In “The Mandalorian” recap, Mando makes it to Mandalore but it isn’t long before he realizes the desolate planet is still very dangerous…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Din Djarin’s devotion to his ancient faith has gotten him in trouble plenty of times on “The Mandalorian” and it nearly got him killed in the latest episode — but he might have also unlocked a secret that could help resurrect the once thriving planet that was reduced to ruins by the Galactic Empire.
After revealing that he had removed his helmet in the presence of other people, Din — or as we call him Mando — was excommunicated from his small band of Mandalorian fundamentalists from a religion known as the Children of the Watch. Removing your helmet calls for immediate expulsion from the group but Mando has been desperate to return to their ranks.
So his new mission to kick off “The Mandalorian” season 3 has been to take a trip to Mandalore — the home world that he’s never actually visited before — with hopes that he can bathe in the living waters beneath mines that used to house the precious beskar metal.
By bathing in those waters, Mando will be redeemed, his past transgressions forgiven and he will be allowed to return to The Children of the Watch.
But despite Mandalore effectively being an abandoned planet with no resources, there are still creatures residing there and Mando finds out the hard way that going there alone without any backup probably was the best idea he’s ever had.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of “The Mandalorian” titled “Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore”…
Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore
The episode actually begins back on Tatooine — a planet this series has visited multiple times not to mention the home for “The Book of Boba Fett,” which effectively served as a spinoff of “The Mandalorian.”
It’s there we’re reunited with the ever charming Peli Motto, who is currently fleecing a Rodian, by offering to fix his speeder with parts she had the Jawas steal from him. It seems Tatooine is currently celebrating the grand Boonta Eve Classic — the yearly podrace that previously appeared in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” where a young Anakin Skywalker earned a victory — and this is prime time for Peli Motto to earn some extra cash from the visiting tourists.
She’s surprised when the N-1 starfighter she repaired for Mando comes flying into her port for a visit.
Mando and Grogu have arrived for a tune-up but more importantly, they need a memory board to repair IG-11 — the assassin droid back on Nevarro — that the Mandalorian wants to use to help him explore the ruins of Mandalore. Unfortunately just as he was told on Nevarro, the memory board for that model of droid no longer exists and even Peli Motto’s Jawas don’t have any way to retrieve that particular part.
Rather than send him away disappointed, Peli Motto offers Mando an alternative with a workable R5-D4 unit that can be mounted in his N-1 starfighter and will get the job done — not to mention the droid can also self-pilot the ship, which actually comes in handy later in the episode.
With his new droid on board and Grogu riding shotgun, Mando takes off Tatooine and speeds to Mandalore.
Along the way he offers Grogu more lessons about navigation while also revealing a bit more of his history by telling his ward that he actually never visited Mandalore. Instead, Mando was raised on Concordia — one of the moons of Mandalore.
As they fly down to the surface, Mando realizes that the static reverberation from the planet has effectively cut off all forms of communication, which means they’re all alone on this desolate planet. When they finally land, Mandalore is nothing but ruins — destroyed by fusion bombs from the Galactic Empire after Emperor Palpatine realized that the planet was a losing cause so he just opted to obliterate it along with all of the people who lived there.
The event is referred to as The Great Purge of Mandalore and the aftermath left the planet in ruins with many believing that the bombardment was so severe that it left the air unbreathable.
Despite that possibility, Mando has to see for himself so he arrives on the surface and sends out his R5 unit to do some scouting to test the soil and the air to see just how dangerous this planet might be to him. Sadly, the R5 unit disappears almost as quickly as the scan begins, which means Mando has to pressure seal his helmet and head out into the barren wasteland to find the droid.
As soon as Mando enters a cavern in what’s left of the city of Sundari, he’s attacked by a group of underground cave dwelling creatures known as Alamites. Armed with his blaster and the Darksaber, Mando is able to fight them off and rescue his R5 unit before returning to the ship.
That’s where he learns from the scan taken by the droid that Mandalore isn’t poisoned and the air isn’t noxious to breathe. Instead, Mando soon realizes that Mandalore is perfectly habitable and the planet isn’t cursed just as Bo-Katan tried to tell him.
Now that he can breathe freely, Mando mounts up to go back into the caverns beneath what was once the civic center in Sundari where he hopes to find the living waters.
But his journey deep into the dark caves is cut short when Mando is attacked by a spider-like creature that traps him in a metal web and then carries him back to its lair. The humanoid-cyborg hybrid is driven by a giant eye residing inside a droid casing — and this creature appears to want to cook up Mando for dinner.
Thankfully, Grogu trails Mando all the way to the bottom of this cave and he receives instructions to seek out Bo-Katan and ask for her help.
Grogu zips out of the cave in his little pod — avoiding some snapping creatures coming after him — before making it back to the ship. Along with the R5 unit, Grogu is able to get the N-1 starfighter up and running just as another winged creature comes flying at them but thankfully the ship gets up in the air and out of the planet’s orbit.
Before long, Grogu arrives on Kalevala — another moon of Mandalore — that now serves as the home to Bo-Katan Kryze.
As we saw last week, Bo-Katan really just wants to be left alone so she can be mopey about not winning back the Darksaber from Moff Gideon, which she believes would have given her the power necessary to reunite the Mandalorian people and restore Mandalore to its former glory. Her past attempt to lead the planet failed spectacularly after she was gifted the Darksaber and The Children of the Watch in particular believed she’s the reason the planet was demolished because she tried to lead based solely on her family’s name and a mythical weapon that she didn’t claim in combat.
While Bo-Katan would rather be alone with her feelings, Grogu arriving without Mando is enough to send her into action to rescue an ally. So she fires up her own ship and flies back to Mandalore where she enters the same cavern where Mando was last seen.
Bo-Katan is also forced to take out a group of attacking Alamites because these cave creatures are nothing if not persistent. She also tells Grogu how Mandalore used to be a thriving and beautiful planet before it was reduced to ruins by the Empire.
As she laments about her fallen planet, Bo-Katan descends into the depths of the mines where she finally tracks down Mando, who is about to be cooked for dinner.
The spider-like creature attacks after detecting Bo-Katan’s arrive and she’s able to fight back, especially after picking up the Darksaber that’s been left on the ground after being taken from Mando.
Unlike Mando’s struggles using the weapon, Bo-Katan is an old pro — she whips around the Darksaber with ease as she cuts down the creature not once but twice after the giant eye switches bodies in the middle of the battle. The second time around, Bo-Katan uses the Darksaber to completely decapitate the creature to ensure there won’t be a third fight.
She then rescues Mando, who was having his blood drawn by the creature, so it takes him some time to regain his strength. Once he gets back to his feet, Bo-Katan tells him to follow her back to the surface so she can retrieve her ship and take them all back to Kalevala.
But Mando refuses — he still needs to visit the living waters to be redeemed by the Children of the Watch and he’s not leaving Mandalore without going there first.
Rather than allow him to try and find it himself, Bo-Katan volunteers to serve as his guide because she’s actually been to the living waters after participating in a ceremony there with her father when she was still a child.
Bo-Katan explains that she took part in the Creed — the same one that Mando swears fealty — but she saw it as nothing more than a ceremony and a spectacle for the people. She never truly believed in it.
But Bo-Katan was a faithful daughter to a proud and great father, who later died defending Mandalore.
When they finally arrive at the living waters, Bo-Katan offers Mando the “full tour” by reading a plaque that sits near the mouth of the opening. The plaque tells the story about how the mines were supposedly a Mythosaur lair and how Mandalore the Great tamed the mythical beast.
From that, the signet of the Mythosaur that makes up the Mandalorian symbol was founded and the living waters became a sacred place to the people of Mandalore.
After hearing all that, Mando can’t wait to strip off his cape and weapons as he walks into the living waters while reciting the Creed — and a few steps is all it takes for him to sink to the bottom. Wearing all that beskar armor wasn’t helping matters much, especially without realizing that the living waters had a rather precipitous drop after those first few steps.
Bo-Katan grabs her helmet and races into the waters, using her jetpack to swim to the bottom and retrieve Mando. As she carries him back to the surface, Bo-Katan is stunned to see a gigantic eye staring back at her — it’s the eye belonging to a Mythosaur, the great mythological creature that serves as such a huge part of Mandalorian mythology.
Mythosaurs were thought to be long since extinct but now Bo-Katan literally just came eye to eye with one still very much alive while residing in the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore.
She races back to the surface but Bo-Katan is understandably shaken because she never believed any of the mythology related to her home planet, particularly the weird cult like religion that formed the Children of the Watch. But now she’s just come face to face with a creature that was no longer supposed to exist yet a Mythosaur still resides on Mandalore.
Could this lead to Bo-Katan accepting the faith of the Children of the Watch or perhaps just convince her that she can unite her people and restore Mandalore to its former glory? We’ll have to wait to find out!
“The Mandalorian” returns for a new episode next Wednesday on Disney+.