Friday, November 29, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Mandalorian' - Mando Forges an Alliance With Cara Dune to Protect a Local Village in 'Chapter 4: Sanctuary'

Disney+'s The Mandalorian - Episode 1.04 "Chapter 4: Sanctuary"

The Mandalorian teams up with an ex-soldier to protect a village from raiders.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Disney+'s The Mandalorian.

"Chapter 4: Sanctuary" was written by Jon Favreau and directed by Bryce Dallas Howard

Pedro Pascal's face hasn't been seen yet in The Mandalorian. Only his voice has been heard behind Mando's mask. That has presented a unique challenge for the show's creative team. It has had to present its stories in different ways without relying on the physical traits of an actor's expressive face in order to communicate what's going on from scene to scene. The season has done a stellar job in that regard. It still presents as an evolution though. In the series premiere, Mando barely talked at all. He was simply the stoic bounty hunter embarking on his latest mission. And now, he's being expressive with the world around him. That comes from needing to take care of Baby Yoda. That gives him a purpose. He has risked his entire life to keep this young creature alive. He doesn't know if the risk is worth it. He simply can't let any harm come to it. Baby Yoda earns so much good will no matter where he goes. And yet, there are forces in the universe that wish to abuse it. Mando hopes that they can escape to a distant planet and blend in with the local people. The planet they happen to land on just features a conflict between the farmers who have worked the ground for generations and the marauders who have come in to terrorize. As such, it may be a blessing that a Mandalorian has just fallen from the sky. The villagers look to hire him to protect them from this threat. It's not as easy as that though. Sure, Mando forges some strong relationships. He meets rebellion fighter Cara Dune who was on the frontlines in the war against the Empire. Her side may have been victorious. But now, she too is an outlaw just looking for a nice place to lay low for awhile. Mando respects that and even agrees to allow her to inhabit this planet as one she has claimed for safety. And yet, the villagers need their help. It may be a plot to keep them all occupied. And yet, it's so significant because it fleshes out these core relationships. It proves that Mando does feel a calling to serve as well as to protect the child now in his care. He wants Baby Yoda to find a place to belong where the threat against him will no longer be apparent. It may be a long time before they find that kind of peace though. Baby Yoda is special for some reason. That may come from his ability to use the force. Mando can't quite explain it yet. However, he and Cara are more than capable of training these farmers and helping them defend their land. That too creates a debate around Mando's helmet. He may remove it every day to eat. However, no one else has seen his face since he was a young man. That is simply his faith and the way that his tribe functions in the world. However, there isn't an extreme consequence to removing the helmet. He would simply not be able to put it back on again. His reverence for that code makes him a man of his word. Without that, he would be forever lost in this world. There is the tease that this may all be building to some epic reveal of his face. That would be absolutely devastating to him though. It would strip him of his Mandalorian identity even if he could still utilize this armor in battle. He saves a village here. He and Cara take down an AT-ST left over from the Empire. That was the complication that made all of this much more precarious and dangerous. But it's rewarding because it uplifts a community around a common goal. It is an effective way to build these bonds even though it's unclear when they may be important again. Cara goes her separate way while Mando and Baby Yoda can no longer stay in this village. They have attracted too much attention and the bounty hunters are still searching for Baby Yoda. It's a precarious fate. One that may forever doom these individuals to a life of suffering. They may be unable to settle down and hopefully build something in this world. That's tragic. And yet, that may just be the foundation for this universe. Peace and stability may always be fleeting to a certain extent because of powers that exist behind the understanding of so many. The majority of people are simply trying to do what's right to create a stable life for themselves even if it's one defined by near constant action.