Serial Consumer celebrates and interrogates Evan’s relationship to franchised media and his addiction to purchasing its licensed products. Amid a brief absence of new content, Evan is creating throwback recaps for each episode in the first season of The Mandalorian for his latest installments.
The Gunslinger feels a lot different in hindsight. Don’t get me wrong: I liked this episode before, but now I really appreciate the way it introduces so much great stuff that would pay off later (and a few things that would not pay off). After four episodes on new worlds, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni bring us back to Tatooine, the general homeworld of Star Wars. Din Djarin lands in Mos Eisley, where the citizens have staked the decapitated helmets of their former occupiers as a warning to anyone who might try to tame them in the future. The city, as Obi-Wan famously stated, is ever a wretched hive of scum and villainy — the perfect place for an outlaw and his child to get some repairs.
Returning to Mos Eisley is a lot of fun particularly because the planet had not yet outworn its welcome with the one-two punch of its weird inclusion in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and over-exposure in The Book of Boba Fett. It’s funny to learn that the classic cantina has been sold to a droid, given its prior proprietor’s dislike of the mechanical kind. Wuher lost out in the end, I guess.
There are fewer weird aliens than in the original Star Wars, probably due to budgets, but at least we see Dr. Mandible for the first time. He returns later, in Chapter 9: The Marshal, and I still want a 6” scale figure of him.
We meet Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) in this episode. She’s great, bringing a lot of character and weirdness to a show that tends to take itself pretty seriously. It’s nice that her desire to help Din Djarin comes from her love of Grogu, and that she gets to be the audience stand-in when interacting with the heinously adorable puppet.
Djarin takes a job helping Toro Calican (Jake Cannavale), an aspiring bounty hunter aiming to cash in on the head of Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). Shand is a notorious bounty hunter whom even Djarin wants to avoid. Her fate at the hands of Calican, who cowardly shoots her in the gut, surprised me this time around because I had honestly forgotten he was the one who did her in. Shand remains one of Disney’s most interesting new additions to the Star Wars universe, with an appearance in The Bad Batch and a starring role in The Book of Boba Fett, so I’m glad she made it out of this one alive. It’s a little upsetting knowing that her revival at the hands of Fett is, plot-wise, so lame once we actually see it in Chapter 4 of his show, but whaddayagonnado?
There is some good action and fun Tatooine shenanigans here, culminating in a satisfying standoff. If only that Boba Fett tease had amounted to more.
This was a pretty solid week for my collection. My long-standing pre-orders of the 6″ Jedha Patrol Trooper and 6″ Cassian Andor arrived. Good additions, if technically inessential. I also had my first retail find at the Target near my house, a Carbonized Shoretrooper. Do I need a sixth Shoretrooper? No. Is he a golden god? Hell, yes.
I would really love to finally get myself a Fennec Shand 6” figure, which is held up in ports and has been for months. Doctor Mandible and Peli Motto both feel like must-owns but are unlikely to be made by Hasbro.