Directed by Apollo Creed himself, Carl Weathers, Chapter 12 is like a cool 80s action film with a dose of “Rebels” Imperial Base infiltration. I wasn’t thrilled about sneaking into yet another Imperial Facility. Still, there are some tricks up Jon Favreau’s writing sleeve to offer some surprises that sheds some more light on the overall plot, making matters far direr for our heroes than we thought. The Mando team does their classic cherry-picking from the expanded universe with elements in this episode that will continue to please the die-hard Star Wars nerds and spike the interest of newcomers alike.
Revisiting the gang from last season, Mando embarks on another dangerous mission that ends with blasters lighting the screen full of red energy. Reuniting with the band has that nostalgic feel without being reflective in reality since it was only last year we met the crew of “The Mandalorian.” Then again, anything pre-COVID brings about a yearning for the past. This Chapter is a smorgasbord of visual effects. You’ve got your swoop bike chase, tie fighters taking flight, stellar puppetry, and more! “The Seige” and “The Passenger” have better dogfights than the sequel trilogy’s entirety. When your main ship is a rickety bucket of bolts that could burst at any moment, it adds a layer of tension lacking in the recent pictures.
Mining from familiar territory, at one point, I was looking at the canvas of the planet thinking to myself, “this looks like a planet I know from ‘Jedi Outcast.'” It was not the planet from that level, but I wasn’t too far off in that analysis to my great delight. To be completely transparent, I’m one of those fans of the show that won’t stop complaining about “filler.” With that said, “The Seige” is beginning to show that none of these episodes are “filler.” An event in what seems to be an unimportant chapter proves to have a character or McGuffin that will come in handy later on that doesn’t appear to be cheeky. “The Mandalorian,” after all, is a television show about a bounty hunter who makes a living taking on life-threatening jobs. To look for something highly philosophical, I’ll rewatch a season of “In Treatment.”
The coincidental run-ins in Chapter 12 are too convenient at times. Despite all the planets in this galaxy populated with billions of creatures, somehow everyone always runs into one another. At least we don’t see any Skywalkers, making it virtually not a big deal, just a minor annoyance. Familiar plot elements are beginning to overstay their welcome. Only so many stormtroopers can get blown away inside a metal interior base until it gets old. I enjoy the banter between Mando’s crew, but I’d like to see some more character development between them instead of zappy zappy, boomy boomy all the time.
Wrapping with a touching nod to “A New Hope,” the writers continue to widen the extended universe of Star Wars to the masses by each passing week. Each Chapter, like any good show, ends on a cliffhanger making guys like me say “HOLY S**T” while my friends say, “what’s that supposed to be?” Continue to focus your Jedi like patience. As one exciting development pays off, another gets in front of the line for what I’m confident will be a rousing finale.