartender all the way back in A New Hope makes the parallels crystal clear.  Of course, that comment was probably a throwaway line – back in 1977, no one ever expected Star Wars to grow and expand as it did – but it still set the tone for how droids are treated in the Star Wars universe for the next 46 years. And since The Resistor is a clear call-back to the Mos Eisley cantina, the looks that Din and Bo-Katan get, when they enter the bar, are a call-back to the “We don’t server their kind in here” comment.

Frankly, I – and many others I guess – expected the droid malfunctions to be actually a robot uprising with The Resistor as the resistance headquarters. I even suspected that the Ugnaughts might be in on it as well, because Ugnaughts are treated no better than droids in the Star Wars universe. They live in the sewers and are treated as cheap labour to keep the place running for everybody else. Some of them, like Kuill, have even been enslaved. So I expected that the droid malfunctions would turn out to be a uprising of the droids and the Ugnaughts, trying to persuade the direct democracy of Plazir-15 that they are people, too, and that they want a vote and a say.  Which would have been a powerful message. However, the episode decides not to go there, but backs off instead.

At io9, James Whitbrook goes into the messed up relationship that Star Wars in general and The Mandalorian in particular has with droids. And while I have sympathy for Din’s childhood trauma and his resulting wariness of droids, over the course of three seasons of The Mandalorian, Din has met plenty of droids who were not out to kill him. He even made friends with droids. So why, when faced with a bar full of droids just going about their business, does Din immediately feel the need to go all bad cop on them, until Bo-Katan holds him back?

Especially since it turns out that the droids are actually eager to help. They are understandably worried that they will be deactivated as a reaction to the attacks. Also – and this is truly disturbing – the droid bartender tells Din and Bo-Katan that the droids don’t mind doing menial labour for organic beings. After all, organic beings created them and besides, droid lifespans are so much longer than those of most organic lifeforms in the Star Wars universe bar exceptions like Yoda, Yaddle and Grogu and the Ugnaughts, who are very long-lived. I’m sorry, but that sounds very much like, “Yes, we’re slaves, but we’re happy to be slaves.”

The bartender tells Din and Bo-Katan that the malfunctioning droids were all patrons at his bar and that they all drank from the same batch of Nepenthe, a lubricant fluid with a very telling name. So now Din and Bo-Katan have yet another clue to pursue.

We now get the Star Wars take on a typical scene that’s found in every cop show, namely the coroner scene. The coroner is this case is a delightfully butch woman and her clients are droids, in particular the battle droid that Din kicked into attack mode. The coroner analyses the Nepenthe and finds nano-bots therein, which have caused the droids to attack people. The problem on Plazir-15 is not a robot uprising, but sabotage. The coroner can even track the nano-bots to a particular person on Plazir-15, but before she can tell Din and Bo-Katan (and us) who it is, the dissection droid suddenly attacks, until our Mandalorian duo shoots it down.

And the mastermind behind the droid attacks is – drumroll – Commissioner Helgait. This reveal isn’t as surprising as it should be, because a) you don’t cast Christopher Lloyd for a throwaway part, b) a name like Helgait practially screams “I’m a villain” and c) in the standard cop show formula, the first or second person questioned is usually the one who did it. Indeed, it is striking how much the middle part of this episode is structured like a cop show with all the necessary beats. And I for one would love a Star Wars buddy cop show, something along the lines of CSI Coruscant.

As for the motive – no, for once it has nothing to do with the Empire. Instead, Commissioner Helgait is a member of the Separatists who were the prime antagonists in the Clone Wars some thirty years before. “Count Dooku was a visionary”, Helgait snarls in the best Bond villain manner, while he threatens to push the big red button of doom. Bo-Katan, however, isn’t in the mood for Bond villain monologues and just zaps him.

Din and Bo-Katan drag Helgait back to the Duchess and Captain Bombardier, who are playing croquet, while Grogu uses the Force to manipulate the ball in the Duchess’ favour. It’s nice to see Grogu’s world growing, as he grows close to people other than Din.

The Duchess is shocked, since Helgait has always been a loyal supporter of her family, and exiles him to a moon. Din and Bo-Katan not only get permission to finally visit the Mandalorian fleet, but they are also given the key to the city (a literal key) and while Grogu is knighted as a Knight of the Ancient Order of Independent Regencies. The name somehow sounds like a book club dedicated to reading and discussing regency romances by indie authors, but even though Grogu chose the Mandalorians over the Jedi, he is nonetheless now a knight.

Now Din and Bo-Katan finally do what they came to Plazir-15 for in the first place, namely talk to the Mandalorian fleet and try to persuade them to join up with the Armourer’s people and retake Mandalore. As expected, Axe Woves isn’t particularly happy to see Bo-Katan nor is he willing to give up control of the fleet, not without a fight. So Bo-Katan challenges him to a duel and wins. Axe yields, but not without snarling that she will never be the leader of the Mandalorians, because she hasn’t got the darksabre and hasn’t challenged Din to win it back.

Din once more tries offering the darksabre to Bo-Katan, but she can’t accept it. According to the beliefs of her people, who are just as superstitious as the Armourer’s group in their own way, she needs to win the darksabre in battle. But Bo-Katan doesn’t want to fight Din – because she likes him and because she doesn’t want to fight her people.

Then Din steps forward and explains that he lost the darksabre to the spidery vampire droid on Mandalore and that Bo-Katan beat the droid and rescued Din, so she won the darksabre fair and square. He tries handing it to her again and this time Bo-Katan accepts it and ignites the darksabre, looking very badarse. The queen of the Mandalorians is back.

The Mandalorian usually wears its influences on its sleeve, but this episode is a mess of different influences. The design of Plazir-15 with its domes cities and vacuum tube trains feels very much like Logan’s Run, which came out the year before A New Hope. The over-the-top costumes of the Duchess and Captain Bombardier have been compared to a Disney fairytale or Alice in Wonderland. The entire middle part is basically a buddy cop show set in the Star Wars universe with some cyberpunk visuals. The oddly harmless ending of Helgait sort of apologising for causing trouble and being exiled to a moon feels like something from a children’s cartoon, where nothing bad ever happens to anybody, not even the villains – and indeed, Dave Filoni got his start overseeing the animated Star Wars shows which were aimed at children. The weird planet of the week has been compared to Doctor Who, while Camestros Felapton detects the influence of 2000AD. In short, it’s a mess of influences, which is appropriate for an episode that was something of a mess.

A lot of people did not particularly like this episode, because the tone is very inconsistent – the fight with Axe Woves is a lot darker than the largely comedic hijinks that have gone before – and the buddy cop side quest takes up the majority of the episode. Also, we’re only three episodes from the end of the season and it is still not clear what the actual endgame is.

However, I actually liked this episode because it is delightfully weird and the buddy cop side quest is a lot of fun, even though it once again sidesteps the problem of the way droids are treated in the Star Wars universe. Besides, a lot of people seem to want the show to be more like Andor and forget that The Mandalorian has always been a meandering show that goes wherever it’s going at its own pace. At the episode six mark in season 1, Din was bullied into breaking a Twi’lek criminal out of prison by some old associates – an episode that did not contribute much to the overall story arc. By the episode six mark in season 2, Din took Grogu to an ancient Jedi temple to send out a psychic signal, fought Boba Fett and watched Grogu getting kidnapped. However, the point where all the threads run together have always been the last two episodes of every season. Which means that the next two episodes should be the point where the meandering path leads towards a concrete endpoint.

*For a paper that has the reputation of being a somewhat conservative high-quality and high culture paper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has a remarkable number of geeks among its staff and some very good pop culture coverage.

This entry was posted in TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Mandalorian and Baby Grogu solve a mystery in “Guns For Hire”

  1. Pingback: The Mandalorian and Baby Grogu return to Mandalore and meet “The Spies” | Cora Buhlert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *