"Chapter 9: The Marshal"
Air date: 10/30/2020
Written and directed by Jon Favreau
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
Din Djarin returns to Tatooine (it's always helpful to revisit the most famous planet in Star Wars lore) after receiving a tip indicating there's a Mandalorian roaming the sand dunes. What he finds isn't a Mandalorian, but local marshal Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) wearing a Mandalorian's armor — specifically the armor that clearly previously belonged to Boba Fett. Vanth has been using this armor for years to defend the town, and he doesn't want to give it up.
The Mandalorian is a space western, and "The Marshal" might be the most space western-y episode of this series yet, with Olyphant (who seems okay with being typecast as laconic lawmen) doing his Olyphant thing. After a long gunslinger's stare across the room, the two men come to an agreement: If Mando will help Vanth kill the dreaded Krayt dragon that's terrorizing and eating the town, he'll give up the Mandalorian armor willingly. But the two need reinforcements, so they must get the townspeople and the Tusken Raiders to agree to work together even though they are typically bitter enemies.
This is a straightforward, archetypal western tale that's told with simple strokes and great clarity. With Olyphant there to offer his mix of dry humor and confident machismo, it's hugely entertaining. Pedro Pascal, under his helmet, deadpans through these proceedings as he frequently does, but I enjoyed watching Mando broker peace between the townspeople and the sand people.
Meanwhile, this series continues to show how it's possibly the best-looking and most convincing FX-driven show on TV, with a cinematic scale that dwarfs possibly anything accomplished in its first season. The Krayt dragon — and, my, it's big — is a creature of absurd Star Wars-ian scale, well realized with visual effects. It eats bantha bait whole. This climaxes in an extended battle sequence where everyone works together (some of them, alas, as cannon fodder) to figure out how to take this mammoth beast down. For a time, things don't look good. When Mando eventually uses his armor and ingenuity to blow it up from the inside, everyone then harvests Krayt dragon meat — lots and lots of it.
As a story, this is a timeless parable (perhaps worth revisiting in our deeply divided and troubled times) — live and work together, or else die.
Also — Boba Fett lives!
Previous episode: Chapter 8: Redemption
Next episode: Chapter 10: The Passenger
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16 comments on this post
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 12:23am (UTC -5)
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 2:03am (UTC -5)
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 3:02am (UTC -5)
Other than John Williams's musical scores, I enjoy this progran more than anything else Star Wars related.
The Mandoria is true escapist fare that generates a feeling of instant nostalgia in me (which is ironic because I was never really cared much for the original trilogy when I was younger). It's the same feeling I get watching Indiana Jones or The Goonies or TNG ... that sense of immersive childlike wonderment.
Besides The Orville, I can't think of any other current show that's been able to consistently do that.
Having a showrunner who actually understands and cares (on a personal level) about the franchise seems to be an advantage nowadays. Case in point: Jon Favreau, Seth MacFarlane, even Michelle Paradise over on Discovery (yes, she inherited a mess but I can tell she's trying).
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 3:06am (UTC -5)
I've spelled out "Mandalorian" at least 100 times by now. You'd think my auto correct would get the hint.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 3:07am (UTC -5)
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 10:26am (UTC -5)
Whereas discovery is using their huge budget to decorate the screen with effects, Favreau is using the money to create seemingly real cultures, and to create things that those cultures would actually USE. Plus, each episode maintains a good sense of humor.. the kind of humor Star Wars does best. things like the funny noises a creature makes
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 4:58pm (UTC -5)
Another great installment of 'The Mandalorian'!
Mando's solution here was very "trek". He WAS going to get the armor, but chose to help everyone and put his life at risk to get it back instead of killing and taking it... AND, he produced peace between the townspeople and the raiders!
One of my favorite parts of this show is the "Art" they show at the end of each episode as if to capture the events we just saw in a comic book. Just awesome.
I noticed a change in the music theme... I don't like it. Put it back, please.
3.5 star from me.
Mon, Nov 23, 2020, 10:54am (UTC -5)
What I mean:
- Imperium 1 : good guys 157
At the end of the episode only Moff Gideon is left who also gets shoot down. First he comes in killing tons of his own people and then gets everybody else killed. I cannot imagine a more heavy defeat. I could not take the episode serious after this. If you can mow down stormtroopers by the hundreds with ease then there is no threat.
- Robotsacrifice was so eye rolling. OMG there are a dozen stormtroopers ahead. Insurmountable odds!
The humor was the only good thing. Stormtrooper talking and Carl Weathers shouting when Baby Yoda touches him:"He trying to eat me!" I almost fell to the floor from laughing. Though Carl Weather will always be connected to this scene for me.
The episode was made by Taika Waititi (which made the great "what we do in the shadows" movie). He is good at comedy, apparently not at epic/dramatic stuff.
Just looked it up 100% approval rating on rotten?!! WHAT???
Mon, Nov 23, 2020, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
There's your problem right there.
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 8:38pm (UTC -5)
Between that and the inclusion of that girl from the Clone Wars show it looks like Favreau is getting alot of mileage out of the extended universe that Disney was so eager to throw out as non-canon.
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 4:07am (UTC -5)
If you're into RPGs, I definitely recommend you play Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2. The first game has a quest you mention, and is a very good CRPG (not surprising coming from BioWare, well, old BioWare). I am partial to the second game, though. It's a phenomenal deconstruction of Star Wars lore and mythos and boasts what I would call one of the best non-player characters in the history of gaming, which is not something I say lightly.
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 25, 2023, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
I like getting a bit of the history of these places like Mos Pelgo - tying it back to the empire. Hard to see how a place like Mos Pelgo could continue to exist -- one has to figure somebody is bringing supplies etc. and trading for whatever these people mine. A pretty rough existence.
While the killing of the dragon had some unexpected twists to it, the result was never in doubt and no significant losses were suffered. I think the episode could have played up the hatred between the Mos Pelgo folk and sand people a bit more and how perhaps Mando and the marshal brought them together to start some kind of era of cooperation -- who knows...
2.5 stars for "Chapter 9: The Marshal" -- feels like a filler episode - just a random adventure thrown in. But the series does tend to revisit itself so who knows if there's more importance here than at the surface. Did the marshal tell Mando what he was looking for when he went to find the dude at the fights? That didn't seem to happen so it seems like this one started along the lines of Mando pursuing his main purpose but then just went off on a tangent.
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