The Mandalorian Deepens a Few Mysteries in “The Pirate”

Get ready for the first live-action appearance of any member of a very special Rebel crew…


Greef Karga is making plans for Navarro when Gorian Shard descends and puts the planet under siege. Karga has the city evacuated, and decides to call on the New Republic for help since they’d been offered their protection. He gets out a message to Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) at a New Republic outpost; Teva thinks they should dispatch aid immediately, but Garazeb Orrelios (Steve Blum) knows the government is swamped and unlikely to provide it. Teva decides to head to Coruscant directly to make the request, so he can’t be ignored.

On the capital world, Teva talks to Colonel Tuttle (Tim Meadows), who points out that because Navarro is not yet a member world of the New Republic, they have a responsibility to provide aid to those places first. Elia Kane is on hand to offer advice and suggests that perhaps this will illustrate to the people that joining the New Republic is in their best interest, a line of thinking that Teva finds reprehensible and more to the point, very Imperial. Tuttle thinks that’s out of line, but Teva points out that as a member of Gideon’s crew, Kane didn’t come over to their side willingly; she was captured. He warns Tuttle that all the events happening around Navarro are likely related, and that they ignore the issue at their peril.

The Mandalorian, season 3, episode 5, The Pirate

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Teva then heads to the Mandalorian camp, which he’s able to find because of R5-D4 being an old Rebel operative. He hands Karga’s message over to Din, assuming that he’ll want to help his friend. He also knows that the group will likely move because he’s found them, but swears he would never tell anyone where they are. The Mandalorians have a meeting to discuss how they’d like to proceed, and Din points out that if they help on Navarro, they could still take Karga up on the tract of land he offered Din—perhaps this could be a new home for their people and a chance to live out in the open. Paz Viszla speaks next and surprisingly agrees with Din; the group makes a plan to attack Shard’s forces.

The Mandalorians head to Navarro and work to wipe out Shard and his ships. The battle goes well, and ends with Shard crashing his ship into the mountainside, while Vane cuts and runs as soon as things look like they’re going south. Karga thanks the Mandalorians for their help and offers them a great deal of land to call their home. They accept, and the Armorer asks to see Bo-Katan. She tells Bo that if she saw the mythosaur, it indicates a new era is upon them, and tells Bo she should remove her helmet—only Bo-Katan can walk between all Mandalorian worlds and bring their people together. Everyone agrees and Bo leaves to find more of their people to bring home to Navarro.

Carson Teva is on patrol when he comes across an attacked ship, the one that was supposed to be transporting Moff Gideon—turns out that the rumors he never made it to trial are true. He scans the vessel and finds a beskar armor fragment in the wreckage… suggesting the Mandalorians had something to do with Gideon’s escape from the New Republic.


The Mandalorian, season 3, episode 5, The Pirate

Screenshot: Lucasfilm



Sorry, that random tall CGI’d fellow that Carson Teva was talking to was none other than the Ghost crew’s resident muscle, Zeb Orrelios, now rendered in “live-action” and answering a long-standing fandom question—are lasat (that’s his species) covered in fur?

Sidebar (these are getting more frequent, but I assume that’s at least part of why you’re here): Many characters and aesthetics in the Rebels television series were built on concept design work from the late great Ralph McQuarrie, who was responsible for much of the look and feel of the first Star Wars film. His original design for Chewbacca was altered substantially at the practical build stage, however; it was from those original sketches that Zeb’s species was created. As a result, there has been an ongoing question in fandom around whether or not lasat have fur: It’s unclear in Rebels animation (though they do try to pass Zeb off as a “rare hairless wookiee” at one point), while lasat Jedi Jaro Tapal appears furless in the video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and certain comics have definitely drawn them furry. Based on the fact that wookiees are covered in fur, it stands to reason that lasat would be also, being based on their original design… and now that we’ve seen Zeb in CGI, the answer seems to be that lasat have fur basically everywhere that’s not their face?

This might divide a fandom, y’all. I’m not sure people are gonna be okay.

At least the CGI was halfway decent? There were some deeply uncanny moments in there, but Zeb does look like himself, which I hadn’t thought they’d be able to pull off. Of course, it helps hearing the gruff, rumbly tones of Steve Blum again. I missed that guy, and I’m glad they kept him to voice the role.

Having said that, I only have one other question: Where is Zeb’s husband?

Look, Zeb had a very… interesting relationship with former-ISB-agent-turned-Rebel-spy Alexsandr Kallus—in that he literally turned Kallus from the Empire by spending exactly one night with him on an ice moon, no, I am not making that up, that’s truly what happened—and the finale of Rebels showed him bringing the man home to meet his ancestors (after his species was presumed largely destroyed in genocidal attacks by the Empire). Don’t be cowards, canonize them. You don’t even have to cast the guy, just have Zeb make an off-handed comment about needing to get back home to Lira San to see Kallus and their presumed brood of adopted kids. Why else would he be stationed so far out?

Also, when/why/how did Zeb become a pilot full-time? I presume that’s what he’s doing given the outfit, but that wasn’t his usual beat amongst the Ghost fam. He was more the lift-heavy-stuff and throw-stormtroopers-at-other-stormtroopers guy. They must need those pilots desperately.

With Teva’s circuit on this episode, we’ve been given a clear indication of whether or not the Amnesty Program is voluntary now; looks like it can be, but you can also just get captured and brainwashed, which is what happened among Gideon’s people. Which, I can understand not wanting to incarcerate every unrepentant soldier of the Empire, but the idea that you’d be dim enough to ever trust those people is plum ridiculous. Amongst my many other issues with how pretty much everything around the New Republic is being depicted.

In continuing the tradition of having random comedians stacked all over this show, we’ve now got Tim Meadows as a harried New Republic bureaucrat who cannot help anyone who’s not on a “member world,” and blows off Teva in short order. It’s great casting, even if the premise is infuriating. (Also his droid, who will stack stuff wherever he pleases, thank you. I love this droid, promote this droid.) But this is again stoking my aggravation that we don’t just have a Star Wars sitcom, come on.

The Mandalorian, season 3, episode 5, The Pirate

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

They dispatch Gorian Shard in pretty short order, too. Farewell, Swamp Thing Pirate. We hardly knew ye, or your ship with proper ye olde helm steering.

And then we find out that the Armorer—who should always get fight sequences like the one in this episode, if you please—actually does believe that Bo-Katan saw the mythosaur, and that knowing this allows her to be a little… flexible on her cult doctrine, if you will. She’s okay with Bo taking off her helmet and being the bridge between all Mandalorian ways of life. This is good for the Watch, honestly. They keep this up, and they might stop being quite so culty, between her change of heart and Paz being downright cuddly toward Din after the rescue of his kid.

They’ve got a big tract of land on Navarro now, and all seem fine with the idea of having to permanently defend the place. I mean, Karga makes the big speech like he’s handing over the land as a thank-you, but that’s obviously the catch: No one else want to keep our people safe, so now it’s entirely on all of you. Glad you seem to want the job because our general population only has a few tricks up their sleeves.

I know we’re supposed to be all gasp! over the idea the Mandalorians maybe nabbed Gideon, but that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, honestly. What seems like more of a big deal is the fact that no one has been honest about said nabbing and generally ignoring everything that Teva’s talking about. So who’s hiding him and where?

Bits and Beskar

  • The whole bit about R5 working for the Rebellion and then the New Republic begins with Rae Carson’s story “The Red One” in the From a Certain Point of View anthology (which is each movie told from the perspective of bit characters throughout).
The Mandalorian, season 3, episode 5, The Pirate

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

  • Sorry, you have to hold the beskar mallet to talk at the meeting? I—that’s awful, I love it.
  • The soundtrack was cooking with gas in this episode. Nice work from Joseph Shirley on that.
  • The Kowakian monkey-lizards help the Mandalorians kill pirates—what strange and wonderful justice is this.
  • I get that it’s difficult logistically to manage giant crowds for television action sequences, but that winds up making it extra funny when you’ve evacuated an entire city, and Greef Karga goes into these big speeches like he’s giving a major political address when there’s like… thirty people hanging out.

Next week I’m hoping we’ll finally see Gideon after all this? But also give Zeb back.


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