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‘The Mandalorian’ goes back to the beginning to setup what’s next

A somewhat-bottleneck episode has some rather huge implications for what’s to come next in ‘Star Wars: The Mandalorian’

Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and mythrol (Horatio Sanz) in “The Mandalorian.”
Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and mythrol (Horatio Sanz) in “The Mandalorian.”
Disney Plus

“Star Wars: The Mandalorian” took a break from its running storyline and returned to where the show — and “Star Wars” in general — began with a campy, adventure episode pitting one group against the Galactic Empire.

And it perfectly set up the wild ride that’s coming next.

The fourth episode of the season — titled “The Siege” — features the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child (Baby Yoda) returning to the planet Nevarro, where they’re going to repair their ship as they head off to find Ahsoka Tano. While there, Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) and Marshal Cara Dune (Gina Carano) ask the Mandalorian for help in destroying an imperial base — one they think is abandoned. Of course, it’s not, and an action-adventure story ensues.

I won’t dip too much into the spoiler pool here. But the episode features a return to the original days of “The Mandalorian.” A character from one of the early episode returns, we see imagery and slight nods to the first season, and the general vibe of season 1 lingers through episode 4.

We’ve been deep in the running storyline of the Mandalorian seeking out the Jedi. And last week’s episode was certainly one of the more risky chances “Star Wars” has taken by including “The Clone Wars” characters. This week, “The Mandalorian” played it safe, relying on a tried and true storyline of a group of individuals uniting to take on the Empire, and it worked immensely.

It’s hard to nail down a specific fault with the episode. It’s a little jarring to go from last week’s epic episode to this week’s bottleneck one. And there’s less Mando than you’d probably want. But the visuals are stunning once again here, and there’s plenty of Easter eggs and little nods to “Star Wars” to keep you invested along the way.

I would say that anyone who’s sick of the whole “Mandalorian rescues group from villain” storyline might not enjoy this episode, since it definitely carries that type of storyline. But then again, that’s the show en masse, so it’s unlikely to change.

Here are some deeper takeaways from the show.

There’s a lot of lore and deep ‘Star Wars’ trivia within this episode.

I can’t stress enough how much you’ll want to have the captions on for this episode. There’s a cute scene that includes a protocol droid teaching younglings about the New Republic, the Empire and the entire galaxy, giving a history lesson. There are little nods to the original, prequel and sequel trilogies, as well as the spinoff films, in a brief scene that will have you wanting to watch some of the old films to confirm some of the details. It’s a really fun moment for “Star Wars” fans who want to know more about how the galaxy works.

Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and mythrol (Horatio Sanz) in “The Mandalorian.”
Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), Cara Dune (Gina Carano), the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and mythrol (Horatio Sanz) in “The Mandalorian.”
Disney Plus

There are also a few nods to the previous season of “The Mandalorian,” including an extra cool statue that you’ll want to look out for in the streets of Nevarro. Don’t forget to brush up on your season 1 history to understand that, and everything that’s discussed at the Imperial base that they rush into.

This is one thing that “The Mandalorian, has done well — weaving little historical and trivia bits from “Star Wars” into the show.

This episode had total ‘A New Hope’ vibes.

The episode reminds me of “A New Hope” in so many ways. A person from the past asking for help to take on the Empire. A group coming together to take on the bad guys. The premise is so similar to “A New Hope” in those ways, and it delivers in the same fashion.

Moreover, the feel and look of the episode perform in a similar light. The stormtroopers miss shots like they did in “A New Hope,” the Imperial base has a design similar to the Death Star. Even the closing scene has a little wink to Darth Vader.

Scout Troopers in “The Mandalorian.”
Disney Plus

“The Mandalorian” gets a lot of credit for blazing a new trail in the “Star Wars” universe, creating an entirely new story that’s separate from the Skywalker Saga. That said, returning to the core of the franchise shouldn’t be dismissed, as it clearly reminds us where we were so we can understand where we’re going.

The episode set up the rest of the season, and future seasons.

This section will have minor spoilers, so I saved it for the end. Please cut out here if you don’t want spoilers.

OK. So, the fourth episode of the season had a particularly important few moments here, setting up the rest of the season and future seasons. That’s right. The episode set up a clash that’s likely to come at the end of season 2, and one that might come far down the line.

The true ending featured Moff Gideon once again. An officer tells him that they are tracking the Mandalorian and the Child. And he reveals an entire army of troopers that he’s ready to deploy. This immediately sets up the coming battle between Mando and Gideon, showing that the latter is on a deep hunt to find the Child, and he won’t rest until he does. These two have been on a crash course to find each other this season, and I’m sure we will see them clash down the road.

Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), Cara Dune (Gina Carano) in “The Mandalorian.” Gina Carano is linking up with Ben Shapiro for a new project.
Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), Cara Dune (Gina Carano) in “The Mandalorian.”
Disney+

But there’s another moment in episode 4 that I want to talk about — when the New Republic officers soar into Nevarro. An officer from the New Republic — who we last saw in episode 2 — arrives to talk with Greef and Cara about why the Imperial base exploded, accusing the Razor’s Crest of doing the damage. The officer says that there’s something going on out in the Outer Rim, and the New Republic should be involved.

To me, this was totally a moment where the show is setting up a bigger fight down the road. I don’t know if it’s going to happen immediately, but it definitely feels like we’re going to see the New Republic take on a bigger role in future seasons, bringing us closer to the characters of the Skywalker Saga.

The Gideon fight for the Child might last another season or two. But if the show is planning on lasting for four or five seasons, we just got our first look at what might come next.

In an episode that harkened back to the beginning of “Star Wars,” we now know where this entire series might be heading.