WARNING: ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
I lost a lot of sleep this week over the outcome of the election, but that didn’t stop me from being slave to my Star Wars passions. I purchased three 6” Black Series figures: Cad Bane, the Lee Van Cleef-inspired bounty hunter from Clone Wars; Captain Pyre, from the shitty animated show Resistance; and a third Phase One Clone Trooper from Attack of the Clones. The latter was actually a gift from my brother to my son because my little boy inexplicably likes them as much as I do. I think it’s the retro sci-fi head fin.
I also started reading the first X-Wing paperback novel by Michael Stackpole. I came upon most of the nin-book series in the last few months during sporadic sanity-saving trips to Half Price Books. Each was about $3 a pop. I’m a big bitch for X-wings (which comes into play this episode of Mando, in fact!) and I’ve planned for this series of paperbacks to be a November palate cleanser after No Sleep October and the election. So far, they’re not disappointing.
Aly and I also started another playtime / background-noise watch-through of the saga with The Phantom Menace, which I wrote about extensively during Our Star Wars last year. Please check it out.
I did not get the Boba vs. Mando showdown I had hoped for, so I suppose that’s probably being held back for later in the season. (I would be shocked if it was held until after the season given the emphasis on Boba’s helmet, reminding us that the Mando is carrying his property). That’s fine. I’ve watched Pennsylvania count ballots for three days; I can fucking wait a few weeks to see Boba Fett. Maybe Nevada will be done by then. Besides, if it happens in the finale, it’ll be on my birthday!
Instead, director Peyton Reed and writer Jon Favreau deliver what amounts to a bottle episode of the show, stranding our heroes and a Frog Lady on an ice spider planet. Felt similar to that old Rebels episode when Zeb and Agent Kallus learn to be hetero(?) lifemates on an ice planet full of spider monsters. I mean it kind of is that. I’m not giving The Passenger points for originality, but I loved it nonetheless because it featured Mando being awesome, a weird Frog Lady, the Child being gross and more giant monsters. Frankly, we have too few TV series and movies about giant monsters, and it seems like every other episode now, we get a heaping help of Mando killing a giant monster. It feels lifted out of classic Marvel comics, and I mean classic Marvel comics — when Kirby was still basically drawing monster comics with these newfangled superheroes in the mix. I like giant monsters. They are good.
Speaking of giant monsters, I enjoyed the appearance of a giant ant in Reed’s episode. Nice reference. I love his name, Doctor Mandible, which is second only to Therm Scissorpunch (a giant lobster in Solo) in my directory of “great dumb Star Wars names.” This also reminds me that I need a good Galaxy’s Edge Sabacc deck, which my buddy Brian and I used to play at our old office.
Most importantly, though, “The Passenger” features more of our New Republic pilot friend Trapper Wolf, played by George Lucas’ heir apparent Dave Filoni. Filoni masterminded The Clone Wars and Rebels and has been Favreau’s most important collaborator on The Mandalorian. Incidentally, The Last Jedi is the only sequel film he had major input on, so suck it, haters.
I mentioned earlier that I’m a big bitch for X-wings. I love X-wing pilots and I own an X-wing helmet and I really want to buy and play that new X-wing / TIE fighter game but know I’d never put the time into it, so I’m reading those paperbacks instead and it overjoyed me to see some New Republic presence again in this show.
That’s about the extent of my review of this episode> et’s take a look at the list of shit I would buy:
- 6″ Doctor Mandible — $20
- 6″ Treadwell Droid — $20
- 6″ Frog Lady — $20
- 6″ Trapper fuckin’ Wolf — $20
- 6″ Galaxy’s Edge Sabacc Deck — $25
- 6″ Scale X-Wing — $120. Long rumored, and I’d do it. No question.
I’ll also admit that this episode tempted me to buy the Razor Crest LEGO set, but I don’t have any extra space for LEGOs.