This nostalgia-filled episode brought us back to some old friends and familiar places. “The Siege” was a warm welcome and return for Carl Weathers, who not only was heavily featured but also sat in the director’s chair. How did Chapter 12 grade out? What were the highlights and biggest takeaways?
Let’s dive right in.
As always…in case you didn’t know, this is a spoiler-laden review. If you haven’t seen the latest episode of The Mandalorian, please stop. Turn around. Bookmark this page. And then come right back after you’ve seen “The Siege.”
The latest episode picks up right after Chapter 11, as our two favorite Star Wars heroes head back to the volcanic planet, Nevarro. The beginning scene of Din trying to explain wiring to Baby Yoda was priceless. While following multi-step directives might still be challenging for The Child, we now know he, at least, understands the difference between colors.
Luckily, this wasn’t Baby Yoda’s best moment from Chapter 12.
The next sequence finally brings us Cara Dune’s return to The Mandalorian, who hasn’t touched the small screen since the season one finale.
Quick update. Cara’s full first name is Carasynthia. She’s from the planet Alderaan, which was destroyed by the first Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope. Cara Dune is clearly the same badass, taking down an Aqualish crime ring and helping to bring justice to the outpost.
Which brings us to the return of Greef Karga to The Mandalorian, played by the great Carl Weathers. I absolutely loved his introduction this week. His character has clearly come a long way since we first saw him. Greef Karga’s “He’s going to eat me” scene from Chapter 7 as Baby Yoda healed his wound was one of the funnier moments from season one.
Now, Karga immediately picks up The Child as if he’s one of his grandchildren. Very touching.
Nevarro’s Shocking Changes, But for the Better
Greef Karga is doing clerical work. Cara Dune now acts as Marshal. The outpost is full of life and color, and even has a functional educational system in place for children. (Quick note: Chapter 12 brought us the first glimpse of the Force during Season Two between Baby Yoda, a boy, and what appeared to be some very delicious, blue macarons.)
But let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this week’s mission on The Mandalorian: Infiltrate an imperial base located on the opposite end of Nevarro. We’ve talked repeatedly during these reviews on how Din Djarin has evolved into not only a caregiver, but as a protector. It only makes sense that Greef Karga asks Mando to bring freedom to their planet by removing the remaining Imperial force and help their outpost continue to grow.
Din Djarin and the gang make a quick and stealthy entrance into the Imperial base that would clearly make the legend Sam Fisher proud. (Any Splinter Cell fans here?)
However, not all it what it seems on the Imperial base. In fact, isn’t a military base at all. It’s a laboratory experimenting midi-chlorians and run by the one and only Moff Gideon.
Moff Gideon’s presence immediately signals Baby Yoda’s life is in clear danger. Din Djarin quickly leaves to return to Baby Yoda. With the base prepared to explode, our favorite characters are thrown in a 10-minute chase sequence battle between speeders and Tie fighters. Circling back to Din Djarin as the protector, he saves the day just in time behind Razor Crest and Baby Yoda’s blue yummy macarons. Sadly, Baby Yoda’s digestive tract did not survive this mission.
My favorite part of Chapter 23 had to be the touching moment between Cara and the New Republic officer.
“Did you lose someone?” asks the officer referring to Alderaan. “I lost everyone” says Cara, as she contemplates her purpose.
It is these moments that make me truly fall in love with The Mandalorian. The New Republic officer places his badge on a table right in front of her. It is clear that Cara Dune has a much larger destiny than policing scum on a volcanic planet. While Cara might be a Marshal on Nevarro, it is clear that she is has a much bigger purpose in the galaxy.
The War for Baby Yoda is About to Begin
“The device has been planted as you requested,” says a repairman as we shortly learn that Moff Gideon’s forces have planted a tracking beacon on Razor Crest. Chapter 12 ends with Moff Gideon prepping at least a dozen battle droids for the upcoming attack. Moff Gideon’s presence looked as threatening as ever in this sequence. His army of Dark Troopers with the dark tones was extremely ominous and foreboding for our favorite Star Wars duo.
Chapter 12 was full of throwbacks and nods to classic Star Wars films. The Armorer’s lair run by Aqualish thugs was a nod to Star Wars: A New Hope and the criminal who got his arm cut off by Obi-Wan. The teacher of the classroom was a protocol droid who had noticeably clear resemblance to C-3PO. Lastly, the speeder chase at the end had incredible Return of the Jedi vibes as well.
Carl Weathers doesn’t have the longest resume when it comes to directing, but I was pretty impressed by his effort here. Both Karga and Dune shined this week and took up a bulk of the screen time. Chapter 12 of The Mandalorian Season Two didn’t move the needle much in terms of overall arc, but it’s nice to see it’s still moving (unlike some other episodes).
As a huge fan of Ahsoka Tano, it’s beyond clear that we’re inching closer and closer towards her live-action debut. And it’s going to be glorious. Why? With an army of Dark Troopers behind him, Moff Gideon presents as a direct threat for Din Djarin and Baby Yoda in the very near future.
With overwhelming odds stacked against them, I foresee a certain Togruta female up to the task to protect Baby Yoda during Chapter 13. We also already know that Dave Filoni is directing the next episode. What does that mean? That’s right, folks. Ahsoka Tano’s debut is upon us and I can literally see the goosebumps on my arm as I write this. We haven’t seen much of the Force in season two, but that’s all about to change in the very near future.
MoviesMatrix Meter: 90%
NOTE: Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian will be released on Disney Plus on November 27. Please be sure to subscribe to MoviesMatrix on Twitter, subscribe to our Podcast and newsletter, and lock it down here at MoviesMatrix.com each and every week for all your Star Wars needs.