Every Tuesday, Nate from @nateflixandchill_ will be revisiting The Mandalorian starting at the very beginning.
Hello there. If this is your first time clicking on The Mando Rewatch, my name is Nate, and over the past several weeks I have been revisiting The Mandalorian, starting from the very beginning. This week, I will be doing a deep dive into the key moments and thematic significance of “Chapter 10: The Passenger.” This is a spoiler-heavy recap. So, if you choose to read on, then I hope that you have not only seen this episode, but the rest of the series as well. It also helps if you have read my earlier reviews because I tend to circle back to previously established themes. With that out the way, let’s talk about Star Wars!
Written by Jon Favreau, and directed by Peyton Reed, this is one of those chapters that some fans or critics have cast aside as a “filler episode.” Well, in my experience, there is no such thing as filler. There is always a deeper reason behind these little side quest missions that the hero has to embark upon. For, as I have discussed in previous episodes, Star Wars has always followed the formula of The Hero with a Thousand Faces. There are seventeen stages in the heroic journey outlined by Joseph Campbell, and I have already touched on a few of them in previous reviews. It can be argued that “Chapter 9” represents the metaphorical “Belly of the Whale” stage (considering the fact that Mando allows himself to be swallowed by the Krayt Dragon at the end of the episode). As a result, “Chapter 10” subsequently represents a continuation of the hero’s metamorphosis from that stage, as well as a beginning of the next stage, “The Road of Trials.” Everything goes wrong in this episode. There seems to be one problem after another, often played to comedic tones, but these are all very serious and life-threatening problems. Therefore, if we look a little deeper than the surface level, these so-called “filler episodes” come to represent the little adventures that challenge the hero’s perception of himself and the world around him. These episodes always seem to have great character building moments and references that become much more significant down the line.
That being said, at this moment in time, I can fully relate to the way Mando feels in this episode. He is completely exhausted. After the ship crashes, he just wants to go to sleep and worry about his problems tomorrow. That is exactly what I want to do right now. I forgot I had to write this recap, and I really don’t want to do it right now. It’s very late, and I just want to go to bed. Unfortunately, it’s supposed to be done by tomorrow, so if I tell myself “it can wait until morning,” the problem will only become a bigger issue then. So, just like the Frog Lady has to convince Mando to get off his ass, that is what my wife has to do to me sometimes. And, like Mando, I grumble to myself about how stupid I was for agreeing to this deal in the first place. Nevertheless, that particular moment of the episode touches upon a recurring theme from this series – honour. When Frog Lady says to Mando, “I thought honouring one’s word was part of the Mandalorian code. I guess those are just stories for children,” she is challenging Mando’s honour, which as we already know, is very important to him. At the same time, she is also comparing him to the great Mandalorians of the past, something he has always longed to live up to. This recalls Kuiil’s quote from the very first episode, “You are a Mandalorian! Your ancestors rode the great Mythosaur.” Yet, the most important aspect of her guilt trip is the mention of the children. He immediately looks right at Grogu when she says that, and perhaps remembers the subtle advice from Kuiil in “Chapter 7” about the imprint he is leaving upon Grogu as a father figure. As I have discussed before, Grogu is a walking symbol of choice, because he is a clean slate. The choices Mando makes will ultimately have a direct imprint upon Grogu. Obviously, this ties into the recurring theme of honour. Indeed, it is Mando’s honour which ends up indirectly saving them from the knobby white ice spiders. The New Republic officers that kill the spiders choose to save Mando because he acted honourably back in “Chapter 6” on the prison ship. This reiterates the point that there is great power in the choices we make (which is one of the most important lessons that George Lucas was hoping to teach the twelve-year-olds when he originally created Star Wars in the first place). As Qui-Gon Jinn says, “your focus determines your reality.” There is great power in positivity, ask anyone who has ever read The Secret (I haven’t by the way). Positive choices lead to positive results, and the same is true for the opposite. The things you choose to give attention to will inevitably attract what shows up in your life. Therefore, the honour of Mando in “Chapter 6,” and the positive change in his character that that episode represents, comes back around to save him in “Chapter 10.” From this point of view, by choosing to stay up late and write this recap rather than give into my negativity, I had better be getting some good karma down the road.
Also, we have to talk about Grogu eating the Frog Lady’s eggs. You know cancel culture has gone completely out of control when the internet tries to cancel a lovable puppet for eating unfertilized eggs from a character whose literal name in the credits is “Frog Lady.” Star Wars fans are the worst sometimes. For the record, I think it’s hilarious. Still, there is some significance to the vulnerability of her young. As the Frog Lady says, “these eggs are the last brood of my life-cycle. My husband has risked his life to carve out an existence for us on the only planet that is hospitable to our species. We fought too hard to resign ourselves to the extinction of our family line.” The vulnerability of her species can be contrasted with the vulnerability of the Mandalorians – they have been hunted, scattered, and forced into hiding – the same can also be said for the Jedi. As a result, there is common ground amongst the characters in this story, and even more so between Frog Lady and Mando. Both of them will do anything to protect their children, and this episode highlights the fact that there is danger around every corner. Becoming a caregiver to Grogu has made Mando more vulnerable than he has ever been before. The damaged and vulnerable state of his ship in this episode becomes symbolic of the fragile state that Mando now finds himself in. There is a literal hole in the ship, but this represents the metaphorical holes in his armour. The burden he carries in looking after Grogu has left him very exposed, because he has a lot more to lose now. Alright, I’m tired, I’m going to bed.
I have spoken,