Season 3 Episode 6 of The Mandalorian packed quite the punch with an excellent combination of nostalgia, a star cast, and a massive stepping stone for the future.
We see a growing partnership between Din Djarin and Bo-Katan Kryze as they set course to reunite the scattered Mandalorians and end up solving a mystery on Plazir-15. We also see how the Clone Wars era continues to cast a long shadow on the galaxy even an entire Imperial rule later. But most importantly, we saw Lizzo and Jack Black appear as Star Wars characters, which is pretty iconic despite the social media divide.
Let’s catch up with all the key takeaways from The Mandalorian Chapter 22 before this week’s episode:
5) More post-Galactic Era issues
This whole season has repeatedly pointed out many flaws in the New Republic, as any new government is likely to have in the real world after decades of autocratic rule. Issues like corruption, lack of funding, and shortage of resources are rife in the new system. But an even bigger issue the New Republic is facing is the loyalty to former powers.
We have already seen that Elia Kane’s allegiances possibly still lie with Moff Gideon, even though she now works for the New Republic and claims to have found the light. In last week’s episode, the main antagonist turned out to be a loyal Separatist who still holds on to the ideals of Count Dooku.
Commissioner Helgait, who gets sent to the Moon of Paraquat for his crimes of sabotaging the droids on Plazir, is an old man. He possibly didn’t have it in him to commit bigger offenses and it takes Din and Bo-Katan only a few hours on Plazir to catch him.
However, this exposes the New Republic further and raises the question that if an old Head of Security can get nano droids delivered illegally without anyone noticing and fiddle with murderous battle droids, what can someone with bigger resources and more malicious intents do?
4) The irony of droid discrimination
The Mandalorian takes the real-world AI-uprising conspiracy theories and spins them around to create an empathetic story for the droids in S3E6. Din and Bo-Katan’s investigation takes them to a droid bar, where we learn from the barkeep that their kind is worried they will soon be replaced because of the droids-gone-rogue incidents.
Despite the barkeep’s mechanical voice, emotions seep through as the barkeep makes a case for the droids. “We don’t want to be replaced. We still have a lot to contribute. Human life is so short,” it says, “They don’t ask that much of us. Organics created us. It’s the least we can do.” His speech gets unanimous support from the droid patrons of the bar.
Droids are rampant in the Star Wars universe, but they were all created to serve humans in some way or the other. It is the only purpose they have known since being programmed and the barkeep’s desperate plea for purposefulness is both poignant and ironic. The scene beautifully humanizes the droids as they fear impending persecution for a crime actually committed by a human.
3) Ties with Clone Wars and Rebels get stronger with massive namedrops
There have been too many hints this season that it may tie in with Clone Wars and Rebels, and the actual storyline is headed toward that as well. In last week’s episode, Bo-Katan even mentions the Clone Wars and how she hasn’t seen battle droids since then.
Commander Helgait turns out to be a hardcore and loyal Separatist and we hear Count Dooku’s name dropped in canon after a long time. We almost got Anakin Skywalker’s name mentioned on The Mandalorian as well, but Bo-Katan struck Helgait down before he could finish his grievance about Dooku’s death.
With rumors of Ahsoka’s appearance and Admiral Thrawn looming on the horizon, the future of the show may very well lie in the past, bringing the story to a full circle. This ties in with the latest Star Wars Celebration announcements as well.
According to show maker Jon Favreau, the new Dave Filoni movie is going to bring together all the interwoven characters and overlapping storylines. “We knew the story would culminate. You have little culminations that come with each season. You have characters and things that thread in and out,” he told IGN.
Did Axe Woves and Co. help free Moff Gideon?
At the end of Episode 5, the Beskar fragment Captain Teva found embedded in the demolished Lambda Shuttle Captain hinted at Mandalorians being involved in the extraction of Moff Gideon while he was en route to the New Republic tribunal.
The opening sequence of Episode 6 revealed that Bo-Katan’s former teammates Axe Woves and Koska Reeves are now ‘Guns for Hire’. They carry out missions, offer protection, and possibly offer other services like helping a wanted criminal flee in exchange for money.
It may very well be a throw-off or a frame job. However, Bo-Katan has now taken back the reigns of the squad after the showdown with Woves on Plazir-15. She has been entrusted with reuniting the Mandalorians by the Armorer herself.
It would be interesting to see how the implications of her team members helping an Imperial war criminal escape play out among the Children of the Watch, whether or not it is actually true.
Bo-Katan finally wields the Darksaber. Where does that leave the Mandalorian?
That brings us to the final takeaway.
It was only a matter of time before Bo-Katan Kryze finally wields the Darksaber, and this time, legitimately. However, to do that, she’d have to defeat Din Djarin in combat, which she was unwilling to do. Fans were hoping for a complex turn of events that will eventually pit Din and Bo-Katan against each other. The building camaraderie between them would have further added a layer to the battle between the two Mandalorian warriors.
Turns out, Din’s unexpected capture by a strange one-eyed cyborg crab under the Mines of Mandalore in the second episode was entirely written to find a loophole for the Darksaber to change hands. When Axe Woves and Co. refused to acknowledge Bo-Katan as their leader, Mando told the story of how she defeated an adversary who defeated him, making her the rightful owner of the Darksaber.
This also means the cyborg crab was the ruler of Mandalore for about an hour…
Nevertheless, Bo-Katan finally wielding the Darksaber is massive for Star Wars canon and the future of Mandalore. But where does that leave Din Djarin?
Fans were hoping that with Din wielding the Darksaber, Bo-Katan would have tamed the Mythosaur she saw and together they would lead Mandalore. However, the reversal of the roles does not sound too bad either. In fact, it was possibly foreshadowed long back when Kuuil said “Your ancestors rode the great Mythosaur” to Din Djarin in the very first episode of the show.
Watch The Mandalorian only on Disney+ every Wednesday.