The flagship series on Disney+, The Mandalorian (and especially one little green alien), has captured our hearts. The latest chapter of the series has its bounty hunter hero (played by Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal) reunite with some former allies for a mission that could eliminate the threat to The Child and himself once and for all.
There’s a lot to absorb in each episode of The Mandalorian, so here’s a recap of what happened in episode 7, as well as a breakdown of some noteworthy elements. (Note: There will be a discussion of plot points from the episode, so consider this a spoiler warning. You can also go back and read our recaps of Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, and Episode 6.)
The Mandalorian receives a message from Greef Carga (Carl Weathers), the bounty handler from Navarro who tried to stop Mando from rescuing The Child (a.k.a. Baby Yoda) back in Episode 3 but ended up on the wrong side of a blaster (and an army of Mandalorians). Greef explains that Mando’s actions prompted the former Imperial warlord on the planet known as The Client (Werner Herzog) to double-down on security and all of those stormtroopers are making business difficult. Kill the Imperial, he says, and Mando will have his record wiped clean and eliminate the threat to The Child.
Mando picks up ex-trooper Cara Dune (Gina Carano) to watch his back and Ugnaught engineer Kuiil (Nick Nolte) to keep an eye on the child, and reluctantly adds the rebuilt and reprogrammed IG-11 (Taika Waititi) and a trio of Blurrgs to his team at Kuiil’s insistence. On Navarro, his reunion with Greef goes as well as one can expect from two people who previously tried to kill each other until they’re attacked by some flying creatures that wound Greef. The Child uses The Force to heal him, revealing his power to the group and — as we later discover — convincing Greef not to double-cross Mando down the road.
The group’s meeting with The Client gets progressively more ominous until a group of Death Troopers gun down almost everyone in the cantina — including The Client — and Imperial Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) shows up with a massive battalion of additional stormtroopers.
Meanwhile, Kuiil almost makes it back to Mando’s ship with The Child before being gunned down himself, but it remains uncertain who blasted him: The stormtroopers chasing him or IG-11. Nevertheless, the stormtroopers recover The Child, and Mando, Cara, and Greef find themselves pinned down in the cantina by Imperial forces.
While it doesn’t have any obvious bearing on the episode’s story, it’s worth pointing out that when Mando returns to the planet Sorgan to recruit Cara, he finds her wrestling what appears to be a Zabrak — a native of the planet Iridonia.
Known for the horns they grow on their heads (and for having two hearts), the Zabrak species also includes a subspecies on the planet Dathomir who are ruled by a Force-wielding sect known as the Nightsisters. Male Zabrak there are known as Nightbrothers and are trained by the Nightsisters in the use of the dark side of The Force.
Darth Maul, the Sith apprentice to Darth Sidious introduced in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, is one of the most infamous Nightbrothers in the Star Wars saga, and played a major role in that film and later, in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars (along with a cameo in Solo: A Star Wars Story).
Breaking Bad actor Giancarlo Esposito finally makes his debut in this episode, portraying the sinister Moff Gideon. For those who might have forgotten their Imperial designations, “Moff” was the title given to a relatively small number of Sector Governors in the Galactic Empire tasked with overseeing large swathes of the Empire. Moffs were directly appointed by the Emperor (or in some cases, by his closest advisors), and reported to the Emperor and later, the Grand Moff — the most senior of the Imperial Moffs.
The first Grand Moff was Wilhuff Tarkin, who was appointed by Emperor Palpatine shortly after the Galactic Republic became the Galactic Empire. He was introduced in the original Star Wars: A New Hope, played by legendary actor Peter Cushing. At this point, it’s uncertain who Moff Gideon is reporting to in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Empire, but he clearly maintains control of a formidable military force.
Imperial stormtroopers’ aim has been a long-running joke in the Star Wars universe, but that joke doesn’t apply to the Death Troopers, the most elite unit of the Galactic Empire’s military. Extremely rare and highly trained (and rumored to be augmented in various biological and cybernetic ways), the Death Troopers typically report directly to the most senior Imperial officers and are known for their distinctive, reflective black armor.
Although the Death Troopers made their first, full appearance in a Star Wars comic, they made their on-screen debut in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Behind the camera
Deborah Chow directed this episode of The Mandalorian, and the filmmaker is quickly establishing herself as a rising star in the Star Wars franchise. Chow previously directed the epic third episode of The Mandalorian featuring Mando’s rescue of The Child and the dramatic battle between a host of Mandalorians and the bounty hunters on Navarro. Chow is already attached to direct the upcoming, still-untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+ that will have Ewan McGregor reprise his role as the famous Jedi Master.
And just in case you missed last week’s recap, Chow also made a cameo appearance in Episode 6 as an X-Wing pilot alongside several other directors on The Mandalorian.
Disney’s The Mandalorian is available to stream on Disney+. The next episode premieres Friday, December 27.
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