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The Mandalorian - Chapter 5: Gunslinger Review

Familiar sights are the star of this episode, but how long can that last?

Reviewed by on Dec 13, 2019
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Chapter 4 left our heroes no closer to safety than when they were before, does Chapter 5 get us any closer to finding a conclusion? Kidzworld reviews The Mandalorian - Chapter 5: The Gunslinger. Full spoilers ahead!

There is no rest for the weary, The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda are engaged in a heated space battle right off the bat in “The Gunslinger.” The bounty hunters of the Outer Rim territories will not rest until they claim the bounty, but can the pair run forever? After taking down the rival hunter in a thrilling dogfight, complete with a signature Star Wars one-liner, Mando takes the Razor Crest down to a familiar planet for repairs. 

Tatooine 

There were many theories throughout the series about whether or not Mando found himself on the first and most famous desert planet in the saga, Tatooine but this time he 100% is. He brings the Razor Crest down in Mos Eisely spaceport, the most wretched hive of scum and villainy in the galaxy according to Obi-Wan Kenobi. On the ground, he meets the mechanic Peli Motto played by Amy Sedaris. They make a deal, repair the ship in exchange for a healthy amount of credits. Simple enough right? Peli is accompanied by a crew of Pit Droids (as seen in The Phanom Menace) and right off the bat, you hope nothing bad happens to this bunch.

Peli and Baby Yoda's scenes are quite wholesome.Peli and Baby Yoda's scenes are quite wholesome.
 

Mos Eisley 

It is difficult as a fan to not enjoy Mando’s stroll through Mos Eisely, as it was the first town we ever saw back in the original Star Wars. The spaceport was recreated amazingly, with the most famous landmarks looking strikingly similar to how they did in the original film. The Empire has been banished, as Mando sees firsthand as he notices the Stormtroopers’ helmets stuck on spikes greeting him at the gate. The whole place is less busy and bustling than before too. It makes it feel like the Galactic Civil War had a big impact on the port, even though Tatooine is so remote. Mando needs money to pay for the repairs, so he heads to one of the most famous places in all of Star Wars, the Mos Eisley Cantina where Luke and Obi-Wan began their adventure and met Han Solo. 

Mos Eisley is less crowded in the years after Return of the Jedi.Mos Eisley is less crowded in the years after Return of the Jedi.
 

The Cantina and The Rookie

The Cantina, once famous for not allowing droids in their business, is now completely run by droids. The location is familiar, but this change reminds us that time has passed since we had last been here. Even still, I was able to recognize where we were before even entering the building because of how lovingly recreated the whole place was even on the outside. He talks to the droid at the counter, also a familiar face, and is pointed towards another bounty hunter looking to score big. That hunter’s name is Toro Callican, and he is a rookie bounty hunter looking to make it into the Bounty Hunter’s Guild that Mando can’t get away from fast enough. Toro clues Mando in on his target, a ruthless mercenary named Fennec Shand and agrees to give Mando the entire reward in exchange for his help. Toro’s motivation isn’t just money like most hunters, but instead, he is motivated by reputation and the yearning to join the Guild. Mando doesn’t have much choice since the droid at the bar didn’t have work for him. Even though we’ve seen Mando get tossed around, beaten up, shot and fallen off of a huge Sandcrawler, we are reminded that he is one of the best Hunters out there in comparison to Toro who is clearly in over his head. 

Seeing the Cantina from A New Hope but this time ran by droids was a nice touch. Seeing the Cantina from A New Hope but this time ran by droids was a nice touch.
 

Going After Fennec

In a quick aside back at the Razor Crest, Mando notices that Baby Yoda isn’t where he left him and is instead in the care of Peli Motto. Now he has to pay for both repairs and a babysitting fee. Toro gets them a pair of speeder bikes so they can cross the Dune Sea, and the two hunters set out in search of their target. I don’t mind this episode being as much of a diversion from the main plot as it is since the side-quest we find our hero on is a bounty hunt. I don’t mind watching a Bounty Hunter do what he does best, especially with so much compelling and familiar scenery. They find a suspicious dewback out in the desert, with a familiar hunter lying dead next to it. Turns out, it was a trap and the two find themselves at the mercy of Tusken Raiders. 

Tusken Raiders are one of those things that make the series feel authentically Star Wars.Tusken Raiders are one of those things that make the series feel authentically Star Wars.
 

We Ride at Sundown

Mando is luckily able to negotiate safe passage for the two hunters, and they set up camp with the intention of clearing the last stretch of the desert after the two suns of Tatooine go down. We get another reminder that Toro thinks he is a tough merc, but Mando’s stoic resolve completely overpowers his. This is the first time in a while that Mando isn’t in over his head and has the upper hand. Finally, it is time to take action, and they speed toward Fennec’s location at top speed. It is not long after that they are engaged at long range by Fennec’s blaster rifle. They use flares to mask their visibility for a while, but when a shot jams, Fennec can get an accurate shot out toward Mando who was of course protected by his armor. It does destroy his speeder though, and with that distraction, Toro is able to sneak up on Fennec and she surrenders. They have their bounty, but can’t get back without the two speeder bikes. They argue on which one of them is going to go back and get the dewback they found earlier, and Mando reluctantly admits to doing so when Toro reminds him that this was his bounty in the first place. Mando leaves toward the dewback, and the brief moment of intelligence on Toro’s part quickly leaves as Fennec immediately can convince Toro to betray Mando and take the money (and glory) for himself. 

Mando's plan to use the flares almost worked...Mando's plan to use the flares almost worked...
 

Fennec’s Plan

She knows about the shootout on the planet Navarro from Chapter 3 and assures Toro that if he can capture Mando and bring him in that the Bounty Hunter’s Guild would make him legendary. Appealing completely to his motivation, he trusts her without a second thought. Bad idea, considering he just watched Mando take a high-powered blaster bolt to the chest and live. She tries to secure her freedom, but Toro shoots her down. There is no chance that she wouldn’t betray him after all. He might be catching on to this whole bounty hunting business after all. Mando eventually makes it back only to find her body lying on the ground and Toro nowhere to be found. He doesn’t take kindly to betrayal and heads back to Mos Eisley. 

 

Mando riding a Dewback = AwesomeMando riding a Dewback = Awesome

The Standoff

Mando returns to the hanger to find Toro holding Baby Yoda and Peli hostage. Toro relays Fennec’s plan basically word for word to Mando. To no surprise, Mando is able to out-shoot Toro and rescues the two easily. Baby Yoda doesn’t have a single hair on his nearly bald head harmed, and Peli thanks him. Mando gives her a healthy sum of credits he took off of Toro’s body, and she orders her pit droids to drag him out. The image of the three little Pit Droids dragging him out into town is as amusing to me as it is dark. The rookie bounty hunter with not much talent planning might not have been much trouble for Mando in the end, but the episode closes with a shadowy figure approaching the body of Fennec out in the dune sea. Who is this mysterious stranger, and why is he on Mando’s trail? He could be another bounty hunter or someone wholly different we don’t know. The only clue we have is the sounds of spurs jingling as he walked. The only existing character we know who shares this, and a theory that has gotten a lot of attention online, is the most famous Bounty Hunter in the saga, and fellow Mandalorian-armored rogue Boba Fett. But I don’t think it is him. It could be anyone at this point, and I don’t think we will have to wait long to find out. 

 

Toro was no match for The Mandalorian in the end.Toro was no match for The Mandalorian in the end.

Final Thoughts

This episode, while another diversion it seemed like, was filled with so many great moments of clever but not too over the top fan-service and exciting action and I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it much more than the last. The chemistry between Mando and the mechanic was great, and watching a bounty hunter do what he does best was entertaining through and through. I do hope, though that we return to a more plot-driven structure as the show nears completion with its last few episodes. The opening three are still bar none my favorite section, and having the season end with a bang would make these couple “side-quest” episodes feel much better in my book.

Toro and Mando riding across the Dune Sea on speeder bikes.Toro and Mando riding across the Dune Sea on speeder bikes.
 

"The Mandalorian" - Chapter 5: The Gunslinger Rating: 4

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think? What planet do you want to see Mando and Baby Yoda visit next? Let us know below!

 

By: Noah Friscopp