The Mandalorian - Chapter Twenty - The Foundling

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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Din Djarin returns to the hidden Mandalorian covert.
IMDB score: 8.4 Runtime: 33 minutes (minus intro and credits)
 
Overall, I loved it. Thanks, Mandos!

The good:
- Mandalorian lore galore. I hope you'll appreciate this fantastic alliteration
- Mandalorians in action
- Bo-Katan talking to the Armorer in the forge and mentioning the Mythosaur sighting
- Bo-Katan getting a Mythosaur pauldron
- Bo-Katan being Bo-Katan
- Hints that Daenerys Bo-Katan will become the next Mand'Alor and ride the Mythosaur into battle, with three Raptor-mounted Mandos as her bodyguards. Make it happen, Disney. And fast
- The reference to the 7th Voyage of Sinbad (the monster in its nest)
- Ahmed Best (AKA Jar-Jar Binks) as a Jedi
- This episode felt like an episode of the animated series The Clone Wars
- Din Djarin still looks cool and he seems content to embrace his role as the quiet enforcer. But... isn't he the titular character? Where's his arc?


The bad:
- Another monster episode? Urgh.
- That kid is just a monster magnet. We've seen him twice, he got attacked twice. Time to jettison him.
- The Mandalorian tactics to chase the Raptor and rescue Ragnar. Beyond stupid. Also entertaining to watch. But stupid.
- The dart duel between Grogu and Ragnar was embarrassingly bad. It's in those moments that you really feel you're watching a show designed for 8-year-olds... that is somehow rated TV-14.
- The dialogue between the Mandalorians was mostly flat and uninteresting. One exception: the two scenes in the Forge, with Grogu and Bo-Katan.
- I didn't care much for Grogu's flashback to Order 66. It didn't reveal anything major beyond what we already knew: Grogu was at the temple that night and he was rescued. And? Apparently everyone was willing to lay down their life to escort him off planet. Okay... Why? Was he the boss's son? Clone? Give us more.
- The reference to Jurassic World with the giant croc (mosasaur) eating the giant bird (pterosaur). Not my favorite Jurassic Park film, not by a wide margin.
- Mandalorian target practice. They just huh... shoot laser beams at a flat body of water. M'kay.
- Grogu's ugly new piece of armor. What is that supposed to be? Why does he need it on top of a beskar chainmail? Give him a gauntlet or something.
- This episode felt like an episode of the animated series The Clone Wars. Yes, it's also a negative.
- I'm still not sure what Grogu is doing there. He'd be better off with Luke learning how to move rocks with his mind.
- Is Jar-Jar going to rescue Grogu and hide him on Naboo? I'm not sure I'm ready for this.

If you just glance at those lists it looks like the bad outweighs the good, but that's not the case. While I was aware of all these little flaws nagging at me during the episode, overall I was entranced by the better parts. So I'm happy enough.
 
It is rare that I'll use the first concept art shot as a title shot. This one however won the case hands down. So I'm going in blind, not really knowing what will happen. Except, I know that Carl Weathers shot this one.

Let's see how it develops...
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Stupid daddy said, "It's time to put down the rocks and join the other Foundlings..." as he clearly didn't see "the rocks" having legs. Daddies never learn, they are too busy with their grown up lives...

But seriously it was cool to see the Creed training at the beach and going at each other seriously. Even shooting the water as if the megacroc were making its next invasion. Speaking of which, it's also interesting to see that none of the carcass were anywhere to see, even though I really doubt that they would have done away the head. At least, I'd expect to see it hanging above the cave entrance like a trophy, because originally the Mandalorians were hunters and they developed a warrior culture after the original Mand'lorian had dealt with the mythosaurus.

According to the daddy the foundlings moves through the ranks after the initiation through a serious of challenges. The judge claimed that Groku was "too small." Din didn't hear nothing of it, even though mum candidate questioned his wisdom on putting a 50+ year-old kid in the play. He even made the first one a bit harder instead of allowing ninja yoda to do his tricks by allowing the youngest foundling to choose the weapons in the competition, the training darts.

When the boy asked, "Why he isn't wearing to speak?" daddy answered, "He's too young to speak the Creed, therefore he's too young to wear a helmet."

It was interesting to watch mum candidate to rub her fingers nervously and watch Din questionably as he put the kid in all the way into the deep end. The only thing she did reveal that Bo's dad, the old king, was the same way, before she added, "I'm proud of you."

She didn't know about the force powers until Groku was forced to use Force Jumps quite naturally to dazzle the boy and score the points to win the competition. Anakin was the same way as he used Force to pilot vessels dangerously before Kenobi dragged him into the Jedi Temple to learn the ways.

Master Luke was the opposite, as he needed suggestions before he started to believe and give his instincts to the Art of the Force. Hence, we have the saying: "Use the Force," when you need to roll hard sixes.

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Rock Wyvern closing in the Creed beach. Like the original Mandalore, their hideout world seems to be teaming with all sorts of terrible beasties that could be all classified as being megafauna. And they don't seem to be minding about the settlers doing a serious training with weapons to snatch the boy from the Creed Beach, as it was the easiest prey of the year.

Paz Vizla told the shooters to not react because they could hit the boy, instead he followed the beast with Din until they ran out of rocket pack fuel. Bo was wiser. She used her ship to track the beast to its lair and then went back to get a proper hunting party. And she picked up the boys and their toys.

With the lair being on top of a mesa pillar, their only option was to climb it, which reminded Bo of her basic training. So the armourer chose her to lead the party, while remained at the Creed Beach with the other foundling.

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"You are too young to join them," the Armourer said. "All in good time," without knowing that the kid yoda had already handled and tamed other megafauna all on his own. Instead, she needed an apprentice in her foundry. Which in itself is strange, because it's the first time we've witnessed it happening.

I guess she wanted to put the Creed ideology into the kid, to fabricate him into being one of them as she recited one of her things and told Groku that the way through the Creed is through a series of challenges and trials. Just like it would have been in Luke's Jedi Academy.

It was also intriguing to see her using a somewhat traditional power hammer to produce chest armour plate pieces, before Groku recalled the battle in the temple. He lost four jedi guard pretty quickly to be save by ... and I'm speculating Mace Windu's apprentice. He were able to take down two lots of clone troopers, before they escaped the temple with a hoverbike, and ultimately the Heart of the Imperium in a Naboo cruiser.

Man, that ship looks still so slick and nimble to escape Clone War era interceptors without a scratch, only losing the crew, who defended the ship until it was off the starport.

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"It is a tradition in our culture," the Armourer said. "For each to donate a small portion of what they earn to the foundlings. It is with these 'scraps of beskar' that I forged your next piece of armour."

Man it looks cool, and it also seems to incorporate mando tech as it sticks to beskar chain mail without any sorts of straps or hooks. "Mandalorian steel to keep you safe as you grow stronger. You will grow into this rondel as you grow into your station, foundling Groku."

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I wanted to say Bo and the boys, but there's another female in the background that's clearly in the party. The climb on the rock face looked challenging, and she didn't want to lead the party throughout the night. Instead, they camped at the bottom of the pillar. And even made fire without thinking that the smoke vapour travel upwards ... into wyvern nostrils.

It was amazing to see them using grabbling hooks before they switched to traditional rock climbing while carrying all the kit, including the rocket packs without the safety rope, hammer, the hooks or ever a chalk bag.

At the top, Paz Vizla revealed that the boy was his son and he'd named him Ragnar. :ROFLMAO:

Without thinking, he went into the nest, found the young wyverns before Mum came back to offer still alive Ragnar to the babies for dinner, as if there was a reason why she hadn't done it before. Why she would have waited for so long?

Another notable thing is that there was a mando helmet in the nest already, and the Creed had done nothing to track down the beast. Like a stupid dad, he launched himself hilariously into the beast's maw, and mum then went and grabbed the boy as well from the nest while Paz tried to burn her mouth.

I should have guessed that it did nothing. And nothing seemed to work until Bo attacked the beast with a vibroblade and the hunts grabbled the beast with their lines to fall into the waters and getting eaten by a megacrock.

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This is the Way. The Armourer was so impressed the Bo brought back the hatchlings for training that she immediately offered to fix her broken armour with one of her own design. And she didn't no longer wanted to be just a Night Owl. Instead she wanted to wear Mythosaur symbol on her shoulder.

Only the Armourer didn't seem to believe that Bo had seen a real one during her bath trip. Why?
 
The actor who plays Grogu’s savior in the Order 66 flashback doesn’t need any introduction: it’s Ahmed Best, who is best known to Star Wars fans as the performer behind Jar Jar Binks. But that isn’t a Gungan saving a defenseless Baby Yoda from the clone troopers who are after him. It’s Jedi Master Kelleran Beq who has his own surprising Star Wars legacy that goes beyond the Mandoverse.

You see, Kelleran’s first appearance in Star Wars wasn’t in a movie, another scripted TV series, or in the pages of the books and comics. Kelleran was actually Best’s comeback role to the franchise but as the host of 2020’s short-lived kids game show Jedi Temple Challenge
“I never thought that I would be asked back, to be honest,” Best told StarWars.com about his new role as Kelleran Beq in 2020. “I was very pleasantly surprised. What really made me say yes was the fact that this was breaking new ground in the Star Wars universe…I think what’s the most important about the representation of someone like Kelleran Beq as far as being a person of color and the leader of this Temple — kind of like the Dean of Jedi — is it breaks down what’s possible.”

Beq was a character Best helped craft himself as an homage to Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and the Shaolin monks from his favorite Kung Fu movies: “This is the first Jedi that we’ve seen that is dedicated to just teaching,” Best said at the time. “And I wanted to pay homage to some Jedi of the past. There’s a mentorship that Obi-Wan Kenobi has and that Yoda has that are very much a nurturing kind of mentorship and I wanted to see if I could capture that nurturing sense.”

So Groku's saviour was not Mace Windu's apprentice, but rather one made to honour him, amongst other ones.
 
the boy was his son and he'd named him Ragnar
:lol: Clearly, the Mandalorians are the forebearers of the Vikings. Beyond names, they share a love of weaponry and ornate helmets.
Bo brought back the hatchlings for training
At the top of the hatchling training curriculum: Foundlings are not snacks.
 
Clearly, the Mandalorians are the forebearers of the Vikings. Beyond names, they share a love of weaponry and ornate helmets.
Yeah, and I don't understand why they like so much of bling. Look at Jango Fett as an example. Mando's gave him the armour for his service, and Boba inherited it. So before we even knew about the whole warrior culture after the novels and then games started to bring them up, Boba was the blingest guy of them all.

Looking at the Children of the Watch, they really like to show off and if you look at the Vikings, they were the same. They had to make the coolest swords (Ulfbert), don the horned (allegedly) helmets, even wear fur over their chainmail (all the nostalgia images on barbarians roots on them).

Then you look at those red Imperial bodyguards that followed Emperor. They had to copy the helmet and make it all Ferrari red. It was all for the show for them, as we've seen evidently in the latest trilogy. And speaking of ornate helmets, we haven't seen nothing yet, because Sabine hasn't made a live action entrance. Her armour, colouring, everything are so cool, and she originally carried the Black Sabre, after Ezra found it in the Sith Temple and Old Man Maul told him the significance of that bling item. It being the blingest lightsabre in the SW universe... that we know.
 
Hmm. This was a perfectly decent episode, but the rescue mission felt rather like filler intended to set up Bo'Katan as a hero of the Helmeters. I find the other Mandalorians rather uninteresting. And are there any creatures on that planet that aren't the size of a dinosaur?

I've got a feeling that this show is going to be used to link a load of aspects of Star Wars that were really best left apart.
 
We found this episode very amusing (for all the wrong reasons). Again, a monster attacks exactly the same part of the lakeside. At least put up a sign! The pursuit, running out of fuel, the dart duel, the dialogue. All pretty lame. I would have maybe had the kid opt to go and climb to the dino bird nest rather than have him taken off the beach - he was feeling embarrassed by losing the duel, so felt he had to compensate. Cue also some friction between Mando and the kid's dad over the humiliation, and the morals the kid has been raised with. To replace the running out of fuel thing, they just could have had a dust storm that the jet packs wouldn't work in, hence Bo Katan saving the day.

There's usually always a far better justification for a plot event than the dumb / lazy ones a lot of writers come up with. Just decide what you want to happen, and then write the best reason for it you can come up with.

As for all the background work potentially justifying all the Disney SW universe choices, I sincerely hope The Mandalorian doesn't become that kind of show. Make a separate one if you want - Star Wars: First Order - and then people can choose to tune into the whole Emperor clone malarkey.

I think I give it one more episode to actually turn out something decent before probably putting this show on the 'only if there's nothing better on' pile.
 
I think Mando loses an awful lot of what makes him good when he's with the other Mandalorians. On his own, he's a taciturn lone killer, like Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name, and his actions drive the story. When he's with the Mandalorians, he's just one of a number of obedient and faceless soldiers. Yes, they have minor disagreements, but his loyalty to the blacksmith and the creed take away a lot of his charm. Also the lack of facial features of anyone mean that the acting is a bit cruder than otherwise: you lose a lot of nuance without faces.
 
Also the lack of facial features of anyone mean that the acting is a bit cruder than otherwise: you lose a lot of nuance without faces.

While this is undeniable, I think some actors still manage to make a lot out of it. In the last couple of weeks a lot of people have mentioned that their interest had shifted toward Bo-Katan's arc but I think this has to do with more than her growing importance in the plot. Katee Sackhoff has been able to express a lot in spite of wearing her helmet. Which is even more remarkable because I had never noticed her acting at all in the previous seasons, when her helmet was mostly off except for a few action scenes. Ever since Bo-Katan saw the Mythosaur her portrayal has been so spot on I've felt like I could see her face through the helmet.

Pedro Pascal is a great actor, I'm not going to take anything away from him. But Din Djarin is a bit more one-note as a character too. His body language always says "lone gunslinger who's always ready to draw" with his slightly hunched and relaxed posture.

Then again, maybe if the plot gave him more to work with he'd be able to express just as much as Sackhoff.
 
I had to wonder about Grogu using his Jedi abilities to fight the so called training duel. Would that be allowed in Mandalorian training? It seems a stretch to me.
 
I had to wonder about Grogu using his Jedi abilities to fight the so called training duel. Would that be allowed in Mandalorian training? It seems a stretch to me.
Why would it be a stretch?

I mean, the lore tells us that they rivalled jedi's back in the day. The Black Sabre is a testimony of one of them becoming like one of the jedi's, but he had different ideas on how to go about it. Some may see it as Sith like activity, but it wasn't.

They have silly customs because of it, and that's why Maul was able to rule Mandalore, because he just waved the silly sabre around and people obeyed him.

The fighting customs, their armour, their weapons, and their tactics are all to rival Force Users. Sith could never stand against such order, because they don't have the numbers. Jedi did, hence the Emperor order the Purge, but he was sloppy on it and their people survived ... in small numbers. Allegedly.
 
I love Star Wars, I own everything from toys, books, cups, watches, to expensive items (like Lightsabers). I've given up on SW. The Mandalorain lore, such as wearing the helmets at all times is silly, these characters are best left mysterious. I thought the last season was hit or miss, some episodes were fillers, others I really enjoyed. The ending was quite good, especially seeing Luke the way we all remembered him (not the husk of the character we saw in the film). It also appears that they're keeping the storyline congruent with the lore of the new films. I loved you SW, sadly all good things come to an end.
 
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I had to wonder about Grogu using his Jedi abilities to fight the so called training duel. Would that be allowed in Mandalorian training? It seems a stretch to me.

I wasn't annoyed with this, I think Mandalorians are portrayed as a people who admire resourcefulness and fighting abilities, so it makes sense to me that one able to use the Force would be allowed to in order to win an encounter.

What did annoy me was that Ragnar, the human foundling, seemed to follow an unspoken rule that you only shoot your opponent once, then the referee calls a halt and awards one point before the fight can resume. However no one batted an eyelid when Baby Yoda triple-tapped Ragnar. If this was allowed, there was no sense in Ragnar firing single paintballs and waiting for the referee to speak to fire another one.

If this were a single example, oh well. But the bane of this series, or season at least, is that the main characters have it way too easy. The opposition is always either insignificant, entirely absent or grossly incompetent, like the Raptor bird who kidnaps Ragnar to feed its hatchlings yet waits for the arrival of the war party the following day to regurgitate him. Can you come up with an explanation for this? Sure, maybe this is the way this species works. Maybe you're allowed to fire three pellets at once at your opponent. Maybe the Mandalorians don't go to Mandalore right away because they'd rather build up their numbers first. Maybe Din Djarin sank in the Mandalorian Waters and Bo-Katan didn't because Din Djarin's armor is made of a heavier beskar...

You can find explanations. The problem is when you have to do it ten times for each episode. A competent writing team would be able to give you just the right amount of worldbuilding and info so that you don't have to spend the entire episode rationalizing the characters' nonsensical actions.
 
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Why would it be a stretch?
After being roundly cuffed about and put in my place by those with much greater background in the "lore" than I do. I suppose I shouldn't say a thing.

But, what I meant was that I thought that Jedi were at least somewhat enemies to the "present day" Mandalorians.
 
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You can find explanations. The problem is when you have to do it ten times for each episode. A competent writing team would be able to give you just the right amount of worldbuilding and info so that you don't have to spend the entire episode rationalizing the characters' nonsensical actions.

I always think that, with all these threads that follow TV shows episode by episode, you can pick loads of little holes if you try hard enough. The real question, for me, is whether the whole thing works overall. Mad Max: Fury Road, for instance, is full of logic gaps and things that don't make much sense, but overall, it works brilliantly. The Mandalorian episode "The Convert" works for me, even though there are elements to it that don't quite add up. However, the little things - not so much mistakes as stuff that could be done better - are starting to rack up in The Mandalorian. It's becoming a bit mediocre.
 
This was a perfectly decent episode, but the rescue mission felt rather like filler intended to set up Bo'Katan as a hero of the Helmeters
I think I give it one more episode to actually turn out something decent before probably putting this show on the 'only if there's nothing better on' pile.
We are four episodes in to Season 3, half way through it, and the "Arc" story has barely progressed at all. I think that is why everyone is getting angsty about this season. I had thought this also in the last couple of episodes, but then I realised watching this that until about 10 years ago, I never expected SF TV series to have an "Arc" story. TV series like Planet of the Apes, or Alien Nation, or The Prisoner, certainly had puzzles to be solved, but they didn't need to "progress" that story forward each week. The X-Files had an overall "Arc" story but episodes of that were frequently mixed with "monster-of-the-week" stories of no concequence. Even earlier, shows in sydication like Star Trek: The Original Series were designed to be shown in almost any order at all, and completely self-sufficient. So, it isn't going to bother me anymore if this show also just plods along, as long as the story of the week is a good one. Unlfortunately, rescuing a child from a bird's nest was a little week, I thought.
Why she would have waited for so long?
I also wondered that. Maybe the chicks need live food, but in that case, why not give him fresh last night, immediately after his capture. It would spoil the story, obviously, if all that was left was a helmet..
So Groku's saviour was not Mace Windu's apprentice, but rather one made to honour him, amongst other ones.
Not being so well versed in the Clone Wars Star Wars lore myself, I thought it was supposed to be Mace Windu himself. It would help if people announced themselves, or failing that, name badges.
 

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