Monday, July 26, 2021

The Mandalorian Review: "Chapter 15: The Believer"

Because the Mandalorian wants his help, they get Migs Mayfeld out of prison in this episode to go with them to find Moff Gideon. While I expected to see some of that group again, Mayfeld wasn't the one I was expecting to be completely honest. Overall, he seemed to have the least interesting potential based on what we learned about them.

In this episode, though, he becomes a much more fleshed out character. He starts the episode swearing that there's no difference between the two sides, and he seems pretty indifferent towards what happens because he thinks it will all be the same. Then, by the end of the episode, it's clear that he actually hates the Empire quite a lot, even if he doesn't entirely believe in either side. It does make sense why he'd have left the imperial army considering what we learn about him. While I can't say I care much for him even after this episode, I like that he feels more complex now.

I'm still not sure how I feel about him just being let go considering the things he'll probably still do, but I am curious if that means we should expect to see him again.

At the end of the episode, they are able to get the coordinates to Moff Gideon's ship. Since there's only one episode to go, it's pretty clear that we'll be seeing it next time.

The Mandalorian Review: "Chapter 14: The Tragedy"

 In this episode, the Mandalorian takes Grogu to the planet that Ahsoka told him to visit, and after a bit of a rought start, Grogu starts to meditate. At the same time, Fennec Shand appears with Boba Fett, who wants his armor back. I figured Shand would play a bigger role in the show, but I expected it to be as a villain. Instead, her and Boba Fett end up helping the Mandalorian after he returns Boba Fett's armor. It's exciting to see the two of them working with the Mandalorian instead.

Some imperial troops appear while Grogu is still meditating, and it's impossible for the Mandalorian to snap him out of it, meaning that they have to fight them instead of escaping. Unfortunately, Grogu gets taken in all of the fighting. I wasn't expecting that, so it did come as a shock. I was expecting them to get close to taking him but get thwarted at the last second.

Shand and Fett agree to help the Mandalorian get Grogu back though, which I love. They make a good team, and I was looking forward to seeing them continue to work together.

Honestly, it feels like a lot happens in this episode, so it's strange to sit down to write this and have so little to say in the end. I think that's because a lot of what happens is fighting and such. Still, this was an exciting episode and the first episode that genuinely surprised me in a big way. It left me on the edge of my seat for the next episode.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Star Trek: Discovery Review" 3x11 "Su'Kal"

The Mandalorian Review: "Chapter 13: The Jedi"

(We're doing the out of order thing again. Whoops! I filmed a video talking about chapter twelve earlier today. That will be edited and posted tomorrow.)

This episode is, in many ways, what I've been waiting for. Before watching The Mandalorian, I had already picked up from the internet that the Child was Force-sensitive, so I expected the Jedi to come into play, and after learning that Rosario Dawson was cast as Ahsoka Tano, I knew that was coming too. And this is the episode where Mando finally meets Ahsoka and learns a bit more about the Jedi.

Before Mando meets her, though, we see her fighting against an imperial magistrate and her forces who are controlling a city. Ahsoka asks for the location of the magistrate's master. The cinematography of that scene makes it very spooky. Everything is dark and foggy, and it makes Ahsoka's lightsaber stand out in the darkness. I loved it!

When Mando arrives on the planet, he meets this magistrate before finding Ahsoka. She asks him to kill Ahsoka for her in exchange for a beskar spear. Even though he agrees, I had a pretty good feeling that he wasn't going to even attempt to kill Ahsoka. At this point, we know he cares deeply for the Child and wants to return him to his people. Ahsoka's his best chance of that, so I didn't see him trying to kill her.

Sure enough, he meets Ahsoka and tells her about the Child, who we learn is named Grogu. We also learn that he was raised at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant (i.e. the same one where Anakin/Darth Vader killed all the children). This raises some interesting questions about how Grogu survived. We know some Jedi did survive, but it's surprising that so young of a kid did. Did he do it on his own? Or did someone help him, and if so, why him instead of one of the other children?

I've wondered before if the Empire's focus on Grogu was about something more than just him being a Jedi. I wondered if there was something particularly special about him. I still wonder that. There aren't many Jedi left, so it's completely possible the Empire wants him because he's one of a few and also still a child, making him easier to control. Still, we're learning now that he was also saved from the temple somehow, and that makes me wonder even more if there's something more to him that the Empire wants than just being Force-sensitive.

Ahsoka won't train Grogu because of how attached he is to the Mandalorian, but she does tell him how they might find another master for him. I would probably have more to say about Ahsoka's feelings towards training Grogu if I'd watched Clone Wars and knew more about Ahsoka as a character. From what I do know, there are things in her past that are almost certainly coming into play here.

After discussing Grogu, Ahsoka and Mando work together to take down the magistrate. Ahsoka faces the magistrate one-on-one. She wins, and this is when we learn that the master she's looking for is Grand Admiral Thrawn. This is another piece of Star Wars canon/legend that I know of but don't know that well. I know he's an incredibly popular character that showed up in some of the Legends books. I know he's also been in a series of books in what is now considered the canon universe. I have a lot of those books on my (much too long) TBR list but haven't read any of them yet. I know we're getting an Ahsoka series, so I'm intrigued by what this means for that show.

The episode ends with Mando taking Grogu to the planet where Ahsoka says they may be able to find him a master. Season two is also getting close to an end now, so you know something dramatic is going to happen, but I'll talk more about that next time.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Star Trek: Discovery Review: 3x09 "Terra Firma Part 1"

This episode largely focuses on Georgiou and her illness. We find out that others who've traveled through time and across universes have developed similar conditions. There's no known cure for this, but of course, the Sphere data has an idea.

I'm not gonna lie, the Sphere data is starting to jump in and save the day a little too often. It feels too good to be true, and I'm hoping there's eventually a downside to it because it's getting to be too much. It's too convenient, but I don't want Georgiou to die either, so I guess I can go along with it.

The Discovery goes to Dannus V to find whatever the Sphere data is leading them to, and they find a random guy and a door. This whole situation might be one of the most bizarre in the show yet. It's a little hard to suspend my disbelief for this, and I don't feel like we ever get a good explanation for what's happening. It doesn't make sense.

Somehow, going through the door takes Georgiou to the mirror universe where she is once again emperor, and she's forced to relieve part of her life.

While I expected Georgiou to be different after her experiences, I wasn't prepared for just how much the prime universe has changed her. Considering how she's acted towards Saru, her apparent horror at the idea of him being eaten was jarring. Of course, it shows that she has actually come to admire Saru in some way even if she doesn't let on, but the outburst is surprising when she had lived a whole lifetime where eating Kelpians was commonplace. I'm not saying that she shouldn't feel guilty for it now, but the way the "no" bursts out of her seems strange since she should have been expecting it.

On a lighter note, we get to see Airiam! It's mirror Airiam, so she's actually an entirely different character, and she's probably terrible if we got to learn anything about her. But it was a nice surprise. I'm happy that the actress agreed to come back to play her, and it makes me sad all over again that Airiam has died.

We're in Terra for the next episode too, and I'm looking forward to talking more about what choices Georgiou ends up making.

Star Trek: Discovery Review: 3x08 "Sanctuary"

 In this episode, we get to meet Book's home planet as well as his brother. They live on a sanctuary whereas most of the planet seems uninhabitable. Even the sanctuary is being taken over by creatures that are apparently there because of Osyraa. Book's people can apparently communicate with these animals, but there's so many of them that they can't do much about all of them at once.

It's clear that Osyraa has quite a bit of power, and she's no match for the planet on their own. We don't actually get to see much of the planet itself in this episode, which is a shame. It seems like a very interesting place, and I'm especially curious about what it's like when Osyraa isn't such a threat.

Adira comes out as nonbinary in this episode! They tell Stamets that their pronouns are they/them, and Stamets is great about it, which is what I expected. It's great to see Star Trek finally have nonbinary representation. That was by far my favorite part of the episode.

To be honest, I wasn't as into most of this episode as I have been other episodes this season. I can't pinpoint exactly why that is, but it just didn't hold my attention in the same way, which is sad since I've loved the rest of this season so much.

They figure out that the Burn originated from a nebula, so we're one step closer to having some answers. I'm excited to see what comes next.