After defeating the Krayt Dragon in last week’s Chapter 9: The Marshal, Din Djarin / The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child continue their search for the other Mandalorians. Following the advice of Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris), Mando takes on board a passenger: a frog-like creature (Misty Rosas), who believes that the Mandalorians are hiding on a world she herself needs to reach. As the group discovers, this journey isn’t quite as simple as it first seems.
Chapter 10: The Passenger is another “adventure-of-the-week” episode of The Mandalorian, offering no big story or character developments but serving a fun piece of Star Wars adventure to keep us entertained and distracted from the real world (in a week when particularly those in the UK and USA need such escapism). None of it feels particularly original – the spider-like creatures feel like a homage to Alien, while the X-wing vs Razor Crest chase felt like something out of Firefly – but there’s a certain charm to this series that keeps it engaging. And no, it’s not just Baby Yoda.
There’s probably something to be said about the parallels between Mando and the Frog Lady, both protecting their children (albeit surrogate in Mando’s case) from the rest of the galaxy and attempting to take them to a new home, but this isn’t something that Chapter 10: The Passenger focuses on too much. These are characters forced into a difficult alliance, made worse still by the fact that they can’t – at least verbally – communicate (apart from the help of a Richard Ayoade droid cameo). Nevertheless, The Mandalorian as a show has always focused on the visual story-telling, rather than emphasising dialogue, and a key component to its success is the physical performances from the actors, having to make do with their faces covered under alien masks. It works very well here, and I’d be interested to see how well the show is received around the world, given that the language barrier presumably wouldn’t be a huge issue. Baby Yoda, meanwhile, remains very adorable, and its fascination with the Frog Lady’s eggs led to some very cute and funny moments throughout.
All in all, there’s actually very little to say about Chapter 10: The Passenger. It ticks all the right boxes: action, humour, scares, etc., but likewise I don’t feel it offers much beyond fun adventure. Peyton Reed (director of both Ant-Man movies) injects some energy and creative camerawork in there – and hopefully will carry this on into the next Ant-film – and the virtual set technology employed by Industrial Light and Magic remains an astounding achievement. The level of detail in the episode is to be commended, especially the icing on Mando’s helmet. Even in the more forgettable chapters of The Mandalorian, the show remains a terrific achievement in film-making.