Let's Talk About THE MANDALORIAN Chapter 5 "The Gunslinger" Which Takes Us Back To Tatooine

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It was really fun revisiting Tatooine and Mos Eisely in this episode. This is one of those episodes that explodes with Star Wars nostalgia. The episode is filled with some fun Easter eggs and references that fans should pick up on.

The episode stars out with a thrilling dog fight action scene in space as a bounty hunter is chasing down The Mandalorian in his ship. This bounty hunter is relentless and the Mando’s ship is taking a beating. But, the Mando comes out as the victor and after blowing up the bounty hunter, he takes his ship to Tatooine to get it fixed up.

Baby Yoda kinda takes a back seat in this episode as the Mando leaves him and the ship with an eccentric mechanic played by Amy Sedaris and her droid repair crew. From there he goes looking for a local job for money to pay the mechanic. So where does he go to find a job for a bounty hunter? Mos Eisley, of course, specifically the cantina.

It’s at the cantina that Mando meets a young hot shot bounty hunter named Toro Calican (Jake Cannavale) looking to join the bounty hunter guild and make a name for himself. In fact, it looks like the two sit down to talk at the same booth where Han killed Greedo and where he also met with Luke and Obi-Wan. Mos Eisley has certainly seen better days as the place doesn’t seem as lively as it was in A New Hope.

Toro asks Mando to help him track down and capture a wanted assassin. He’s not looking for money, he will give Mando the money, he just wants the glory and to get into the guild. Mando agrees to the terms and they embark on the journey with a couple of speeders. Along the way they come across a couple of sand people they have to barter with for safe passage, so Mando gives them a pair of Toro’s new binoculars.

The notorious assassin they are after is named Fennic Shand and she’s played by Ming Na Wen. She’s a badass sniper and warrior who gives the two a run for their money. There’s an exciting showdown between the three of them and Shand ends up being captured.

While the Mando goes off to find transport for the target they just captured, she tells Toro about the Mando and the kid and how much more valuable he is than her. Taking down the Mando and getting the Child would give him the attention and fame that he’s looking for. Rather than team up with Shand, Toro blasts her and goes after Mando and the kid.

Obviously, the inexperienced Toro has no idea what he’s getting himself into and when facing down The Mandalorian, the Mandalorian takes him out without much effort. The Mando takes Toro’s credits from his cold dead body, which will be tossed in Tatoonie’s Beggar’s Canyon, gives the credits to the mechanic and he takes The Child, and flies off to continue his journey.

The very end features a shadowy unknown character who finds the corpse of Fennic Shand in the desert of Tatooine. I’m 100% convinced that’s Boba Fett! The sound of the spurs is what gave it away, you can also hear those spurs when Boba Fett is walking in The Empire Strikes Back. There’s no question that this is Boba Fett, and I’m super freakin’ stoked!

The story for “The Gunslinger” had similarities to John Ford’s 1965 western, The Searchers. The dynamic between John Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter in the film was similar to Mando teaming up with a young rookie who doesn’t really know the ropes. Then there are the Tuskan Raiders who pretty much take on the role of the Native American Indians in the story. I liked that the Mandalorian had knowledge about the customs of the sand people and it makes me wonder how much time he had previously spent on Tatooine. I assume that will eventually fit into his past. The episode also has similarities to the 1950 Gregory Peck western, The Gunfighter.

This episode of The Mandalorian was written and directed by Dave Filoni and you could tell he had some fun with it as he told the story and paid homage to what George Lucas had done in A New Hope. There were a lot of familiar shots that he used in the episode that Lucas had used in the film. Mostly so that we’d notice the changes to Mos Eisley in the years after the Empire fell.

I enjoyed the episode! I know there are some fans out there complaining about it because there were things that they didn’t like about it, but it told a solid story and it set some things up that will pay off in the future. I can’t wait to see how Boba Fett ends up playing into the story! Boba Fett also has good reason to know the assassin Fennic Shand as they both worked for the Hutts.

What did you all think of the episode?

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