This piece contains major plot spoilers for The Mandalorian‘s latest episode, “The Siege.”
We’ve long criticized Disney+’s The Mandalorian for its focus on episodic side quests in lieu of a more concrete overarching narrative. While Season 2 has been no different, vacillating between random challenges of the week and more integral world building, “The Siege” draws the best from both approaches. Directed by Apollo Creed himself, Carl Weathers, this week’s episode manages to deliver stellar Star Wars action as well as key intel about the master plan being hatched by Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon.
The abridged recap of Chapter 4 is that Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) rejoins old allies Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Greef Karga (Weathers) for some much-needed ship repairs on the Razor Crest. Naturally, he gets sucked into a new mission to destroy a nearby former Imperial base to ensure the safety of the thriving new town, which now boasts a school for children in place of the old bounty hunter bar. The Mandalorian has always been able to expertly execute any sort of assault on a stronghold, whether it be an Imperial compound or last week’s systematic takedown of the Imperial freighter. This week is no different, with humorous Stormtrooper kills, speeder bike chases and TIE fighter action. It’s a ripper of a good time.
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But amid all the entertaining carnage and chaos (not to mention Baby Yoda’s adorable struggle with childhood obesity) came vital pieces of information. What our heroes believed to be a former Imperial base turned out to actually be a research lab. What they found was a holo-message addressed to Moff Gideon, who they believed to be dead, from Season 1’s Doctor Pershing, who eagle-eyed fans noticed had a connection to the cloning Kaminoans from The Attack of the Clones. Not only did this clue our protagonist’s into the fact that the Big Bad is still alive, but it also seemingly confirmed several fan theories.
The Mandalorian has never explicitly spelled out why Moff Gideon is after The Child. But Pershing’s reference to “M-count” is undoubtedly in relation to the dreaded “midichlorians,” which measures a Jedi’s potential in the Force. The husks of test-tube creatures helps to bridge the gap. It appears as if Moff Gideon is attempting to reverse engineer Force sensitive soldiers from Baby Yoda’s blood in order to build the strongest military force in the galaxy. Since he’s in possession of the Darksaber, we also wouldn’t be surprised if he’s trying to imbue himself with Force abilities as well. Finally, we have some semblance of what the plan is and the greater importance our green little meme-generator represents.
The Mandalorian can often be too focused on its weekly standalone challenges at the expense of the greater galactic struggle. So to see the New Republic poking around, aware of connected incidents of former Imperial power moves, was a nice touch. Audiences know that the future will see the rise of the First Order thanks to Disney’s sequel trilogy. What we might be witnessing in The Mandalorian is the early seeds of that movement.
(Bonkers Theory: Was Supreme Leader Snoke a Force-sensitive creation borne out of Darth Sidious’ work on Exegol and Moff Gideon’s research here? Were they working together?)
“The Siege” manages to deliver Season 2’s best side quest while still casting an eye on the endgame and providing vital information along the way. It is easily the best episode of the sophomore run and, hopefully, a set up for a more serialized and connected stretch of episodes.