The highly anticipated third season of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian has finally arrived with its fifth episode titled “Chapter 22 – Guns for Hire”. Below is a breakdown of what was seen in the episode and how it possibly connects to future events in the season.
The episode opens with a freighter being intercepted by a seeming Imperial remnant but when the ship is hailed by the freighter’s captain, it is discovered that this ship has been commandeered by a group of Mandalorian mercenaries led by former subordinate of Bo-Katan Krize, Axe Woves who has broken away from her and is leading his own group. The contract is fulfilled and the prologue is closed and quickly moves on to Din Djarin and Bo-Katan arriving at an unknown outer rim planet named Plazir-15 that seems to be thriving in the absence of the Empire; there are hyper loops, automated security systems but Woves’ group of Mandalorians have been enlisted as a sort of private army as the planet’s New Republic charter forbids them from forming an army. This strict charter is due to the fact that a former Imperial and graduate of the New Republic’s amnesty program, Captain Bombardier, has married the planet’s Duchess and is ruler over the planet’s democratic society. The scene is opulent as the Captain and the Duchess (played by Jack Black and Lizzo respectively) are leading an exorbitant meal as the invitation comes with a price; several of the repurposed droids on Plazir-15 are malfunctioning and are injuring civilians and due to their security limitations, enlist Din and Bo-Katan to solve the mystery while offering to sponsor Mandalore’s return to the New Republic should it happen.
They begin their investigation by visiting the planet’s Security Officer, Commissioner Helgait (awesome name portrayed by the equally awesome Christopher Lloyd) who enlightens them about the situation with the droids. Most of the incidents are odd but disturbing; a garbage droid shakes a trash bin and scatters garbage everywhere, a repurposed Battle Droid begins to destroy a woman’s shopping bags, a valet droid crashes a speeder but a when cooking droid malfunctions and appears to injure people, the camera cuts away implying that what happened after the malfunction is horrific. After analyzing the data from these attacks, they determine that the next incident could take place at the planet’s loading dock and to test their theory, Din begins to kick the Super Battle Droids that are loading equipment. Din’s distrust of the droids is apparent from the start as he’s skeptical of a planet that has become completely reliant on droids and remembers his time as a child during the Clone Wars when droids attacked his home but his aggressive interrogation tactics work as the suspect droid immediately begins to run away and kicks off a thrilling chase through the streets of Plazir-15.
As Din tackles the droid and it’s destroyed by Bo-Katan, they uncover that the droid spent time at a bar. Now, in the Star Wars universe, droids have their own bar but they don’t consume alcoholic beverages; they drink some type of fortifying lubricant that helps them to operate. Thanks to the cooperation of the eager bartender droid, it reveals that each of the malfunctioning droids visited The Resistor bar at some point and each drank from the same batch of lubricating fluid. The droid that was destroyed during the chase is then taken for a type of autopsy to see if there’s anything in its system that should not be there. During this portion of the investigation yet another droid malfunctions this time by shooting lasers all over the exam room until it is also destroyed. An analysis of the droid’s fluid reveals the presence of nanodroids that are designed to change a droid’s programming but were made illegal during the Clone Wars and are nearly impossible to obtain. An analysis of the data reveals that the nandroids were obtained by the planet’s Security Officer, Commissioner Helgait, who made no illusions about his disdain for people’s overreliance on droids in their society during their first meeting with the old man but Helgait also reveals his status as a Separatist, the instigators of the Clone Wars who sought to break from the Republic. Bo-Katan has no room to hear politics in her investigation so she incapacitates the Commissioner and presents before the Duchess and Captain Bombardier to answer for his crimes. Helgait appears remorseful while before the Duchess and she sentences him to exile on the Moon of Paraquaat for an undetermined period of time. This seems like a light sentence given the increasing severity of the malfunctions but also shows that the leaders of the New Republic are unfamiliar with governance and ensuring that old enemies of the past never resurface.
With their investigation now closed and Plazir-15 agreeing to sponsor Mandalore’s entry into the New Republic, Din and Bo-Katan then leave to go confront Axe Woves and the Mandalorian privateers. After a tense exchange between Axe and Bo-Katan, she challenges him to one-on-one for the right to lead and after another thrilling fight, Bo-Katan emerges victorious but Woves and the other warriors are unwilling to accept her as the new leader as she does not wield the Dark Saber that is still currently in Din’s possession. For the majority of this confrontation, Din has remained silent but decides to chime in when the subject of the Dark Saber comes up. He reveals his encounter with the cyborg creature on Mandalore, how he lost the Dark Saber and how Bo-Katan recovered the weapon and used it to defeat the creature. The other Mandalorians accept this explanation from Din and in turn, accept Bo-Katan as their new leader as she victoriously ignites the Dark Saber and solidifies her claim to the throne of Mandalore.
Featured Image Credit: IMDb