The Mandalorian Chapter 21: A Planet Under Siege

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Thomas Richards
| April 3, 2023
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The Mandalorian kicks off the second half of season 3 this week in explosive fashion. Titled “The Pirate,” this is the most action-packed episode yet. Chapter 21 starts connecting all the plot points from this season, setting up what can only be trouble for Din and Grogu. Throw in some dogfights with the return of the sentient seaweed, and you have one hell of an episode on your hands.

Chapter 21 begins back on Nevarro, where Greef Karga is managing the improvements to the city. Then out of nowhere, they are attacked by that gross green guy from the start of the season. His name is Gorian Shard (I like sentient seaweed better), and he’s just a tad upset about Din killing some of his guys (they deserved it). Because Gorian is such a sore loser, he attacks the city and forces the civilians to flee. Karga sends a message for help before escaping with the others.

I had a feeling this sesame street reject would be back. They wouldn’t waste such a “unique” looking character; they’ve never done that before (cough, Snoke, cough). Even though I felt he would be back, Gorian still didn’t feel all that intimidating. Maybe it’s because we haven’t seen him do much, or maybe it’s because the last character to have the title of pirate king raised the bar too high (can Hondo come back yet, please). Regardless, Gorian’s tantrum gives an excuse for a dope battle to happen, so it’s not all bad.

Greef Karga is being threatened by Gorian Shard, who's on a hologram.
Don’t make friends with this salad. (Lucasfilm)

You’d think that the first person Karga would ask for help would be Din, right? I mean, they’re friends and have helped each other out in the past. So, does he ask Din for help? Nope. He sends the message to the New Republic Captain, Carson Teva. Teva is chilling in a bar when he gets the message and decides to help. During this scene, there’s an unexpected cameo from a certain character. If you’re a fan of Star Wars Rebels, you’ll lose your mind (I won’t say who, I don’t want to spoil the surprise).

Teva heads to Coruscant to get help, but if you remember from chapter 19, the New Republic isn’t doing the best right now. Teva’s pleas are brushed aside because Nevarro isn’t part of the New Republic. Something that Elia Kane is all too happy to point out. Teva gives up on getting their help and instead tracks the Mandalorians down. He convinces Din to help, and, Din convinces the other members of his cult, I mean clan. I’m getting more and more interested in how the New Republic seems to be running things. Especially because it’s given me the vibe of how the Empire was running things in Andor, just without the whole galactic conquest thing.

Carson Teva looks distressed while standing in a New Republic office.
Dealing with idiot bosses. (Lucasfilm

The final part of the episode is the big battle to save Navarro. Din, Bo-Katan, and the other Mandalorians go to Navarro to eliminate the pirates. This battle took up the entire second half of the episode and left me wanting more. It had almost everything from ship-on-ship combat, Mandalorians jetpacking down to the street, and Paz Vizsla unloading with his laser mini-gun. Then you have the Armourer taking down a room full of pirates with just her forging equipment (I always forget she’s good in a fight). After some explosions and desertion, Din and his merry band of Mandalorians defeat the pirates and destroy Gorian’s ship (man went down with his ship).

The death of what seemed to be a major villain wasn’t the end of the episode. Instead, Bo had a one-on-one chat with the Armourer. After some slight intimidation and one helmet removal later, Bo is sent on her way to track down other Mandalorians. I’d like to think this is for the best, but I’m starting to get an untrustworthy vibe from the Armourer. I don’t know why; there’s just something there. It’s also revealed that Moff Gideon escaped, but let’s be honest, everyone already guessed that (also, Mandalorians being framed was not on my bingo card).

Din Djarin and the Mandalorians are travelling through hyperspace.
Just a nice cult outing. (Lucasfilm)

Chapter 21 of The Mandalorian is an action-packed start to the second half of season 3. The pirate takeover of Navarro was fun, even if it was just an excuse to get Din back to the planet. The continued exploration of how the New Republic operates continues to be one of my favorite parts of this season. And that big battle at the end was just amazing. Everything seems to be slowly moving toward an end goal. Hopefully, we get to see it by the end of the season. I need to see the Armourer end up being the big bad.

Have you seen Chapter 21 of The Mandalorian? Did you enjoy it? Did you recognize that surprise cameo? Let us know in the comments your thoughts about how or what the Armourer is obviously the mastermind behind everything.

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