‘The Mandalorian’ Debut Recap ‘Chapter 1’: Bounty Hunting is a Complicated Profession

In our recap for ‘The Mandalorian’ debut episode, a bounty hunter meets a client willing to pay a handsome price to seek out a mysterious person on the edge of the galaxy but he’s shocked at what he discovers…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

After more than 40 years, a live action “Star Wars” series has finally landed on the small screen.

Tuesday brought the debut of the Disney+ streaming service and with it the first episode of the new series “The Mandalorian” from writer and director Jon Favreau.

While rumors have swirled for years that a live-action “Star Wars” series was in the works, nothing ever really materialized. Even after Disney paid $4 billion to acquire Lucasfilm from George Lucas, the main focus was producing a series of films that would carry on the “Star Wars” legacy beyond “Return of the Jedi”, which was released all the way back in 1983.

The catalyst to finally bring “Star Wars” to life in a television series was the launch of the Disney+ streaming service, which the company hopes will eventually compete with Netflix and other premium streaming services like it.

“The Mandalorian” was an ambitious project that cost Disney a lot of money to produce but so far the reaction to the first episode has been overwhelmingly positive.

The series takes place in the aftermath of the Galactic Empire being toppled by the Rebel Alliance. So in terms of timing, “The Mandalorian” is sandwiched between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens”, which spans more than 30 years in total.

The first episode that debuted this week really sets the stage for what’s the come this season without giving too much information away much less introducing the majority of the cast outside of Pedro Pascal in the lead role as The Mandalorian.

There were plenty of “Star Wars” Easter eggs stuffed into the episode as well, which should make every fan happy, but the debut episode didn’t feel like it needed to attach itself to a past film in order to belong to the same universe. Instead, Favreau is creating his own niche in the “Star Wars” canon with a Western vibe that follows a lone gunslinger as he seeks out bounties across the galaxy.

Of course by the end of the first episode, the Mandalorian’s job gets much tougher than he expected but we’ll get to all that a little later. With that said, let’s recap the first episode of “The Mandalorian” titled “Chapter 1”…

The Edge of the Galaxy

The debut episode of “The Mandalorian” starts in a cantina on an unnamed ice world where a group of local thugs are pestering a Mythrol while threatening to cut off his gills. That’s when the Mandalorian bounty hunter appears for the first time as he walks through the door and immediately ends up at odds with the local thugs, who take exception to his arrival because it led to one of their drinks being spilled.

When a fight eventually breaks out, the Mandalorian makes quick work of the thugs — including cutting one of them in half through the cantina door — and then he turns his attention towards the Mythrol who was still sitting at his table. He thanks the Mandalorian for saving his life but he’s quickly disappointed to find out that the bounty hunter came there looking for him.

After he collects his bounty, the Mandalorian exits the cantina and waits for a ride back to his ship.

He dismisses the first speeder that comes along because it’s driven by a droid — it seems the Mandalorian has a particular issue with droids — and instead he tips a humanoid driver in a sputtering, half broken down speeder to take him back to his ship. Along the way, the driver warns the bounty hunter about creatures called Ravinaks that live underneath the ice but occasionally burst through to devour whatever is roaming on the surface.

The driver takes the Mandalorian and his prisoner back to his ship — the Razor’s Crest — but as he departs, his speeder is swallowed by one of the Ravinaks. The creature then swims through to attack the Mandalorian’s ship but he’s able to use his rifle to shock the Ravinak until it falls back into the ice as the Razor’s Crest makes its escape.

As the Mandalorian steers his ship towards the destination where he will take his prisoners, the Mythrol attempts to talk his way free before then asking to use the bathroom. We get our first glimpse of a “Star Wars” toilet but the Mythrol wasn’t actually concerned about emptying his bladder but rather he’s looking for some kind of escape from this situation.

He investigates the ship and that’s when he finds several people frozen in carbonite, hanging from the ceiling. The shock washes over him just as he turns to find the Mandalorian there waiting for him. The Mythrol is pushed back into the chamber where he’s then frozen in carbonite as well for the rest of the trip home.

When we first see carbonite used for this method it was back in “The Empire Strikes Back” when Darth Vader planned to use the freezing system to trap Luke Skywalker in order to bring him back to the Emperor. Before he could use it on Luke, however, Vader first had to test it on someone else so he forced Han Solo to volunteer.

Thankfully, Han survived but he was then handed over to Boba Fett, who sought to collect a bounty on the smuggler’s head after he failed to pay restitution back to Jabba the Hutt. While it was an experiment at the time, it appears bounty hunters have adopted this method as a way to capture and maintain prisoners when transporting them between various planets.

The Mandalorian arrives at an unnamed planet where he goes to a different cantina to meet up with Greef Carga —the leader of a bounty hunter guild who hands off assignments to various agents to seek out bail jumpers and other convicts. It seems the Mandalorian is one of his top bounty hunters and he’s happy to see him return with all of his prisoners collected and unharmed.

Greef tries to pay the Mandalorian in credits from the Galactic Empire but the bounty hunter reminds him that those are now worthless after the Rebellion ended the Emperor’s reign. He accepts a different form of payment along with information on a new high paying job from a private contractor that is much more lucrative than the low rent convicts he has up for grabs.

The Mandalorian accepts and goes to pay a visit to this mysterious benefactor.

When he arrives, the Mandalorian is greeted by a team of Storm Troopers and their boss, who is only known as ‘The Client’.

A brief standoff ensues following a surprise arrival from a man known as Dr. Pershing but the client is able to calm down everybody’s nerves by assuring the Mandalorian that this meeting will be well worth his time. The client then explains how he’s got a private bounty that he needs returned to him — dead or alive — although he only gets half his payment if the subject perishes.

The client can’t offer too much information on the bounty outside of the fact that he or she is 50 years old and they have a tracking device along with its last known location. The client is confident that the Mandalorian can live up to his reputation and find this bounty as instructed.

As initial payment, the client hands over a bar of beskar while promising the Mandalorian that a successful mission will end with several more of these same bars as a reward.

Beskar is a rare metal that was mined on Mandalore and its moon Concordia and it’s most typically used to help make the armor for Mandalorians. The metal is lightweight but incredibly tough — it can stop a shot from a blaster and can even indirectly fend off an attack from a lightsaber.

Because Mandalore suffered through a terrible civil war followed by the Galactic Empire then taking over the entire galaxy, there’s not much beskar left out there so it’s an even more precious commodity these days. The Mandalorian gladly accepts that payment along with the tracking device so he can seek out his next bounty.

Before leaving the planet, the Mandalorian takes the piece of beskar to a person known as the Armorer, who is another native of Mandalore as recognized by her armor as well as the Mythosaur skull hanging above her workshop. The Mythosaur is a creature that was native to Mandalore and the skulls were eventually used as a symbol to represent the Mandalorians.

Inside the workshop, the Armorer is stunned to see this piece of beskar, but she quickly melts it down to use to make the bounty hunter a new shoulder plate out of the nearly indestructible substance. She asks the Mandalorian if he has revealed his signet — a small symbol or seal that recognizes a family or a house — but he answers back not yet. She then tells him that the excess beskar will benefit many foundlings (“Star Wars” speak for orphans) and he’s happy to do that because he was once a foundling himself.

While the Armorer hammers away on the pauldron, the Mandalorian flashes back to his childhood when it appears a great battle broke out on his home planet and that may have been the source for his disdain towards droids because it certainly looked like they could have been leading the attack. The tragic event isn’t explained but obviously it’s going to play an important part moving forward.

Once the Mandalorian collects his new shoulder plate, he exits the building and prepares to leave to find this new bounty.

Bounty Hunting is a Complicated Profession.

Once the Mandalorian arrives on this new desert planet, he’s immediately greeted by creatures called Blurrgs, which attempt to eat his arm until two of them are cut down by shock darts.  That’s when he meets Kuiil — an Ugnaught native — for the first time. It seems Kuill has met with bounty hunters before who have come to this planet to seek out the same reward as the Mandalorian and each time he offers his assistance.

This is no different as the Ugnaught offers to assist the Mandalorian so long as he promises to finish off the criminal element that is apparently protecting the asset he seeks. Kuiil just wants his nice, peaceful planet back and he’s hoping the Mandalorian can help make that happen.

After teaching him how to ride a Blurrg, the Mandalorian and Kuiil ride off to the town where the asset is being held while protected by heavily armed guards. Once the Mandalorian arrives he’s disappointed to discover that an IG-11 bounty droid has beaten him to the punch.

The droid begins opening fire just as the Mandalorian makes his move.

Realizing that they are out numbered and out gunned, the Mandalorian and IG-11 decide to team up and split the bounty rather than die together on this god forsaken planet.

They are eventually successful in subduing all of the guards who were protecting this building where the asset appears to be hiding. Once inside, the Mandalorian takes out one last guard before finding a small pod that holds the person inside who is attached to this bounty beacon.

The Mandalorian is stunned to see a 50-year old baby that looks like a tiny little Yoda.

Now to put this into context — for all the “Star Wars” mythology out there, Yoda and his species are still largely a mystery. There’s not even a name for the species and there were only two known members with Yoda and another named Yaddle, who was previously a member of the Jedi Council before they were slaughtered in the Great Purge by Emperor Palpatine.

The Mandalorian stares back at this tiny little creature and IG-11 decides to take this bounty dead rather than alive but just as he points his gun at the baby Yoda, his head explodes. The Mandalorian shoots the IG-11 before reaching his hand out to touch the baby Yoda laying it its pod.

Judging by his reaction, the Mandalorian would have an awfully tough time handing over this tiny little baby to a client who seems to want to do some kind of experiments on it judging by the doctor who was so emphatic about bringing it back alive. Now it’s up to the Mandalorian to complete his contract or save a child.

“The Mandalorian” will return with a brand new episode on Friday, November on Disney+.

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