[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of The Mandalorian, “Chapter 8: Redemption.”]
The Mandalorian Season 1 is a unique set of episodes when compared to others of its like. On the surface, it’s a relatively simple narrative with (to use video game parlance) more side quests than main mission, there are still a lot of details packed into the storyline, not to mention a wild array of new characters inhabiting a whole new side of this universe.
The cleanest way, I felt, to break down everything that’s happened so far in the Disney+ Star Wars drama was to go episode by episode, and bullet point by bullet point. While we don’t know what’s planned for Season 2, we do know that a lot of it will riff not just on pre-established Star Wars lore, but everything we learned about Din Djarin (though let’s just call him Mando here, because it’s easier to spell) and The Child (though let’s just call him Baby Yoda here, because duh) still took 56 points to encapsulate thoroughly. For more, also see all our pre-existing Mandalorian coverage.
Chapter 1: “The Mandalorian”
We meet the titular Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) as he completes his latest job, nabbing a Mythrol (Horatio Sanz) from a cantina on the planet Maldo Kreis.
His latest bounty secure in carbonite, he heads to Nevarro in search of more work. But the best that Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) can offer is an off-the-books job, dealing directly with…
…a Client (Werner Herzog), a former Empire official surrounded by stormtroopers, who wants Mando to track down a target with no bounty puck. All that’s revealed is that the target is 50 years old and has a tracking signal.
Mando arrives on the planet Arvala-7, a relatively desolate place except for some Blurrgs and Kuiil (voiced by Nick Nolte), who is able to guide him to where the target might be.
Mando finds the settlement! Mando also finds a bunch of armed guards to fight, who are also fighting IG-11, a bounty droid also tracking Mando’s target. The two agree to work together.
That partnership lasts a hot minute, as while the two of them are able to fight their way through the hoard and locate the target, the target turns out to be… Baby Yoda!
IG-11 wants Baby Yoda dead. Our buddy Mando, though, disagrees with that idea, and blasts IG-11 out of commission — leaving him alone with this strange Child.
Chapter 2: “The Child”
Good news for the Mandalorian! Baby Yoda comes with his own carrying case, making it easier for him to be transported across the Arvala-7 desert.
Bad news for the Mandalorian! Jawas have stripped his ship the Razor Crest for parts! And despite Mando giving most valiant chase, he isn’t able to force the return of those parts!
However, with Kuiil’s help, he is able to strike a deal: He acquires the “egg,” and they’ll give him back what was stolen.
To get said egg, Mando has to face down a mudhorn, which nearly takes him out… but for the intervention of Baby Yoda, who uses his Force powers to levitate the beast.
Baby Yoda takes a long nap while Mando and Kuiil work together to fix the Razor Crest. Mando offers Kuiil a job, but he is happy to “be free of servitude.” Mando flies off.
Chapter 3: “The Sin”
At some point since fighting the mudhorn, the Mandalorian and his armor have taken a shower. He lets Baby Yoda roam around his ship’s cockpit, though draws the line at letting the baby play with a silver ball attached to some of his equipment.
The Razor Crest returns to Nevarro, where Mando makes his delivery to the Client. He is… reluctant about it, though.
Mando takes his shiny new pile of beskar steel to the Armorer (Emily Swallow) to get upgraded to a shiny new set of armor. Next time he walks into the club, he is looking dope.
But he’s not feeling so dope — even though Greef tells him to walk away and enjoy his new riches, Mando can’t leave behind his beautiful alien son. So he decides to storm the Client’s chambers and get him back!
Mando arrives just in time to stop Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) from doing evil experiments on Baby Yoda, which is good!
But this turns the entire settlement of mercenaries against Mando, as he rushes to his ship with Baby Yoda in his arms — even Greef tries to take him down. But the other Mandalorians living underground, despite an earlier dispute, end up coming to his aid. (Some of them have sweet jetpacks! That will be important later.)
And so we begin as we end, with Mando and Baby Yoda on the road. Except this time, they’re on the run. At least now, Mando will let Baby Yoda play with the sillver ball!
Chapter 4: “Sanctuary”
The Mandalorian knows that the best thing for him to do right now is lay low, so he lands on the planet of Sorgan, which seems chill from orbit.
Unfortunately, it is not chill! A local village is being terrorized by raiders, and when the villagers see a whole-ass bounty hunter has arrived in the area, they go to him for his help.
Mando reluctantly agrees, and enlists Cara Dune (Gina Carano) — a former shocktrooper for the Rebels who also happens to be hiding out on Sorgan — to help him.
Together, they manage to train the villagers to fight back! Even against an AT-ST!
And Baby Yoda makes friends with the local kids! And almost gets to eat a frog!
Mando also bonds with Omera (Julia Jones), a hot widow who’s great with a blaster and might be able to offer him some peace. At the very least, Mando plans to leave Baby Yoda with her, since traveling with him is no place for even the most Force-sensitive of babies.
Unfortunately, bounty hunters are still after Baby Yoda, and rather than risk the hot widow and her village, Mando decides to take off again. Baby Yoda is sad to leave his new young friends.
Chapter 5: “The Gunslinger”
Bam! The Razor Crest is under attack by yet another bounty hunter! Which the Mandalorian, of course, finds annoying. He manages to take out the other ship, but sustains some pretty serious damage to his own as a result.
So a pit stop on Tatooine is required, with Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) hired to handle the repairs (with no droid help, as Mando isn’t a huge fan of droids after the massacre of his family).
Repairs require money, so Mando goes looking around the cantina for potential work, encountering Toro Calican (Jake Cannavale), who asks for help tracking down the bounty for an elite mercenary named Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen).
Mando and Toro track her through the Tatooine desert, eventually nabbing her. But Toro proves to be an untrustworthy partner, shooting Fennec after she tells him that Mando is worth a lot more than her.
Toro’s attempt at betrayal, though, is foiled with some help from Peli, and the Razor Crest sails away!
Only one twist — a spurs-wearing figure does approach Fennec’s body, meaning that her story may not be over, and it may be what brings Boba Fett into the mix in Season 2.
Chapter 6: “The Prisoner”
Things begin with Mando reaching out to an old buddy named Ran (Mark Boone Jr.), and getting hired onto a jailbreak mission with a shady crew including Mayfeld (Bill Burr), Xi’an (Natalia Tena), Q9-0 (Richard Ayoade), and Burg (Clancy Brown).
The jailbreak has its ups and downs, with the crew not exactly warming up to Mando even though he’s able to take out an entire squad of droids once they’re on the prison ship.
Also, once they retrieve Qin (Ismael Cruz Cordova), Xi’an’s brother, they betray Mando and leave him behind in a cell.
Mando breaks out of the cell, takes down the rest (leaving them alive, but trapped in a cell), and brings Qin back to Ran — executing the mission, “no questions asked.”
Ran then attempts to kill Mando as he flies away — but Mando, ever the clever one, plants a tracker on Qin and X-Wings (with pilots played by directors Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, and Dave Filoni blow up Ran’s base. Shoulda known better, Ran!
Chapter 7: “The Reckoning”
Mando gets an offer he can’t refuse from Greef — the opportunity to make things square between them, and take down Imperial Officer Werner Herzog and his men — even though it means returning to Nevarro.
However, because Mando’s not stupid, he decides to collect reinforcements, specifically Cara, Kuiil, and a reprogrammed IG-11.
How did Kuiil reprogram IG-11 to stop being an assassin and start serving tea? If that was a question you had, never fear, as there’s an entire montage devoted to the answer.
Mando and his new squad roll into the outskirts of Nevarro, uniting with Greef. No one clearly trusts anyone else, even after fighting off a pack of mynocks together.
The mynock attack matters because Greef gets badly hurt… until, that is, Baby Yoda lays on hands and uses the Force to heal him. As these mercenaries don’t hang around with the Skywalkers all that often, Baby Yoda’s magical abilities change the tone for everyone.
In fact, Greef decides not to betray Mando and Cara after all! Instead, the three of them head into town with Baby Yoda staying behind with Kuiil where he’ll theoretically be safe.
As the Client prepares to receive his merchandise, he gets a call from Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) — who has the place surrounded with stormtroopers, ready for an all-out assault.
The first wave of attacks take out the Client, while far more importantly Moff Gideon sends two troopers out to reacquire Baby Yoda from Kuiil’s care. They kill Kuiil! It sucks, y’all.
Chapter 8: “Redemption”
The troopers who nabbed Baby Yoda (played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally, if you didn’t know!) are hanging around on the outskirts of town, shooting the shit, doing some terrible target practice, and punching the baby. In short, they deserve what’s coming to them, and what’s coming to them is delivered by IG-11, doing his nursemaid duty by taking the troopers out and zooming away on a speeder.
Meanwhile, that standoff between the Mando Squad and Moff Gideon’s duders is still happening — Mando comes up with the idea to escape into the sewers, just as the Imperial forces start setting up an E-Web heavy repeating blaster (which, to be clear, is bad).
Gideon attempts to negotiate but the Mando Squad isn’t on board. Their odds during the ensuing firefight improve once IG-11 shows up, but Mando gets badly hurt and tells them to leave him behind as they retreat into the sewers.
Baby Yoda, who had tried to be helpful before by holding off some fire, goes with Greef and Cara. But IG-11 doesn’t, and thanks to the technicality that as a droid, he doesn’t really count as a “living thing,” the droid-hating Mandalorian allows his helmet to be removed so he can receive medical care. And look at Pedro Pascal’s wonderful face! Hooray!
Everyone makes their way down to the sewers, where they discover that the Mandalorian colony which was living below ground is no more, following an Imperial attack. All that remains is the Armorer, salvaging what was left behind.
Like everyone else, the Armorer wants to see the baby, and after getting the full story from Mando, she tells him that Baby Yoda, as a foundling, needs to be returned to his people. She also gives Mando his official mudhorn signet, declaring him and Baby Yoda to be “a clan of two.” He also gets a sick jetpack!
The Mando Squad leaves with stormtroopers hot on their tail — but the Armorer takes care of at least a half dozen of them. (Fingers crossed she survives overall.)
On the run, they locate a boat that can transport them down a molten lava river, and IG-11 sacrifices itself nobly to destroy the stormtroopers waiting for them at the exit. They get one whole heartbeat to relax before Moff Gideon shows up in a goddamn TIE fighter to try to kill them.
Here is how Greef tries to get Baby Yoda’s help: “Come on baby! Do the magic hand thing!” This is, perhaps, the best line of dialogue of the whole season.
Baby Yoda does not do the magic hand thing, alas. Instead, Mando fires up that sick jetpack and attacks Gideon in the air, planting a bomb on the ship and causing it to crash! He even manages to land on his feet.
Greef asks Cara to become his enforcer, while Mando jetpacks away with Baby Yoda, ready to take on the mission the Armorer tasked him with.
He does stop to bury Kuiil, though, which is very nice of him.
Less nice — oh no, Moff Gideon is still alive! And he’s got a darksaber! That might be important, come Season 2.
And… yeah, so that’s what happened in The Mandalorian Season 1. Season 2 premieres Friday, October 20 on Disney+.