The Mandalorian, S3 Ep 5 Review

After years of being beaten down, persecuted, and exiled, things seem to be looking up for the Mandalorians. Din’s returned to the Watch with Bo-Katan, Grogu, and Darksaber in tow. The Watch’s Covert continues to grow day by day. The only thing they’re missing now is a home, which the events of this episode manage to provide. After having to flee Nevarro and the Empire years before, the Mandalorians return as its new heroes.

This is still Star Wars, though. And while things may seem good now, darkness can lurk on the horizon. 

Nevarro Under Attack by Pirates…and the New Republic Won’t Help

The Mandalorian S3, Ep 5-Karga and Pirate King Shard
Source-Disney+, But Why Though?

Over the series, we’ve seen Nevarro turn from a run-of-mill hive of Outer Rim scum into a burgeoning trade city, and it’s all the better for it. However, as we saw in the season premiere, that scum’s waiting for the chance to drag the planet back down. After defying the minions of Gorian Shard (they shot first), Greef Karga find the self-proclaimed Pirate King on his doorstep. And despite Karga’s best attempts to bluff, Shard takes over the city and drives the populace out.

The Mandalorian S3, Ep 5-Captain Carson Teva
Source-YouTube, Disney

While Karga does get a message out to New Republic Captain Carson Teva, Teva finds himself unable to do anything to help. When he goes to Coruscant to directly ask permission to intervene, they refuse since Nevarro’s not a member world. It’s just the latest in a series of examples of how weak the New Republic is in the Disney Canon. Had this been the Rebellion being asked, they’d rush to help by virtue of it being the right thing to do. Worse, the New Republic official brushes off Teva’s concerns that powerful forces are growing in the Outer Rim, foreshadowing the rise of the First Order decades later. It’s beyond infuriating to watch, and shows how the idealism the Rebel Alliance was built on is almost gone. It also doesn’t help that the official Teva sees has Kane (the one who ratted out Dr. Pershing) as an assistant.

Thankfully, like a true Rebel, Teva finds another way to help: the Mandalorians.

Taking Back Nevarro

After tracking down Mando with help from R5, Din learns of the plight of Greef and the people of Nevarro. Afterwards, he appeals to the Covert to intervene. They help free Nevarro, he agrees to Karga’s offer of land, and the Mandalorians will have a home they can live in freely and openly. It’s a tempting proposition, and one that gets support from, of all people, Paz Viszla. Mando earned his favor by helping him save his own son; Bo-Katan proved her worth by leading the war party that mounted the rescue. So, he’ll fight to give the Mandalorians a place to put down roots.

The battle that takes up the latter half of the episode is nothing short of spectacular. The Mandalorian and Bo-Katan fly rings around Shard’s cruiser, showing once again why the dogfights are among the best aspects of Star Wars. On the ground, the fight between the Mandalorians and the pirates continues the show’s love of Westerns. Paz mows down enemies with his minigun, and the Armorer manages to bash several Pirates heads in with her forge hammer. It’s clear the whole battle cost a lot of money to film, which shows how much faith Disney’s put into this show, and it pays off. This should be the standard Disney should set for high-budget shows going forward.

Bo-Katan Is Sent to Unify the Mandalorians

The Mandalorian S3, Ep 5-Bo-Katan and the Armorer Discuss the Future of Mandalore
Source-YouTube, Disney

Ultimately, the Mandalorians succeed and get everything they wanted: they’re heroes to the people of Nevarro, and now have land that they can live on in the open without fear. However, things don’t stop there. Taking Bo-Katan aside to speak alone, the Armorer does two surprising things. First, she lets Bo-Katan remove her helmet, saying she’s a child of two different aspects of the Mandalorian people, and thus, should get leniency for it. Secondly, the Armorer reveals that she does believe Bo-Katan’s story about seeing a Mythosaur. Taking this as a sign of good things to come, the Armorer gives Bo-Katan a new mission. She must seek out their scattered people across the Galaxy, and let them know the time has come to return home. They’re going to retake Mandalore.

This moment is a game-changer for The Mandalorian. After being driven from their home by the Empire years ago, the Mandalorians have a chance to take it back for good. Furthermore, the Armorer’s supporting Bo-Katan as their people’s leader. While this seems like a good thing on the surface, it sows the seeds for a possible conflict between Bo-Katan and Din Djarin. Djarin still has the Darksaber, the symbol of Mandalorian leadership, and thus a claim to the title of Mandalore. If other Mandalorians don’t accept this, there could be another civil war.

That might be the least of their problems, though.

Gideon’s Still Out There

The Mandalorian S3, Ep 5-Beskar on Moff Gideon's Shuttle?
Source-YouTube, Disney

In “The Convert” we heard rumors that Moff Gideon never reached Coruscant for trial by the New Republic. Many fans speculated that he escaped custody mid-transit, and as Captain Teva discovers, we were right. Teva finds his derelict prison shuttle, the crew all dead, and Gideon nowhere to be found. However, the most disturbing thing is how Teva’s astromech discovers beskar embedded in the ship’s walls.

Fans now have even more to speculate now. On the surface, it looks like the Mandalorians freed Moff Gideon, with some, like The Heavy Spoilers Channel, thinking another faction is working for him. However, this could likely be a frame-up meant to pit the New Republic against the Mandalorians, thus weakening both while Moff Gideon remains free. Regardless, the fact that Moff Gideon’s escaped spells bad news for the Mandalorians. Now more than ever, they need unity, whether it comes from Din Djarin, Bo-Katan Kryze, or even Grogu as he gets older. If we’re lucky, the next episode will not keep fans in the dark about this mystery for long. This is the Way.

I Give “The Pirate” a 4.5/5

Stray Observations

  • This episode marks the first live-action appearance of Zeb, the Lasat character from Star Wars: Rebels, still being voiced by Steve Blum
The Mandalorian S3, Ep 5-Steve Blum Reprises his role as Zeb for a Cameo
Source-YouTube, Disney
  • Greef Karga’s remark about Shard’s pirates shooting first is nice callback to that age-old question: Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
  • It’s confirmed that, yes, R5 did serve in the Rebellion.
  • IG-11’s body is still with the Anzellians. Will he end up returning after all?
  • I found out Gorian Shard is played by another Game of Thrones alumni, the guy who played Xaro in Season Two of that show.