We’re now four episodes deep into Disney+’s first big exclusive, and somewhere between everyone here at Respawning racing to platinum Fallen Order (I was third and I don’t want to talk about it), people around the globe were going insane with the lack of ‘Baby Yoda’ merchandise available; it’s safe to say that Star Wars fever is running high, and that’s without even mentioning the hype for Rise of Skywalker! With that in mind, the pressure for The Mandalorian to live up to high expectations is ever present. It’s good for Disney then that this already incredible show has reached new levels of enjoyment with Chapter 4 – Sanctuary.
It’s usually here when I reassure the reader that I won’t be diving into spoilers. Not this week though. I just have to talk about one particular part of this episode so here’s your official spoiler warning!
Right then, I’m going to jump straight into the event that made me decide I would be talking spoilers. After escaping to a far away planet (which I’m not sure they name but feel free to correct me), Mando and the child find themselves hidden away in a secluded village in exchange for protection from Mando and his new partner in crime – Cara Dune, more on her later though. It turns out that what the villagers need protection from is an AT-ST. As soon as this is mentioned I got that familiar Star Wars tingle and I knew I was in for an episode full of original trilogy nostalgia. What I didn’t expect though was to get a whole new perspective on what is a tried and tested weapon of the now dismantled empire. Minor spoilers incoming for Jedi: Fallen Order but in that game you get to fight AT-ST’s and they are taken down relatively easy with the power of the force, just like they are in the movies by stupid Ewoks (yup I went there again, don’t @ me). What I loved about this episode was how massive and threatening the walker was when our heroes only have a Mandalorian, a former Shocktrooper, a bunch of villagers with sticks and a smart plan to defend themselves. Tie all that in with how wonderfully the attack on the village was shot and this goes down as my favourite AT-ST fight in the entirety of Star Wars canon.
Outside of this incredible battle scene we had our first interactions between Mando and the child (again, I will not call him baby Yoda) since he went all Liam Neeson to rescue his child from a bunch of stormtroopers with an assist from some badass jetpack wearing Mandalorians in the last episode. I feel like we really got to see the softer side of our protagonist with the way he was talking to and about the child. Although I enjoyed this, it did feel like he’d gone from take no nonsense killing machine to caring father in the space of five minutes. This was a bit jarring for sure and even a little out of character compared to previous episodes where his protective nature was a lot more subtle.
It’s been known for a while now that Deadpool star and former MMA fighter – Gina Carano would be playing a major role in The Mandalorian and in chapter 4 we eventually got introduced to her character Cara Dune. As mentioned earlier, she’s revealed to be a former Shocktrooper now hiding away on the same planet Mando finds himself running to. Straight away their chemistry just clicked for me and I really enjoyed the two of them as a fighting duo. It came as a disappointment then when the final scenes of the episode seemed to hint at her inclusion being a one and done. There’s still a good chance that she appears later down the line but not having her join Mando and the child on their adventure feels like a missed opportunity and actually left me a little flat after another great action packed episode.
As always this still feels like a massive blockbuster movie with great set locations, awesome effects and an amazing soundtrack to boot. I’ve actually seen a fair few people being quite down on this episode but I really didn’t feel that way! I massively enjoyed myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the AT-ST fight and welcomed Gina Carano as Cara Dune, I just hope the writers find a way to bring her back along with the likes of Kuiil (Nick Nolte) and Taka Waititi’s bounty droid – All of which speak to the power of supporting characters in this show. The only real negative was how sharp of a turn Mando’s character took in becoming this caring father who is more in touch with his emotions. All in all though, The Mandalorian continues to shine as one of my favourite series of 2019 and we’re only halfway there. Long may it continue! I give The Mandalorian Chapter 4 – Sanctuary