The Mandalorian - Chapter Eighteen - The Mines of Mandalore

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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The Mandalorian and Grogu explore the ruins of a destroyed planet.
IMDB score: 8.7 Runtime: 40 minutes
 
Well, there we have it, the evidence that the Mandalore is still something ... in its post-apocalyptic state. I know I skipped the whole episode to just see the final screens, but that is clearly moving the charter(s) and the story forward in great deal. Let's see how it unrolls because I've been waiting the whole week quite anxiously...

Is this the dawn of the New Mandalore?

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Of course, the opening scene wasn't in there, but rather in our most familiar location, Tatooiene. And to be honest, Peli Motto's shop isn't a small one. It is always busy one way or another. She lied to her Rodian customer about the slow times, but that's her hustle. And in that place, nobody is playing truly honest.

I also loved that Baby Yoda said his first word, whatever it was. So he's advancing on that front more slowly than in using his force powers. There is no way he's going to now forget who he is and what he's capable of. So, should start calling his a super baby?

The interesting bit was that she asked if Mando was going to take out Boba Fett. Is he now a bad kingpin, because to my eyes, the business was booming? Not that intergalactic eBay was able to come up IG memory circuits.

Personally, I didn't like that the Astromech got the pointman part, even though it supposedly fits into the droid slot. Frankly, it is a big downgrade from the IG series.

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The present day Mandalore. "I know," Din said to Groku. "It looks scary. But it was once green and beautiful back when the songs were written." Well, that was a long time ago, but seeing that murky atmosphere, it can't be much nicer under the cloud bank.

"Every Mandalorian can trace their roots back to this planet," Din continued. "And you know what I've never been there either." He pointed a bluish Moon on the orbit. "I crew up there in that Moon. Concordia."
Concordia was a moon of the planet Mandalore. It was governed by Pre Vizsla.[2] The Death Watch, which was in fact led by Vizsla, used the abandoned mines on Concordia as secret hideouts.
By the time of the Clone Wars,[8] Concordia had become a province of Mandalore with its own governor. However, Concordia's governor, Pre Vizsla of House Vizsla's Clan Vizsla, was secretly leading the splinter group, Death Watch from the mines.[4] Din Djarin, who belonged to the Children of the Watch, grew up on Concordia.[9] The Children of the Watch later survived the Night of a Thousand Tears by being cloistered on Concordia.

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Surface detail. Every once and while, some politician talks about making a car park with the nukes. This is the result of such war. Although in the Imperium case, they used fusion bombs to achieve the same result. But the destruction wasn't complete, as even in that picture you can see a spaceship wreck and the land scape is dotted with eerie looking cities.

R5's first mission was sampling air. Not that it went really well, as after fifty meters it was done.
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The reason, troglotoids. They reminded me of the human species that the Traveller encounters at the end of time in the Classical HG Wells, TimeMachine. I loved the fight and the fact the Din wasn't super comfortable using the Black Sabre. Combined with a vibroblade, it was effective enough to down the trio.

The problem is he needs practice using it, rather than just carrying it around. When they ventured deeper, more creatures, even flowing water that didn't provoke any radiation alert appeared. Along with the endless amount of ruins, creatures, and wrecks.

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Except that thing wasn't a trap. It was a dude inside that shell, waiting there for God know how long for someone to enter its trap. It also knew instantly to pacify its prey. And like Groku it scared the **** out of me.

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Now that in my mind is a proper cybermonster. I've read and seen all sorts, but that definitely takes the cherry. It clearly has a brain, but Groku wasn't planning on meddling with it from the beginning. Instead, he wanted to free daddy.

Not that it went very well. The effort was full ten, but the execution lacked majorly. Under Din's he fled deeper into the mains, trying to reach Bo-Katan. Lucky thing is that he's gravpod can go when he puts the pedal down. Including in the family vessel, which I thought was quite funny. Especially when he uses his force powers, making him an unstoppable force.

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Groku with a stepmum candidate. Bo-Katan took off her helmet and called the civic center ruins a tomb. It was a very different perspective. Not that I'd call a place squirming with all sorts of living things a tomb.

Another interesting thing is that she also brought up the history with Jedi. She said nothing about the bad parts. Instead, she tried to make Groku to believe that she's a good guy. To reinforce that she took down three Alamites with ease, while Din struggled with the encounter.

According to her, "They used to live in the surface wasteland, beyond our cities. If they survived, I wonder what else might have, too." So the plot thickens and the tomb isn't no longer one of them.

The fight against the cybermonster wasn't so easy. It became easier, when she got her mittens around the Black Sabre. With it, she able to take down the battle-suit without even breaking a sweat.

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"You're right," Din said as soon as he woke up. "Mandalore is not cursed."

"Look around", mum candidate replied. "There's nothing left. A great society is now a memory. I once ruled here for a brief time. Now, it's destroyed. "

He didn't refuse sampling the pog soup, but he was nowhere near ready to leave the place, as according to him, "Without the creed, what are we? What do we stand for?" Nothing, but legends. "Our people are scattered like stars in the galaxy. The Creed is how we survived."

That is so true. This is the way. And mum candidate showed the way. As they walked through the ruins, Bo-Katan recanted the Purge tale, "The Empire set out to punish us. To wipe away our memory."
"It must pains you to see it like this after you witnessed its beauty."

Bo-Katan shook her head. "What pains me is seeing our own kind fight one another time and time again. Killing each other for reasons too confusing to explain. It made us weak. We had no hope to survive by being smashed to pieces by the First of Empire."

When they reached the Living Waters, she read the tale:

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"These mines date back to the age of the First Mandalore. According to ancient folklore, the mines were once a Mythosaur lair. Mandalore the Great is said to have tamed the mythical beast. It is from these legends that the skull signet was adopted and became the symbol of our planet."

This is the Way Din thought as he walked into the waters, reciting the oath. "I swear on my name. And the names of the Ancestors, that I shall walk the way of the Mand'alor and the words of the Creeds shall be forever forged in my heart."

When he went under, it was mum rescue number 2. On the back, with dad under tow, she saw the that legend of the beast were real.

What an episode!
 
Star Wars fans are seeing a different side of Bo-Katan Kryze through the first two episodes of The Mandalorian Season 3. The longtime leader has been sitting on a throne in an empty castle, with no one by her side but a service droid. All of the fight she had in Season 2 seems to be gone, and she's no longer fighting to get the Darksaber currently in Din Djarin's possession. What caused the change in attitude?

According to Katee Sackhoff, who plays Bo-Katan, the rightful ruler of Mandalore has just spent too long fighting with too little result. There's also the issue of Din Djarin possessing the Darksaber, a fact that puts Bo-Katan at a bit of a crossroads.

"We have to go back to see why she's doing what she's doing," Sackhoff told Deadline. "This is a person who has fought, fought against her own people. She's fought forever and she realizes that doesn't work. You can't continue to fight amongst yourselves. I think with Din – I don't know if I'll go as far as to say that she respects and trusts him – but she doesn't not. He's done nothing. If didn't have the darksaber, he's done nothing that would make him her enemy. I think that is her problem is that she realizes that she's not going to fight her people anymore. She's not going to fight someone who she doesn't have a reason to fight. Every single possibility, every place that she's at right now, every direction she's done before didn't work before. That's what she's trying to figure out."

Sackhoff went on to explain that it was a different situation when Bo-Katan was trying to defeat Moff Gideon for the Darksaber. She has no ill feelings towards Din Djarin, which complicates things.

"It's easier to fight an enemy for something than it is to fight somebody you actually have respect for or has done nothing to upset you," she said. "That's where she's at. We have to go back to the responsibility and the guilt that she feels for the death of Satine [Bo-Katan's sister]. That is weighing on her as well. There is a part of Bo in a way trying to right the wrong, atone for that guilt."

I am actually liking Bo-Katan's redemption path. Being on charge of the DeathWatch was no good for her. She had to go down and meet someone who she can respect to understand the morality of her life, she is still a princess, but she is walking next to a king. One that's way is way of the Mandalore the Great, the founder of their creed and culture.
 
They reminded me of the human species that the Traveller encounters at the end of time in the Classical HG Wells, TimeMachine
Morlocks!
I had to do a deep memory dive to come up with that identity, but yeah. That's how they struck me, too.
It seems, though, that the dominant underground Mandalore lifeform, not counting the Living Waters lunker, is cyborg. That eye inside the overgrown droid was biological, but it didn't look human.
If the visitors are taken to the cyborg leader, he/she/it might look something like Robocop. Locutus? Davros? :)
 
It seems, though, that the dominant underground Mandalore lifeform, not counting the Living Waters lunker, is cyborg. That eye inside the overgrown droid was biological, but it didn't look human.
If the visitors are taken to the cyborg leader, he/she/it might look something like Robocop. Locutus? Davros?
Davros(ian) probably, if we can name a species. It's just made me wonder how long would stay hidden, waiting for a prey? 10 years enough?

Thing is, he was like General Grievous, with being almost completely a cybernetic entity. An extreme.
 
Those "troglotoids" to me were inspired by old (and no longer canon) Star Wars lore. The Taung to be more precise. The first inhabitants of Mandalore, and the ones who gave it its name and created the Mandalorian culture.

I highly recommend reading the Dark Lords of the Sith comics from the 1990s, which they first appeared in.

I liked the episode but again I think the show takes too much time to show very little. Seeing Grogu fly back out of the ruins to go fetch Bo-Katan, then have them both take that same path again and encountering the same things would have been very tedious had it not been the first time we got to see Mandalore in live action.

Not too sure about that cyborg. It seems as though its story and/or identity are important, otherwise why even design such a wretched creature rather than giving us some random underground monster to do the same job? What did it want with Din Djarin's blood? Surely we're not done with him yet. I say "him" because, well, I'm gonna call it... This was Pre Vizsla, former leader of The Death Watch, beheaded by Darth Maul on Mandalore at the end of the Clone Wars. I base this on nothing more than the cyborg's nature and its eye, which instantly reminded me of Vizsla's:

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I'm somehow quite sad Bo-Katan fixed Djarin some "bog soup" rather than giving him a slice of uj cake, surely far easier to carry around your person than dehydrated soup and the necessary supplies to prepare it. Also, well, that would've been lore galore.

A big plus is I'm looking forward to next week's episode. I wonder where we can go from there. I must say I'm just about ready to ship Djarin and Bo-Katan as king and queen of the reborn Mandalorians, with Grogu as their Force-powered ninja enforcer.
 
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Oh yeah, I almost forgot this annoying detail: Aren't Mandalorian helmets pressurized all the time? There is always an audible hiss when they are put on or removed. And why did Djarin go on that wild goose chase for a droid to explore 'poisoned' Mandalore... if pressurizing his helmet was all he needed to venture out on the planet's surface? Surely he could have left Grogu in his ship and gone for a dip alone.
 
A definite improvement on S3E1, although there was far too much flat exposition from Mando aimed at Grogu. And he seems to be getting beaten down quite easily increasingly often, needing to be bailed out by someone. It strikes me that he should really be more prepared and have better reflexes (to blindly step down into water at the end and then fall into an underwater chasm was just idiotic).

Personally, I would have written this episode with Bo Katan coming along from the get-go (but reluctantly). They could have turned the expo into proper conversations between two human characters, touching on critical themes like loss, the fall of a great civilization, with Bo Katan's cynicism contrasting nicely with Mando's belief and hope. But, alas, it seems the makers are just happy to produce serviceable, i-dotting TV that gives fans all the nostalgia hits and delivers the characters between event 1 and event 2 with the least amount of fuss and the most amount of convenience.

I'd hoped Favreau and co would be able to maintain the momentum for this season, but it seems they are happy to just go through the motions and deliver product, rather than inspired storytelling.
 
But, alas, it seems the makers are just happy to produce serviceable, i-dotting TV that gives fans all the nostalgia hits and delivers the characters between event 1 and event 2 with the least amount of fuss and the most amount of convenience.

I'd hoped Favreau and co would be able to maintain the momentum for this season, but it seems they are happy to just go through the motions and deliver product, rather than inspired storytelling.
A lot of people have never seen Mandalore before. In their shoes I get that walking around a ruined world, doing pretty much nothing and then revealing a "dragon" living underwater might be a dull moment. But to be honest, how would have written the episode?
 
A lot of people have never seen Mandalore before. In their shoes I get that walking around a ruined world, doing pretty much nothing and then revealing a "dragon" living underwater might be a dull moment. But to be honest, how would have written the episode?
I never said it was dull. I found the episode engaging and the ruined world quite stylish and atmospheric. My issue with shows is usually just too much exposition / poor dialogue / plot conveniences / strange character choices.

If you are asking how I would have written it, then, as I said, I would have had Bo Katan come with Mando from the get-go (invent plausible reason, like she is fond of Mando and worried he might come a cropper, or she was curious to go back and see her old home, or that she might just exorcise her demons this way). There would have been more dialogue between the two about the history of Mandalore, her family, the fall of the establishment, etc. They could have had a more extended battle with dozens of the morlock creatures. One of them could still have been captured by the mech spider thing, and the other could have gone looking for them. You would have still ended up at the underground lake, with Mando bathing himself. But instead of him just stepping stupidly off the edge, maybe a step can crumble, or the underwater creature could grab him with its tongue, or whatever (assuming it is hostile).

My principle on these kind of stories is: decide what you want to happen, in terms of an ending / character plight, etc., and then take some time to find the most plausible way possible for that character to arrive at that point, taking into account existing motivations and sensible science, not vacant stupidity and random events.

I had the same issue with the Kenobi (to an even greater degree) and wrote a lengthy treatment of how I might have written it better without having such glaring plot holes and bizarre character choices.
 
This was a much better episode, although still with flaws. I agree about all the exposition - does Grogu actually understand "English" as well as a fluent speaker? - and a slightly awkward landing on Mandalore. There seem to be a lot of great big CGI monsters popping up in this season. Someone has clearly been reading H.G. Wells, as we got Morlocks as well as a blood-draining mech suit.

But I agree with @BT Jones that all of it could have been told better. It's not wrong to tell the story in the way that it was, but it could have been neater and more elegant.
 
I agree about all the exposition - does Grogu actually understand "English" as well as a fluent speaker?
Yes, but we don't know exactly when they say their first words. However, Luke told what his name was and had telepathic conversations with him. He understood the difference between the Beskar shirt and Yoda's lightsabre. And in this episode he did what Din wanted him to do.
 
This doesn't spoil the story, but it is a very well written full lore on Bo-Katan's history. Here's a bit that really encapsulates the time in the Mandalorian.
To end the war, House Wren believed they needed a Mandalorian strong enough to unite the clans under their leadership as the new Mand'alor. They found Bo-Katan and convinced her and her Nite Owls to ally with the rebels to take back Mandalore. They succeeded, and Bo-Katan's exploits earned her the loyalty of many clans, including Clan Vizsla. Sabine presented her with the Darksaber as a symbol of her new role as Mand'alor. However, the Children of the Watch on Concordia rejected Bo-Katan, believing she had been chosen because she was Duchess Satine's sister only. They also believed she'd taken the Darksaber illegitimately, having accepted it as a gift rather than winning it in combat.

Unfortunately, Bo-Katan's triumph only convinced the Empire that they'd never be able to maintain Imperial control over Mandalore for long. However, if the Empire couldn't have it, no one could. Thus began the Great Purge of Mandalore. Bo-Katan and her allied forces fought back, but they couldn't prevent "The Night of a Thousand Tears," in which the Mandalorians suffered near-genocide by the Empire. The cities on the surface, including Sundari, fell, and the mines of Mandalore were believed to be destroyed.

The few Mandalorians survived scattered across the galaxy, including Bo-Katan and the Nite Owls. The Tribe, a sect of the Children of the Watch that had been on Concordia during the Purge, began to operate in secrecy, allowing only one of them to travel aboveground at a time to hide their numbers. The Tribe believed that Mandalore was a cursed world and that any who went there would die. Other Mandalorians simply believed the planet was poisoned. Meanwhile, the Empire looted the planet, taking the beskar metal that once belonged to the Mandalorians.
 
does Grogu actually understand "English" as well as a fluent speaker?
Another thing that I just remembered. I cannot remember where I read or heard of it, but Yoda spoke in a particular way because Frank Oz told Mr Lukas that is going to be the way for him. The other 'yodas' we have encountered speaks normally and not in riddles. So using that logic, he should speak fluently English ... if he wants to.
 
Yes, but we don't know exactly when they say their first words.

True - it's also possible that Mando was talking as much to himself as to Grogu, the way some people talk to their pets or to babies. But I agree with BT Jones that that whole exposition would have been better as a conversation with someone who could reply properly.

Are there other Yodas beyond Yoda himself and Grogu?
 
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Are there other Yodas beyond Yoda himself and Grogu?
Yeah, even in the movies. You'll see another yoda sitting in the council chambers, but they cut off her voice lines in the movies. Later on, when you meet Yaddle in the Clone War animated series, she speaks normally.

 
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I probably shouldn't post here since I'm such a light weight in all things Star Wars. But for my money this was a good episode. My complaints are few, save that I can't help wondering how much Jedi power-tricks that Grogu actually has and that any water ceremony with a drop off like that is going to have a high mortality rate. My insight is that Mando has been shown to be a lot more vulnerable in this episode than ever before.
 
What an episode!
A definite improvement on S3E1, although there was far too much flat exposition from Mando aimed at Grogu.
This was a much better episode, although still with flaws.
I agree again, this was a big improvement on Chapter 17, but we've really spent two episodes so that Mando can go bathe in an extremely deep swimming pool. We have learnt a lot about Mandalore and Bo-Katan too.

And why did Djarin go on that wild goose chase for a droid to explore 'poisoned' Mandalore... if pressurizing his helmet was all he needed to venture out on the planet's surface? Surely he could have left Grogu in his ship and gone for a dip alone.
He needed someone to verify that he had bathed in the sacred waters of the Mines of Mandalore. He needed Bo-Katan to have to come and rescue him, and to accompany him, to be that witness. So, he made up this elaborate ploy as an excuse?

B****Y Tatooiene again! Did we really need to go there? And how come this planet on the outer far reaches of the Star Wars Universe is so close to every other planet?

That eye inside the overgrown droid was biological, but it didn't look human.
I wondered if it was a human eye, and I wondered if the glass lens was magifying and distorting the image, or if wasn't human at all. I suspect the latter is true.

Apparently the R5 droid from this is the same one from A New Hope that the Jawas originally sold to the Skywalkers.
Those are the nice little notes they play in these series that I like.
This is great fan service, I'm sure, but are there really so few droids in the Star Wars Universe that we keep seeing the same ones repaired and recycled? And there was good reason why R2-D2 was built on, and then taken back to B****Y Tatooiene, but is there much reason for this R5-D4?
 

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