The Mines of Mandalore

Season 3, Chapter 18, The Mines of Mandalore

This episode starts to confirm some of the things I mused about during my review of Chapter 5 of the Book of Boba Fett. The Mines of Mandalore is one of my favorite episodes in the Mandalorian series to date. So…lets jump right in!

1. Peli the Scammer. It’s Boonta Week on Tatooine and it appears to be a ripe time to take advantage of tourists and competitors. You may remember from Phantom Menace the Boonta Eve Classic; i.e. the Pod Race! Peli’s continued associations with the local Jawa’s pays off as they take parts of equipment, and the owners come in to have the equipment repaired. What a wonderful symbiotic relationship.

2. R-5. We first saw R-5 in a New Hope. He was the droid with the bad motivator. Apparently, he is something of a scaredy cat too. At any rate, Peli convinces Din to take the droid since they can’t obtain a memory core for IG-11. I don’t think this story line is dead though. Look for Din to stumble across an IG memory core sometime in the future. The droid port in the N-1 is replaced and R-5 joins Din’s personal mission to redeem himself in the Mines of Mandalore.

3. Training. Grogu is learning. Din has become much more conscious of the fact that he needs to teach his foundling the Way of the Mandalore. Every moment is a learning opportunity. I personally grew up reading Louis L’Amour novels. I own every book he has published. One of L’Amour’s hallmark story technique’s is showing that the mentor takes every opportunity to train the youngling because you never know when that training may be needed.

4. Planet Mandalore. Never judge a book by its cover. To the naked eye, Mandalore looks like a swirling, teeming mass of storms and destruction. However, as Din showed us, once you punch thru the atmospheric storms, you can see that enough of the sun punches thru to provide significant life. The lower atmosphere is breathable, and it is quite evident that life has survived.

5. Alamite. These creatures looked like the Morlocks we watched in the 1978 film Time Machine (based on the H.G. Wells novel). Four green eyes, white skin, white hair with incredible strength, they are vicious, scary angry creatures. Apparently they have been living in the Mandalorian wastes long before the Empire’s destruction of Mandalore. Din, Grogu and Bo-Katan all took a turn fighting them.

6. Basilisk War Droid? Unfortunately, Din miscalculated the directions Bo-Katan gave him. He dropped deep into the bowels of the Sundari ruins. As he and Grogu explored the dark ruins, Din stumbled across an ancient Mandalorian helmet. As he was examining it, he was brutally captured by a droid like creature, and scurried off this new creature’s lair. I can only surmise that this is something akin to a Basilisk War Droid. It is said that during previous wars, Mandalorians used, and in some cases rode the semi-sentient Basilisk War Droids in battle. It is unclear what semi-sentient in this context really means, but perhaps we were given a glimpse as to what it could mean with the introduction of this creature. It is possible that this is a rogue Basilisk War Droid taking his terrible plight out on any unsuspecting wanderer.

7. Grogu Flight. Din sends Grogu to find Bo-Katan. Navigating the ruins, and evading a miniature dragon, Grogu makes his way to the N-1. Before he gets there, he uses the force to knock out an Alamite. Of note, Grogu’s force powers are growing, as is his stamina. As he settles into the N-1, he points at the navigation screen to Kalevala, and R-5 knows exactly what to do.

8. Bo-Katan. The wisdom of experience and survival has turned Bo-Katan into a beautiful person. She has spunk and sarcasm, but she is quite reflective of the tragedies she has endured. She is also mindful of her part in those tragedies as well. Still, her bitterness sometimes overrides her judgment, if only for a moment. As Grogu is landing, she assumes Din is back and she wishes to see no more of him….until she realized he was in danger. I believe she has genuine affection for him, and she is just now discovering that for herself. Din’s manner is slowly igniting a fire within herself. It is clear that she wants peace for her people. She does not want infighting, but she does not know how to achieve her goal. Din’s simple adherence to “The Way” is charming to her, but it is something more as well.

9. Bo-Katan the Warrior. Bo-Katan’s prowess in battle is on full display as she identifies the threats of the Alamites before they pounce and quickly dispatches them. She continues on to save Din.

10. Bo-Katan and Grogu. As Grogu leads the way to his “dad”, he is hesitant. Bo-Katan coaxes him thru his fears. She tells him of past alliances with Jedi and remarks that he must be growing in his powers as he was able to easily escape and fine her. She also has several funny quips about whether or not Grogu thought his dad was the only Mandalorian after she dispatched the Alamites.

11. Bo-Katan and Din. He is very grateful for her help. Bo-Katan makes him a traditional Mandalorian soup and is surprised that Din has never heard of it. Still, he is insistent on finishing his quest. Bo-Katan, though critical, decides to lead him to the Mines of Mandalore. As they make their way, they talk, or rather she talks and Din listens. Din is sensitive to the fact that Sundari was once her beautiful home. A touching moment occurred as she briefly described her father dying in defense of Mandalore. This fact caused Din to pause, stop, stare at her and respond with a quiet and reverent, “This Is The Way.” Bo-Katan believes many of the Mandalorian rituals and lore are just childrens stories. She is intrigued with Din’s faithful adherence despite her skepticism.

12. Mythosaur. Apparently at least one still exists. Will Din and Bo-Katan tame it or kill it? It seems as though all of the episodes have led us to this point. Looking back, there has been quite a bit of foreshadowing to this particular moment and time. Din has personally dispatched a Mudhorn, Krayt Dragon, and the beast from Chapter 17. How will the Mythosaur be dealt with? What are the implications for Mandalorians? Will this make him the true leader? Is the Armorer responsible for nurturing and training the future leader of all their people? Is there a romantic relationship in the future between Din and Bo-Katan. There is so much to look forward to!

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