Every time an episode of The Mandalorian lands, Fantha Tracks will be giving their responses, and here are our initial gut feelings, deep dives and thoughts on the twelfth episode – Chapter 12: The Siege. Beware of spoilerific elements in here.
As expected, this week’s instalment didn’t see us go straight to Ahsoka, but take a detour to get the Black Pearl, errr I mean Razor Crest, fixed up following its Mon Cal refit.
Enter Cara Dune and Greef Karga from season one, as we return to Navarro and see a few more familiar faces, including the blue-fishy alien that was the first bounty we saw Mando capture in the first episode – Greef has now put him into service to work off his sentence. And Cara is the marshal and demonstrates that her skills have been put to good use to clean up the town, and there is now a school and altogether a much more positive vibe around.
They take the opportunity of Mando’s arrival to enlist his help in taking what they believe to be an Imperial munitions base, and if you’re a fan of the OT-era this is where you get to have the biggest nostalgia trip of the series so far – the ports to open the doors are very similar to those in the bunker on Endor, the corridors of the base scream ‘Death Star’ and even some of the trooper dialogue is right out of A New Hope! The platform that Mando jet’s up to is also a nod to Eadu from Rogue One and more recently Jedi : Fallen Order.
And the two most priceless winks are the control panel to take out the base’s cooling system is pretty much the same as the one used by Obi-Wan to take out the tractor beam on the Death Star, and the good old Imperial Troop Transport – a toy from yesteryear which has featured previously in Rebels and briefly in Season 1.
The team uncover that the base is actually a research facility and by the sounds of it they’re trying to use the blood taken from the Child in season 1 to transfer his powers to others – thus far unsuccessfully. They also learn that Moff Gideon is still very much alive and calling the shots, and is clearly keen to continue this research to presumably allow him to eventually be given force powers.
Mando and child make their escape in the newly refitted Razor Crest, but it has a new ‘feature’, a good old tracking beacon fitted by one of Greef’s repair team, and which is promptly communicated to Gideon’s ship to set up a cat and mouse chase along the next four episodes.
Sooooooo many things to love about this episodes – action all the way, and all the nostalgia you could want – but as is a feature of this show, you don’t need to know about these things to make the show watchable, if you do it just adds to the enjoyment.
Sander de Lange
Before watching this episode all signs pointed to a bit of a quiet filler episode: the unwritten rule of stretching the reveal of an important character like Ahsoka, the trailer images that we had not yet seen of Greef Karga and Cara Dune and the return to Navarro. Something that was already likely to happen for this Chapter 12 as it was one to be directed by Carl Weathers, the actor behind Greef Karga. And of course it was likely that this would happen with the Razor Crest breaking down further or the priority of repairing the ship before moving on.
And that was indeed case, at least for everything I just said except for it being a filler episode. Yes, the episode starts slow with the reunion of the three characters and seeing what Cara, Greef, and even the Mythrol from Chapter 1, have been up to. It is amazing to see what a change the planet Nevarro has undergone after they kicked Moff Gideon from the planet. However there is one last Imperial base that still holds out and they go down there to destroy. However halfway through the episode, with the countdown already ticking down, a shocking revelation happens that propels the story of the Child back into hyperdrive and the viewer gets no time to catch their breath after the reveal thanks to some great action that follows during their escape.
In conclusion: an episode designated as a filler that surprised me by not being a filler or a calm one at all. The Mandalorians high rush of great stories continue without slowing down much.
This episode it really hit me. The reason why I like The Mandalorian so much. The series have all the best traits of the old X-wing books by Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston. Characters that you care about, but the setting isn’t about saving the whole galaxy. It’s the small things that propels the story forward, and then of course they usually turn out to have galaxy-wide ramifications.
In this week’s episode we get back to Nevarro, where Cara Dune is taking care of law enforcement in her own very special way. I just loved her way of taking out a full den of scum and villainy. The Mandalorian gets off on a side quest, but it turns out that the empty imperial base isn’t so deserted at all, and we finally get to know why they are so interested in the child. Bring in some extra x-wing pilots trying to make order in Outer Rim and it’s just like being thrown back into reading the X-wing series again. The galaxy is filled with so many interesting characters, and the Mandalorian is so great in telling their stories, and it doesn’t matter if it turns into a bit of Dave Filoni reunion hour, like in the last episode, because it is so good, and the recurring characters still let our new acquaintances be in the limelight. At first I thought this episode would be a bit of a breather after last week, but I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. And maybe especially the complaint about no guard rails in imperial facilities.
As someone who likes spending time in the kitchen and has made my fair share of wookiee cookies princess Leia cinnamon rolls I also definitely have an urge to go bake some turquoise macaroons after this episode.
Well give me a packet of blue biscuits and send me to Navarro. I have just witnessed another thrill ride, as The Mandalorian reaches it’s midway point.
Predictably, we haven’t got as far in the galaxy as locating Ahsoka Tano. That tantalising event can wait. Instead, Mando and The Child seek out old allies to help fix-up The Razor Crest – following less than satisfactory repairs from a Mon Calamari ‘helper’ in Chapter 11.
Cara Dune, now Marshal of Navarro, was re-introduced in an action-packed shootout with a gang of Aqualish thugs. Nicely choreographed. In a later scene Cara, along with Greef Karga, meet up with Mando and The Child. It was great seeing the ‘gang’ back together. And before I forget, hats off to Mr Weathers for not only reprising his role, but also directing this chapter. Well done sir.
One thing that I would like to know. What passage of time has passed between Seasons 1 and 2? Greef’s thin black moustache has been replaced with a more distinguished full silvery beard. Of course, the answer could simply be he has stopped applying ‘Just for Men’ and let nature take its toll.
Not content with bringing our heroes back together, an old ‘job’ of Mando’s has been defrosted and joined in the adventure. The Mythrol – who featured in the Season 1 opener – pilots a landspeeder to an Imperial outpost where they discover more was going on than originally thought.
With The Child safely dropped off at a local school, the action kicked off relentlessly. Shootouts, vehicle chases, old adversaries and shocking revelations aplenty – all served up in just over 30 action-packed minutes.
It was great to see a bigger story emerging, perhaps linking the Empire that we know from the original Star Wars movies to the First Order of the sequel trilogy.
This is my Star Wars.
How do you follow the live-action introduction of Bo-Katan Kryze to The Mandalorian series? You lace up the gloves and put Carl Weathers behind the camera and put his character, Greef Karga in front of it—along with old pals Cara Dune and a re-animated-from-carbonite Mythrol on the revitalized Nevarro.
The first thing Weathers did, as director of Chapter 12: The Siege, was show the audience just how beloved The Child became to him during Season 1. There was life in this cute, unknown-species alien that has never been explored before—a true range of emotion and desire (and mischief!) that surely was influenced by the fact Weathers’ own character owes him his life. It was magical and fun even when Mando announced that “onboard-maintenance” was required.
Mythrol also provided some comic relief, but otherwise this episode was an intense set of battles, escapes, and harsh reality for Din Djarin and his comrades, after The Child was left at school (the former Imperial Safe House) to learn about the Corellian Run and Force-steal some snacks from a classmate.
This Chapter included a few combo-nods to the Aftermath Trilogy novels and The Rise of Skywalker. Holovideo footage of Dr. Pershing—discovered during a mission to destroy a seemingly inactive Imperial base on Nevarro—not only revealed why the Imperials desperately want The Child (hello cloning tanks in the lab at Exegol), but also revealed to the group that Moff Gideon is still alive—putting them all at risk, but leaving a great reason for Kryze and her warriors to re-join the party. Additionally, we may have met our first Acolyte of the Beyond. The mechanic that plants the tracking beacon on the Razor Crest appears to be the same species of humanoid alien as Ochi of Bestoon, a member of the cult, and the Sith Assassin who killed Rey’s parents. And is it just me or did we quite possibly see a nod to Family Guy: Blue Harvest as well?
Much of this episode was a love letter to A New Hope (so much, indeed, that I’m just going to make the blanket statement instead of choosing what to include) even as it naturally served a forward-moving story that continues to expand the Star Wars galaxy through layered storytelling and expanding character and world interactions.
Continuing a strong start to the season, Chapter 12 The Siege picks up where we left off in The Heiress, as a damaged and battered Razor Crest limps along, making its way to Navarro and Cara Dume and Greef Karga. Once again, the passage of time is hard to determine; clearly a lot of lava has passed under the bridge since we were last here, as the township now thrives, a school runs where the cantina used to be and a statue has been erected in the honour of IG-11, who made the ultimate heroic sacrifice at the end of season one.
The first episode directed by Carl Weathers, we ease into a familiar childcare situation as Mando leaves the Child with the local school (listen closely, there’s some interesting galactic history in here as well as a geographical look at the galaxy itself) and heads off on a mission to rid Navarro of a half-manned Imperial installation, a relic of Moff Gideon’s reign that is a barrier to Navarro become a trade outpost in the sector. Mando trusts Karga, clearly sees Dune (now the Marshal of the town who we see deal with a gang of Aqualish inhabiting the former Mandalorian covert with ruthless efficiency) as a kindred spirit and as they head to the installation with the ever shifty Mythrol in hesitant tow we’re set for an action-packed episode that’s pleasingly littered with throwbacks, all of them logical.
The action is intense and easy to follow, the music as ever on point and there’s an easy familiarity between the characters that shines through as they work together towards achieving their goal. Again, quite how much time passes during the episode is unclear. It appears very linear; Mando lands, meets Greef and Cara, drops the Child at the school and heads out in Mythrol’s speeder for the mission but somehow he is able to return to the township and make the save in a fully refurbished Razor Crest. Thank goodness he does, but that either shows a missed opportunity to show the passage of time or makes repairing starships a whole lot easier than previously understood.
Either way, it gives us a hugely satisfying finale as we cut to Moff Gideon and a room full of armoured troopers, presumably the result of the experiments carried out by Doctor Pershing on the Child. As cliffhangers go it takes some beating, and as next week’s Filoni episode crawls closer we can look back to this great episode and hope Chapter 13 picks up the baton and runs with it. Odds are yes, it will stick the landing.
I remember, back when we used to regularly play the WEG Star Wars Roleplaying Game when it first came out, those quick games where we just wanted to grab some Star Wars goodness and translate it to the play session. We wanted to play our own small Star Wars adventure with all the trappings; sneaking into bases, laser battles with Stormtroopers, quirky characters, speeder chases, starship battles… we’d just grab the sheets and a big handful of D6s and decide where we were going that day. Raid an Imperial base? Sneak into an underworld location and rip off some gangsters who were sympathetic to the Empire? Get together a team of established NPCs, or answer a call for help from one of them to take on some huge odds and battle our way to victory? We played a lot of those kind of games.
And this episode was just that; a huge action-packed adventure that trotted out the Star Wars nostalgia and kept the action going thick and fast. It was fun, exciting and great to watch. Once again it was a ‘Mandalorian does something to get something’ episode which was okay, but I’m starting to wonder how long this show can carry itself on that format. There’s a metaplot to consider and, after the closing scenes of the episode, I’m hoping that plot is about to unfold. I love following Mando and the Child on their adventures but there’s a bigger picture I’m waiting to be uncovered and, even though episodes like this are fun and exciting, I’m still waiting for the drama to unfold.
Also, the episodes are short but they don’t feel short. Perhaps they’re hanging on to the longer episodes for the ‘big reveal’, and I hope they do, but right now I’m enjoying the format and the episodes. I wonder if they’d released the entire season in one hit I’d be bothered about the length because I’d have binged it and got the entire story in one sitting – I think, because it’s a weekly show, I want more out of my Mandalorian hit.
Great stuff. Season 2 is still powering forward.
Chapter 12 of The Mandalorian saw our hero return to a familiar planet, meet some old friends and set off on another adventure. Did you really think that the Mandalorian would just magically reach Ahsoka Tano? It was obvious that they were going to hold this more, Padawan.
This episode reverberated of A New Hope. Even the reactor controls that Mythrol had to sabotage looked like the controls on the tractor beam that Obi-Wan shut down on the Death Star.
Apparently, what most of us thought Moff Gideon and the client wanted with little baby Yoda was true. They were using the blood he drew from the Child to do…something, and I think it has nothing to do with Snoke.
Then the “vibe” of A New Hope suddenly becomes Return of the Jedi. Scout Troopers jumped on speeder bikes and chased the heroes through the canyons, resulting in the best action scene of the episode. Carl Weathers, who directed the episode, took advantage of this nostalgia, but quickly distinguished the sequence with a unique moment on top of the Marauder, eventually adding TIE Fighters, and then play us straight into the game Dark Forces, with this possible new version of Dark Troopers coming.
The Siege was a highly entertaining episode, but it adhered to the basic and most predictable structure of The Mandalorian. Mando has to be somewhere, needs something to get to this place, has to complete a task to be able to move on. This is exactly what happens in this episode, however, we have several positive aspects. The action here was excellent. The revelations about the Child were intriguing. The development of Greef and Cara and the evolution of Nevarro was pretty cool. Even with the guy in jeans in the corner.
And we still have Dark Troopers in the future with Mando going into a trap and still leading to Ahsoka’s backyard.
Of meerkats and macaroons this week’s episode of The Mandalorian continues to give us lots to chew on.
This episode sees us make the much anticipated return to Nevarro where fortunes seem to be on the rise since we last visited. The markets are now bustling, with Greef Karga in a leadership position and Cara Dune as town Marshal.
The Aqualish raiding the former Mandalorian covert was a real treat and I found myself trying to spot how many eyes they each had and which type of hands they had.
The return of the Mythrol from chapter 1 was a surprise and perhaps my only nitpick with this episode as I still don’t think he looks very “Star Warsy” but he was ever so slightly redeemed with his gag about the lack of a guard rail.
The siege upon the Imperial base was a delight, immediately taking me back to playing similar missions in LucasArt’s Dark Forces on the PC. And that wasn’t the only Dark Forces tease with the glimpse of the Dark Troopers at the end of the episode.
The canyon pursuit also gives off computer game vibes harkening back to games such as Rebel Assault and Shadows of the Empire featuring the new Trexler Marauder, which is more or less a modified Imperial Troop Transport and that never fails to push the nostalgia button.
Breadcrumbs dropped information throughout the episode including cloning vats M-counts keeps us guessing on the bigger picture of the series and promises great stuff to come.
There’s this thing going on with The Mandalorian that some find annoying, but others find endearing. Djarin, The Mandalorian, keeps breaking his ship. This week though, he tries to get The Baby, aka Baby Yoda, to help him fix it. In a nutshell, it makes matters worse. Therefore we see Din Djarin in a position where he once more has to rely on some friends to help him out. Re-enter Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers). Cara is now the marshal and Greef is once more a magistrate. Also returning for a brief bit of comic relief is a certain Mythrol who we saw at the beginning of the last season. He’s now working off a massive sentence helping the magistrate.
Whilst he is waiting for his ship to be fixed, Din is persuaded into helping the two friends and colleagues to get rid of the last of the imperial remnant. The mission should be an easy one. The three of them, with the help of the Mythrol, storm an imperial base which is all but abandoned; take out the handful of remaining storm troopers and then blow the base up, that’s all good then. The issue comes when they get to the base, work their way inside and then find out it is fully functioning imperial research facility. A facility where they are trying to merge the blood they took from the Child into what look like clones, but just could be normal humans. The results seem to be human sized test tubes full of malformed bodies. They intercept a holographic message and learn that the Imperials need more blood from the child to continue the research. In the process, we are treated to another ‘Easter egg’ which refers to a high ‘M’ count in the child’s blood. We can only assume that they mean ‘midi-chlorian’ count.
Anyway, they set the base to blow and then things kick off. The result is Din Djarin blasting off to stop the Imperials getting to the child whilst his friends hijack a troop transport to escape. A brilliant speeder bike chase, which turns into TIE fighters chasing a troop transporter, ensues and just as we think the friends won’t make it, the Mandalorian zooms back into the fray with a fully repaired star ship and a great action flying scene. Okay, that really is an over-simplification of the whole plot. There are some great moments with Baby Yoda, the Mythrol turns out to be a decent shot, we learn not to eat blue Oreos whilst flying and we also see the return of yet another weapon of the Empire.
Once again, The Mandalorian Team knocked it out of the park! Seriously, Season 2 is surpassing Season 1 and I’m thinking it can only go up from here.
So, The Siege, directed by Carl Weathers is the 4th chapter in the 2nd season of The Mandalorian series. This particular episode seems to bridge more eras than most fans thought possible, and yet, leaves the same ambiguity George Lucas was known for in the first place with the original Star Wars trilogy. Things like: M-count, the “something” pickled in a lab jar that harkens back to Snoke in The Rise of Skywalker, Death Troopers, blue Macarons taking the place of blue Bantha Milk, the lava Imperial base on Nevarro that’s reminiscent to Separatist Base on Mustafar from Revenge of the Sith, and lastly, let’s not forget the scene that mimics Ben Kenobi disabling the tractor beam on the Death Star with the lava reactor on Nevarro.
All-in-all, Carl Weathers directed a very balanced episode between action packed Star Wars goodness and cute-n-cuddly awwwing moments with the Meerkat and The Child.
- Hardcover Book
- Szostak, Phil (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 256 Pages - 12/01/2020 (Publication Date) - Harry N. Abrams (Publisher)