“Chapter 12: The Siege” is everything that makes the “The Mandalorian” great “Star Wars.” The latest episode strikes the perfect balance between old and new “Star Wars.”
This episode also has some of the cutest moments with The Child to date.
“Chapter 12” continues the season two trend of teasing many exciting things to come. However, the episode also tastefully addresses many characters and plot points from the first season.
While this episode may not transcend “The Mandalorian” and excite fans of the original “Star Wars” trilogy like “Chapter 9,” it is one of the most faithful episodes to the show and is a must see for fans of the first season.
This episode sees The Mandalorian and The Child return to the planet Nevarro, one of the central planets from the first season. Many months have passed since the big finale of the first season on Nevarro, and a lot has changed.
Gina Carano returns as Cara Dune, who has become the new Marshal of Nevarro. Carano showcases her mixed-martial arts background in a close-quarters brawl near the beginning of the episode.
Carl Weathers also returns as Greef Karga and also director of this action-packed episode. Karga has now assumed a leadership position on the planet and tasks The Mandalorian with his next quest.
The Mandalorian and The Child must make a stop for repairs on the planet after his ship receives a shabby Mon Cala repair job in “Chapter 11.”
Just before they arrive on Nevarro, The Child attempts to help repair the ship in one of the cutest scenes yet featuring “Baby Yoda.”
The Child gets yet another extremely cute scene moments later when he attends a school on Nevarro. The Child displays his first use of the force in season two, reminding viewers of the secret power he possesses.
The driving conflict of the episode sees The Mandalorian, Karga, Dune and the returning Mythrol character take on an imperial base located on the opposite side of the planet.
Action ensues and the crew uncovers a secret lab containing some of the most concrete clues about the decaying empires plans during this post- “Return of the Jedi” era.
A hologram recording in the lab reveals that imperial scientists need force sensitive blood in order to successfully conduct their experiments. The hologram includes the scientist who studied The Child in season one, finally explaining that the empire wants The Child for his force-sensitive blood.
The scientist also references “Mido-chlorians,” force sensitive microorganisms used to measure force abilities that were first described in 1999’s “The Phantom Menace,” in his message.
Additionally, the crew uncovers several pods containing mysterious test subjects. The creatures were reminiscent of the cloned bodies of Supreme Leader Snoke featured in “Star Wars: Episode XI – The Rise of Skywalker.”
The hologram and the test subjects suggest that the remaining imperial forces are likely working on cloning a force-sensitive body for the phantom Emperor Palpatine. This would align with Palpatine’s return via several failed clone bodies in “The Rise of Skywalker.”
Alternatively, these imperial experiments could relate to Moff Gideon’s new projects that were revealed at the end of this episode.
The episode ends with the reveal of Moff Gideon’s army of new troopers. It is currently unclear as to what type of soldiers Moff Gideon is creating in his lab. However, the brief glimpse of these creatures is reminiscent of the Dark Troopers.
The Dark troopers are cybernetic, elite stormtroopers who appeared in older “Star Wars” novels and games according to Wookieepedia. Some versions of the troopers were even force sensitive.
This scene also introduces Moff Gideon’s Imperial Light Crusier, which is about one-fifth the size of a normal Imperial Star Destroyer.
This final sequence with Moff Gideon provided some of the best character building for this villain yet. The sequence illustrated the Moff’s power to accomplish his goals and serve as a compelling villain for the series.
The scene ends with the reveal that Moff Gideon has placed a tracker on The Mandalorian’s ship through one of his spies.
This episode is very rewarding for fans of all eras of “Star Wars.” It includes references to the sequel trilogy, like the cloning pods, while also including powerful references to the originals like Cara Dune’s conversation with the X-wing pilot near the end of the episode.
This is refreshing after many newer “Star Wars” projects have sometimes ignored or disregarded stories that have come before.
The episode does the perfect job of respecting the world established in the originals, the prequels and even the sequels.
Aside from the many implications and references relating to other “Star Wars” films, the episode is very entertaining as a stand-alone adventure. “Chapter 12” provides a fun and fulfilling time both old and new fans of the franchise.
With Boba Fett, Ashoka Tano and Moff Gideon all set to rock the world of “The Mandalorian” in the second half of the season, what more could “Star Wars” fans ask for?