Forget the rumoured Boba Fett spin-off, the show we all need right now is ‘Baby Yoda Goes To School’. Eating sweets in class, pulling force tricks on the teacher, getting into mischief – it’s another meme-ready moment in The Mandalorian season 2 episode 4 that balances all the hardcore Star Wars action with a now trademark blend of odd/cute TV magic. If Baby Yoda isn’t stuffing pickled eggs in his face, he’s vomiting macaroons all over the inside of Mando’s ship. What’s not to love?
As expected, The Mandalorian takes yet another detour in ‘Chapter 12: The Siege’. Last week’s episode teased the appearance of fan-favourite Ahsoka Tano (The Clone Wars, Rebels) but we don’t get to meet her just yet. With the Razor Crest ship now full of sand, spiders and fish water, Mando has to make a pitstop back on Navarro to get his ship fixed before he can pick up the main storyline again.
This week’s episode is directed by Carl Weathers – who plays Navarro fixer Greef Karga (you’ll know him as Apollo Creed in the original Rocky movies) – and we meet him at the docking bay along with old season one buddy Cara Dune (Gina Carano). Cara has been busy saving muppet meerkats from roomfuls of ugly smugglers, but Greef has been rebuilding Navarro into something that looks almost respectable (as well as growing a cool beard). In the time Mando has been away, Greef has even turned his bar into a school – which serves as a handy day-care centre for Baby Yoda.
Greef and Cara are happy to help Mando patch up his ship but they’ve got a favour to ask while he waits – there’s one last Imperial base left on the planet and they need someone to help blow it up from the inside (that’s a new one…) Throw in some reluctant assistance from blue amphibian Mythrol (Horatio Sanz, first seen in the debut episode last year), and Weathers has just enough bods to stage a Star Wars heist.
Things start slowly, and a mutant lab reveal doesn’t come to much besides stoking fan theories about genetically modified Jedis, but it doesn’t take long before things ramp up into some of the best action of the series so far. By the time the gang are escaping from a troop of speeder bikes through a desert canyon – with TIE fighters scrambling in the sky above an exploding volcano – it’s easy to forget that this is a weekly TV show and not a Hollywood-grade Star Wars movie.
Mando disappears for most of the main set-piece (preparing for a triumphant comeback at just the right moment) and Weathers gives himself all the best bits – manning a giant gun on top of a cruiser tank, taking out stormtroopers Indiana Jones-style – but it’s great to see some of the supporting characters building themselves up into the kind of squad that Mando and Baby Yoda are going to need as the series draws nearer to a proper face-off.
With the Razor Crest fixed, and Baby Yoda out of school, Mando gets back on track to his meeting with Ahsoka. Whether or not he’ll finally get there next week is another question, as a series of codas cue up all the various loose ends that are starting to stack up. Moff Gideon is back, and he’s got a tracking device on the Razor Crest. We already know that Bo-Katan was tracking Moff Gideon, so we can expect her to show up again soon. Boba Fett is still nowhere to be seen, but that cameo can’t have been for nothing (and Mando still has his armour). And then there’s the New Republic, still acting like dumb traffic cops at the end of ‘Chapter 12’, but also sowing the seeds of rebellion in Cara’s head.
We’re halfway through the second season of The Mandalorian now and Baby Yoda might still be a long way from home, but everything is starting to align for what looks like a pretty explosive finale.
- Pause the video at exactly 18:54 to spot a crew member lurking in the background behind the gang’s big firefight. Just like the famous Game Of Thrones coffee cup, expect this guy in a t-shirt to mysteriously disappear soon…
- What was in Dr. Pershing’s (Omid Abtahi) lab tubes? Mention of “M-count” suggests midichlorians (don’t ask), but also hints at Gideon’s plans for Baby Yoda and a crop of Jedi clones.
- Baby Yoda’s supply teacher is a 3PO-series protocol droid – the same model as C-3PO (but this time with a female voice).
- The armoured cruiser the gang escape in is a Trexler Marauder, a new vehicle for the Star Wars universe.
The Mandalorian season 2 episode 4 is streaming on Disney+ now