This week the father and the child end up on an ocean planet and join up with some familiar faces in what might be the most intense episode of the series to date. It turns out that Fan Service: A Star Wars Story leans way harder into the Dave Filoni created television shows than the films. Also, one revelation that I find super intriguing. Let’s take a closer look at The Heiress.
Seriously. Spoilers galore are coming. You’ve been warned.
This episode once again picks up right where the last one left off, with the Razor Crest limping towards Trask, the ocean planet where the frog lady’s husband is waiting for her. The Crest is in bad shape and ends up all-but-crash landing, and then crashing off the landing docks and into the sea. I am pretty sure this ship is going to be beaten up in every episode at this point.
The frog family re-united, Lone Mando and Cub head to an inn for information where a a Quarren man tells them he can lead them to other Mandalorians a few hours sail away. This, of course, turns out to be a trap. They want his armour. The “his armour is shiny and people want to steal it” seems to be becoming a theme.
The Quarren throw the child into a cargo hold with a monster, Mando jumps in after, and while he’s busy trying not to drown three Mandalorians show up and kill the pirates and save our dynamic duo. If you are a fan of the Dave Filoni created animated Star Wars TV series then at least one of these particular Mandalorians should look and sound familiar before we get to see her face: Katee Sackoff is reprising her role as Bo-Katan Kryze, the rightful leader of Mandalore. Also with her are two compatriots, played by WWE star Sasha Banks (Mercedes Varnado) and Simon Kassianides (maybe best known to North American audiences from his turn on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
It’s here we learn what might be the most fascinating thing of the episode to me. Mando recoils when Bo-Katan and company take off their helmets, and they reveal that he must be a member of The Watch, a group of Mandalorian religious zealots who broke away from Mandalore with the goal of re-establishing the ancient “way”.
Bo-Katan tells our hero that she can lead him to the Jedi, but only after he helps them steal a shipment of arms they are going to use to help re-take Mandalore from the Imperial Remnant. Once Mando leaves the kid with the frog family to babysit, the newly formed team jetpacks onto the imperial transport and starts kicking ass and taking names.
The action sequences in this episode are stellar. With the Mandalorian team taking the ship section by section against Storm Troopers who couldn’t hit the side of a bantha, sure, but also with some inventive uses of weapons and armour and some sweet hand to hand action that I could actually see, to boot.
The whole raid culminates when our hero runs down a hallway taking all kinds of blaster fire (storm troopers can hit things when the plot calls for it) trying to reach the bridge before the ships captain (played by Titus Welliver!) can crash the ship to stop them from obtaining the weapons on board.
The captain attempts to crash the ship at the behest of Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), but only after Gideon finds out that the invaders onboard are Mandalorians. Once to heroes take the bridge we find out what Bo-Katan is after besides the guns on board: she’s after the Darksaber, which was in her possession at the end of Star Wars Rebels but in Gideon’s possession at the end of The Mandalorian’s first season The captain kills himself before he can give up any information, and mission accomplished Bo-Katan tells Mando where he can find a Jedi: Ahsoka Tano.
Mando jumps off the ship, and rocket packs his way to pick up the child before reclaiming a hastily (and haphazardly) repaired Razor Crest and taking off toward Ahsoka.
This episode is, at 35 minutes, the shortest one of the season so far but honestly, I prefer this show when it gets right to the point. 35 minutes is short for this season so far, but it’s actually in line with the series as a whole, too.
Another thing this episode has is lore for days. It makes sense the way things are stacking up, but I do like that the show is leaning into Dave Filoni’s animated Star Wars universe more than the film series. The Mandalorians have had way more development there, and there’s a lot more to draw on just by nature of there being more of the TV series than the movies. It was awesome to see Katee Sackoff in full costume as Bo-Katan, right down to the headband with the glowing lights at either end. Her armour looks just as awesome in live-action as it did in Rebels. With our dynamic duo headed toward Ahsoka Tano, I wonder if we’ll also meet Sabine Wren in this series as the two of them were last seen headed off together on a quest to find a lost friend.
Also, I do really like that the explanation for the fact that our Mando acts so differently, so much more formally and stuffily than the Mandalorians we’ve seen in the past. If the sect that raised him is a bunch of zealots, then there is also room for character development there as he learns about actual Mandalorian culture rather than their version of it. Also maybe Pedro Pascal just wants to be able to take the helmet off. Who knows?
The Heiress was directed by Bryce Dallas Howard and is probably my favourite of the season so far, thanks largely to the choices she makes. There are a lot more interesting camera positioning and movement choices in this episode than the previous two, but also she seems to understand that people actually want to see the fight scenes in this show. I really like Bryce Dallas Howard as an actor, but I really look forward to her following in her fathers’ footsteps and becoming one of the great directors of our time.
- I know this is obvious, but I do really like the used-future that this show is cultivating. The attention to detail, especially in places like the pirates’ ship this episode, is spectacular.
- Given that Gideon has the Darksaber and Bo-Katan wants it back, you can bet we haven’t seen the last of her. I wonder if we’ll ever get the backstory of how she lost it….. lol, of course, we will, this is not a universe of mysteries.
- The Child petting the baby frog at the end is adorable, but the Child eating the starfish squid thing that was trying to attack him at the end of the episode was great. I hope they keep the kid weird and carnivorous.
- I wonder if the Razer Crest will make it to the end of the season at this point. It’s been pretty beat to hell so far.
- Sasha Banks, credited under her real name Mercedes Varnado, has a great presence in this episode. We’re definitely going to see more from her on-screen in the future.
- Katee Sackoff is already the Queen of nerd culture, but this is another jewel in her crown.
- This show has a distinct lack of Giancarlo Esposito so far.
- Titus Welliver is always a win.
- I have mixed feelings about this show incorporating so much previous lore (vs creating more of its own), but at the same time I love Ahsoka Tano, so I am looking forward to next week.