The Mandalorian: Chapter 15: The Believer
December 11, 2020 3:21 AM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

To move against the Empire, the Mandalorian needs the help of an old enemy.
posted by EndsOfInvention (107 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
TPS reports are now Star Wars canon.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 3:57 AM on December 11, 2020 [30 favorites]


I wasn't looking forward to another "sneak into another Imperial base and shoot their way out" episode but this was different enough that it didn't feel repetitive.
Those "pirates" were actually rebels/insurgents trying to blow up the rhydonium, right? Pirates generally try to steal stuff, and not make suicidal attacks on Imperial installations. Seems pretty grim that Din had to murder a bunch of them given they had a common enemy. Another "life is cheap" moment.

Trivia:
- "Juggernaut" seems to be a generic term for "long wheeled vehicle", as the transport vehicles here are somewhat smaller than the Republic HAVw A6 Juggernaut (seen in Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars).
- Operation Cinder was an Imperial effort to devastate several Imperial planets in the wake of Emperor Palpatine's death at the Battle of Endor, as part of Palpatine's plan to ensure that if he died, the Empire died with him. It was featured in the single-player campaign of the Star Wars: Battlefront II video game.
- Slave I dropped a seismic charge to destroy the pursuing TIE fighters, this weapon was previously seen used by Jango Fett against Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:49 AM on December 11, 2020 [5 favorites]


They’re just trolling us about the Imperial Safety Protocols at this point, right?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:53 AM on December 11, 2020 [7 favorites]


I was not expecting a Wages of Fear homage, and was a little disappointed that didn't fill more of the episode. But like the OP, I was surprised that another "infiltrate a secret Imperial facility to obtain information, then blow it up on the way out" episode proved so entertaining and satisfying. We got a surprising amount of character development too; Bill Burr knocked it out of the park with his portrayal, I thought.

And while we only have one episode left -- how are they going to do this in only one?! -- all the new announcements yesterday give us much to discuss and speculate about in the meantime.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 6:09 AM on December 11, 2020 [5 favorites]


I was waiting for Mando or someone to reply with "TK421," which was from the original Star Wars movie.


Obviously the big deal where is that Mando took off his helmet and let his face be seen by others and at least one person who still lives. There wasn't much hesitation about it, though he clearly didn't want to do it, but if that's what had to be done to have a chance at saving his kid, then it was going to done. That's a parent for you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:10 AM on December 11, 2020 [22 favorites]


Another episode with a plot contrivance based on a character leaving part of their gear behind.

Why the hell didn't Burr wear his helmet out of the truck? Their whole plan was to sneak in.

The whole thing could have ended the same if Burr had walked in, removed his helmet at the computer, which would have made sense, him being ex-Imperial. Retinal scan or something to access the data. Then Imperial Guy walks over and the scene continues.

I guess they were looking for a reason to have Mando enter the room, but this felt like an obviously dumb thing for the characters to do. They could just as easily have had both of them walk over to the terminal together, with Mando "watching his back" as Imperial Guy approached them.

Imperial guy could have just told Mando to remove his helmet at the table or something. Still would have had the same tension, if not more, and even could have had the same lines about hearing loss as he hesitated to remove his helmet. Then you still get your Space Dad Doing Anything for His Space Kid moment.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:54 AM on December 11, 2020 [5 favorites]


Why the hell didn't Burr wear his helmet out of the truck? Their whole plan was to sneak in.

I wonder if the show-runners have some rule about "never have two named characters in identical anonymous disguises".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:18 AM on December 11, 2020 [13 favorites]


Indeed. It worked for a few minutes in the original Star Wars because Harrison Ford is four inches taller.*

As well, actors (and their agents) and directors and such tend to want to have the famous faces visible. The title character here is sort of a subversion of that. Pascal does a pretty solid job in what has been largely a voice-acting role but by and large, with no face visible, performances suffer.

*TK-421 we hardly knew ye.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:55 AM on December 11, 2020


all the new announcements yesterday give us much to discuss and speculate about in the meantime.

I was thinking yesterday about the Dark Times after ROTJ. It was a little shy of fourteen years between the Yub Nub song and the Special Editions. (For purposes of comparison, we are about eleven years out from Avatar, and how much do we think about that any more ?). A decade and a half with no new Star Wars onscreen, when the the flame was carried in the guttering candles of Kevin J. Anderson novels. Yesterday we get word of two more movies and nine TV series, and it is not even the biggest plate that Disney is spinning.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:09 AM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]


The conversation in the truck was right in Bill Burr's wheelhouse. Start by trying to "Both Sides the Same" the Empire and work from there to prove his point. He lets you in on the joke enough to know he's not totally serious. But it's never entirely clear which parts he believes and which parts are just trying to get a rise out of Mando.
posted by Gary at 9:49 AM on December 11, 2020 [6 favorites]


Based on this episode I would be way more interested in a Bill Burr spinoff than the presumably similar Cassian Andor spinoff.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:11 AM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]


Impressed with Burr and enjoyed the writing for the character.

Liked that Fett repainted his armour - but not Slave I? (which looks bigger on the inside than the outside)
posted by porpoise at 2:12 PM on December 11, 2020 [4 favorites]


I wonder what planet Bill Burr’s character hails from. They have an accent that sounds oddly similar to a Boston accent.
posted by mundo at 2:50 PM on December 11, 2020 [5 favorites]


A lot to like in this episode, even if I didn't love it overall. I enjoyed Din trying his usual fighting moves only to find that the Imperial armor wasn't nearly as tough as what he's used to. He did show off some spear-fighting skills, so I continue to think he'll use the Beskar spear against Gideon at some point. Morrison, Wen, and Esposito are always good to see, Burr was good. I was hoping for a Sorcerer-style bridge crossing at the end of the truck run, though (was that in Wages of Fear? -- too long since I've seen that).
posted by Zonker at 3:03 PM on December 11, 2020 [3 favorites]


Oh shit, Richard Brake! This guy needs to be in everything, not just Rob Zombie movies! (He's not crazy, he's in control.)
posted by paper chromatographologist at 3:11 PM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]


There was a moment early in this episode where they seemed to be hinting at a possible face reveal somewhere down the line and it occurred to me that they could have had someone else playing Mando who wasn't Pedro Pascal, ie with his voice and once he took his helmet off, someone else's body, like a Darth Vader type switch. That could have been pretty cool, depending on who they got in. Not to be I guess.
posted by biffa at 3:15 PM on December 11, 2020


I know he was being asked questions he didn't know answers to, but I love how out of his depth Din seems without his helmet. Like all his bravado and savvy evaporates if he doesn't have on literal armor. Like when we saw him without his helmet briefly last season, there's something so kind of soft and sweet about Pedro Pascal's face in this role (which is different than how he's looked in the other things I've seen him in). He was tired and scared and wants his son back.

No Grogu! How dare they! Not that I want to see my baby tortured or even still imprisoned (I would've taken seeing him mess with some more guards, though).

I liked a lot of this but I didn't find it as engaging as last week's. I'm OK with the story of the week format this show generally has but this felt too much of "move pieces into place for the finale." I did like that it became about something else other than "sneak into a base," though. Those aspects of it were the best parts.
posted by edencosmic at 3:23 PM on December 11, 2020 [7 favorites]


I love how menacing the Empire makes truck driver uniforms
posted by jason_steakums at 4:22 PM on December 11, 2020 [12 favorites]


“pirates" were actually rebels/insurgents

Definitely agree. It’s frustrating that the writers make plot choices like this and how yet once again another prisoner/indentured servant is basically forced into the dangerous job of breaking into an Imperial Base.
posted by mundo at 4:28 PM on December 11, 2020 [5 favorites]


>Like all his bravado and savvy evaporates if he doesn't have on literal armor.

I feel like the closest emotional touchstone I have has been trying to make small talk during gynecological exams. I’m pretty sure I make the same face.
posted by tchemgrrl at 4:47 PM on December 11, 2020 [6 favorites]


There was a shot where Burr and Mando were standing on the ramp of the horizontal Slave I after Burr shot the splodey ore, and then a way too quick edit to Slave I turning vertical that makes you picture Burr and Mando falling out of the ship when it goes upright.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:51 PM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain Slave 1, how and why the pilot lays in the cockpit? It doesn’t make any obvious sense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:27 PM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]


I think it was Attack of the Clones where it showed either Boba or Jango getting into the cockpit while it was lying on its back and it was like the artificial gravity just flipped 90 degrees when you got to that part of the ship, which has to be absolutely vomit inducing.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:35 PM on December 11, 2020


No baby in this one (though I didn't expect him to be there) but I found myself liking Mayfield more. Though he seems fairly terrible at faking Empire. TPS reports (though hah)? "We just call him Brown Eyes?" And yeah, Mando just looked pretty deer in headlights through all of that. Did super enjoy Mayfield's shooting spree, though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:52 PM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]


This was certainly the most interesting episode politically. First they become imperial troops and blast the native rebels to pieces, and then they arrive in the imperial hangar and everyone cheers them exactly as the rebellion cheered Luke et al.
You said you couldn't take your helmet off, and now you got a stormtrooper one on, so what's the rule? Is it that you can't take off your Mando helmet, or you can't show your face? 'Cause there is a difference.
The plot device to get his helmet off was as dumb as anything on the show, but that's one of the deeper comments about identity I've seen anywhere in the Star Wars universe.
posted by chortly at 7:59 PM on December 11, 2020 [10 favorites]


"Can someone explain Slave 1, how and why the pilot lays in the cockpit? It doesn’t make any obvious sense."

That ship has never made any sense, but this episode showed bit of how the inside works. The first time they all get into it, you can see part of the ship rotating. So I guess the whole middle section keeps its orientation as the rest of the ship moves from landing position into flying position. Look at the the scene at here: https://youtu.be/uYYMnsv3b1U?t=45

I think there's also a shot later on where you see Boba Fett's seat in a different position that it was previously, so the cockpit must rotate, too.

But still, the design makes no practical sense. When the ship is landing, Boba Fett is looking straight up, so he can't see anything.
posted by jonathanhughes at 8:42 PM on December 11, 2020 [4 favorites]


The first time they all get into it, you can see part of the ship rotating. So I guess the whole middle section keeps its orientation as the rest of the ship moves from landing position into flying position.

The rotating bits looked very exposed, or as it was said earlier, "They’re just trolling us about the Imperial Safety Protocols at this point, right?"
posted by mikelieman at 9:26 PM on December 11, 2020


As well, actors (and their agents) and directors and such tend to want to have the famous faces visible. The title character here is sort of a subversion of that. Pascal does a pretty solid job in what has been largely a voice-acting role but by and large, with no face visible, performances suffer.

It makes less sense the more you think about it, especially considering that Mandalorians were perfectly fine with showing their faces in Clone Wars. It's a bullshit made up rule even in universe, held by a sect of zealots and no one else. So why did they decide to do the show this way? There have been decades of Tokusatsu shows about iconic helmeted heroes with no proscription against showing your face necessary. On top of that, here's an actor agreeing to be in one of the biggest shows of the year while only showing his face for a total of like three minutes across two seasons. What kind of agent allows that to happen? We live in a world where masked superheroes constantly pull off their masks so we can see their pretty mugs for this exact reason.

Sure, there's a big emotional impact when he takes the helmet off in this episode, but did they seriously build the entire series around that payoff? Did they set out thinking "it's going to be so amazing when this guy shows his crummy mustache six episodes from now?" It defies all hollywood logic, so kudos for that I guess.

Speaking of defying logic, Slave 1 also makes no sense. They show how the interior rotates 90 degrees when moving from takeoff to cruising, but when you think about the logistics of that it means:
1) not only can the pilot not see the ground during landing, if the cockpit rotates too the pilot would have to be sitting backwards, facing away from the windshield.
2) there is no way to get out of the ship when it's oriented for flying. The door would be under the feet of the people on the cargo/passenger level.
3) there's no way the mechanism for rotating the interior saves space over just picking one orientation and sticking with it. Also, it's a massive pinch hazard.
4) Artificial gravity exists in Star Wars and there's no need to give any concerns for orientation in space. The Death Star was arranged "vertically" from pole to pole instead of spherically from outside in, like the natural gravity of a structure that size. The two compartments in Slave 1 could have two different orientations independent of each other.

None of the plans they come up with in this show ever make sense.
- Why steal a stormtrooper outfit to sneak in but then be the only guy not wearing a helmet? Why couldn't the show have had some other helmetless troopers in the base to show this isn't as colossally stupid as it looks?
- Why make the two snipers hoof it all the way to the base? They would have come in handy riding in the juggernaut and could have jumped off well outside the base.
- What kind of computer security system cares about you having a face but not any particular face?
- Maybe they should have worked out a cover story beforehand instead of just assuming the uniforms would do all the talking.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:37 PM on December 11, 2020 [11 favorites]


What kind of computer security system cares about you having a face but not any particular face?

Seriously. The Empire is grossly incompetent about IT security. They allow lapses like this and for little astromech droids to hack into planet destroying space stations.
posted by mundo at 9:52 PM on December 11, 2020 [7 favorites]


If you think every system that records your face here on earth is matching it against a database of known faces you are very much mistaken. Many implausible things happen in Star Wars but that's not one of them.

I'm so SO WORRIED about Grogu y'all.

I agree with chortly that this episode was one of the most politically interesting of the series.
posted by potrzebie at 11:07 PM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]


If you think every system that records your face here on earth is matching it against a database of known faces you are very much mistaken.

Counterpoint: Jonathan Nolan's _Person of Interest_ started off in season 1 like a procedural villain/victim of the week WITH A TWIST and season 2 turned into something not very far from a documentary. Season 3 started getting prescient and Season 4 and 5 are left for the edification of those who buy the ticket and take the whole ride, but I will say that S04E11 "If, Then, Else" maybe the one of the best hours (45 minutes) of TV ever filmed.
posted by mikelieman at 5:56 AM on December 12, 2020 [3 favorites]


So why did they decide to do the show this way? There have been decades of Tokusatsu shows about iconic helmeted heroes with no proscription against showing your face necessary.

Why? I'm thinking luchadores are a massive influence. Many of them go their entire careers in the ring and on screen without ever showing their face. Some even remained masked in their own funerals. Getting unmasked is possibly the worst thing that could ever happen to them.

For that matter, it's much the same in many of the superhero comics. We see unmasked Spider-Man frequently because the comic is from his point of view, and thus we see his private moments when he's got the suit on sans mask. But it's still a huge deal (and a huge problem) if he gets unmasked in public or in view of the bad guys.

Another influence would be the recent-ish Judge Dredd movie where Karl Urban agreed to wear the mask for the entire movie.

Definitely adds to the mystique. And considering the perma-mask thing comes from a fringe cult, I'm wondering if that will eventually tie into dealing with Imperials escaping their own cult-of-the-emperor background. Everyone can deconstruct together with some common ground.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 6:17 AM on December 12, 2020 [3 favorites]


What kind of computer security system cares about you having a face but not any particular face?

Yeah, that's a weird thing to have for access to restricted information, as opposed to a public terminal where the default is anyone can use it, but we want to flag certain specific "bad" people.

On the other hand, we do have a nice real-world precedent of super bad facial recognition being implemented by people with no real understanding of the functions they're trying to get it to do. So my headcanon is that some Imperial IT guy just slapped the functions from a "public terminal" onto their secure one.

Also, considering facial recognition's poor track record of misidentifying people of color, particularly Black and other marginalized people, how the heck is Imperial facial recognition going to do with other species?

Also, the officer's mess seems like a weird pace to put a secure terminal--why put something with access to sensitive info in a place for socialization?

Also also, if it's an officer's mess, why do they let troopers wander in with all their filthy armor on?
posted by pykrete jungle at 7:41 AM on December 12, 2020 [1 favorite]


It's far more of a disguise for Mando to go unhelmeted at this point. Who's gonna know it's him without the superhero armor?
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:42 AM on December 12, 2020 [3 favorites]


On the bit about how vulnerable he seems without the helmet and armor: it's not only that he's out of his element in terms of lacking armor; it's also that he's used to being a visible presence. IIRC, the sorts of subterfuge he engages in are just omissions and silences, not the actual imitation of someone else. He's used to wearing a mask, but not a disguise.
posted by pykrete jungle at 7:48 AM on December 12, 2020 [10 favorites]


Ol' Brown Eyes

This HAS to be a Sergio Leone reference, right? Clint Eastwood's Fistful of Dollars character, who gets called Manco, becomes Blondie in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, where he's set in opposition to Lee van Cleef's Angel Eyes.
posted by pykrete jungle at 7:51 AM on December 12, 2020 [2 favorites]


how the heck is Imperial facial recognition going to do with other species?

Given the Empire's well-documented speciesism/racism it makes sense the scan is a "make sure the user is a human" one.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:00 AM on December 12, 2020 [10 favorites]


Anyone else struck by how structurally different this episode was? No baby Yoda. Ensemble cast. Fighting the empire, not random space western enemies. Mando not working alone, but rather working with others. No Razorcrest. No beskar armor. Mando spending whole minutes showing his face to a room full of people, including one he lets live.

They discarded almost all the basic tropes of the show. And I think a lot of those changes will be regular things in coming seasons; certainly the Razorcrest, the ensemble cast, the increasing involvement of the Empire, and probably Mando's face.

Funny thing is I've spent two whole seasons making fun of "lone buckethead and cub" and this one episode where the go beyond that, I hate it.
posted by Nelson at 8:27 AM on December 12, 2020 [3 favorites]


Doesn't / wouldn't a face scan also act as 'signing for it'?.
Or the ATM taking your picture to show who made the transaction?
As in, show me everyone who has retrieved this file?
As in, uh-oh Mando, now you're in the system, that's how they getcha?

As for the helmet discipline, I have a vague theory. Someone deeper into Mandalorian lore can correct me, but it seems like a lot of their stuff is designed specifically to combat Jedi.
Flamethrower vs force pull, grappler vs force push, jet pack vs force jump, saberproof armor and spears, etc. Didn't the Mandalorians and Jedi have beef for long enough to develop techniques specifically effective for fighting Jedi?

With that in mind, there might be something in the hidden face deal, meant to counter the Jedi Mind Trick?
I don't mean a force-proof helmet. I mean that someone who has never learned to use their face, either to influence or decieve or express, would have no 'exploit', no back door into the system because they have no system, through which to be influenced or decieved?

Mando's so deer-in-headlights when in a situation where a fake grin and a 'sure thing, commander' would have bluffed them through, because he's never ever done that before. No white lies with the eyes, no nervous chuckles while looking sideways for the exit.
Mando has zero face game. He has no microexpressions or mirror neurons.

Which is possibly a weakness in human social navigation, but possibly a defence against 'these aren't the Droids you're looking for'. If you never learn how to 'say the Thing Which Is Not', then you have an advantage when someone tries to say it to you?

The old saying 'you can't cheat an honest man' is true not because of the honesty, but because the basis of most cons is to make the mark think that they're pulling a fast one on someone else. You have to be a little bit corrupt, in order to get played. The price for never getting charmed is to never develop the ability to charm.
Which, who knows, might explain why Grogu trusts Mando. For someone who can have a Force conversation reading emotions, who can see that what you're feeling and what you're expressing don't match...Mando is the only being that has never 'lied' to Grogu in that way.
posted by bartleby at 9:08 AM on December 12, 2020 [16 favorites]


I wonder what planet Bill Burr’s character hails from. They have an accent that sounds oddly similar to a Boston accent.

This is part of what made the news that the Obi-Wan show is actually filming in Boston, UK so depressing.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:13 AM on December 12, 2020 [1 favorite]


I wonder what planet Bill Burr’s character hails from. They have an accent that sounds oddly similar to a Boston accent.
In Doctor Who, every planet has a North (er, 'Norf').
I guess every galaxy far far away has a Southie?
[man, I hope Mayfield never finds himself in sector Philadelphi-A]
posted by bartleby at 9:36 AM on December 12, 2020 [3 favorites]


I was concerned that there wasn't even a quick shot of baby - I wouldn't have wanted a shot of him being mistreated, but perhaps just sleeping in his weenie manacles (*sob*) or fucking up some stormtroopers - it would have reassured me that he was ok.

I felt like this was a standout episode for Pedro Pascal. Even before they did the thing with the face reveal, I felt like he was doing such a great job showing how differently Mando moves when deprived of his proper armour. Sort of lighter and more like a dancer but also much more defenceless and uncovered.
posted by unicorn chaser at 9:46 AM on December 12, 2020 [1 favorite]


Couple little details I loved:

- Mando blocks one of the pirate's swings with his forearms out of habit, and immediately reacts with an "ouch" recoil. Great physical storytelling, and that trooper armor aint Beskar.
- Mando repeating Moff Gideon's speech from S1 in the holo, and Esposito's microexpressions as his own words get thrown back at him
posted by bfranklin at 10:05 AM on December 12, 2020 [9 favorites]


So, if the pirates were really rebels trying to blow up the rhydonium, why didn't they just drop their explosive thingies on the truck from the top of the unguarded tunnels or have some device that pushed them to the undercarriage when it went over the also-unguarded roads? After a delay, the whole thing could explode inside the processing center.

And no escort vehicles?

At the end, Burr just walked away on this planet? They didn't even give him food or supplies or anything? No one in this universe ever seems to need a change of clothes or even a toothbrush, do they?

And even with all its plot holes, I really enjoyed the episode. It kept moving, there was dialog, and I liked that it was an ensemble cast.
posted by AMyNameIs at 10:42 AM on December 12, 2020 [3 favorites]


Lots of planets have a Boston.

The suicidal "pirates" and/or "rebels" made no sense. They were going after soft targets (highly explosive mining trucks) and then as soon as one of them starts fighting back, they don't decide to let it go and go for the next shipment? Instead, dozens of them chase it all the way back to the Big Base to get inevitably slaughtered. There's no motivation that explains that, pirates or rebels or whatever they are.

Still enjoyed it, but man, that made no goddamn sense. It's weird when this show just kills a few dozen unnamed aliens for the sake of an action scene.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:29 AM on December 12, 2020 [5 favorites]


At the end, Burr just walked away on this planet? They didn't even give him food or supplies or anything? No one in this universe ever seems to need a change of clothes or even a toothbrush, do they?

They're still not friends (although the past wounds are certainly healing quickly), and Marshal Dune still isn't happy about letting him go - I think this represent a compromise - "We'll let him go, but we won't do anything to help him". Alternatively, think of it as a compliment, that they are pretty sure he'll be okay. Personally, I expect him to go to the village, do some odd jobs to get food, then go to wherever those TIE fighters came from and steal one.
posted by Mogur at 12:52 PM on December 12, 2020 [7 favorites]


- What kind of computer security system cares about you having a face but not any particular face?

Lemme toss this one out...Perhaps Mando has a past we don’t know yet? Maybe the security system did, in fact, recognize his face and matched it the database as an authorized person? Namely, Mando from long ago.

He quite clearly did not want to scan his face, but the only way to complete the mission was to scan his face and hope he’s still in the system as a friendly.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:02 PM on December 12, 2020 [1 favorite]


The face scan checks if you're on a blacklist from the ISB. If you're not on the list, you are OK.
posted by Pendragon at 2:46 PM on December 12, 2020 [1 favorite]


And no escort vehicles?

I mean, if you really wanna dig into it: why are they using a wheeled vehicle at all to transport such explosively delicate materials? Surely there are industrial-strength speeders they could use. (Or, you know, fly it back to the base.)

None of this actually bothered me in the show, mind you.
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:30 PM on December 12, 2020 [2 favorites]


Perhaps Mando has a past we don’t know yet?

Why did those x-wingbpilots let him go? Something about the Razorcrest being involved in something right?

Everything about the face screamed he knew the system would recognize him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:10 PM on December 12, 2020


Pretty sure Mando said he's not shown his face since he swore the creed, and he's been with the Mandalorians since they rescued him during ??? the clone wars ??? so there's not much opportunity for his face to have developed much of a reputation. I don't remember if he said how old he was when he swore the creed, maybe he went on rumspringa before coming back to his tribe?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:21 PM on December 12, 2020


Meanwhile, Boba Fett said they’d recognize his face, which makes sense since there are zillions of clones out there. But how would that even work with the facial recognition system anyway (or even any kind of photo ID), if there a bunch of people that all literally look alike?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:45 PM on December 12, 2020 [4 favorites]


Wearing masks during COVID helps us understand the annoyances Apple’s Face ID may cause stormtrooper clones but to be fair Android is probably the Empire’s platform of choice.
posted by mundo at 7:08 PM on December 12, 2020 [4 favorites]


I'm just amazed that one-note grumpy stand-up comedian I never liked (Bill Burr) turned out to be a really good actor. The sequence of expressions on Mayfield's face as they talked to the Imperial commander told a perfectly understandable story without any words. I know exactly what happened to him during that war and who he lost and how it marks him to this day. All that from Bill Burr! Go figure.
posted by seasparrow at 8:05 PM on December 12, 2020 [20 favorites]


On the other hand, we do have a nice real-world precedent of super bad facial recognition being implemented by people with no real understanding of the functions they're trying to get it to do.

Oh, yeah, I worked there too.

It was the nineties, though, so pre-facial recognition. Specifically, a manager was concerned that the organization's long-distance bills were too high so she decreed that when making long distance calls (which we had to do a dozen or twenty times a day), you had to preface it with a code. And I do mean a code: everyone had the same code. What this achieved, I know not. I knew her, though, and I am absolutely certain the genesis is that she asked someone how to deal with the situation, understood 20% of the answer, and wrote the word PASSCODE on her sheet of yellow legal paper and underlined it twice.

It's more than twenty years since she got canned and almost as long since I worked there, but I have star-star-one-two-star-one-two-three-four etched permanently in my memory. One easily satisfied facial scan was not a dealbreaker in this episode for me.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:27 PM on December 12, 2020 [8 favorites]


At the end, Burr just walked away on this planet?

I found that odd as well.

It would be interesting if Burr’s character setup an employee safety training company to improve the galaxy’s safety culture but unfortunately it seems like he just blew it with a huge imperial client.
posted by mundo at 1:16 AM on December 13, 2020 [2 favorites]


What kind of computer security system cares about you having a face but not any particular face?

A very badly designed one. It’s not an -authenticator, I can see that it might be an audit log.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:02 AM on December 13, 2020 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain Slave 1, how and why the pilot lays in the cockpit? It doesn’t make any obvious sense.

Like a lot of things in Star Wars, it can be explained by "It Makes The Spaceship Look Cool".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:42 AM on December 13, 2020 [12 favorites]


Why did those x-wingbpilots let him go? Something about the Razorcrest being involved in something right?

Both the arrest warrant and the reason they let him go was because of his actions during the prison break heist he was on with Bill Burr's character and that led to Burr being in prison at the beginning of this episode. Basically, he's got a warrant because he participated, but these guys are aware from the records that he tried to save the guard's life, and that in the end, he trapped Burr and two others of his crew to serve them up for prosecution by the New Republic.
posted by pykrete jungle at 10:41 AM on December 13, 2020 [3 favorites]


My take (which I’ll admit is uninformed beyond what I’ve seen in the show) is that he doesn’t have to lie down to take off; usually he’s in a sitting position and the cockpit slowly adjusts as the ship rises. But in this scenario—a quick extraction where every second counts—he went ahead and put the cockpit into its final position, even if that meant lying on his back while he waited for the signal.

"It Makes The Spaceship Look Cool"

And here I think that works in-universe. Just based on what little we know of his character, Boba Fett is a bit extra. Slave One with its rotating cabin is like an exotic sports car with gull wing doors: occasionally impractical, sure, but totally worth it for how badass it looks.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:43 AM on December 13, 2020 [9 favorites]


For a little while, I was willing to assume that the pirates were in fact pirates and not insurgents, because the show went out of its way to show the sympathetic locals being human, while the pirates were all of one particular non-human species. Meaning, maybe they're from offworld, trying to steal some explosives. But then their actions, as everyone's noted, don't fit the actions of anyone trying to make a buck, reasonably or not.

Don't know what it says when you can tell the "civilians" from the "pirates/insurgents" that easily.

The show could justify our hero's actions in that in the moment, he doesn't have the ability to do anything than keep on with his plan, even if it means killing people he'd otherwise sympathize with. But I don't think that that's the level of show they're shooting for here. They want there to be clearer good and bad guys in this show. Maybe less black-and-white than Rebels, but more so than Rogue One.

I'm thinking of the Brotherhood that chases Indiana Jones throughout Last Crusade, only for him to discover that he and they are roughly aligned in preventing Nazis from getting the grail. Indy kills several (dozens?) of them, and we all (including the Brotherhood itself) just sort of lets it go.
posted by pykrete jungle at 10:51 AM on December 13, 2020 [5 favorites]


I thought it was a kickass episode. I especially liked the Mando hologram threat at the end.

Pedro Pascal has wonderful sad eyes.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 11:58 AM on December 13, 2020 [5 favorites]


Hey could Mando get around Mayfield seeing him by declaring Mayfield a member of the Mudhorn tribe? I think it's ok for tribe members to see you?
posted by emjaybee at 5:55 PM on December 13, 2020


It's weird to have Boba Fett be an actual character. It can never live up to what you imagined outside of the brief glimpses in the movies.

Like, it's good, and it's a real stroke of luck that Temuera Morrison is good enough to make lemonade out of the lemons of the unnecessary prequel backstory, but it's still weird.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:58 PM on December 13, 2020 [3 favorites]


I'm assuming Mando will assault Moff Gideon's ship with the help of Bo-Katan who wants her darksaber back, but I also expect we'll get a surprise visit from a Jedi homing in on Grogu's signal.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:04 PM on December 13, 2020 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but which Jedi? I have kind of lost track of what used to be canon, de-canonized and re-canonized (side-eye to Darth Maul and ALL his robot spider legs). The only Jedi that is around would be Luke and maybe Leia if we only count her Force training under Luke.
posted by jadepearl at 8:36 PM on December 13, 2020


I also expect we'll get a surprise visit from a Jedi homing in on Grogu's signal

"I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you!"
posted by The Tensor at 8:38 PM on December 13, 2020 [4 favorites]


At the end when the officer came up to Moff Gideon and told him he needed to see something, I was sure it was going to be the scan of Mando's face they'd discovered in the Imperial Datagrid-or-whatever after the destruction of the base on Planet Whatsit. (And maybe Gideon was going to say something like, "Well, well, well. Lieutenant, search the records for prisoners taken during our operation on Planet Tragedy. Last name: Djarin.")
posted by The Tensor at 8:43 PM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but which Jedi? I have kind of lost track of what used to be canon, de-canonized and re-canonized (side-eye to Darth Maul and ALL his robot spider legs). The only Jedi that is around would be Luke and maybe Leia if we only count her Force training under Luke.

I find it beyond impossible that Luke would be recast for this show.

They're not going to give us Luke (or Leia). I see two possibilities (if we even get another Jedi at this point):

1. One of Luke's young apprentices shows up, thus introducing a new character. There should be more Force-users wandering around the universe anyway.

2. Ezra Bridger shows up (this would pin down the timing of Ahsoka and Sabine's trip to find Ezra after ROTJ). I think this is unlikely because they've just announced the new Ahsoka show, and the best possible subject matter for that is a quest with Sabine Wren.

... although that does make me wonder where is Sabine now, given the Purge and all? We assume she survived the Purge, but what then?
posted by suelac at 11:05 PM on December 13, 2020 [4 favorites]


I think they need to make up a new Jedi. Someone with their own ship who is willing to take both the baby and Mando on as permanent passengers and doesn't insist on separating them. Given the whole Jedi loner creed, this could be difficult to find.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:31 AM on December 14, 2020


I've also gotten it into my head now that sooner or later we're going to re-encounter Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren, especially now that Ahsoka is going to have her own show. By that token I do wonder whether Ezra will be the Jedi to show up as a kind of cameo to warm up audiences before he becomes a regular on the Ahsoka show.
posted by unicorn chaser at 3:03 AM on December 14, 2020


Disney will need to rip off the recasting bandaid at some point if they want a neverending Star Wars content spigot, and I do like that Sebastian Stan as Luke fancasting and I think it would do well. But I doubt they're going to do that in this show, I think that would get its own showcase.

Also I feel like this show is not going to do something as straightforward as getting Grogu to the Jedi to train as the endpoint, just like Din is heading towards forging his own path outside of the dogma he was raised in. So I wouldn't be too surprised if there is no other Jedi that shows up or if they're not what they seem.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:41 AM on December 14, 2020


It’s frustrating that the writers make plot choices like this and how yet once again another prisoner/indentured servant is basically forced into the dangerous job of breaking into an Imperial Base.

It's funny that my reaction at the top of the episode was, this is the New Republic? A hard-labor prison where robots shock you for looking at them the wrong way and then force you into a suicide mission?

And then of course we get the semi-winking bothsides monologue from Space Bill Burr to address it, and the tie-up at the end where we get to see what might be the only tangible difference between the Empire and the New Republic -- empathy, or at least mercy.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:59 AM on December 14, 2020 [8 favorites]


What surprised me about the bits of the New Republic we've seen is how it seems just about as shabby and broke as the Rebel Alliance. It makes sense that the Empire would have looted the wealth of the Old Republic and others took what they could when the Empire fell, but it really doesn't seem like there's much of a high point for the New Republic between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens and I can't imagine it's heading for a much better place the way The Rise of Skywalker left things.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:31 AM on December 14, 2020 [2 favorites]


I don't seriously expect the Jedi to be Kyle Katarn, but that series of games is where the Dark Trooper droids came from, so...
posted by FallibleHuman at 3:08 PM on December 14, 2020 [6 favorites]


it really doesn't seem like there's much of a high point for the New Republic between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens and I can't imagine it's heading for a much better place the way The Rise of Skywalker left things

For me, the prequels and sequels have really undercut any of the narratives from the original trilogy and emphasized again that the Star Wars universe is unstable and violent. It's hard to celebrate at the end of RotJ when you know there was another galaxy-spanning war just 18 years before and there will be another one in 30 more years, and probably another one after that.

Someone who was 18 at the end of Revenge Of The Sith would only be 66 at the end of Rise Of Skywalker and would have lived through three unimaginably massive conflicts. Everyone in the Star Wars universe must have PTSD.
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:20 PM on December 14, 2020 [18 favorites]


Yeah as much as I like 2/3 of the sequels, if instead of the same fight again the conflict was maybe like helping to free another culture in the galaxy because the New Republic's whole deal is they're obligated to help free people when asked, that would give them that sense of hope that the originals had. Like I guess in Star Wars you're generally tempted to have a Star War but it could be in service of something less depressing.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:58 PM on December 14, 2020 [4 favorites]


Maybe I'm cutting this show too much slack, but here are my takes on a few controversial plot points in this episode:

* Bill Burr's character may have refused to wear his helmet partly because he'd grown to hate the empire and he was ashamed of having served in it. If that was the intent they could have made it a little clearer, but it would fit his character. I think it also probably had something to do with wanting to show off their guest star, and making sure we could tell the characters apart at a glance.

* The "pirates" were rebels/terrorists who may well have been on a suicide mission. Their goal was just to destroy the shipment, not to salvage anything, and they were ready to give their lives to do it.

* The face-scanner may have been about registering your face more than ID-ing anybody. I've had to get my fingerprints taken before I could enter certain government buildings, so they'd have my prints on file in case I shot up the place or something, and this was probably like that. (But I will grant that it's a little weird they'd have such a thing in the mess hall.) Mando's face is now "on the grid," so that's bound to come up again!

Burr's both-sides-y rant about how the New Republic is no better than the Empire sounded exactly like the stuff he always says on his podcasts about American politics. I gave up listening to his podcasts because I got so sick of that stuff, but I still think he's a talented stand-up and his performance here was terrific. Richard Brake was also so chilling as the good ol' boy Nazi that it was a shame he got blown away. It's really striking how the Empire is suddenly no longer British and they mostly seem to have American accents. It makes me wonder if there could be a low-key political comment there. Like, the fascists all sound like us now.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:48 PM on December 14, 2020 [8 favorites]


before he becomes a regular on the Ahsoka show.

Isn’t the whole point of Ahsoka looking for Thrawn that he’s with Ezra? I assume Sabine will be part of that. That should be some fun casting.
posted by supercres at 10:29 PM on December 14, 2020 [1 favorite]


I don't seriously expect the Jedi to be Kyle Katarn, but that series of games is where the Dark Trooper droids came from, so...

If they do recanonize Kyle Katarn, they'll have to retcon the first mission in Dark Forces, in which Katarn steals the Death Star plans instead of the Rogue One gang.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:17 AM on December 15, 2020 [1 favorite]


If they do recanonize Kyle Katarn, they'll have to retcon the first mission in Dark Forces, in which Katarn steals the Death Star plans instead of the Rogue One gang.

Or they just call it Extended Universe, like Tartakovsky's Clone Wars...
posted by mikelieman at 2:30 AM on December 16, 2020


That's true. We've got Thrawn in the post-Disney canon, even though his first appearance in the Heir to the Empire trilogy was rendered non-canon. I guess they'd just have to give Katarn a different entry point into the story, which shouldn't be too hard given that he's pretty much just a glorified player avatar, the same as Dash Rendar and Starkiller and all of the other SW video game protagonists.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:54 AM on December 16, 2020 [2 favorites]


Once Katarn gets the beard he basically just looks like Jedi Riker so if they've got the opportunity to mess with his story since the backstory canon doesn't fit anymore, what I want is an old Katarn played by Frakes.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:50 AM on December 16, 2020 [4 favorites]


Of course, the real reason to cast Frakes in an episode is so they can rope him in to direct one later, assuming he's not too busy with all of the Star Trek and Trek-adjacent stuff that he's been involved in over the last few years.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:28 AM on December 16, 2020 [5 favorites]


To be honest I really hope they back away from all this stuff from the EU, games, novels, cartoons, whatever. One of the things I loved about this show when it was new was that it felt like it was getting back to the roots of the original trilogy. The franchise had kind of become a big, unwieldy mess, everybody was mad at it (for different reasons) and then this show came along and it was just a really good, 1977-style, sci-fi Samurai Western. There were little nods to the prequels or whatever, but it felt like its own thing. Now they're bringing back Boba Fett and Ahsoka Tano, and threatening to bring in Admiral Whosis, and it feels like it's only a matter of time before we meet middle-aged Luke or baby Ben Solo or we get Exciting Crossover Events with any of the 9 or 10 other Star Wars shows that will be on the air soon.

One of the things I dislike about the Marvel Universe is that while the individual movies can be fun, it's like you get one or maybe two standalone films (which are already full of Easter eggs) and then those stories get absorbed into the Continuity and suddenly you can't tell what the hell is happening unless you've watched 15 other movies. I enjoyed the first Guardians of the Galaxy, the second a bit less so, but I don't know if I'll even bother to see the third because it's bound to be all about this stuff that happened when they were fighting Thanos with the Avengers. Groot will have a grudge against Rocket because of something that happened a few movies ago between Thor and Ant-Man, and... ugh. Just no.

That whole way of storytelling exhausts me, and I worry this show may be headed down that path. There's probably a lot of pressure from Disney to use this thing strategically, to tweak the story so it fits their franchise plans for the fourth quarter of 2022. But the more they do that, the less special this show will be.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:09 PM on December 16, 2020 [10 favorites]


I can totally see why overcomplicating the show isn't an attractive proposition for a lot of people, especially since outside of torrenting the Despecialized Editions or watching the old VHS or Laserdisc copies there really is no other way to get stripped back, pure Star Wars.

But oh god my Star Wars is the Star Wars of the 90s where it was just a glorious mess of expanded universe books, comics and video games and ad hoc Star Wars role playing chat rooms and a ridiculously, stupidly overcomplicated canon and I'm just like, hook it to my veins! Dave Filoni's work has been the only thing that's felt like that since then and I'm here for it.

But I do feel like if they catered to me they'd tank the ratings by driving most of the audience away so there's a lot more to be said for your preference of keeping it simple.

I hope they can strike a good balance.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:51 PM on December 16, 2020 [4 favorites]


To be honest I really hope they back away from all this stuff from the EU, games, novels, cartoons, whatever.

Based on the current shotgun strategy Disney has taken I don't think is likely. We're getting MCU: Star Wars edition. Just like the MCU, they're going to be mining every Star Wars story people have made over the past 40 years. They're going to adapt all the best bits of Extended Universe/Legends and then they're going to adapt less-good bits, and then the bits nobody really cared for in the hopes that maybe they'll care this time. By the time they're done, if you want to understand anything of what's going on you'll have to have watched at least five different TV shows and six different movies. The future of media is the worst part of comic books. Good luck.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:43 PM on December 16, 2020 [4 favorites]


The future of media is the worst part of comic books. Good luck.

When I was a kid my dad used to buy me these fat collections of vintage Superman comics they sold at the grocery store. It was like 8 stories per issue, the crazy old stuff with the Bottle City of Kandor and Superman getting exposed to purple kryptonite so he turns into a gorilla, all that, and they were all pretty much self-contained. It gave me a lifelong affection for that stuff. Then at some point my cousins tried to get me interested in Marvel. They gave me some issues of Hulk or Thor or something, and I was clearly coming in in the middle of some long, complicated story and there were little notes from the editor about how Hulk was still mad at Thor because of something that happened in Captain America issue #331. I bounced right the hell off.

The Marvel movies have somehow managed to take that kind of convoluted, endlessly self-referential storytelling and make bazillions of bucks with it, but if Disney tries to go that route with Star Wars I think they'll be making a huge mistake. It already felt like some serious franchise fatigue was setting in when The Mandalorian started, and part of this show's appeal was that it was kind of a scrappy, punk rock, back-to-the-roots thing. I don't think many people watching this show are like, "It's good, but what it really needs are some Jedi characters from a 2003 video game." This show's got broad appeal, but it's almost like they're trying to turn it into a niche thing.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:58 PM on December 16, 2020 [6 favorites]


For the record, I laughed out loud when I saw the slate of movies and TV shows they announced the other day and I think it's a monumentally bad idea. Audiences barely tolerated one Star Wars movie a year, especially after they turned in a couple that were mediocre to bad. Mandalorian has been a success and they are taking the exact wrong lesson from it.

If they were smart, they'd understand that people are more interested in Star Wars as a place, and make more stuff that only vaguely references the overall world and instead explores corners we haven't seen before and makes the galaxy feel bigger. Nobody really wants to know what Obi-Wan got up to for those years we haven't explored in excruciating detail, but here we are on the verge of finding out what middle-aged adventures he got up to. Remember that one guy from Rogue One? No, not the young woman, the guy. Yeah, he's got a show now. Remember how cool those X-wing battles were in Star Wars? Well how about an entire movie about them?

I think one of the things that has kept the MCU going for so long is that so many of the movies have established new characters and explored new facets of the world. The movies considered to be the worst in the series are invariably the sequels that don't introduce anything new. Iron Man 2. Thor: The Dark World. Avengers: Age of Ultron. You can ignore those and the big ensemble movies where they get the most referential and still enjoy about 60% of the MCU.

But it looks like Star Wars is already focusing almost exclusively on revisiting characters we've already met and seeing things we've already seen. It's classic corporate art. Unsurprising. Unchallenging. Safe.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:49 PM on December 16, 2020 [5 favorites]


Boy I'd love if the Star Wars folks did something weird, like Dr. Strange or Ant Man. Or hell, even Guardians of the Galaxy, although arguably that's what Rogue One was. 10+ plodding TV shows all kinda like Mandalorian would be really dismal.
posted by Nelson at 6:52 PM on December 16, 2020 [2 favorites]


I don't think many people watching this show are like, "It's good, but what it really needs are some Jedi characters from a 2003 video game." This show's got broad appeal, but it's almost like they're trying to turn it into a niche thing.

On the other hand, given that Disney+ is a subscription service, you might cater a little more to the die-hards who are more likely to see deeper lore as a bonus and reason to keep subscribing.

Personally, though, I am tapping right tf out if this thing gets any more complicated or requires more prior knowledge than will fit in a 30-second recap. I have less than zero interest in Star Wars as Star Wars. This show feels like something else.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:57 PM on December 16, 2020 [1 favorite]


But it looks like Star Wars is already focusing almost exclusively on revisiting characters we've already met and seeing things we've already seen. It's classic corporate art. Unsurprising. Unchallenging. Safe.

I know next to nothing about the Star Wars Expanded Universe (is that even what the E in EU stands for?) but I wanted to say that when I saw the glut of new shows announced, the Star Wars approach looked no different to the approach Disney is taking with the rest of its IP. I mean, they're doing a prequel about Buzz Lightyear and a TV show set in the Zootopia universe just to pick a few examples at random. I'm not saying those are necessarily going to be bad, they may even be really good. But there seems to be a shying away from actually developing new canons in favour of going back to those that seem like safe propositions and I suppose they probably think that that if you're subscribing to Disney+ you're more likely to be a completist anyway.
posted by unicorn chaser at 2:42 AM on December 17, 2020


If they were smart, they'd understand that people are more interested in Star Wars as a place

Yes, this! Part of my enthusiasm for this show is that it's largely taken this approach. There's maybe two shakes too much Tatooine, but otherwise it's exploring another story, something else that happened in this galaxy.

I want to see a completely Jedi-free, mostly force-free story. Hire Wes Anderson to make a Star Wars movie on Naboo. Get Julie Taymor to make something about some kind of warrior nun sect on a planet we haven't heard of, a group of kick-ass women taking on the local franchise of the Empire.

I totally understand that there's a deep narrative history with original movies, sequels, prequels, novels, toy sets, calendars, and box tops. But when the urge to lean on that existing IP wins out over telling new stories, you end up with the worst kind of Hollywood product: endless remakes that only dilute the joy and wonder of the source material, leading to bitter internet arguments over who was the better version of character x.
posted by rocketman at 5:24 AM on December 17, 2020 [6 favorites]


Star Wars works best serving both ends but siloing the content a bit. At one point it was that the big flagship movies would expand the universe and then everything else would play with the toys the movies created, but now in the age of streaming and prestige TV and Disney kind of just doing movies for the sake of movies that gets all mixed up. Also some of the movies they made really should have been in some expanded universe streaming miniseries slot where expectations were different and they could play around in the space more - looking at you, Solo! Some streaming project where recasting wouldn't be as distracting and you didn't have to cram every Han Solo bullet point into two hours would have been much better.

What Star Wars is doing now is running without those standalone engines of new ideas that the flagship movies were when they were at their best, so it's all sandbox. I love the sandbox, but it can't exist alone.

It needs like a short film anthology series where different creators are rotated in and out and there's no worry about a continuous story but it's also not like a huge budget studio note fest. Then other stuff could play with the ideas generated from that, but you'd still have this top line interesting thing scratching the itch of what the movies were supposed to be, all new and interesting ideas.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:51 AM on December 17, 2020


RIP original Boba Fett, Jeremy Bulloch.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:50 PM on December 17, 2020 [2 favorites]


I'm just amazed that one-note grumpy stand-up comedian I never liked (Bill Burr) turned out to be a really good actor.

I haven't paid any attention to Bill Burr at all ever, but IME it's generally more accurate to think of comedians as "actor playing the part of a character who's good at telling jokes and funny stories" rather than "person who is good at hanging out on stage telling jokes and funny stories."
posted by soundguy99 at 11:17 AM on December 19, 2020 [1 favorite]




That is very funny.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:16 PM on December 20, 2020


From Twitter:

IMPERIAL REQUISITION OFFICER: So, we have two bids for a security system. One ID's an approved user's face. The other just checks that he or she has a face.

SENIOR OFFICER: Just... a face?

IRO: Yup. Any face.

[Pause]

SENIOR OFFICER: Which one's cheaper?
posted by soundguy99 at 9:46 AM on December 21, 2020 [8 favorites]


Say what you want, but several of the Empire’s greatest cyber-incursions were perpetrated by a character without a face.

[Also, the utter nonexistence of Information Technology has always been a Star Wars trope. Rogue One’s tape silo obviously played a lot with it, and we get another glimpse of it with Cara Dune’s microfiche-powered prisoner database. Star Wars is a weird universe that developed Hard AI, safe space travel, and FTL transportation, but somehow managed to skip nearly everything else. We can blame the Empire for some of this, but it’s possible that the society has developed some sort of distrust of complex information systems from some other incident – can’t have your computers hacked by intelligent robots if you don’t have computers, eh?]
posted by schmod at 7:39 AM on December 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Oh.

Wait.

It’s a captcha. Mando took off his helmet to answer a fucking captcha.
posted by schmod at 7:18 PM on December 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


Djin has spent his whole life making whatever crazy dumb silly face he wants when talking to people and then suddenly he has to have a conversation where his facial expressions matter, and worse he has to lie and avoid doing all those things people do with their faces that make it obvious they're lying. He knows them well but has no idea how to do any of them. So of course he completely freezes up.
posted by straight at 11:18 AM on January 3 [4 favorites]


Slave I dropped a seismic charge to destroy the pursuing TIE fighters, this weapon was previously seen used by Jango Fett against Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones.

I didn't remember that but was completely fine with the tactic because Boba Fett's whole deal (and to some extent the Mandalorians) is using lots of nifty gadgets that everyone ought to be using but for some reason nobody else does.
posted by straight at 11:21 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


I haven’t read all of the comments here, but the issue of Din dealing with the prohibition on removing his helmet resonates strongly with my own experience deconstructing the Christian fundamentalism of my youth.

The scene a couple of episodes ago where Din insists to Bo-Katan that keeping his helmet on is The Way, and she gives him that sad, nervous little half-smile. That feels so familiar to me. I have been on both sides of that smile. The smile that says, “I know you believe this deeply and I hope you will someday see how much bigger the world can be.” Sad and compassionate without being condescending, knowing that this point can’t be argued; it has to be outgrown.

Seeing this dynamic played out was really moving to me. Burr’s questions in the juggernaut are likewise a part of that deconstruction. The wiseass friend or acquaintance who just sort of knows how to hone in on your contradictions. He’s not trying to help you grow, but his needling does push you. Din is trying to have it both ways there, to satisfy two moral claims that are competing: never remove the helmet, and safeguard the child in your care.

And I think they did play it right when he took the helmet off; it wasn’t a crowning moment of awesome and empowerment and rejection, because the first time you step out of the fundamentalist cult, it’s not empowering; it’s scary and tentative and you pray the whole time that nobody will notice you doing it. That is the whole tenor of that scene, and it is even explicitly reinforced by the experience of Burr’s character having a person who knows him from when he was in a different cult, right there in the same room.

Disney buying Star Wars gave a lot of people feelings about their childhood and the stories that they hoped to see. I did not expect, in my wildest dreams, for them to make a show that resonated so deeply in my specific childhood.
posted by gauche at 6:21 AM on February 26 [8 favorites]


Just following up a little. When he takes off his helmet, Din is not just afraid of getting caught. He’s disassociating. He’s not, like, a generally quippy character, but he is not even there at all, from the moment he takes off his helmet to the moment Burr shoots the officer. He’s just ... gone. That’s a trauma response.
posted by gauche at 8:45 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's impressive how affecting they made the helmet removal. It's a scenario most of us can't really relate to, but we know it's a REALLY big deal to Mando so we can sympathize with this absolute terror he feels about showing his face. It helps that every time we see Pascal without the helmet he somehow looks simultaneously 45 and 15. Pascal isn't a scrawny, awkward kid in real life, but he becomes one when Mando takes off that mask.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:40 PM on March 4 [2 favorites]


Someone who was 18 at the end of Revenge Of The Sith would only be 66 at the end of Rise Of Skywalker and would have lived through three unimaginably massive conflicts.

This explains how ol' Ben Kenobi looks so very old in the span of less than two decades.

But there seems to be a shying away from actually developing new canons in favour of going back to those that seem like safe propositions and I suppose they probably think that that if you're subscribing to Disney+ you're more likely to be a completist anyway.

Well, we are talking about the company that made its entire fortune off of adapting Grimms' and Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales and other legends.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:49 PM on April 11


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