One thing we love about The Mandalorian has always been that actions matter. Even when setting up the first season, moments that seemed insignificant began affecting Grogu and Din episodes after the initial act. This week, The Mandalorian‘s “The Pirate,” brings back foes from the beginning of the season. We visit new friends, unlikely allies and push the restoration of Mandalorian culture. Oscar-winning Director Peter Ramsey goes big with the action spectacle “The Pirate.” With a screenplay from Jon Favreau, this is one of the show’s best episodes to date.
The Mandalorian – “The Pirate” Recap
Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) works with city planners to expand trade routes through Nevarro. Suddenly, a commotion outside brings him to the balcony. When he looks to the sky, he sees a pirate ship floating over the city. Pirate King Gorian Shard (Nonso Anozie) holograms into his office, and the two spar. Greef notes Nevarro is under the protection of the New Republic, but Shard laughs at the government’s weakness. Shard hangs up on Karga and attacks Nevarro. Karga sends an Astrodroid out with a message, while Greef works to save those of the city.
On an outpost planet, Captain Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) sits at a bar. He’s given a message, which he brings to the bar and watches on a viewer. Greef begs for help. As Teva watches, Zen (Steve Blum) appears over his shoulder and laments Nevarros fall. Unwilling to let the system fall to pirates, Teva embarks.
Teva arrives on Coruscant and steps into a New Republic base to speak with Colonel Tuttle (Tim Meadows). Inside, he plays the clip, but Tuttle wavers. Elia Kane/G68 (Katy M. O’Brian) steps in, and Tuttle asks for her input. She notes that Nevarro is not a member world of the New Republic. Teva pleads his case, citing the other issues Nevarro faced in the last few years. When Kane pushes back against helping, Teva throws her Imperial record in her face. Tuttle ends the conversation and denies Teva’s request.
Karga and the people of Nevarro wander the desert. He assures them help is inbound, despite skepticism. Teva flies over a planet and lands near a ship on the water banks. Teva comes out with his hands up and is held at gunpoint by the Mandalorian covert. Din (Pedro Pascal) steps forward to ask how Teva found them, and R5 rolls up. Apparently, Teva and R5 served together in the Rebellion. Paz Visla (Tait Fletcher) offers to kill Teva, but Din stops him. They speak, and Teva informs Din of the suspicious actions of the Empire. He also notes Din’s friendship with Karga means he’s got skin in the game. Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) walks up as Teva flies away and assures the group he will not betray their location.
Din pitches to the Mandalorians to help Nevarro, and in return, he will accept the land from Karga for The Mandalorians to live in the open. The Armorer (Emily Swallow) asks if anyone else wishes to speak. Paz steps up and pushes back. Why do Mandalorians have to die for others? Paz suddenly turns to support Din. “Because we are Mandalorians!” Din and Bo-Katan have put themselves in danger to help others, and Paz rallies them to their side. Bo-Katan breaks down the plan for the Mandalorians. Rather than hide in the sewers, they can be heroes.
On Nevarro, the pirates have plundered and partied. When the N1 flies over the ship, Din attacks Shard head-on. He sends fighters after Din, who alerts Greef he’ll be taking him up on his offer. With the Corsair ship pulled away, Bo arrives and drops the first team of Mandalorians into the city. Team One and Team Two make quick work of the pirates. Din takes out the small fighters, and Bo begins bombing the Corsair.
The creatures of Nevarro point out an ambush, but Team Two gets surrounded. Paz lands and breaks out his rapid-fire arms. They blast through one side of the battle and begin to take the courtyard. The pirates bring out their own heavy weapons and pin some of the Mandalorians. Mando and Bo continue to take out ships in the air. The Armorer uses her ax and hammer to take down the heavy gun. With a stronger Mandalorian presence and the return of the citizens of Nevarro, the city is secured.
The last pirate, Vane, flees from the battle. However, Shard will not accept defeat and takes control of the Corsair. He targets the city and begins bombing the people once again. Din and Bo blow up the last engine, and Shard’s ship explodes as it crashes into the mountains.
Greef Karga makes a speech and thanks the Mandalorians for their efforts. Then, he gives them a large area of land and tells them they have a home on Nevarro.
Paz informs Bo know that the Armorer wishes to speak in private. They descend into the sewers, and they meet at the Forge. Bo and the Armorer speak about Mandalore, and the Armorer asks Bo to remove her helmet. They speak about setting up Mandalore for the next age. The Mythosaur was a sign that Mandalore should unite under a single banner. Bo-Katan walked both worlds, with The Children of the Watch and those in exile. They bring their plan to the others, and Bo prepares for her journey.
We return to Teva, flying through space. He sees an Imperial Lambda Shuttle with a hole in the side. Teva reaches out for more information, but the details appear classified. Teva lets a probe out to check the ship. While the info remains classified, the ship’s departure matches the timeframe when Moff Gideon went missing. The probe searches for information and, amongst the wreckage, finds hints of Beskar Alloy.
The Mandalorian – “The Pirate” Episode Breakdown
Out of the gate, the music throughout the episode stands out. Ludwig Göransson delivers another banger of a score, which helps keep the intensity flowing throughout. Peter Ramsey takes on the duty of creating beautiful visual flight sequences, and no surprise, he sets up the shots brilliantly. As one of the directors of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse certainly knows how to create kinetic energy in fight sequences. Most of “The Pirate” revolves around aerial fights, and these are some of the best to date in Star Wars history.
Questions about the ending and the Armorer should become the talk of the week. The plans of the Armorer make sense on paper. However, why separate Bo-Katan from the group? Does she truly believe in a united Mandalore, or does she hope to maintain power? She forces Bo to take off the helmet while near the Forge. One would argue that was a power move in its own right.
Combined with the news that Beskar was found near Moff Gideon’s ship, there’s a real possibility that a Mandalorian was involved. Could the Armorer and Paz be working to free Moff Gideon in return for some rewards? Time will tell, but it seems possible. The developing relationships between Bo, Din, and Paz could also worry the Armorer. Having Bo remove her helmet might cause some Children of the Watch to believe Bo unworthy of leadership.
Beyond all these excellent moments, Favreau drops in a live-action version of Zen, complete with his voice coming from Steve Blum. Zen, for the uninitiated, plays a major role in Star Wars: Rebels. One of the key characters of that series, even a short catch-up with Zen allows us to know he’s still at work protecting the galaxy after the Rebellion. Filoni continues to populate this world with characters he created for animated series. This also opens doors for more Rebels characters. Who knows, this might finally be setting up the appearance of one Ezra Bridger…