Warning: This post contains big spoilers for The Mandalorian’s third episode, “The Sin.”
C’mon — you didn’t really think that was the last we were going to be seeing of Baby Yoda, right? Ever since he made his surprise cameo at the end of The Mandalorian’s series premiere, the 50-year-old infant has become the most beloved character in the Star Wars universe since... well, since Old Yoda. He’s such a star, Disney is rushing Baby Yoda merchandise into stores just in time for the holidays. You can already find officially licensed T-shirts on Amazon, and plush toys, Lego sets and Funko Pops are sure to follow.
Me storming into every store in the tri-state area demanding baby yoda merchandise pic.twitter.com/lsIHuXE5M4— That’s no moon, it’s a Thomas (@thomasLharper) November 22, 2019
All the merch money that Baby Yoda will generate could easily fund fresh sets of Beskar steel-based armor for all of the soldiers in Mando’s top-secret Mandalorian covert. And those guys are gonna need new suits after the intense firefight they have at the end of The Mandalorian’s third episode, “The Sin.” Once Mando (Pedro Pascal) makes the inevitable decision to rescue Baby Yoda from the clutches of the Client (Werner Herzog) and Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi), he also inevitably makes himself a target for his ex-employer, Greef Carga (Carl Weathers), and the Bounty Hunters Guild. (We called all this back in Episode 1, folks.) While he puts up a valiant effort during his solo battle with Guild mercenaries, the timely arrival of his Mandalorian comrades is the only thing that saves him and Baby Yoda from winding up as trophy kills.
It’s a rescue you might not have expected based on the way the covert treats Mando earlier on in the episode, with one even going so far as to call him a “coward” who “shares tables” with the warlords and mercenaries that are all that remain of the Empire. But their leader, the Armorer (Emily Swallow), reminds them all that their true allegiance is to the Way of the Mandalore, as well as the next generation, which is attempting to rebuild what was lost in the Empire-led Great Purge. (That may, or may not, be related to the Great Jedi Purge initiated by Order 66.) “The foundlings are the future. This is the Way,” she says, and the entire covert dutifully repeats, “This is the Way.”
That climactic firefight, by the way, is the biggest set-piece that The Mandalorian has staged yet, and director Deborah Chow is already being showered with praise on Twitter for stepping up the show’s acton game. Significantly, she’s both the first female filmmaker, and the first Asian-American filmmaker, to direct an installment in the larger live-action Star Wars franchise. And we’ll thankfully be seeing a lot more from her: Chow is going to be helming the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series, starring Ewan McGregor.
UNREAL!— Jeff D Skywalker (@JeffDLowe) November 22, 2019
I’m nearly speechless after the new episode of #TheMandalorian. Some of the coolest stuff we’ve EVER seen in #StarWars.
Bravo, @Jon_Favreau, @dave_filoni and Deborah Chow. pic.twitter.com/cYPdoCshoI
For the first time in the Star Wars live-action universe, an Asian woman, Deborah Chow, directed this week's The Mandalorian. Last week, the first African-American man in the Star Wars universe, Rick Famuyiwa did the same. How do I feel about that? I feel strong in the Force.— Walter Chaw 周瑜 (@mangiotto) November 22, 2019
Here’s what we know, what we want to know and what warmed our geek hearts after watching “The Sin.” (Hint: The latter is based in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rather than this far, far away galaxy.)
What we know
—Mando’s decision to save Baby Yoda isn’t a random act of kindness. We already saw hints of his own tragic childhood in the first episode, and “The Sin” shows more imagery of who he was and how he came to be. In flashbacks, we see young Dyn Jarren running through a war zone with two adults that are presumably his parents. They hide the boy in a bunker, close the doors and that’s the last time he ever sees them. When the doors open, he instead sees the B2 super battle droid that’s been causing all the mayhem; the metal killer raises his arm cannon to fire, but then an explosion knocks us back to the present. Instead of dying that day, Dyn found a new place in the universe. He may not be able to express it in words just yet, but he’s clearly hoping to do the same thing for another child in need.
—The series premiere established that the Rebellion’s victory over the Empire didn’t automatically bring peace or prosperity back to the galaxy. And “The Sin” further confirms that the New Republic was perhaps doomed from the start. Speaking with Greef, Mando expresses his distaste for having to work with people who previously worked for the Empire. Every the pragmatist, the Guild leader tells him that only “mercenaries and warlords” are left from Palpatine’s reign, but that if he really cares, he can file a complaint with the New Republic’s leaders at the Core — better known as the Coruscant Core, named for the one-time capital planet. “That’s a joke,” Mando replies, suggesting that the New Republic’s efforts to restore Coruscant to the seat of galactic power are falling well short of the mark.
What we want to know
—After last week’s episode, eagle-eyed Star Wars fans suspected that Dr. Pershing was in cahoots with the remnants of Palpatine’s inner circle... or potentially even the Emperor himself. “He has explicitly ordered us to bring it back alive,” Pershing tells the Client, and that “He” could very well be the Skywalker clan’s longtime nemesis. Everyone already knows that Palpatine is coming back for The Rise of Skywalker, and one working theory is that he’s used host bodies to keep his spirit alive, even as his body perished. Meanwhile the Kamino symbols on Pershing’s outfit, suggest that he knows a thing or two about cloning technology.
But “The Sin” also throws a potential wrench in those assumptions when Mando confronted Pershing, and the doctor indicates that his true allegiances may lay elsewhere. “Please don’t hurt him. It’s just a child,” he cries when Mando comes in guns blazing to rescue Baby Yoda. “I protected him,” Pershing adds. “If it wasn’t for me, he would already be dead.” That certainly doesn’t sound like someone eager to turn the child over to a villainous regime. Could Pershing be working deep cover for someone in the New Republic instead? Maybe a former student of Yoda’s whose name rhymes with Duke Pietalker?
What we loved to see
Only Jon Favreau could bring the MCU and the far, far away galaxy together. After all, he’s the one that helped create the Marvel age of comic book movies with the 2008 blockbuster, Iron Man. And as the showrunner of The Mandalorian, he’s tasked with introducing audiences to the wider Star Wars universe with The Mandalorian. Thanks to some stealth Iron Man references, “The Sin” is the closest we’ll get to a crossover...yet. When Mando first visits the covert in their underground hiding place, we briefly hear a snippet of music that sounds very similar to the Iron Man theme. The Armorer’s armor-forging process is also reminiscent of Tony Stark making his bulky Mark 1 outfit. But the clearest homage comes at the end of the episode, when a jet-pack wearing Mandalorian flies by the Razor Crest and salutes. “I gotta get one of those,” Mando mutters enviously. Looks like Stark Industries may have a new customer.
The Mandalorian is currently streaming on Disney+.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: