By Nick Maylor

The fourth episode of the Disney+ original The Mandalorian (titled “Sanctuary”) is directed by Bryce Dallas Howard and continues the story of the titular Mandalorian after he has rescued the child AKA (but not actually) “Baby Yoda” and searches for a planet where the two can stay under the radar from the Guild who searching for them. They come across Sorgan, a planet with no industrial centers where they land and meet a small human farming population. The Mandalorian encounters fellow bounty hunter Cara Dune (Gina Carano) with whom he engages in a fight. Dune asserts the planet for her own territory and tells the Mandalorian to leave. Before departing, he is approached by two farmers who offer to pay him for protection against raiders who have been storming their village. 

Joining forces with Dune, the Mandalorian agrees to stay with the farming village to fend off the raiders. There, the child bonds with the village children and the Mandalorian is tended to by a young widow named Omera (Julia Jones) and her daughter.

Dune and the Mandalorian discover tracks from an AT-ST that the villagers did not disclose. With the villagers refusing to leave their home, Dune and the Mandalorian resign themselves to stay and help the locals fight.

The film continues the wolf/cub relationship between the child and the Mandalorian. When he decides to leave the child with the villagers, it is palpable that the child has grown fond of its protector and vice versa. This man abandoned the cold and calculated world he know because of something deeper within him. We learn that he has not taken off his helmet in someone else’s company since he was a small child. However, we do see him remove it in a shot where his head is out of frame. Peeling back the layers we are seeing the more human side of the character. Pedro Pascal has done a wonderful job so far and one wonders if we will ultimately see his face in the show. 

At one point Dune asks the Mandalorian why he doesn’t stay with the child and “beautiful young widow” to begin a new life. It makes us wonder the same thing. This masked gunslinger is far more than just a cool costume.

Questions still abound about the “child” and its relationship with the force, having already demonstrated considerable skill. Needless to say, The Mandalorian has plenty of reveals to keep people coming back.

The running times (approx 40 minutes) of each episode add to the serial nature of the show, not demanding a full hour of the viewers’ time for each installment.

Bryce Dallas Howard shows apt skill behind the camera, which should surprise no one. Her father, Ron Howard begin his career as an actor and recently directed Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).

Chapter 5 of The Mandalorian will air December 6th on Disney+

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