Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandalorian: “Chapter 16: The Rescue”

*This is blog post is a recap of The Mandalorian: Chapter 16, thus by it’s nature contains spoilers. I try very hard not spoil big stuff prematurely but it’s been 3 days and this is a RECAP.*

I’m often at a loss for explaining to people how much and what it is I love about Star Wars. And then I watch something like this episode of The Mandalorian and my breath catches in my chest, and my heart beats a little more quickly than usual, and I remember that it isn’t really something I can explain.

I love these stories and this world so much.

I will never not be psyched when that green light saber sparks, and the hood of that black robe is thrown back and Luke Skywalker is here to rescue us.

Star Wars fandom can be difficult, especially when it comes to it’s first family. There’s a sharp divide between those who would rather the Skywalkers be left in the past and those who are always happy to see them show up. (Guess which one I am?). Luke showing up in his X-Wing to rescue Mando, Bo-Katan, Boba Fett, Fennec Shand and Cara Dune (FUCK GINA CARRANO) and whisk Grogu (who though a baby is REMEMBER THE SAME AGE AS A CERTAIN ANAKIN SKYWALKER WOULD HAVE BEEN) away to Jedi school, was thrilling to me.

It was, also, not the only thrill of the episode. Mando, Boba, Fennec and Cara show up to a Cantina to recruit Bo-Katan and her friend who’s name I can’t remember to take on Moff Gideon, retrieve the Dark Saber and rescue Grogu. After some very rude anti clone remarks from Bo towards Boba, they all get it together, and then get aboard Gideon’s cruiser, fight a bunch of Dark Troopers and the Mando finds Gideon, standing over Grogu with the dark saber. After escorting the Moff to the rest of the group, Gideon excitedly explains that in order for Bo to claim the Dark Saber she must defeat Mando in combat, also a bunch more Dark Troopers show up, and I just want Bo to call them a bunch of fracking toasters but she doesn’t.

And just as all hope seems lost, an X-Wing lands on deck and cloaked figure emerges. Grogu watches on monitors, rapt, as The Last Jedi comes to bring him home. When Luke and R2-D2 enter, Grogu and Din have an emotional goodbye, Din removing his helmet so his son can see and touch his face as they part. Pedro Pascal is wonderful in this scene, the heartbreak clear on his face as the tears stream down his cheeks. He’s doing the right thing, but it’s not easy.

After this touching goodbye, the credits roll, and AFTER the credits, we see two suns, hazy and a familiar palace. Bib Fortuna sits upon the throne of Jabba The Hutt, and Fennec Shand walks in, shoot his guards, frees a Twi’Lek slave girl and Boba saunters in behind her, Fortuna begs for his life but Boba does not spare him and sits his ass on that throne. Cut to black and the words, “The Book of Boba Fett, December 2021.”

SO! What does this mean for us, here, at The Fangirl’s Dilemma?

I’m not sure. There’s a lot of Star Wars coming in the next few years. I’m very excited about all of it. We’ve also got Wandavision in January, which will probably take this slot. I also SWEAR I WILL EVENTUALLY WATCH Resistance: Season 2. Someday. I guess.

But for now, May The Force Be With You.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandalorian: “Chapter 15: The Believer”

There’s a lot going on here, but I’m gonna start with this, Bill Burr is excellent in this episode and I continue to be blown away by the level of the incredible supporting cast on this show. They jump over the extremely high bars they set for themselves.

While our appreciation of Burr did lead to some friction in the group text this week, (Jess continued to type, “GO SOX!” at every possible instance. She is from Rhode Island and must be forgiven, and I responded by saying, “I love Bill Burr, but I SPIT ON THE SOX!”) Anyway, let’s get to the episode, which was very cool.

Cara Dune (Obligatory Fuck Gina Carano!), Fennec, Boba and Mando go to a prison planet to recruit Mayfeld (Burr) to their opperation to track down Moff Gideon and free poor little Grogu from his nefarious clutches. Mayfeld is a delightful breath of sarcastic human fresh air in our steely group of outsides and I really can’t express deeply enough how much I really like the work Burr is doing here. They head to Morak (we as a group watch with Subtitles so I knew they said “Morak” not “Morag” which is where the Power Stone was hidden in the MCU in Guardians of The Galaxy but I made the joke anyway.) and discover that an Imperial remnant is mining an explosive substance there to mount an attack, much like Operation Cinder (from Star Wars: Battlefront) where they burned up a whole planet and killed a bunch of Storm Troopers to boot.

Mayfeld is uh, not thrilled about this, but manages to keep his cool while Mando goes to a transmitter to get the info he needs on Grogu. He also takes off his helmet for a good 15 minutes! He looks terribly uncomfortable but I am always happy to see Pedro Pascal’s beautiful face and the fact that he’s willing to bend the code for his magic baby son is huge character growth. While discussing the facility and Operation Cinder with the man who it turns out was Mayfeld’s superior, (in a tour de force scene from Burr) he turns his blaster on the facility which the gang then blows up.

After they escape, Cara and Mando agree to report Mayfeld dead so he doesn’t have to go to prison. I hope the next time we see him, he’s found his way home to Space Boston. Mando does his version of the Taken call and tells Moff Gideon that as long as he’s holding Grogu there is no safe place for him in the Galaxy, he will be found.

We also learned that Storm Troopers have to fill our TPS reports and this makes the most sense. Of course Innitech and The Empire are the same level of bureaucratic evil.

Anyway, if you could come in on Saturday, that would be GREEAAATTT!

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandalorian: “Chapter 14: The Tragedy”

It’s almost like the show runners know exactly what to give us to keep us from just being furious. Because in this episode where Tiny Grogu gets captured by Moff Gideon and tortured a little, we are given Boba Fett and Fennec Shand as played by Ming-Na Wen.

I can’t be mad at a episode of TV that gives me Ming-Na.

Anyway, what happened? So, after arriving on yet another planet, Mando and Grogu go to a sacred stone so Grogu can meditate and send out a Force message to other Jedi who would train him besides Ahsoka, who Mando adorably calls, “That Nice Lady.” It takes the form of a giant beacon to the sky that also acts as a protective force field. COOL.

In the meantime, Mando is confronted by an old man who asks for his armor back. It’s BOBA FETT! He does not claim to be Mandolorian by creed (True!) but the armor is still his by right and inheritance, it was his father’s, now it’s his. (ALSO TRUE!) He’s teamed up with Fennec, and when Moff Gideon shows up and takes Grogu they agree to help Mando get him back.

Also the Razor Crest blows up, RIP friend, you’ll be missed.

In order to help in mission save Grogu from Evil Imperials, Mando goes to Cara Dune (Obligatory Fuck Gina Carrano. TRANS RIGHTS! Donate to The Okra Project or another Trans charity of your choice!) to ask her to use her shiny New Republic Marshal status to free Bill Burr (or whatever his character’s name is) from prison to help him track down Moff Gideon.

She’s hesistant but when he informs her that it’s to free Grogu she’s all in.

So what’s next? Will Ezra and his Space Whales show up to free Grogu? Will we be heading to Space Boston with Bill Burr? Will Boba and Ahsoka meet and will she shame him for not rallying with his brothers? Who is the mole leaking to Moff Gideon? (I have thoughts!)

Sorry this was late y’all. I had a busy (but good) weekend, and didn’t get to the episode until Sunday night, and I usually like a day or so to think out the episode before I write these recaps.

Love you all! I may have some news of the personal variety to post soon. (Again, all good!)

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandalorian: Chapter 10: “The Passenger”

So, first of all, I hope you’re all feeling good. Here the sun is shining, we’re all taking deep breaths because the future seems to be looking pretty good. The craziest election ever is over and now we get to exhale because some barriers have been broken and you know, it’s good. Also there’s promising COVID Vaccine news! Whoo!

Of course I knew none of this on Friday night when I watch The Mandalorian’s 10th episode, which did offer as a nice easy balm for the evening.

So, after getting Boba Fett’s armor, Mando and Little Baby Yoda go back to Mos Eisley, looking for more leads. Amy Sedaris and a Giant Ant get them a job with a giant Frog Woman who needs transport and might know something about the surviving Mandalorians. She’s trying to get to her home planet so that her eggs can hatch.

After an encounter with some cops (New Republic X-Wing Pilots) they crash land on an ice planet and also the whole time Little Baby Yoda has been just eating the crap out of those Frog Eggs. (As my friend Sara said, “That is some toddler realness!”)

On the planet, The Frog woman finds a hot spring, while Mando repairs the Razor Crest, and there are eggs for LBY there too! Unfortunately they are the eggs of a terrifying spider monster that definitely tries to eat them. Luckily they get the ship working and off they fly, after a confrontation with the cops. (One of whom is Dave Filoni!)

Look, it was a fun little episodic adventure. It is very clear that there was a price increase because once again the action finale is incredible, and it was directed by Peyton Reed so there are all these fabulous small comedy moments, that he’s so good at. And most importantly, BABY YODA RUNS AND IT IS THE CUTEST. America, we’re moving forward. It’s all very exciting.

The nerd commentary this time was quieter, but it was a lot of AWWWW, and being super excited about The Frog Woman, who is great, although we are disappointed in the uncreative name. GIVE A SPECIES NAME.

Anyway, I’m really enjoying the season so far and especially loving my group watches. I have great friends who I love. I love everyone today.

Cross your fingers for that vaccine my darlings!

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandalorian: “Chapter 9: The Marshal”

As always, SPOILERS. You’ve had all weekend to watch the episode.

First things first. Baby Yoda remains a true treasure, who must always be defended. Mando, meanwhile, is just casually bringing him to Fight Club, like it’s no big thing.

Be a better parent Mando!

Yes, we start out with our intrepid warrior goes to a fight between a pair of those pig men who guard Jabba The Hutt, and talks with a gangster played by John Leguizamo. (Right off the bat The Mandalorian is killing it with the guest spots again) He understands said gangster might have information that could lead him to more Mandolorians which might then in turn lead to getting Little Baby Yoda back to the Jedi. Of course the gangster is just after the armor, but in truly badass fashion, Mando strings the guy up, finds out there’s a Mandalorian working on Tatooine. He goes, is greeted by Amy Sedaris (As glad to see her as she was to see LBY) and heads right out from Mos Eisley to Space Deadwood, I mean Mos Pelgo.

Once there, he enters the Cantina where the friendly bartender, played by W. Earl Brown , who played Barman Dan Dorrity on Deadwood, because this is an episode of Deadwood without the swearing. (Or alas, The Swearengen) As Mando questions him about seeing other Mandalorians and Baby Yoda makes cooing noises and the bartender asks if he means, “The Marshal” who then enters and is Boba Fett!

No, he’s not Boba Fett, he’s Marshal Seth Bullock, uh, I mean Cobb Vanth, played by Timothy Olyphant with an extremely attractive beard, who through a series of convoluted events came into possession of Boba’s armor (or “armpit” as my phone happily corrected it to.) He agrees to give the armor back to Mando if he helps free the town from a sand worm, err, a Krayt Dragon. (DUUUUNNNNNEEEEEE). They team up with some Tuskens to do so, and after takin’ a vote in The Gem saloon, erm, I mean the Cantina, they beat the dragon in the most astounding action sequence I’ve ever seen on television.

Vanth and Mando part noting they hope to meet again, and like The Judge on The Good Place, I very much hope they do because more Olyphant on my TV is a good thing, all the time.

The episode ends with Mando speeding away and on a hill, watching, a mysterious cloaked figure who is as it turns out Temeura Morrison! Morrison played Jango Fett and the Clones in the prequel trilogy, which means this is most certainly Boba Fett. It may also be Rex, or one of the other surviving clones. (God, I hope it’s Rex.) The smart money, though, given that it’s Tatooine and the appearance of his armor, that it’s Boba.

The most exciting thing for me this season, besides just so much good Star Wars content and Timothy Olyphant, is the Disney+ group watch feature, which allowed me and The Nerds to stream simultaneously and chat throughout our watch. Highlights from this week include being blown away by the visuals, thirsting after Timothy Olyphant and general Boba and or Rex related flailing.

I’m so glad to have The Mandalorian back. I love Star Wars so much, and I’ve missed it dearly.

The Lady Of Winterfell

It’s been a year, am I allowed to talk about Game Of Thrones again? I know we were supposed to chuck it into the ocean and never look back, but I can’t do that.

Because I think about Sansa Stark a lot.

I grew up reading fantasy. I loved it. I’ve always loved it, but there were never girls I related to in those fantasies. If there were girls, they hated being girls, or what was interesting about them was that they rejected the world of girls. There was Alanna, there was Eowyn, there was Leia. Or they were romantic heroines, which I loved but wanted more. The flip side of that coin was Belle, Ariel, Cinderella.

There weren’t girls like Sansa. Girls who wore their femininity in all it’s power as armor. Girls who used embroidery and marriage and the selfish love of the men around them as weapons. Girls who loved their families and wanted handsome princes to come save them but when those dreams shattered didn’t cower but fought, not in battles but in the ways they understood.

I think about Sansa Stark a lot. I think about how she got into my blood and mind. And in the past few years, as I’ve let the floodgates open to more and more fantasy I see that I couldn’t have been the only girl who hungered for that. Because there are these books now, you see, these books written by women around my age, filled with girls. Some who are like Alanna, Eowyn, Leia, who put on armor and pick up swords and fight alongside men. Some like Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, who long for true love and princes. And there are so many Sansas.

So many girls who fit into their world of privelege and beauty and when it’s hollowness was revealed, didn’t reject it, didn’t say, “there’s nothing here,” didn’t see the other women held by it as stupid, shallow or weak, instead took those things and made them the tools of their fight.

Yesterday I finished Queen Of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne Of Glass series. It’s going to be a while before I finish this series, because I’m waiting on Empire Of Storms and I’m the eight person in line for 5 copies at my library. But Sarah J. Maas’s series is full of Sansas. I had trouble getting into it because the lead, isn’t, and my GOD does this girl hate other women at the beginning of her journey. And that begins to unravel, slowly as the series progresses.

“I’m not like other girls,” is a hell of a drug. I’ve never understood it. I’ve always loved other girls and women, but it’s a really hard thing to kick in society that tells us that there’s no room for us to be who we are. But I’m so grateful to see that it is starting to shift.

I think about Sansa Stark a lot. I think about how overjoyed I was to find her eight years ago. I think about how she got an ending full of justice and triumph without ever compromising who she was.

I think about Sansa Stark and I cry, because she exists, in print and on TV for girls like me to find, and know they aren’t wrong or weak or stupid. There is space for them in these stories. And oh that matters so much.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 11 “Shattered”

“Execute Order 66,” I actually cannot hear those words without taking a big ass inhale of breath. It begins a long slide into weepiness that last for the next half hour of movie in Revenge Of The Sith, rivaled only by Return of The King and Avengers: Endgame for absurd blockbuster blubbering for me.

So I held my breath as Ahsoka sensed what happened between Mace Windu, Anakin and Palpatine, leading to the execution of Order 66. It’s devastation and also important to note that Ahsoka might be the most powerful force user in the series, before Rey? She’s not fully in her powers yet, that doesn’t come until she passes through time with Ezra but she’s still strong here. Strong enough to connect while looking for Anakin, something we’ve only ever seen Yoda do with such specificity.

Anyway, after this moment of darkness, she turns to Rex, who is shaking, talking to himself, refusing to follow his programming and kill Ahsoka. Unfortunately the rest of the Troopers don’t have will and try to fight her. Of course she wins and gets away, taking Rex’s warning, “Find Fives” to heart and searching for a file on Fives, learning that his malfunctioning inhibitor chip caused his death. Rex sent himself a message in this file, which is why he was able to resist.

Ahsoka practices some “cogninative recalibration” on Rex, and also, to get the two of them away, releases Darth Maul, to spectacular effect. She reminds him that she doesn’t trust him and also that she kind of hopes the clones kill him which is great. I know I talked about it last week but it bears reiterating, Ashley Eckstein and Sam Witwer are doing unbelievable work here.

OK, we’ll finish up tomorrow. I’m not sure I’m ready. How far will we go into Episode III, where will we end?

I don’t know, but I bet I’ll be crying, and crying a whole lot.

Game Of Thrones Winner: “The Iron Throne”

And now our watch is ended. Winter has come and gone, and we have some winners. Well, today, we’ll talk about the winner of the final episode. Tomorrow we’ll get into what this all means in the grand scheme of a decade, a show, a lot of nerding out and well, it’s time to go home now.

So, who’s our last winner:

I think we have to give it to the one, the only, the fabulous:

Queen In The North Herself, Sansa Stark, long may she reign.

The Queen In The North

Sansa kept her people safe and free, and was crowned. She got to nope out of King’s Landing and do her thing.

I love Sansa. (I don’t know if y’all have been paying attention.) I’m very glad she got her happy Elsa ending and her cool crown and her badass wolf throne.

Runner up is Ghost, who is the goodest boy and deserves all of the snuggles and treats he wants. WHO’S A GOOD BOY?

Drogon is also a good boy. We’ll get to it.

Sansa’s Agency Watch

She’s the Queen In The North BITCHES. She should be Queen of Westeros but ya know…stories? I guess?

Arya Badass Watch

Arya is off to discover America. I bet in this world, America-equivalent has like Gryphons or something.

YOU SUNK ALL MY SHIPS

I wanted the tragic lovers ending for Dany and Jon. And Jaime and Missandei were already dead, so I appreciated that Brienne and Grey Worm ended their stories honoring their fallen lovers. But like, they all died. All of ’em.

Bran Stark’s Excellent Adventure

King Bran The Broken. (Terrible name Tyrion, I mean really.) I understand the trajectory and hey! Tyrion and Samm invented democracy, (of the Greek variety, where the oligarchy pick the leaders, but it’s better than hereditary monarchy.) And to quote Mary, “well, they picked a white guy but at least he’s disabled.”

#NotAStark #NotABastard

Whatever, man. Jon’s back at the wall, and he pet Ghost who is a good boy. A very good boy.

Who’s a good boy?

Good Boy

The Dragon Has Three Heads

There’s a whole lotta nothing going on there. But I might come back around to something about the three remaining Starks being the heads of the dragon, but I think it’s more that Benioff and Weiss aren’t particularly interested in the prophecies, so that’s why we also never really followed up on Jon being The Prince That Was Promised. (It’s definitely Jon though.)

We did get Dany’s ending though, and tragic, as she died in Jon’s arms. (CALLED IT!) And then Drogon. Drogon melting the Iron Throne was a good piece of spectacle. But I found the most stirring part of the whole situation (for me) was Drogon nudging Dany’s body was lovely.

You guys, thanks for going on this journey with me. This started as a goof and became something that I really looked forward to each year as the show came back. I’m not going to make promises about the spin offs…if they ever happen.

So what now? I mean, immediately? I’m rewatching Star Wars. All of it. All 10 movies, all 3 cartoon shows. So that’s what Monday will be until December. So just wait until next week…when I’ll talk about The Phantom Menace. Am I super psyched to watch The Phantom Menace again? I am not. But I will do it for you, dear readers, and also for my own brain weirdness.

Game Of Thrones Winner: “The Bells”

I spent a lot of this episode going, “YOU MOTHER FUCKERS DID NOT!”

And then sighing.

Because the mother fuckers, indeed did.

Anyway, who’s our winner?

Sandor Clegane, because he helps Arya keep her humanity, and her life, by facing down his brother. He kills his brother which is nice. As you know in these final few seasons, when someone meets a goal, they get the win. Even if they die doing it.

game-of-thrones-hound-1557418129.jpg

So, good for you, Sandor Clegane, The Hound. You’re the winner this week. Also RIP. (Further RIPs, below.)

Runner Up Is Arya, you ride that horse right home to Winterfell and your man and your sister, girl, you do it NOW.

Arya And Gendry Watch

No Gendry. From a ship perspective this might be the worst episode of the whole series. Jaime and Cersei die together. (BOOOO) Missandei is dead and Grey Worm does not get nearly enough screen time to mourn the woman he loved properly. Jon and Dany had the most awkward breakup ever.

Sansa’s Agency Watch

No Sansa, but the legacy of her being kind of a big mouth is a big driver of this episode.

NO YOU MOTHER FUCKERS DID NOT

Varys’s death is a really fuck you moment for me. Honestly, last week was a big turning point for my relationship with this show, which I have loved so much over the past few years. It’s looking like this is not going to pay off and I’m bummed about it. Varys rules and that was a shitty death for a character that rules so hard.

RIP Varys, also RIP Jaime and Cersei and the Clegane brothers and like half the population of King’s Landing.

Next week is the last episode. I’m kind of, you know, whatever. It’s fine. This will be over soon.

Game Of Thrones Winner: “The Last Of The Starks”

No one wins.

NO WINNER.

Screw you.

You don’t kill my girl and get a winner.

But if I had to pick it would be Brienne.

Or Gendry.

They both got everything they wanted for a hot second, and then not so much.

But seriously. Fuck you.

Instead of a winner, it’s just RIP Missandei.

May your badass bestie and boyfriend avenge you.

MIssandei

Rest In Power

Arya And Gendry Watch

Gendry is the Lord of Storm’s End. He asked Arya to marry him which is adorable. She said no, because of course she did. Then she rode off with the Hound. They’re off to King’s Landing. I assume so he can kill his brother and she can kill Cersei.

Sansa’s Agency Watch

Sansa’s running The North, and she’s taking no shit from anyone. She squares things with The Hound, and with Jon, and in the end even tells Jon’s secret to Tyrion, because I don’t know, whatever. She doesn’t care. She’s gonna get hers. She’s earned it.

Arya Badass Watch

Headin’ to King’s Landing to go Cersei Hunting. I am on board. Cersei can suck all the dicks and die in a fire.

#NotAStark #NotABastard

Cat’s out of the bag, on this one. Dany asked Jon to tell NO ONE AT ALL. He said, “I have to tell my sister/cousins!” She’s like, “Sansa will use that to keep me from being queen you beautiful idiot!” And Jon just tells anyway, because, *sigh.* Anyway, he’s riding to King’s Landing, and also Rhaegal is dead (for real this time.)

Brienne Gets Some

Not going to recur, but Brienne got some! WITH JAIME. Way to get some Brienne! Also, good for Jaime, this was the first non twincest sex he ever had. Then he had to go and blow his chance at happiness, because you know prophecy and destiny.

I Am Team Varys, and Why Aren’t You?

Varys, as always, is backing many horses. He appears to be #TeamJon at the moment. But you never really know with him. But he tends to be right, so I’ll just back his play.

We have two weeks left.

I’m not OK.

BUt You know, whatever. Here we are.

I’m pretty angry about this one, y’all.