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The Mandalorian - Chapter 4: Sanctuary Review

Our duo meets new challenges and allies.

Reviewed by on Dec 02, 2019
Rating: 3 Star Rating

After the explosive conclusion of Chapter 3, what is next for our unlikely pair, and can it live up to the heights of the other episodes? Kidzworld reviews The Mandalorian - Chapter 4: Sanctuary. Full spoilers ahead!

After risking everything to save "the Child", the Mandalorian is off to find a place to lay low for a while. The two have started to get along quite well, with Mando even putting the Baby in his lap when he gets a little too feisty as he messes with the Razor Crest’s controls. The two are now wanted bounties, and every hunter in the system is looking to cash in. He finds a planet that seems to be mostly uninhabited, with only a few small villages dotting the otherwise serene landscape. The episode opened with a scene depicting a small village being raided by ravenous Klatooinians (say that five times fast).

The setting this time around is a lot different from the desert planets we saw in the first three chapters.The setting this time around is a lot different from the desert planets we saw in the first three chapters.

Cara Dune

Mando makes his way to a cantina where he finally runs into Cara Dune, who he tries to bribe a waitress into giving him information about her. Bribery apparently doesn’t work on this planet, there are some kind souls after all in this galaxy. Eventually and inevitably, a fight breaks out between them of course. She was a Shock Trooper for the Rebellion after the Galactic Civil War against the Empire, so she can more than handle herself against the armored bounty hunter. The confrontation ends in a draw as the Baby Yoda enjoys some soup. Cara wants both of them off the planet, she was there first after all. This type of character is absolutely a match for a story like this, but I couldn’t help but think of Carano’s performance being one of the weaker links of the show so far.

Cara Dune makes an action-packed entrance.Cara Dune makes an action-packed entrance.

A New Mission

Mando and Baby Yoda head back to the ship, planning on moving elsewhere. Mando and Cara unexpectedly meet a pair of villagers from the settlement that the audience saw get attacked. Mando initially turns down their reward offer, as they wanted Mando and Cara to help defend them from the raiders but they didn’t pack enough money for Mando’s liking. He still has some bounty hunter in him despite his change of heart. He then realizes the benefit of the village, as it could be a perfect place to hide and wait out the storm he finds himself in. Along with Cara, he agrees to come along.

The peaceful village seems like a perfect place to hide from the bounty hunters.The peaceful village seems like a perfect place to hide from the bounty hunters.

Tough Decisions

The villagers immediately take a liking to Baby Yoda of course, and Mando finds himself mingling with a woman named Omera. The way she tempts Mando into leaving his life behind for good casts even more doubt on our lead character’s thoughts. You can tell he is struggling with this decision. There is more back and forth dialogue in this episode than the other ones and this both works for and against its benefit. The previous chapters’ emphasis on showing not telling worked extremely well, so it was a bit jarring for such extended scenes of talking. Pedro Pascal, still nailing his performance makes it work though, and they even clarify a bit on the no helmet rule of the Mandalorian culture. They can take their helmets off, as long as they are alone. They have to eat eventually right? We even see Mando remove it for the first time, although his face is hidden off camera of course. Omera tempts him by trying to take his helmet off, but he refuses her advances. He doesn’t know which path to take just yet.

Baby Yoda is really happy to be around the kids. Baby Yoda is really happy to be around the kids.

The Diversion

Cara and Mando take to the forest to track down the troublesome raiders. They follow some footprints and eventually find some very, very large ones. Footprints of an Imperial All Terrain Scout Transport or “AT-ST.” This is very bad news, as Cara recalls seeing AT-STs wipe out entire garrisons of troops in an instant. Too bad there are no Ewoks on this planet. They return to the village with bad news and urge the villagers to pack up and move. They refuse, so they have no choice but to stand their ground and fight. Mando, with the help of his giant collection of weaponry, along with Cara try their best to set up defenses and train the peace-loving people on how to fight. Omera takes to the blaster easily, implying she might have seen some action before. We can only guess. With the village surrounded by traps, and the villagers as prepared as they can be, Mando and Cara head out to the raider camp to get them to follow them back to the village. In the camp, they manage to take down a few, and of course, they immediately go for the AT-ST. At night, it is menacing with the red light of the cockpit shining through the open eye hatches and its huge legs smashing through the forest as it chases our heroes.

An AT-ST has never been more terrifying.An AT-ST has never been more terrifying.

The Inspiration

The raiders, with their AT-ST in tow, eventually make it back to the village where everyone stages their final stand. They set up a huge ditch that they planned would cause the AT-ST to lose its balance and fall in, and it doesn’t seem to fall for the trick until Cara annoys the pilot enough to tempt it into moving closer. Using Mando’s blaster rifle, she takes it down with ease. Everyone seemed to make it out of the mess in one piece, with the kids safe in a shelter. It was a pretty good action sequence in a series that so far has had phenomenal ones. The whole story is a take on one of Star Wars’ biggest inspirations, being old Western and Samurai movies like Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven that see a village in need hiring a group of warriors to help them ward off a devious band of raiders. These movies were hugely influential to creator George Lucas when making the original Star Wars, but the usage here goes beyond simple inspiration.

Cara and Mando vs. the AT-ST. Cara and Mando vs. the AT-ST.

Not Out of the Woods Yet

Everything seemed to have gone back to normal, and shortly after Mando makes the mistake of deciding to leave Baby Yoda behind on this planet for his own good, a bounty hunter closes in on his prey. Luckily, Cara seemed to know he was there somehow and dealt with him but if someone can find them there on this remote planet, they cannot afford to stay in one place for too long. Cara and Mando say their goodbyes (probably for now), pack up, and head back to the ship, with an all too real reminder of the danger they face.

Unfortunately, they couldn't stay for long. Unfortunately, they couldn't stay for long.

Final Thoughts

While there wasn’t anything specifically wrong with the episode, there was no way for it to escalate the excitement of the first three. And there is nothing wrong with that, things have to wind down a bit before the tension can ramp back up. But, I wasn’t a fan of how drastically the change in direction felt with the bigger emphasis on dialogue and the more “side-quest” like nature of the story. The few nuggets of clarification about the Mandalorian’s helmet rules were nice, as well as Pedro Pascal's continued great performance in showing the character’s internal struggle without saying a whole lot. Cara Dune’s first impression fell a little flat for me, but seeing an AT-ST used as an almost horror movie style threat was a treat. Whether the rest of the season will be one-off adventures like this or going back to a more connected structure is my biggest question right now. The first three episodes felt like they could easily be made into a movie, where this one reminds you all the way that you’re watching a TV series. The episode was directed by Jurassic World's Bryce Dallas Howard, and Solo: A Star Wars Story's director Ron Howard. Seeing how each director puts their stamp on the story and world has been nice, and her style is definitely different from the rest. Either way, I’m still really glad this show is happening and is as solid as it is, even if this chapter felt like a bit of a misstep. 

Protect Baby Yoda at all costs.Protect Baby Yoda at all costs.

"The Mandalorian" - Chapter 4: Sanctuary Rating: 3

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What do you think? Did you like Cara Dune’s first appearance? Is Baby Yoda simply the most adorable thing to happen to Star Wars? Let us know below!


By: Noah Friscopp