Quote of the week: “There’s no way we’re making it to Corvus in this shape.”
Last week on “The Mandalorian,” Mando (Pedro Pascal) learned the location of the Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), a familiar “Star Wars” character whose introduction was sure to be one of the season’s most exciting moments. So, surely, he boarded the Razor Crest with The Child and headed straight for Corvus, the planet where she’s located. Right?
Wrong. Far be it from “The Mandalorian” to provide us with an easy journey from point A to point B. “Chapter 12: The Siege” begins with the Razor Crest dropping out of lightspeed on the way to Corvus due to the damage it sustained in “Chapter 10.” Luckily, Mando has some friends on the nearby planet Nevarro who can help with the repairs. He meets up with Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers, who also directed the episode).
Together, the pair has been cleaning up Nevarro and taking out the last traces of the Empire since it defeated Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) in “Chapter 8,” but now — surprise! — it has a problem it needs Mando’s help to solve.
The last remnants of the Imperial presence on Nevarro are holed up in an armed base on the outskirts of town, and once they’re driven out, Nevarro will be completely safe. The base is well-fortified but scarcely manned, so infiltrating and destroying it should be a cakewalk.
Mando, Greef, Cara and newcomer Mythrol (Horatio Sanz) speed off for the base. They gain access without much trouble, although their progress is delayed by several debates over which power tools are rated for certain types of work. Once they’re inside, they sneak through the hallways to find the lava cooling system. Mythrol disables it, beginning a chain reaction that will disintegrate the base in mere minutes.
They make their way toward the exit, and on their way, they encounter two Imperial officers destroying a computer system with their blasters. After dispatching the officers, they take a closer look at the room: One of the walls is comprised of several tanks containing deformed creatures submerged in a murky liquid. They investigate the computer wreckage and uncover a message addressed to Gideon.
The message was recorded by Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi), the Imperial scientist who experimented on The Child early in season one before Mando rescued him. Dr. Pershing reports the progress of the experiments at the soon-to-be-destroyed base, which are currently failing due to the test subjects’ inability to accept the blood transfusions they’re being given. He reveals that the blood was originally taken from The Child, and its use to the Empire has to do with its high “M-count.”
It’s not specified what “M-count” means, but since The Child’s blood registers high on the scale, we might guess that the M stands for midi-chlorians, the microscopic organisms that are found in high quantities in the cells of Jedi and others who can use the Force.
Why exactly the Empire so desperately wants to capture The Child has always been unclear, but this revelation provides us with some answers. It’s possible that Gideon is attempting to use The Child’s blood to provide Imperial soldiers with artificially high midi-chlorian counts that will give them Force-wielding abilities. If he were to succeed, the galaxy would again be defenseless against the Empire.
They narrowly escape from the base before it explodes, but they leave with several Stormtroopers in hot pursuit on speeders and TIE fighters. They’re about to be overrun when Mando — who ran ahead to collect The Child before Gideon found out they were on Nevarro — swoops in with the Razor Crest and destroys the fighters in a dogfight that rivals even the most exciting from the “Star Wars” films.
But that’s not all: Dr. Pershing has run out of blood transfusions, and they’ll need to extract more from The Child before the experiments can continue. So far in season two, Mando and The Child have been searching more than they’ve been hiding, but now that Gideon needs The Child, they’ll have to be extra careful about where they go and who they trust. Especially since, as we learn in the episode’s final scene, Gideon has planted a tracking device on the Razor Crest — if they’re not careful, they’ll lead the Empire straight to Ahsoka Tano’s door.
Matthew DuMont covers television. Contact him at [email protected].