TL;DR – A visual spectacle with some fun moments but not much more
The Mandalorian: The Passenger Review –
It has been an interesting shift watching the episodes of The Mandalorian one at a time rather than all at once. This is especially true of at least the first three episodes that look like they flow from one to another. Well, we can’t get all of it at once, but we can at least get a taste of what is to come, and I’ll take it.
So to set the scene, we open with Mando on the way back to Mos Eisley after defeating the Krayt Dragon in The Marshal. Just before he gets back, he and The Child are ambushed, and his racer is destroyed. After the long walk back he runs into Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) in the cantina who tells him that she has a contact who knows where there are more Mandalorians, and she is happy to tell him where they are. The only catch is that the nice Frog Lady (Misty Rosas) needs a ride home … at sublight … and before her spawn becomes unviable. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
The first thing you see in this episode is just how high the production values are for this show. The moment when they enter the atmosphere of the ice planet, and you see the different ships and the trails they leave in the clouds, I mean gorgeous. Then there are all the small touches throughout the show, like the green goo in the snow, the scratches on the windscreen, the light shining through the clouds. It was also great to see the growing relationship between Mando and the Baby.
This is also an episode that shows the best of both practical and digital character creations. First, of course, is Baby Yoda, who has a lot more movement this episode than we have seen for a while and I think it is telling just how good it is that I don’t know what the puppet is and what is the CGI model. In the cantina, we got this glorious Ant-character creature that took me right back to one of the weird characters from Farscape. Then there was Frog Lady who I am not sure was a complete digital model or a hybrid but the effect works.
Another thing this episode gets right is how it uses tension. The moment the two X-Wings move next to the Razor Crest, you can feel that clock start counting down. Then just when you think they might bluff their way out of it, you see the X-Wings engage into fight mode, and the game is afoot. Also in the snow cave, as they are picking up the eggs from the hot spring. We watch as The Baby walks straight up to an egg sack, that peels back just like an Alien facehugger. You just sit there knowing something is about to go down and just waiting for the carnage.
In the end, do we recommend The Passenger? Yes, yes we would. This was a solid episode, with great action beats, and also some oddly humorous but weird moments. But I did get a bit of a ‘monster of the week’ vibe from it, and time will tell if this stays or not.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Mandalorian
Directed by – Peyton Reed
Written by – Jon Favreau
Created by – Jon Favreau
Based On – Star Wars by George Lucas
Production/Distribution Companies – Lucasfilm, Golem Creations & Disney+
Starring – Pedro Pascal with Amy Sedaris, Misty Rosas, Richard Ayoade, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee & Dave Filoni