The Mandalorian: “Chapter Ten – The Passenger” Review and Discussion
Din Djarin’s quest to find other Mandalorians continues in “Chapter 10 – The Passenger” as The Mandalorian embraces the slightly weirder side of Star Wars this week with a new world, new aliens, and a threat that some may find familiar.
Before we begin, be sure to check out “The Mando Fan Show” later today with the Resistance Broadcast’s John, James, and Lacey as they dive deep into this week’s episode with Alex and Mollie from “Star Wars Explained”. You won’t want to miss it.
We’ll get into spoilers later but overall this was a solid episode. It didn’t seem to advance the main story arc as much as I’d have expected, and part of the set up felt extremely plot convenient, but there were some really nice moments between the Mandalorian and the Child where you can see the strength of the bond between them and how close they’ve grown, and the visual effects, sound work, and score continue to be absolutely outstanding. Director Peyton Reed makes his Star Wars debut here and does a great job at building tension at various points throughout the episode. He brings the right amount of warmth to the Mando/Child relationship and a nice creepy vibe and sense of dread where required.
Overall I’d say this felt very much like a mid season one episode in that it felt like it was diverging a little from what the season arc appears to be, but is no doubt laying the ground work for things that will pay off down the road.
Ok, on to the spoilers. If you haven’t watched “The Passenger” yet then I’d recommend you stop here and come back later.
The episode picks up right where the phenomenal season premiere left off. Fresh from his victory against the krayt dragon, the Mandalorian is returning to Mos Eisley when he is ambushed in the desert by mercenaries after the Child. Honestly, this might be my favorite scene in the episode with Mando using his head rather than his blaster to overcome his opponent and the interaction between him and the Child is fantastic hear. The look they exchange and the noise the Child makes when the last mercenary falls (quite literally out of the sky) was priceless.
There’s some great imagery as they walk back to town and creature work on the cantina aliens is as flawless as you’d expect from Star Wars, but here’s where my biggest issue comes. After Cobb Vanth turned out to be a false lead, the alien Peli Motto’s playing sabacc with just happens to know someone who can lead them to Mandalorians? And that someone just needs a lift that requires flying to the planet sublight? It just felt a little too convenient for me
Bonus points for roasting the krayt dragon meat using a pod racer engine though. Love the nod to Galaxy’s Edge!
And with that we leave Tatooine behind. Boba Fett will have to wait for later. Hopefully later this season rather than making us wait for his reported show.
Since his new passenger, a frog like alien played by Misty Rosas (who provided the physical performance for Kuiil last season), can’t travel at lightspeed with her eggs the Razor Crest is spotted by a New Republic patrol. After a short exchange, which reminded me a little of Han’s “everything’s fine here” conversation in A New Hope, I really liked Pedro Pascal’s line delivery here, the X-wing pilots recognize the Crest from the attack on the New Republic prison ship in “The Prisoner” last season. You can almost feel a weary, unspoken, “ok, we’re doing this” as he sees the s-foils opening. The resulting pursuit, where I honestly thought Mando might shoot down Dave Filoni and wasn’t quite sure how I felt about that, leads to a crash landing on an icy planet and a severely damaged Razor Crest needing repairs. The visual effects on the chase scene have come a long way from space battle at the start of “The Gunslinger”, and I can’t deny that it’s always fun to see X-wings in action.
I honestly liked how the Mandalorian couldn’t understand his passenger, putting him in the same position as the audience, and how the passenger ultimately used the remains of Zero to communicate with him. Another nice touch was how Din sleeps in what I took to be the Child’s room last season, and the Child now has a small hammock above it.
The Child’s appetite for eggs, which is a becomes something of a dark running joke this episode as he keeps stealing and eating the passenger’s spawn, finally catches up to him when he bites off more than he can chew. After the passenger takes off for a hot spa (how did she even know it was there?!) Mando and the Child pursue her into the hot pool cave where the Child for more eggs. Only these ones belong to spider like creatures similar to the Krykna from Rebels. I’m not sure if they’re meant to be related or just inspired by the same Ralph McQuarrie concept art but they’re realized here to incredible effect.
After the Child breaks open an egg and eats the first creature, the rest start to hatch and older, bigger, creatures begin to appear. This whole sequence is fantastic with Reed capturing the feel of some old monster movies where what you don’t see can be just as effective as what you do in creating tension and raising the stakes. Maybe it is a necessity of budget, though after last week I doubt it, but the decision to only partially show the giant creature, except in key moments, was definitely the right one. You know the protagonists have to survive but I genuinely had no idea how they were going to get out it until I heard the unmistakable sound of X-wing laser cannons.
Alive, but with a severely damaged ship, the Mandalorian, Child, and passenger set out to complete their journey to Trask.
As I said above, it’s a solid episode with some nice moments between our lead characters, and I do love that it embraces the weirder side of Star Wars, but ultimately it seemingly does little to move the story along and doesn’t reach the lofty heights set by last week’s season premiere. There’s some pretty big plot conveniences but also some incredible use of tension and suspense, and the look and sound of the show continue to be theatrical quality which is yes expected, but also incredible when you consider so much of post-production was done remotely.
That’s all for this week. Make sure you check out “The Mando Fan Show” tonight and let us know your thoughts in the comments and the Cantina!