‘The Mandalorian’ 1×04 Review: “Sanctuary”

So, I’ve done my best to hold myself in. This is my fourth review when it comes to The Mandalorian, and I feel like I’ve done well so far, but I can no longer contain myself.

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BABY YODA IS THE CUTEST!!!

(Yes, I know that it is not actually Yoda. I’ve been fully immersed in the Star Wars universe since I was a kid and took a Star Wars class in grad school. We just don’t know what the name of Yoda’s race is). Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get on with the review. 

“Sanctuary” is the midway point in the first season in The Mandalorian. With most series, the midway point would be marked with a crazy cliffhanger, something super dramatic, a character death, or the like. The Mandalorian seems to be ignoring every midseason convention in existence. 

Star Wars has always bucked convention and The Mandalorian is no exception to that rule. With The Mandalorian, we are getting to truly immerse in new Star Wars territory, and I’m loving every second of it, even if the plot is advancing much slower than I anticipated.

A few points of note from me on this episode.

1). MANDO TOOK OFF HIS HELMET! No, we don’t get to see the face of the absurdly handsome Pedro Pascal or even the back of his head, but still! It’s a big deal. And apparently Mandalorians do in fact remove their helmets to eat and don’t have to have all their meals liquified through a straw. Who knew? 

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2). Baby Yoda amped up the cuteness in this episode—who knew that was possible?? I loved the whole “Don’t touch that” sequence and the “stay put,” which obviously wasn’t happening. And then when all the kids cooed and preened over him, it was the literal definition of “All of us.” 

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3). Cara Dune shot quickly up the list of my favorite Star Wars ladies. Aside from Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma, Cara Dune is the first Star Wars gal that we’ve seen go toe-to-toe physically with a man (that isn’t a force user like Rey), or with anyone for that matter. I absolutely love how equal she is physically with The Mandalorian. I am not as well-versed in current book canon, so there may be other ladies I’m unaware of, but I thought this was a nice change of pace for the Star Wars universe and I am here for it!

4). Mando’s commitment to his Mandalorian code of ethics is commendable. The fact that he chooses to move on and not settle down with Omera, that he chooses to keep his ethical code instead of his own wants is an incredibly difficult decision. I’ve always admired characters (and actual real life humans) who choose to adhere to a code of ethics or a cause greater than themselves because they felt it was truly the right thing to do. A person like that is a rare breed, so when they are shown on my screen, I tend to gravitate towards them because something like that is difficult to do with consistency. It’s something I strive to do in my own life, so I take inspiration from ethically consistent characters like The Mandalorian. More of this in all of film and television, please. This is the way. 

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5). This is also the second Star Wars anything directed by a woman. The sweet and lighthearted episode provided some nice levity in an overall serious story. Well done, Bryce Dallas Howard. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her directorial work.

I’m excited to see where Mando and Baby Yoda end up next. We’re now entering the last half of the season, so I fully expect the story to amp up a bit. We’re going to have a showdown with Greef Carga and “The Client” (Werner Herzog’s character). The finale is approaching quickly. Until then, this is the way. Also,

I have spoken. 

The next episode of The Mandalorian airs on December 6, 2019 on Disney+. 

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