And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do Star Wars. Today’s episode of The Mandalorian, titled "The Pirate," initially appears to be another (unwelcome?) diversion for the Disney+ series, taking the spotlight off Din Djarin and Grogu to again focus on the inner workings of the New Republic. At this stage, we have no choice but to assume Jon Favreau has started pulling ideas meant to expand this era in the scrapped Rangers of the New Republic spin-off into The Mandalorian. Once again, though, that proves to be far from a bad thing and is, in fact, nothing short of gripping.
After learning more about this government’s shortcomings, we catch up with Pirate King Gorian Shard who has arrived on Nevarro and is looking to take revenge on Greef Karga for his actions in the season 3 premiere. Din Djarin is eventually pulled into the fight and what follows is an action-packed spectacle that delivers everything fans love about Star Wars.
Along the way, there are plenty of exciting new developments, though now Din has been reunited with his fellow Mandalorians, he’s starting to feel a little like, well, just another Mandalorian. Bo-Katan Kryze is outshining him at this point and the character could do with a new mission that gives him greater impetus as we head deeper into the second half of the season. However, at the same time, we can’t really find fault with a Din we’re going to call "Mando-dad" as he focuses on training Grogu and finding a new home for his people.
Pedro Pascal, Brendan Wayne, and Lateef Crowder continue to knock it out of the park as the three actors who bring Din to life, but Katee Sackhoff is establishing herself as one of this Galaxy’s biggest stars. The actress, who has gained a passionate fanbase with her genre work, seems close to breaking into Hollywood in an even bigger way. Surely, it won’t be long before she’s a regular fixture on the big screen as well as the small one if what we’re seeing in The Mandalorian is any indication.
Elsewhere, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, in particular, all impress and there’s another big surprise in this episode that will break the corner of the internet that’s home to fans of a certain animated series.
Alongside Sackhoff and Sun-Hyung Lee, director Peter Ramsey is The Mandalorian’s MVP this week. The Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse director (who also helmed the massively underrated Rise of the Guardians) makes his Star Wars debut here and proves himself a dab hand at telling stories in this Galaxy. From the character work to the beautifully shot action scenes that put Mandalorians front and centre in a way we’ve only seen in animation before now, Ramsey is a force to be reckoned with behind the camera and we cannot wait to see what he does with Ahsoka later this year.
With standout performances from Katee Sackhoff and Sun-Hyung Lee, "The Pirate" features everything fans love about Star Wars and sees filmmaker Peter Ramsey prove himself one of this franchise’s greatest directors with a masterpiece-level episode.