Another week and another episode of “The Mandalorian” drops for our viewing pleasure. Episode 3, entitled “The Heiress”, was a shorter event than the previous two episodes but didn’t suffer due to the reduced length. Full of interesting cameos and a cracking heist adventure, the episode’s biggest draw was the setup for one of the most anticipated live-action of a character from the expanded universe of Star Wars (while also providing us with another live-action debut of a beloved character from the same expanded universe). Spoilers ahead, so you’ve been warned.
The episode picks up right after the ending the previous one, with Din Djarin trying to land his battered ship on Trask, which goes about as well as you would think given the state of the spacecraft. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Razor Crest were to be removed from the lead character’s inventory at some point during this season. We saw it be completely dismantled by Jawas in the first season, only to be rebuilt. At this point, it’s barely held together even after repairs are made to it during the course of the episode. An upgraded vessel could be just what The Mandalorian needs for the trials that I’m expected will be in the future for him and The Child.
Speaking of which, there wasn’t a great deal of The Child in this episode, which I’m okay with after last week’s episode. I didn’t mind The Child eating Frog Lady’s eggs, since it was an obvious turn of events that added an element of horrific comedy to the previous episode. Instead, we got to see some truly cute moments involving The Child interacting with the now-fertilized eggs once Frog Lady met up with her husband. There’s going to be a lot of tadpoles growing up on Trask in the near future, which were made to look absolutely adorable through the CGI employed by the production team.
The real meat of this episode was the live-action debut of Bo-Katan Kryze, a character familiar to Star Wars fans from the animated series’ The Clone Wars and Rebels. This is one of the instances where Disney actually did the right thing and brought in the lovely Katee Sackhoff to portray Bo-Katan. Sackhoff has been the voice actress for all of the previous iterations of the character during the animated shows that she’s appeared in, so bringing her in for “The Mandalorian” felt like the right decision. My only exposure to the character was from Rebels, where she was the firebrand warrior intent on rebuilding Mandalorian society on their homeworld of Mandalore.
Bo-Katan is a member of the Death Watch, a resistance group that follows a different Way from Din Djarin and his clan of Mandalorians, known as Children of the Watch. I’ve read some of the original expanded universe material for Star Wars, so the idea of there being disparate and diametrically opposite Mandalorian clans wasn’t a surprise to me. What I found interesting was that our lead character now is given a chance to see that there may be another Way for him to lead his life. While Mandalorians are almost always depicted as a fierce warrior culture, underneath of that is a culture who treats fighting and the potential for death via combat as a religious exercise. It’s a fascinating culture that I hope we get to see more of throughout this series.
Din is drawn into a heist being performed by Bo-Katan and her fellow Mandalorian Death Watch commandos, one of who is played by Mercedes Varnado (aka WWE’s Sasha Banks). It took me a few minutes to recognize Mercedes, since my only exposure to her is as the purple-haired wrestler persona. She carried herself well during the episode but wasn’t really given much to work with in terms of dialogue. The heist turned out to be a quest for information that tied back into the season finale of “The Mandalorian” from last season. Once Moff Gideon was revealed to be in possession of the Darksaber, a lightsaber with a unique blade-like structure of obsidian energy, I knew this was going to come back into play at some point in the second season. Bo-Katan was once in possession of the Darksaber, which in the lore of Star Wars is a lightsaber fashioned for one of the great leaders of the Mandalorian people (who go by the obvious title of Mandalore). Whomever possesses the Darksaber is immediately seen as a worthy leader of the Mandalorian people, which is why the title of the episode fits well. Bo-Katan seeks to reclaim the Darksaber, her place as a leader among her people, and the restoration of Mandalorian society.
I greatly enjoyed the episode, particularly the attack of the Imperial freighter. Seeing Titus Welliver make a cameo as an Imperial officer was a great moment. I’ve been a fan of his for years, particularly due to his excellent work on the series Bosch on Amazon Prime. There was fair amount of action and drama throughout the episode, with the pacing of the script by Jon Favreau and the direction of Bryce Dallas Howard working seamlessly together. And the reveal at the end that we will potentially be seeing Ahsoka Tano next episode has me hooked. Once news broke that Rosario Dawson would be bringing Ahsoka to life on this show, I’ve been waiting to see how she would be incorporated into the story. Next week’s episode should be a lot of fun.