The Mandalorian Explained is our ongoing series that keeps an eye on Lucasfilm’s saga about the Galaxy’s most dangerous single dad. In this entry, we look at what went down in The Mandalorian Chapter 10 — the second episode of Season 2 — and explain how its rich environment celebrates the franchise. Yes, there be spoilers here.
Two episodes into the new season, and we still don’t know where The Mandalorian is heading. That’s pretty damn exciting. Mando is a wandering ronin with a baby on board.
As his attachment to the Child grows by the second, the bounty hunter is more than willing to travel sublight speed to uncover the hungry little goblin’s family. We’re quite pleased too. Let’s keep this lone wolf and cub together for as long as possible.
Chapter 10, entitled “The Passenger,” continues to tread water as Mando Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) slowly meanders his way toward other Mandalorians who may or may not know where the Jedi currently hide. We pick up this week with father and adopted son speeding away from Mos Pelgo and back to their ship snuggled safely in the care of Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris). The journey is cut short as a trilogy of goons ambushes their ride, destroying it in the process.
Mando does what he does best. He slaughters the chumps. There never was a doubt. It’s more about how the distraction causes another bump in the road, forcing Mando to pick up the pieces and drag them across the desert.
Chapter 10 does not pick up the pace from there. In the Mos Eisley cantina, Peli Motto’s praying mantis poker player Dr. Mandible trades their knowledge of Mandalorian whereabouts for a hefty stack of credits contributed to his pot. The big bug loses immediately, evaporating Mando’s cash, but the information appears sound.
Another hiccup: Dr. Mandible doesn’t supply coordinates, just another agent that Mando must escort to the desired star system. Even more frustrating, the agent is a frog lady (Misty Rosas) carrying a cylinder of eggs equalling the last of her familiar line. She must get them to her husband for insemination, rescuing her gene pool from oblivion.
Out of the frying pan and into the fryer.
Ms. Frog does not realize that her children’s greatest threat resides aboard the Razor Crest: Baby Yoda. As we saw throughout Season 1 of The Mandalorian, the Child appreciates nothing as much as a good snack. The more lively the meat, the better. Be they frogs, Kowakian monkey-lizards, or spider fetuses; Baby Yoda will gobble down any wriggling thing.
Throughout Chapter 10, we see the kiddo eyeing up Ms. Frog’s cylinder. Whenever her back is turned, the child is all up on it, nose pressed to glass, tiny claw dipping in, and fetching as many buoyant orbs as they can.
Mando stops the kid from eating every last morsel, but he can’t prevent three or four from going down the gullet. Thankfully, Ms. Frog apparently didn’t’ do a count before boarding the ship. She seems unaware that a batch of her children has gone missing down Baby Yoda’s shoot.
While Mando must pilot the Razor Crest at sublight speed, so the eggs are not damaged, it may not matter if this impish little elf keeps jabbing them in their gob. Once again, another hassle intervenes. Two X-wings flank the ship, demanding identification.
With the Empire fallen, the New Republic has nothing better to do than establish speed traps. These two pilots (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and The Mandalorian executive producer Dave Filoni) behave as little more than beat cops, running plates, killing time, and boredom. When Mando’s signal comes back as the same one involved in the Bothan-Five prison break (see Chapter 6), the chase is on.
Mando bobs and weaves, ditching the X-wings in the icy caverns of a nearby planet. Like everything else that happens in this episode, victory never arrives without cost. The Razor Crest is severely damaged, nearly crash landing. The makeshift runway below them shatters, and the ship and crew tumble deep into the unnamed planet.
Exposed to the elements, Mando repairs the ship as quick as he can. Ms. Frog wanders down a cave looking for a hot bath, and we’re expecting a big bad Wampa to reveal itself. What does show up is even nastier and nerdier.
Baby Yoda attempts another ovum heist, and again, Mando shoes them away. Despondent, the little critter scuttles down the cave. Side note: Is there anything cuter than this kid walking? No, don’t think so.
To their delight, the Child hits the eggo mother lode. In this one particular corridor are rows upon rows of oblong eggs, easily crackable with delicious chunks of meat inside. While Baby Yoda is gnashing, the rest of the shells around him start to hatch. In the blink of an eye, the kid is surrounded by a swarm of spiders.
Mando, Ms. Frog, and Baby Yoda race back to the Razor Crest. There are not enough gadgets on the Mando’s person to kill off these creepy crawlies, especially when the big bad spider giants appear. These enormous arachnids crawled straight from one of Ralph McQuarrie‘s original, unused concept paintings.
As much as showrunner Jon Favreau adores his childhood Kenner action figure collection, he cherishes the world-building might of McQuarrie. The painter was essential to the construction of Star Wars, the first artist to realize many of George Lucas’ ideas. In the process of birthing generation one designs for Stormtroopers, C-3PO, and Darth Vader, McQuarrie also envisioned countless other creatures that never made it to screen.
McQuarrie’s concepts have always been a jumping-off point for Expanded Universe (EU) stories, and The Mandalorian is no different. The spider is a Krykna, a non-sentient eating machine. They were initially conceived to inhabit the swamps of Dagobah, but in the years since The Empire Strikes Back, the Krykna made their home in the Star Wars Legends novels of Kevin J. Anderson as well as the animated series Star Wars: Rebels.
These beasties are pure nightmare fuel, and as they overrun the Razor Crest, our heroes’ chances of survival appear slimmer and slimmer. Enter the pair of X-wing pilots from before to save their bacon. The two New Republic cops eradicate the swarm without ever leaving their cockpits.
The pilots explain that, yeah, they should arrest Mando, but they also know he tried to save one of their pals back in Chapter 6. They return the favor but tell Mando not to expect much aid in the future. If Mando does not want to get blasted out of the sky, he better fix his transponder.
Chapter 10 concludes with Mando, Ms. Frog, her babies, and the always snacky child hobbling their way back into space aboard a Razor Crest held together by chewing gum and a prayer. What was already a slow trek is made all the more so.
The story barely moves its narrative forward, but that does not seem to be the mission of The Mandalorian. Favreau and company are more interested in expanding the Star Wars universe. Joke (or complain) all you want about being unable to flee Tattooine or the shadow of Boba Fett, but as The Clone Wars and Rebels did before, The Mandalorian is supplying some much-needed depth to our beloved galaxy far, far away.
We’re getting to know these environments better than before. As an episodic television series, The Mandalorian has the space to explore the concepts originally confined to a tiny collection of cinematic frames. Its sluggish pace should be celebrated, not condemned. An idea that this viewer struggled with in the past but is slightly coming around to with each chapter.