THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
Chapter 17 – “The Apostate”
He’s back, baby! Mando, the knight in shining armor, with his mini green adorable sidekick, are once again back in our lives, continuing their quest across the galaxy. *Record scratch* Wait. At the end of Season 2, didn’t we see Din Djarin hand Grogu off to the Luke Skywalker? Hasn’t his quest been completed?
Well… If you haven’t checked out The Book of Boba Fett, I would highly recommend going back and doing so. The Book of Boba Fett, aka The Mandalorian 2.5, fills in some of the storyline gaps and explains why our unlikely duo are once again traversing the galaxy together in a newfound quest. Din Djarin seeks to be redeemed for violating his oath to never remove his helmet. He wants his exile to be lifted and to be welcomed back into the Mandalorian fold. Currently, Djarin is considered an apostate according to his sect, the Children of the Watch.
My top three picks for noteworthy highlights of Chapter 17:
#3 Nevarro’s Growth & Prosperity
Nevarro has been the site of many key plot points for the Mandalorian. At the beginning of the series, it was the headquarters of the bounty hunter’s guild, where the Children of the Watch had a hideout, a remnant of the Empire attempted to maintain a foothold in the New Republic territory, where Din compromised his contracts with the bounty hunter’s guild to rescue Grogu, returned for help to find the Mandalorians massacred by the remnants of the Empire, stood his ground against Moff Gideon, removed his helmet for the first time to receive medical treatment from IG-11, etc.
In Season two, Din returned to Nevarro to find Greef Karga and Cara Dune cleaning up the town and making progress with its growth. In Season three, Nevarro looks completely different. Instead of seeming poor, barren, and dreary, it looks alive and rich. The city is bright and airy. There are guide droids, a diverse populace, musicians, and children playing in the streets. People look relaxed and safe. There is a striking contrast between the introduction of this planet to its current progress in the last few years. This kind of progress takes time. It didn’t happen overnight.
High Magistrate Karga is clearly enjoying the fruits of his labor and wishes to share prosperity. He has many new ideas for expansion and growth, looking for opportunities to profit from the planet while building a new and respectable reputation for the sector. He invites Djarin to take up a role as a Marshall after a brief run-in with pirates. The newfound wealth and respectability isn’t going to sit right with those entrenched in nefarious dealings of the underworld. The shiny new façade will draw the attention of those looking to make credits, legally or illegally.
With the higher standard of living now available on Nevarro, will the High Magistrate eventually barter with the New Republic for protection, or will he keep Nevarro fiercely independent for higher profit?
#2 The Mandalorian Initiation
I was excited to see a Mandalorian initiation! I have loved the lore of the Mandalorians since I was a little girl, long before Mandalorian was a common household word. Any insight into their culture, the various sects, and traditions have always fascinated me. What lore is cannon, and what has been left to legend?
“I swear on my name and the name of the ancestors that I shall walk the way of the Mand’alor, and the word of the Creed shall be forever forged in my heart. From this moment on, I shall never remove my helmet.”
During the ceremony, Paz Vizsla looks on like a proud father. Perhaps this is his foundling or biological child? We’re unsure if there is more of this oath because the initiation process gets interrupted by a supersized crocodile creature that lunges onto the beach where the ceremony is held. Din Djarin makes a heroic entrance and blasts the beast to oblivion. Not only is he a showoff, but he’s also a party crasher. He needs to talk with the Armorer.
Having the initiation open the episode drove home Din Djarin’s new quest. He once took the oath to never remove his helmet. When he was saying what he thought was his final goodbye to Grogu, he took off his helmet, so Grogu could see his face, which violated his oath. He now seeks to bathe in the Living Waters beneath the mines of Mandalore to seek redemption and have his exile lifted. Later in the episode, Bo-Katan tells him where he might find the entrance of the mines: under the civic center in the capital city of Sundari. I am very excited to see the ruins of Mandalore and what Djarin may find when he scouts the planet. My imagination is running wild with the possibilities of where the story can lead us.
The city of Sundari on the Night of A Thousand Tears
#1 The Anzellan Workshop on Nevarro
Din wants to reboot the remains of IG-11, which stand as a monument in one of Nevarro’s city squares. IG-11 earned Din’s trust once he was reprogrammed by Kuiil and made the ultimate sacrifice to help the others have a chance at survival. Din wants to take the droid to Mandalore in hopes of it helping him scout the toxicity of the planet.
Din reboots the droid, but IG defaults to his old programming, which is to terminate Grogu. Karga suggests taking the droid to the experts, the best droidsmiths in the Outer Rim: the Anzellans.
The Anzellan workshop is miniature. The tiny species don’t require a lot of space for their projects. I thought it comical that Din thought it necessary to crawl through the small door and sit within the workshop to watch the team of adorable Anzellans diagnose the droid while Karga translates, hunched over outside the door to help with communication.
They can’t fix IG-11. Din is insistent, “I need this one. This one is my friend.” He’s finally changed his mind about droids, or at least one droid. If Din can bring them some rare parts for repair, then they could bring him back to life. Din has some Jawa friends back on Tatooine that might have what he needs. Are we going to see Boba Fett this season?
Grogu being small in stature himself, seemed overjoyed to find a species even smaller than himself. He is used to being the baby, and now he found a group of little guys he can call his own. He delightedly grabs and overzealously hugs one of the Anzellans, which results in a lot of chaotic yelling as Din tries to corral Grogu into behaving himself.
“He’s not a pet.” – Din Djarin “No squeezie. Bad baby.” – The squeezed Anzellan
The setup of the scene reminds me of the introduction of Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back because Grogu’s antics and Din Djarin being hunched over in a small space like Luke Skywalker was in Yoda’s home on Dagobah. Grogu’s childish joy errs on the side of harmless impishness. The miniature lifelike puppets, with a crowded Din Djarin in a tiny droid workshop trying to separate them while trying to teach Grogu a lesson about body autonomy, is hilariously adorable. Despite the seriousness of Din Djarin’s new quest, this scene was my favorite from this episode.
The plot for this season has been established, and now Mando has some things he needs to accomplish before he can go to Mandalore. Side quests engaged. Maybe along the route, we will see some familiar faces and places. I am happy to have our unlikely duo back and look forward to seeing where this next adventure takes them.
What were your favorite parts of this episode, and why?