This week’s episode of The Mandalorian, “Guns for Hire,” is full of celebrity cameos and callbacks to earlier episodes of the show as Bo-Katan, Din, and Grogu visit Plazir-15.
We open with a freighter being piloted by Quarrens. They see an Imperial ship, but in reality, Mandalorians are at the helm (Bo-Katan’s old gang, the Nite Owls, specifically — including Koska Reeves and Axe Woves). They’ve been commissioned a Mon Calamari Viceroy to track down Captain Shuggoth for running off with her son, the Prince. Sigh, oh to be star-crossed lovers in a galaxy far, far away.
Bo-Katan and Din go to Plazir-15 (the Outer Rim’s only remaining direct democracy!), though their plans to carefully approach where Axe Woves and the other Mandalorians are stationed begin to go sideways when they have to officially dock the ship against their will. After boarding a shuttle, they’re then forced to visit with the leadership of the planetary democracy, despite Bo-Katan’s calm protests that they have more pressing matters to attend to.
They’re confused when they walk into an opulent, lively room full of people, creatures, and a table of food (which Jack Black and Lizzo are seated at the head of). Captain Bombardier explains that he was an Imperial facilities planning officer during the war, but thanks to the New Republic Amnesty Program, he rebuilt the planet. When the Dutchess asks to “hold the baby,” Din isn’t too keen on the idea, but when she waggles food at him, Grogu doesn’t hesitate to use the Force to propel himself into her arms. They explain that because their charter prevents their planet from having a military, they hire the Mandalorian privateers for protection. When Bo-Katan asks to speak with them, Captain Bombardier says there’s just one condition …
You had me at battle droids
As they walk away, they explain to Bo-Katan and Din that they have a droid problem that seems to be a coordinated malfunction. At first, it didn’t seem too serious — issues with power cycles, task stacks. However, now the issues have elevated to things like accidents and assault. Unfortunately, their constables are ill-equipped to confront battle droids (they aren’t allowed to carry blasters). When Din questions why they allowed them to enter the city with their weapons then, Bombardier refers back to an early key line from the man himself, stating that weaponry and armor are “intrinsic to the Mandalorian culture.” So basically, they want them to eliminate their droid problem.
Grogu is content in the Dutchess’ arms as she pets his head while Bombardier tells an uncertain Bo-Katan that this would be viewed as an act of diplomacy between Plazir-15 and Mandalore. They would then formally recognize Mandalore as a sovereign system and petition the New Republic to recognize it as such, too. Din clearly isn’t going to be a hard sell when he proclaims, “You had me at battle droids.”
Another cameo is afoot with Christopher Lloyd as Plazir-15’s head of security, Commissioner Helgait, who shows Din and Bo-Katan security footage of the various types of malfunctions that have been happening with the planet’s droids. Bo-Katan asks why they don’t just turn the droids off, and while there’s a failsafe cutoff switch built into the system, the citizens voted against any interruption in droid services. The droids allow the citizens to live a life free of work; they’re a society that solely exists for recreation (must be nice).
I have spoken
Din and Bo-Katan head down to a lower level to speak to the Ugnaughts, and the former is smug as he tells his companion that this is what happens when you rely on droids. Hard at work on the droids, the Ugnaughts ignore them both when they arrive, but when Din announces himself as a friend of Kuiil — tossing in a little “I have spoken” for good measure — they pay attention. The Ugnaughts insist that the droids are not malfunctioning, but because Din knows the right way needed to communicate with them so that the request doesn’t come across as an insult, he manages to convince them to share the location of the “problem droids.”
Two Mandalorians walk into a bar ….
Din and Bo-Katan speak to a droid foreman, who doesn’t seem to think anything is wrong, and then Din does exactly what he’s likely always wanted to do in order to figure out which one is malfunctioning — he picks a fight with a droid by kicking it. The droid takes off, and Din and Bo-Katan are forced to chase it on foot as it rampages through an area crowded with terrified citizens. Once they take down the droid, Bo-Katan finds a spark pad on it. It leads them to The Resistor, a droid bar. As they head to their next destination, Bo-Katan tells Din to let her do the talking … there’ll be no more droid kicking.
The bar comes to a standstill when Bo-Katan and Din walk in. And though the bartender tries to brush them off, Din begins spouting off threats in an attempt to get information, much to Bo-Katan’s dismay. The bartender begins to explain that the droid patrons there are worried that they’ll be replaced by humans, so they want to help solve the problem. They learn that all droids at the bar are served Nepenthé, a viscous lubricant that protects against mechanical wear and delivers program refreshing sub-particles. And apparently, the malfunctioning droids all received the same batch of Nepenthé.
An inside job
In order to confirm the information they’ve just received, Bo-Katan and Din go to check out the remains of the droid they dispatched earlier, nearly getting taken out by another one in the process (and Din is likely thrilled he gets to chop it in half with the Darksaber). They find out that lubricant in the malfunctioning droids contains nano-droids, which have a chain code on them. They were originally manufactured by the Techno Union, and there’s no record of the transaction on the registry, because it’s illegal …. and Commissioner Helgait was the individual behind it.
Bo-Katan and Din go to confront him, in which they realize that he’s a Separatist that supported Count Dooku. Despite his threats to unleash the droids on the planet, they manage to restrain him and bring him to the Dutchess and Captain Bombardier to answer for his crimes. The Dutchess sends him off to live in exile, and they she finally grants Bo-Katan and Din an audience with the Mandalorian privateers. She also gives them a key to Plazir-15 in recognition of their help and proclaims Grogu a knight of the Ancient Order of Independent Regencies.
The ruler of Mandalore
Bo-Katan tells Axe Woves that she has returned to reclaim her fleet, but he doesn’t seem to have any interest in giving it back. She challenges him to a battle and wins, though when she has him pinned to the ground, he brings up the fact that she’ll never be their true leader if she won’t take the Darksaber from him. Bo-Katan defends Din, stating that he’s every bit a Mandalorian as their ancestors were …. as they are.
Din luckily finds a loophole to give Bo-Katan the Darksaber once and for all — when he was captured on Mandalore, his captor took the blade from him. Then, Bo-Katan defeated his captor, thus making her the rightful owner of the Darksaber and ruler of Mandalore now. He hands it over as they stand before the Mandalorian privateers.
The next episode of The Mandalorian will premiere exclusively on Disney+ next Wednesday, April 12. Catch up on all of our episodic recaps here.