- Episode 2 (of 8), ‘Chapter 10: The Passenger’
- Written by Jon Favreau
- Directed by Peyton Reed
Spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2 follow.
Under Tatooine’s twin suns, The Mandalorian makes his way back to Mos Eisley after his encounter with Cobb Vanth. Three criminals lay a trap for Mando’s speeder bike by extending a rope across his path, destroying the speeder and sending Mando and the Child flying into the air. As Mando fights off two of the attackers, the third seizes the Child, and holds a knife to him.
The Mandalorian says that if the attacker hurts the kid he’ll track him down, and offers to bargain. The kidnapper demands Mando’s jetpack in exchange for the Child, and they make the swap. As the bandit walks away with the jetpack, however, Mando uses a remote control on his wrist to send him flying into the air, before crashing him into the ground. Baby Yoda gives him a disapproving look.
Mando walks into Mos Eisley carrying the Child, Boba Fett’s armor and everything else he could salvage from the speeder bike wreckage. He meets Peli Motto in a Cantina, where she’s playing Sabacc with an insectoid named Dr Mandible. Motto says that Dr Mandible can connect Mando with someone who can help find some Mandalorians – if Mando covers the bet on his next round. After Dr Mandible loses, he says the contact will meet them at the hangar.
Back at the docking bay, the Mando’s chunk of krayt dragon meat cooks on a spit. Motto confirms that a Mandalorian covert is close by – “in this sector, one system trailing” – but she’s not sure if the group is from the Mando’s former home, Nevarro. She says the contact will lead him to the other Mandalorians, and there’ll be no fee – aside from passage to the system. But there’s an added complication – the whole trip must be made sub-light, without using the hyperdrive. Mando is skeptical, saying he’s not a taxi service.
It turns out the contact is an amphibian female, who needs to get her spawn (currently in a jar) fertilized ahead of the equinox. If she fails, her family line will end. They’ll also die if they jump into hyperspace. She says her husband has settled on the estuary moon of Trask, in the system of gas giant Kol Iben – and has seen Mandalorians there.
As they fly off in the direction of Trask, Mando realizes they share no common language. The Child is intrigued by the jar of eggs, staring at them longingly. When Mando heads off to get some sleep, he catches the infant eating one of the eggs.
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A few hours later an alarm goes off. The Razor Crest is being flanked by a pair of New Republic X-Wings. They have spotted that Mando’s transponder is not emitting a signal, so he counters that the ship is pre-Empire surplus and not required to run a beacon. They explain that all craft are required to run a beacon now that the sector is under New Republic jurisdiction. He says he’ll get it looked at, and they wish him safe travels.
But then they ask for “one more thing” – they’re on the lookout for Imperial hangouts and need him to send them a “ping”. When he says he’s not sure if he has that hardware online, they say that if they can’t confirm if he’s not Imperial, he’ll have to follow them to the outpost at Adelphi. He transmits a signal.
The pilots shift to a private channel and lock their S-Foils in attack position. They ask the Mandalorian if he was in the vicinity of New Republic Correctional Transport Bothan-Five – the prison ship from season one episode ‘The Prisoner’. Mando retreats towards a nearby planet and the X-Wings pursue, threatening to fire if he doesn’t stand down. He tries to hide out in the thick cloud cover and dives towards the ice planet’s surface, making a break for a canyon. The Razor Crest crash lands on the planet’s surface, and the X-Wings lose visual contact. Unfortunately, the ice isn’t strong enough to hold the ship and it crashes into a cave below.
The Mandalorian goes into the back of the ship and discovers a massive hole in the hull – not to mention the Child eating another of the eggs. The Mandalorian tells the Frog woman to get some sleep as she cradles her young.
Mando is woken by Q9-0, the wrecked droid he worked with on the prison ship assault – the Frog woman has bypassed the droid’s security protocols and is using it as a translator. She explains that the eggs are the last chance for her life cycle and that her husband has made a home on the only planet hospitable to their species. She says they’ve suffered and fought too much to resign themselves to the extinction of their family line, and demands that Mando holds true to the deal he agreed – because honoring a deal is part of the Mandalorian’s code, right?
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Mando goes outside to repair the ship. The Child points out some footprints in the snow, and Mando’s helmet reveals that they’re still warm. They follow the tracks and find the Frog woman bathing in a warm pool with her eggs. The Mandalorian tells her that he can’t protect her outside, and starts to gather her eggs.
Meanwhile, Baby Yoda goes for a walk and finds an arrangement of strange rock-like objects. He opens one of them, and discovers a spider-like creature inside, which he eats. Soon, all the eggs start hatching and hundreds of spiders – ranging from rat-scale to something the size of a house – swarm towards them. The Frog woman uses her extendable tongue to grab her stuff and they all run back to the Razor Crest. The Mandalorian uses the full might of his arsenal to repel the spiders, bringing down some of the cave as he goes.
They eventually find their way back to the Razor Crest, but the spiders follow them inside. As Mando tries to seal the cockpit door, some small spiders make it inside. A few take an interest in the Child, but are killed by blaster fire from an unexpected source – the Frog woman. As the spiders swarm over the ship, Mando tries to take off – despite having limited visibility – but a giant spider lands on the roof, and sends one of its giant legs smashing through the hull.
Then the spiders start disappearing, removed by blaster fire from an unknown source. The Mandalorian heads outside and sees the two X-Wings landed in the cave, the two pilots using blaster rifles to clear away the remaining spiders.
They tell the Mandalorian that they ran the tabs on the Razor Crest, and that there’s an arrest warrant in his name for the abduction of prisoner X6-9-11. But security records on the prison ship show that Mando apprehended three criminals on the Wanted Registry, and that he put himself in harm’s way to protect a New Republic officer. Mando asks if he’s under arrest. They say that technically he should be, “but these are trying times”.
Mando suggests forgoing the bounties on the three criminals in return for the X-Wing pilots helping him to fuse his hull. “What say you fix that transponder and we don’t vaporize that antique the next time we patrol the rim?” the captain replies. The two X-Wings fly away.
The Mando seals the cockpit because it’s the only part of the ship they can pressurize – telling his passengers to use the privy while they can, because it might be a long time before they can go again. The Razor Crest takes off and makes it into space, its engines misfiring and its back door hanging open. As Mando takes a well-earned nap, the Child eats an egg he’d hidden away.
A real change of pace from the season 2 opener – and not just because it swaps the hot desert suns of Tatooine for a frozen ice planet. The Mandalorian may just be 10 episodes old, but throughout its run it’s shown an appetite for putting its masked protagonist in as many different scenarios as it can. This time the bounty hunter is playing taxi driver, and for once he needs to be more worried about running into New Republic than the Empire.
It’s a fun twist on Star Wars expectations to see X-Wing pilots acting as the episode’s antagonists, especially as they’re essentially a pair of traffic cops querying a faulty brake light. There’s something very Han Solo about Mando’s floundering attempts to negotiate his way past the bureaucracy, and more spectacular dash into an unknown planet’s atmosphere.
There’s also some neat callbacks to season 1’s prison break episode – including a fun cameo for Richard Ayoade’s Q9-0 – and some intriguing hints at the Mandalorian who may be waiting on Trask. Okay, this episode is essentially stalling for time, prolonging Mando’s hunt for another of his kind – if something can go wrong, it will go wrong – but when you’ve got giant spiders, new aliens and X-Wings, there isn’t much to complain about. Also, Mando's caring side is coming more and more to the fore, both when he's looking after his cargo and her spawn, and the Child.
Indeed, he's remarkably patient, seeing as Baby Yoda is something of a pain in ‘The Passenger’, eating the Frog woman’s eggs (a hilarious ongoing gag), and tucking into a baby spider and subsequently unleashing the arachnopocalypse. Luckily, he’s never less than entertaining – and with those eyes, you could forgive anything.
Force the facts
- The episode’s director is Peyton Reed, most famous for helming Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Bring It On.
- X-Wing pilot Trapper Wolf (who previously appeared in season one episode ‘The Prisoner’) is played by Dave Filoni, the former Star Wars: Clone Wars/Rebels showrunner who’s now a writer, director and executive producer on The Mandalorian. His commanding officer, Captain Carson Teva, is played by Kim’s Convenience star Paul Sun-Hyung Lee.
- When Peli Motto shouts, “Don’t overcook it, Treadwell”, she’s referring to a type of repair droid. She likes it medium rare, unlike Rodians, apparently – Greedo is a Rodian, so presumably they also like to cook first…
- The giant spiders look a lot like the Krykna who lived on Atollon in Star Wars Rebels, though their lamprey-inspired mouths make us think they’re a different species.
New episodes of The Mandalorian are available to stream on Disney Plus every Friday.
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Richard is a freelance journalist specialising in movies and TV, primarily of the sci-fi and fantasy variety. An early encounter with a certain galaxy far, far away started a lifelong love affair with outer space, and these days Richard's happiest geeking out about Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and other long-running pop culture franchises. In a previous life he was editor of legendary sci-fi magazine SFX, where he got to interview many of the biggest names in the business – though he'll always have a soft spot for Jeff Goldblum who (somewhat bizarrely) thought Richard's name was Winter.