Last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Mandalorian ended with Din Djarin in possession of an infamous set of armor. Unfortunately, he was no closer to finding other Mandalorians who could potentially help him locate The Child’s home planet/people.
This week, Djarin makes his way back to Peli Motto‘s shop to retrieve the Razor Crest and continue his journey. As you can likely guess, things immediately get complicated.
As Djarin races across the Tatooine desert, his speeder bike is upended via a trap set by three bounty hunters/mercenaries going after the Child. After an excruciating shot of Baby Yoda being flung across the ground, the Mandalorian recovers and begins fighting his attackers. He neutralizes two of them, but the third manages to grab Baby Yoda and hold him at knife point.
Djarin offers to trade his jetpack for the Child. For some reason the merc accepts this deal, which leads to him being killed when the Mandalorian remotely controls the pack to fly into the air and shut off.
As awesome/hilarious as that was to watch, Djarin is still left without a speeder bike to ferry him, the Child, Boba Fett’s armor, and a giant hunk of krayt dragon meet back to Mos Eisley–way too much for a jet pack to lift when you account for the Beskar armor he’s wearing.
He sets out on foot and arrives in Mos Eisley by nightfall. His first stop is the town’s familiar cantina, where Peli Motto is playing cards with an insectoid alien. Turns out that “Dr. Mandible” also has a contact who might be able to help Djarin find more Mandalorians.
After winning her card game and firing up the grill for some krayt dragon BBQ, Motto introduces the contact (who has been dubbed the “Frog Lady” in current reference materials, so that’s what we’ll go with, too). The good news is that she doesn’t want any money–just safe passage to the next system over to meet her husband. The bad news is that she requires the trip to be completed without going into hyperspace, which would destroy the eggs she’s carrying and end her family’s line.
In addition to making the trip much longer, traveling at sub light speed leave Djarin and the Child exposed to anyone who might be looking for them. He initially refuses the offer, but Motto convinces him to take it.
The trip gets off to a rocky start when it becomes clear that the language barrier between Djarin and the Frog Lady is completely insurmountable. Things gets even worse when the Mandalorian heads down into the ship’s hold and finds Baby Yoda chowing down on some of the Frog Lady’s eggs. He grabs the Child before things can turn into a full blown genocide-via-consumption scenario and puts him to bed.
Later, the pair are awakened by alarms sounding from the cockpit. Djarin climbs in and discovers that two Republic X-Wings have taken up escort positions on either side of the Razor Crest. When they ask why his transponder isn’t emitting, he’s able to BS his way out of it like a pro. They also ask him to send a ping from his ship. This backs him in a corner that make his attempts at deception exponentially less successful. One of the X-Wing pilots becomes suspicious, runs a scan, and discovers that his ship was the same one involved in the prison break back in Episode 6.
This results in chase scene that is miles better than the one we saw last season. It also leads everyone to an ice planet where Djarin is able to evade the X-Wings. Unfortunately, he hides the Razor Crest on an unstable patch of ice, which collapses and drops the ship into a cave.
After getting knocked unconscious, Djarin awakens and finds that the Frog Lady is okay despite being a little shaken up. His ship, on the other hand, has taken significant damage.
He then heads down to the ship’s hold and discovers that Baby Yoda is totally fine…and eating more of the Frog Lady’s eggs. Djarin once again stops the Child from eating too many of the eggs before bringing the Frog Lady downstairs and suggesting that they bunker down for the night. Despite not speaking a language he understands, it’s clear she isn’t pleased about his plan.
Despite the Frog Lady’s vehement protests, Djarin insists that they should stay put until night passes and the temperature has risen.
The Mandalorian and the Child go to sleep, but are awakened shortly by the voice of Zero–the mercenary droid from the prison break job last season (also Episode 6). Turns out that the Frog Lady is pretty handy with droid tech and managed to access/modify its vocabulator. She then uses the droid to communicate how urgent it is that Djarin keep his word and take her and her eggs to her husband.
When he explains that the trip won’t be possible anymore, she asks if the stories she’d heard about Mandalorians being honorable were just stories. The guilt trip works, spurring Djarin to begin repairing his ship immediately.
After working for a while, Baby Yoda begins motioning to get his attention. He follows the Child and discovers the Frog Lady’s footprints in the snow leading away from the Razor Crest.
Djarin takes Baby Yoda and tracks the footsteps and their accompanying heat signature, which leads him to a hot spring deep within the cave. He also finds the Frog Lady (who clearly isn’t well suited for this environment) bathing inside the spring along with her eggs. Although we can’t tell what she’s saying, it’s clear that she’s more concerned about the eggs surviving the cold than herself. She initially refuses to return to the ship, but Djarin convinces her that it’s a better option than staying out in the open where it might not be safe.
As the pair regather the eggs and put them in their container, Baby Yoda attempts to grab and eat one of them again…which is more than a little unsettling at this point. It’s clear by now that the kid understands how protective the Frog Lady is of her eggs. He showed some pretty clear empathy when she was pleading with Djarin to continue his quest to get her home. I get that the Child is supposed to be impish, but devouring someone’s unborn spawn shades a bit closer to sociopathic evil than I’m comfortable with.
But I digress…the Mandalorian stops Baby Yoda before he can commit anymore genocide. He also scolds him, causing the Child to huff and wander off on his own. The little guy quickly finds more trouble to get into in the form of some unidentified eggs. As anyone who’s seen the original Alien movie can tell you, messing with those is not a good idea. As we’ve seen plenty of times before, though, no amount of unknown danger can stop Baby Yoda from getting into mischief.
The Child cracks open one of the eggs, extracts the yolk-covered arachnid embryo inside, and happily gobbles it down. This commotion predictably causes the other eggs around him to begin pulsating and hatching. Baby Yoda cries and runs back toward the Mandalorian and the Frog Lady with an army of tiny spiders behind him. Those are soon followed by adult spiders along with one giant (and extremely pissed off) alpha.
*Side Note: I’ve seen these being referred to as kryknas (which you may remember from Star Wars: Rebels), but I’m not sure that’s what they are. For now we’ll simply refer to them as ice spiders. And speaking of ice spiders–I know it’s passé to bash the Game of Thrones creators for Season 8, but those guys really missed the mark when they skipped showing the ones that were supposed to show up in the Battle of Winterfell because they “wouldn’t look great.” These things look amazing.
The trio turns and flees from the arachnophobic nightmare bearing down on them. Djarin uses some explosives to drop the alpha, but the adult and child ice spiders continue their dogged pursuit. The Mandalorian stops and takes a bunch out with his blaster and flame thrower, allowing he and his companions enough time to get inside the Razor Crest. Unfortunately, the creatures also get inside the battered ship and begin overtaking the hold.
Djarin quickly herds everyone into the cockpit, but is unable to get the door closed before some the ice spiders get through and begin attacking Baby Yoda.
*Side Note: As awesome as this scene/sequence is, any video game scene based on it is all but guaranteed to drive everyone crazy.
Just when it looks like Disney’s most marketable new character is about to get the Frodo treatment, the Frog Lady pulls out a small blaster of her own and saves the kid who’s been eating her unborn children. Djarin then uses his flamethrower to push back the rest of the swarm and shuts the door.
No Good Deed
As ice spiders begin swarming over the Razor Crest’s hull, Djarin attempts to power up his partially repaired ship and take off. He manages to get the craft airborne, but it’s brought crashing back down to earth when the injured (and even more pissed off) alpha jumps on top of the Razor Crest and begins breaking through the cockpit’s windows.
Just when it appears that Disney’s two most marketable characters (and a Frog Lady I’ve grown quite fond of) are about to bite the bullet, a stream of blaster fire takes out the alpha along with the rest of its carnivorous children.
Djarin steps outside to find the two X-Wing pilots from before taking down ice spiders with aim that stormtroopers can only dream of. After the creepy crawlers have all been eliminated, one of the pilots announces that the Mandalorian has a warrant out for kidnapping a prisoner (Quin) from a Republic prison. They also checked prison’s security feeds and saw that Djarin delivered three high priority prisoners (Burg, Xi’an, and Mayfield) and tried to protect a Republic soldier (Davan) who the other mercenaries murdered.
The pilots decide to let Din Djarin go, but also decline his request to help repair the Razor Crest.
After the X-Wings depart, the Mandalorian repairs the cockpit while leaving the rest of the Razor Crest in tatters. The ship won’t be very hospitable, but it might be functional enough to get them to the Frog Lady’s home (and hopefully a repair shop).
As they rumble and shudder out of the atmosphere, Djarin decides to lean back get some well deserved sleep. Baby Yoda turns around and takes a hard look at the Frog Lady’s eggs, which she responds to by protectively covering the container they’re in.
Thankfully, the Child doesn’t lunge at her in a hangry rage…although he does turn back around to shove another stolen egg in his mouth.
I can’t be the only one who thought the thing with Baby Yoda eating the Frog Lady’s eggs was weird, right?
It was kind of funny at first, but got more weird/unsettling as it continued to happen…and not in a good way. If they’re setting up something where the Child turns out to be evil, then I guess I could understand it. At this point, however, those scenes existed in a weird space between comedy and horror that just didn’t hit right–especially when you add in the clear empathy Baby Yoda showed and the Frog Lady saving him.
Other than that, though, this was a fantastic episode. Yes, some of the big moments were a bit too convenient. And yes, it is weird how Djarin keeps fortuitously meeting people who might happen to know where other Mandalorians are. But everything still works to deliver a great story that also does some wonderful world building.
“The Passenger” also does a superb job utilizing prior canon and nostalgia as the story’s framework rather than putting it front and center. I enjoyed last week’s episode, but it occasionally felt like we were being hit over the head with fan service at the expense of the narrative. This time around, we got another simple-yet-powerfully executed tale that featured some of the series best moments.
I know it shouldn’t be a surprise that Disney can put up a lot of money for effects, but both the X-Wing chase scene and the spider sequences looked incredible. The ice spiders were particularly horrific, especially when the alpha began smashing its way through the Razor Crest’s cockpit.
Speaking of those spiders, the pedantic fanboy side of me really hopes we get some sort of clarification about whether or not we’ve seen them before.
They appear to be primarily based off a creature drawn by the great Ralph McQuarrie in some incredible concept art he did for The Empire Strikes Back (pictured above). That particular creature has apparently showed up in some Legends material I’ve never read, but I really don’t think what we saw were kryknas.
Unlike the ice spiders Din Djarin and the X-Wing pilots took down, kryknas were extremely resistant to blaster bolts, which would have made this episode (and the entire series) much shorter.
But even if you’re not a huge Star Wars nerd like me who loves digging into the franchise’s canon/mythology, this was one heck of a thrilling story. Aside from all the great effects and set pieces, the episode was significantly enhanced by the fact that we continue to hear more dialogue (and even see a bit more personality) from the main character.
Everyone’s a sucker for the most silently badass type in fiction. You might disagree with me, but I would simply respond by pointing furiously toward Boba Fett’s massive popularity even before his backstory was expanded.
At some point, though, you have to give your main character some depth and range. Thankfully, Jon Favreau & Co. have done a good job molding Din Djarin into something much more than just his cool looking design. That’s one of the main reasons The Mandalorian continues to be interesting–its journey to find Baby Yoda’s home planet is also an exploration of what makes its fascinating protagonist tick.
The Razor Crest may be battered and barely limping toward its next destination, but The Mandalorian‘s second season is currently firing on all cylinders.
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