THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
Chapter 21 – “The Pirate”
Bo-Katan Kryze has earned the trust of the Tribe. She took the lead in a rescue party sent to retrieve a foundling snatched by a large raptor from the Mandalorian beach training session. She impressed the Armorer, who noted that Bo-Katan had done the highest honor of the Creed, rescuing a foundling. Paz Vizsla, a protective father, is grateful for the help Bo-Katan and Din Djarin offered in rescuing his son.
Chapter 20 was a well-rounded story featuring the Tribe in action! From sparring sessions, pursuing a raptor, retrieving the foundling, to a flashback of Grogu escaping Order 66, to two of our main characters getting a new piece of armor each, the flow kept us engaged for what we are here to see: the Mandalorians.
My top three picks for noteworthy highlights of Chapter 21:
#3 Zeb Orrelios Live-Action Debut
Zeb Orrelios has officially made his live-action debut! Zeb is a beloved character from the Star Wars Rebels animated series. The Empire destroyed his homeworld of Lasan, and he watched as they annihilated his people. He developed a deep hatred for the Empire and became a member of the Spectres, also known as Ghost team. These rebels did whatever they could to help those oppressed by the Empire and to disrupt Imperial operations. Since Zeb was a member of the Rebellion, he’s now a New Republic pilot.
Captain Carson Teva receives an urgent message from Greef Karga asking for the New Republic’s help to stop the pirate siege of Navarro. The request doesn’t come lightly, as Nevarro is still considered an independent planet. Zeb overhears the message as he approaches the bar, “Too bad. I really thought Nevarro was going to make it.”
Captain Teva says he’s going to send a message to Coruscant for permission to help, but Zeb explains that Coruscant hasn’t responded to dispatch in weeks, “They’re swamped. You’ll never get an answer in time.” Teva isn’t going to be put off that easily. He’s going to Coruscant, “They can’t ignore me face to face.” “I like your attitude. Good luck. You’re gonna need it,” Zeb calls after him.
It’s depressing that even within the New Republic ranks, they know the new government is getting bogged down by superfluous bureaucratic nonsense. Calls for aid from the Mid Rim or Outer Rim territories are all but going unheard, and those in need are left to fend for themselves. Those still following orders are doing their best to help, but their hands are tied until they get the official green light from the center of the universe.
What I love about this scene is that Dave Filoni is sitting at the other end of the bar and is in the foreground of some of the shots between Captain Teva and Zeb. Dave Filoni was cast as the pilot Trapper Wolf. We saw him in season two of The Mandalorian. He’s now returned to season three, and he’s looking on to one of his own creations brought to life. He was also joined at the bar by Deborah Chow, who directed Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Rick Famuyiwa has directed some episodes of The Mandalorian. Those are some awesome cameos!
#2 Paz Vizsla, An Unlikely Ally
Captain Teva goes to Coruscant and learns that the New Republic is ‘unable’ to do more for Nevarro. On his way back to base, he decides to pay the Mandalorian covert a visit. At first, I thought maybe Bo-Katan’s ship gave away their location. Does she have an up-to-date transponder, or does she fly without one? Teva explains that someone who used to serve with him was among their ranks… R freaking 5. Turns out R5 is a snitch.
Teva goes on to explain about pirates attacking Nevarro, Coruscant not caring and stating Greef Karga needs help, “Karga’s your friend. You won’t let him die.” He explains that he understands the Empire is growing again, but the New Republic needs to see this. Teva is unsure how the pirates play into the overall scheme of things. “Look, it’s not your fight. I just came to tell you your friend is in danger, and I thought you should know.” He also assures Din he won’t say a word about the covert. I appreciate Captain Teva reaching out to Din and the Mandalorians because he knows they will take care of business. It may be an unconventional approach to a problem, but Captain Teva just wants to help people and do what’s right.
Din Djarin calls a meeting of the Mandalorians. While holding the Armorer’s hammer, he gives a speech in which he petitions the Mandalorians to help Greef Karga, “He’s had a change of heart and has risked his life to save mine as well as the foundling in my charge.” Din goes on to explain Greef has offered him a tract of land on his independent world, “Perhaps it is time for us to live in the light once again on a planet we are welcome so our culture may flourish and our children can feel what it is to play in the sunlight.”
He hands the tools back to the Armorer, who asks if anyone else would like to speak. “I do,” Paz Vizsla takes the hammer from the Armorer. Uh-Oh. This could go either way.
“I saw many die to save the life of this one tiny foundling. And now we are asked to sacrifice yet again. The question we should be asking ourselves is, why? Why should we lay our lives down yet again?” His tone is disagreeable, and the crowd chatters among themselves. There is a long pause.
“Because we are Mandalorians!” Both Din and Bo-Katan seem surprised by the support. “I’ve had my disagreements with this man, but he risked his life to save my son. And Bo-Katan Kryze did not give up on my child’s life even when the rest of us did. These two are asking us to take up arms in the name of a brighter future, and I ,for one, will take up arms to fight by their side. This is the Way.”
The Mandalorians repeat, “This is the Way,” as a group. Paz has rallied them to support Din and Bo-Katan. He sees the bigger picture and is wise to set aside former disagreements for the better of the Mandalorians.
#1 Space Pirate Battle Over Nevarro
Bo-Katan rallies the troops. She highlights their plans to take on Pirate King Gorian Shard. “Nevarro is an independent planet and no longer under remnant Imperial or New Republic protection. But it’s that very independence that makes it appealing for you to settle. You lived there once, hiding in the sewers. But now you can be heroes.” Que David Bowie’s song.
The pirates have taken over the city, and they wander the rubble, drinking and looting. The N-1 starfighter buzzes the Cumulus Class Corsair and draws the Captain’s attention. The cannons are manned, and the snub fighters are ordered to pursue. The Corsair joins the pursuit, and it’s drawn away from the city just as planned.
Bo-Katan swoops in, and the first drop team has clear skies to make their entrance into the city. They immediately get to work clearing the streets of the unruly pirates. Team two soon joins them. The N-1 is nimble, and Din is a great pilot. He draws the snub fighters out over the flats, opening the way for Bo-Katan to start her run on the Corsair. She takes out one of the larger ship’s engines. Captain Shard calls back Vane for a counterattack; they need to regroup.
The planetside strike team of Mandalorians gets a tip of an ambush from a Kowakian monkey-lizard. The Mandalorians dig into cover as they fend off the attacking pirates. Things don’t look great for the Mandalorians, but Paz shows up, and his heavy blaster cannon helps with turning the tides for a short time. The pirates regain the advantage with a heavy cannon. The Mandalorians are forced to dig in and keep trying to take back the High Magistrate’s office.
The snub fighter returns to engage the Gauntlet. The heft of the Gauntlet in the turns shows the difference in maneuverability between the different starships. Din follows the snub fighters and blasts one of them out of the sky as they try to shoot Bo-Katan. Vane yells at his comrades, “He’s above you!” and then, “He’s below you!” It’s not very helpful. Two more fighters are down, and one of them took another engine out when it collided with the Corsair.
The Armorer steadily takes out each of the pirates herself with her tools as she takes back the High Magistrate’s office, where the pirates are using the heavy cannon. She is a skilled warrior. Once Paz sees her on the balcony, he gives the orders to advance. They clear Navarro’s streets of space trash, aka pirates.
Seeing the tides have turned, “It’s been a pleasure serving you, Captain, but it’s time to part ways,” Vane abandons his Captain and the crew and makes a run for it. Captain Shard knows the situation is dire and intends to take out as many people as possible. He orders the canons to open fire below, blasting anything and anyone within their reach. The surviving townspeople are in his path. Din and Bo focus firepower on the last engine, and the ship starts to descend in flames. The Corsair impacts the surface of the planet just outside of town and erupts in a giant fireball. Captain Gorian Shard went down with his ship. This was a great battle!
I loved this episode! I have to note the music within this episode was memorable. The jaunty pirate twist within the usual Mandalorian themes and the music featured at the bar with Zeb got me wanting more unique tunes from this season.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give an “honorable mention” to the very end of this Chapter. The Armorer ordered Bo-Katan to remove her helmet. Bo-Katan seemed hesitant to do so, not wanting to violate her earned trust within the Tribe. She did as the Armorer commanded. I was wondering if we were in for a big reveal. Was the Armorer going to show her face too? What if somehow Satine, her sister, survived?! What a twist that would be! But no, the Armorer remains helmeted.
“We must all walk the Way together. All Mandalorians. I was taught that the Mythosaur existed only in legends, and yet you saw it. It is a sign that the next age is upon us. Mandalore must all come together. You have walked both worlds. You are the one who can unite us.”
When Bo-Katan and the Armorer join the others, Bo-Katan does not wear her helmet. The Tribe’s body language is collectively wondering why and some of them seem betrayed. The Armorer explains, “Bo-Katan walks both worlds. And she can bring all tribes together. It is time to retake Mandalore.”
This Chapter has been one of my favorites so far. What were your favorite parts? Leave them in the comments.