'The Mandalorian' Chapter 3 Delivers More Baby Yoda Cuteness and Killer Easter Eggs
"Chapter 3: The Sin," the third episode of The Mandalorian, has hit Disney+ after what seemed like an eternity compared to the three-day gap between the pilot episode and "Chapter 2: The Child." A week is a long time to wait for a new glimpse at the Baby of the Year, the anti-Harley Jarvis, aka Kid Green, the adorable mini-Yoda we can finally talk openly about, and thank god, because the internet is obsessed.
After last week's episode intensified our extreme joy about tiny Kid Green, "Chapter 3" picks up with maximum cuteness: The Child climbs out of his crib aboard Mando's ship, The Razor Crest, to grab at the shiny, silver, metallic ball topper to the engine throttle. Like a pet hopping around your car while you drive, Hairless Mogwai gets fixated on the bauble and wants it. It isn't until the end of the episode, as the Mandalorian speeds back away from the planet (and after his actions have forced his fellow Mandalorians to abandon their cool hang-out), that Kid Green is given the shiny ball. At that point, Mando is covered in his own coveted shiny object: a new set of Beskar armor.
Are we supposed to think that Kid Green -- I will keep calling him this until he has an official name, and maybe even longer, by the way -- has an affinity for the Mandalorian because his bounty hunter pal is shiny? Or is the process of building a reflective (and protective!) new outer shell a story-telling signal that this is a new Mando, who, after committing the titular sin of handing over a baby to former Empire baddies in return for illegally seized blood metal, has adopted a new code as a form of penance? If shiny new armor is symbolic of a clean slate, our main title character might be the only one who manages to wipe his completely clean by episode's end; most of the characters we know on this central planet with the rectangular stone archway from the port have their lives upended by Mando's decision to save his former bounty -- a Guild no-no.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for camtonos
This week's deepest-cut Star Wars reference is about a container. When the Mandalorian returns to Werner Herzog's client with Kid Green, he's given a "camtono" full of Beskar for his troubles. What does a camtono look like? It looks like an ice-cream maker circa 1980. Therein lies the beauty, and why it's a legendary part of Star Wars lore.
When Empire Strikes Back finally came out on home video (that would be on VHS), it gave the first generation of Star Wars fans the chance to watch it on repeat, which led to the discovery of, in the evacuation of Cloud City sequence, a man running through the halls carrying what looked like an ice-cream machine. The fleeing character created a minor sensation amongst the Star Wars community, and eventually fans decided the character needed a name. He was christened "Willrow Hood."
While Jon Favreau had instagrammed a camton a year ago obliquely, the name resurfaced this week ahead of the third episode of The Mandalorian, as one of the Star Wars-themed hashtags on Twitter began generating an emoji when used, which seemed like a very random and deep lore pull -- until the camtono showed up in this week's episode. Over the years, what is plainly an ice-cream maker has been given a bit more importance. The name "camtono" comes from a 2017 viral video of Baby Deltanot saying the words ice cream. The action figure of Willrow Hood -- yes, of course there's an action figure -- went a little further with the camtono design to include the Rebel insignia on the bottom.
Originally, the story about good old Willrow Hood was that he must not have been panicking about the Empire's take-over of Cloud City at all, because he had time to grab his ice-cream maker before, oh, running for his life. Over the years, that perception has been turned on its ear to make Willrow Hood's decision more heroic -- his carry-on of choice was actually a safe filled with vital information about the Rebellion's fuel supply routes to keep it out of the hands of Darth Vader and his invading forces. That's the power of fan fixation on a random character. The Mandalorian doubles down on the "it's not an ice cream maker, it's a safe" idea by having the Client open it for us, by folding out the sides to reveal stacks of Beskar. And look: no ice cream.
Mandalorian culture dump
We get more information on the current state of the Mandalorian society when Mando returns to the Covert (definition: "a thicket in which game can hide," so, on this planet, the Mandalorians are the hunted) with his new stack of Beskar. Mando showing up with that much Imperial-stamped metal rubs another Mandalorian the wrong way. The big guy, who is called "Heavy Infantry" in the subtitles, is voiced by series co-creator Jon Favreau, who has voiced two other Star Wars characters before: the multi-armed Rio in Solo: A Star Wars Story and Pre Vizla, the Mandalorian warrior from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It's been awhile since Favreau has voiced a Mandolorian, and Pre Vizla did not make it out of his series alive, but it does hint that maybe the Vizla clan is still alive and thriving.
The fight between Heavy Infantry and the Mando gives the Armorer (my kingdom for some names) reason enough to join in what is more an exposition dump than a legitimate fight. We learn a bit more about the Mandalorian culture as it exists in this time period in Star Wars as an oppressed culture of warriors on the run.
The "signet" gets another mention, but this week Mando turns down the Mudhorn as his symbol because it "wasn't a clean kill." It doesn't feel like revealing Mando's signet is going to tell us anything about his past anymore, it seems like the signet is earned, like how Teddy Roosevelt gave birth to the Teddy Bear based on perceived achievement, it's not like a family crest that would give biographical information.
This group of Mandalorians only goes above ground one at a time and never takes off their masks or allows them to be removed. Both of those traits are new for Mandalorians in canon. Star Wars: Rebels, the last time we saw Mandalorians on TV, included a Mandalorian named Sabine Wren in the main cast and she rarely wore her helmet when hanging out off-mission. Also, the idea of having multiple houses and clans suggests a society that has previously lived out in the open, but this new iteration wants to preserve the Mandalorian way above all else. "It is the way" is the code they speak to each other.
Judging by all of them coming to his rescue at the end, even though it means they'll have to find a new city or planet to hide out in and build a new forge(INCONVENIENT), they're seriously loyal to each other and "The Foundlings."
Heavy Infantry also refer to "The Great Purge" again, which is a nebulous event. In the show, we've heard that the Beskar was seized by the Empire during "The Purge," but there isn't a canon-specific Mandalorian event we know about referred to as "The Purge." When the Beskar is being crafted, we're treated to another forge flashback montage of Mando's past and can clearly see Clone Wars era (prequel series) technology this time. There's a Droid Army ship that whips through the air and several shots that show B-2 Super Battle droids blasting at the crimson-robed civilians who try to hide their child.
We don't get to see the full flashback yet, this version ends with a super battle droid aiming down at our young hero. It seems likely this is another way Mando bonds with Kid Green: I bet some other Mandalorian rescues young Mando from the battle droids much like our Mando rescued Kid Green from IG-11 at the end of the first episode. It would be a cool way of looping in the idea of the Foundlings taking care of Foundlings...as long as it's not Boba Fett that saves him, that's a bridge too far.
If this present-day covert of Mandalorians is squirreling away Beskar for "The Foundlings," it's starting to look like Mandalorian culture is something that can be adopted by multiple beings - it's not necessarily people who were originally from Mandalore. From what we've seen of Mandalore in canon, nothing looks like the place(s) being attacked by the battle droids: both the architecture and the civilian clothing looks different. Everyone who isn't part of the covert talks about Mandalorians like they're a race, but if no one ever takes off your mask: can't you be a symbol?
Which begs the question again: What is The Great Purge? The only thing that is making sense at the moment is that we're right in the middle of a retroactive continuity change in the way fandom is supposed to refer to a very famous event in Star Wars lore: Order 66. In Revenge of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine gives a simultaneous, galaxy-wide order for all Clone Troopers to turn on their Jedi Masters and kill off the Jedi Order. Jedi: Fallen Order, the newly released video game from Respawn Entertainment, continually refers to Order 66 as "The Purge," which makes sense when we're talking about Jedi who were wiped-out/purged. Order 66 occured at the same time as a major Mandalorian event, the so-called "Siege of Mandalore" is when former Jedi Ahsoka Tano lead Republic Clone troops to free Mandalore from Darth Maul. They were fighting Maul on Mandalore when Order 66 is issued,events that have been depicted in the Ahsoka novel, but not on-screen in animated or live action form…
...until next year. A new "final season" of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is coming to Disney+ in 2020 and it looks like they'll finally get to animate the Siege of Mandalore, which means we'll probably be seeing some animated version of Order 66 sometime soon as well. Does Lucasfilm/Disney want us to refer to these multiple events that ended the Clone Wars as just "The Great Purge" -- one crazy week that messed up Mandalore and the Republic forever? I expect we'll get a few more answers about when battle droids ripped through planets making future Foundlings, but maybe some of those answers will be in a Disney+ animated series.
Dr. Pershing lives!
Okay, back to Kid Green, the only important thing in our and Mando's lives. When Mando can't leave the poor bounty in the care of Werner Herzog, we get another Dr. Pershing sighting and the guy obviously has a Kamino symbol on his shoulder (see last week). There's something clone-ish about him and the Client tells Pershing to gather "the material" from Kid Green as fast as he can. Everyone wants to kill this kid, because this episode implies the Client and Carl Weathers' Greef Karga gave the entire Bounty Hunter's Guild the same bounty at the same time without telling everyone.
Previously, the Client had suggested to Mando that proof of death would still pay, just not as much as delivering a live bounty. That sounds like they need cloning material from Kid Green. That's not to say that Kid Green himself is already a clone -- it's deductive reasoning, not a fact, on the show, but it looks like someone needs the bio-data from Kid Green and the technology of retrieving that data is best done with Kamino Clone technology (or a procedure performed by a Kamino Clone, depending on if more Dr. Pershings show up in the future).
After Mando kills all the Stormtroopers that the Client uses as his security team, he barges in on Dr. Pershing, who insists he has been keeping Kid Green alive. Sure, Kid Green is passed out naked on medical table getting "material" gathered, but he's alive, and that's something! Mando spares Pershing, maybe for helping the Kid. Also, now that Mando has new shiny armor, I would expect only "clean kills" from him now on. I think it aligns more with his new code -- the doctor was straight-up begging and there's no honor in that.
Mando breaks the two codes he lives by this episode: he breaks the Bounty Hunter code multiple times by not leaving the bounty alone after receiving commission and payment AND he breaks the new Mandalorian code by drawing out the whole Covert at the same time. Both of those things happen after the new, shiny, sinless armor has been put on. Mando's done living the dirty life, he's going to live his new clean life for his little Foundling. Who laughs when he finally gets to play with the throttle orb. Too bad every bounty hunter in the galaxy far far away is after them now.
Other details to consider
If this season ends with us not learning the name of the Yoda species but Kid Green "becomes" a Mandalorian and has a helmet that has holes for his ears, I will both die of cuteness and roll my eyes so hard they will fall out of my head.
Was heavy artillery using a vibro-balde dagger to try and shiv Mando in their early episode fight in the Covert?
Shoutout to a theory I heard on the Still Watching: The Mandalorian podcast that the crimson robes glimpsed on young Mando in his family and in flashback are similar to what's described as the clothing of people native to Gatalenta, a planet that appears in the novel Leia, Princess of Alderaan. If that's not the Purge, having it be when Gatalenta was attacked at least ties into some new canon.
Carl Weathers as Greef Karga has the best line-deliveries this episode, with the Twi'lek healing baths, gong hyperdrive on a camtono of spice or sending Mando to the "ocean dunes of Karnac." I'm glad he was saved by the Beskar and Mando didn't really want to kill him, because I'd like more Greef Karga please.
Also more of the Client because Werner Herzog is a great Imperial war lord.
We get our first mention of The New Republic as "a joke." At this point in the canon Mon Mothma is rebuilding a senate and is trying to bring new worlds into the alliance. The New Republic is notoriously bad at chasing down Imperial remnants though (eventually one of them becomes The First Order), so even though it's the grand promise of a new government implied by the Jedi, the New Republic does NOT have a standing army and therefore has no good way to enforce any anti-imperial laws.
Wait, is this season going to end with the Mandalorian getting a Kid Green Signet? That seems very non-threatening. "Mine's a Mudhorn, What's your signet?" "Oh, a tiny frog child."