Gorian Shard strikes back.
Spoiler warning: This article contains plot details from The Mandalorian “Chapter 21: The Pirate.”
A pirate’s life? Not on Nevarro.
Pirate King Gorian Shard (still a great design and creature accomplishment) returns in “Chapter 21: The Pirate,” coming to Nevarro for payback against Greef Karga. With his people under siege, a desperate Karga turns first to New Republic pilot Captain Carson Teva for help. Directed by Peter Ramsey, “The Pirate” brings various threads together and sets the series on an exciting new course, all while featuring great action, new perspectives on our heroes, and a memorable cameo. Here are five highlights.
1. Karga takes a stand.
Greef Karga’s evolution has been one of the best parts of The Mandalorian. The former head of the Nevarro Bounty Hunters Guild is now High Magistrate, and has transformed his city. When Gorian Shard arrives, Karga chooses not to pay him off or make any kind of deal, as he perhaps would have in the past. “I will not abandon my city,” he says as the attack begins, instead focusing on saving his people. It’s a remarkable change for someone who once seemed to be only in it for the money.
2. Zeb makes the jump to live-action.
Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios himself chats with Carson Teva, marking the Lasat's first appearance in live-action. (And he's voiced by the great Steve Blum once again!) It's a can’t-believe-it moment for Star Wars Rebels fans.
3. “I like those odds.”
The Mandalorians answer the call to rescue Nevarro from Gorian Shard in a fantastic sequence of ground and air battles. It also feels good to see the series to its Western roots, as the blasterslingers clear the desert town of evildoers (though in this case, the heroes also wear jetpacks). What makes it all successful, however, is what’s underneath the surface. Friendship has always been a theme of The Mandalorian, and it’s ultimately the backbone of this climax and the episode, with Mando risking all to help his friend. (Sure, he’s getting something in return, but I think he’d have done it anyway.)
4. “It is time to retake Mandalore.”
5. Teva’s troubling discovery.
Carson Teva, the good-hearted New Republic captain, drives this episode. First, he finds a way to bring aid to Nevarro, but he also plays detective, and starts putting together the connection between recent disturbing events. In the episode’s shocking capper, Teva finds what’s left of a New Republic prison shuttle, confirming the rumors that Moff Gideon escaped. He also discovers some unsettling evidence in the wreckage: beskar shards. Did Mandalorians free Gideon? It's a worrisome question, but thankfully, Teva’s on the case.