In the first season of The Mandalorian at Disney Plus, the Star Wars franchise was renewed as a source for high quality conversations about water coolers. Whether we shared our love for Baby Yoda or discussed the identity of the mysterious figure at the end of Episode 5, there was a lot to rethink.
However, some episodes were worth more than others. Here is the official ranking of the best moments and biggest mistakes in the Polygon series. We have spoken.
8. Chapter 5: The Gunslinger (full evaluation)
Chapter 5: The Gunslinger Image: Disney
While The Mandalorian offers many fan service moments throughout the series, no episode has been as shameless as “The Gunslinger”. After returning to Tatooine, our hero literally enters the famous cantina from back then. But force feeding nostalgia wasn’t the main problem of the episode either.
Aspiring bounty hunter Toro Calican (Jake Cannavale) is trying to get rid of Han Solo’s boast, but sounds like an idiot. Admittedly, he’s supposed to be a bastard, but his performance is stiff, as if the day they started shooting he was pulled from the street and said he was going to be involved in a Star Wars. It is reminiscent of the wooden performances that made the prequel trilogy era a slogan.
Space engineer Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) also smells of hammy prequel vibes and tries to chew scenes as a comic relief, but the script gives her very little to work with beyond some broad pit droid gags.
It is best to hop until the end of this film to see a “mysterious” picture. Otherwise there is a risk of flashbacks from Attack of the Clones. – Russ Frushtick
Best moment: I see the legs of someone who has probably just crawled out of a Sarlacc pit.
7. Chapter 4: Sanctuary (full review)
Chapter 4: Sanctuary Image: Lucasfilm
With cowboy and samurai influences worn as proudly as a mythos badge, it’s not surprising that The Mandalorian staged its own version of Magnificent Seven / Seven Samurai at the beginning of season one and the leader of a remote village, that protects their people from the invasion of imperial troops, has shown in “Sanctuary” exactly what an audience expects who is familiar with genre stories. There was rousing speech, emotional requests and preparations for the fight, which alternated with Baby Yoda drinking soup.
It’s Star Wars painting by numbers, and although the last fight against the AT-ST is an explosion, it doesn’t physically or ideologically challenge the Mandalorians to stay. – Matt stains
Best moment: The idea of Cara Dune defeating our hero’s beskar in a fist fight worthy of actress Gina Carano.
Chapter 7: The Billing (full review)
Chapter 7: The Billing Screen: Lucasfilm
The first season of The Mandalorian was like two separate shows: an episodic adventure in which Mando and Baby Yoda visited a new planet every week, and an ongoing story about saving The Child from the dangerous remains of the empire. “Chapter 7” had to connect these two stories. The episode was just boring – but it made Chapter 8 really great (more on that later).
It was a fun surprise to see Mando put his team together after we met people in six episodes that we thought would never reappear. Who doesn’t like having a nice sequence to put together a crew? But when the fighting starts at the end of the episode, things fall apart. From the first blaster shot, we know that another episode is on the way and not even the kidnapping of Baby Yoda can give this fight emotional influences. – Austen Goslin
Best moment: Carl Weathers cries that Baby Yoda is trying to eat it. The funniest thing in all of season one.
5. Chapter 6: The Prisoner (full review)
Chapter 6: The prisoner picture: Lucasfilm
While our editor Matt Patches likes his westerns more – whether space or otherwise – I have my own entertainment vice: old war films. Put Torah! Tora! Tora! or Bridge Over The River Kwai halfway or nearing the end and I’m a happy man. It’s actually one of my old favorite TV shows from 1962. It’s called Combat !, a series from World War II with five seasons and a total of 152 episodes. I could see it forever.
I would like to see how the Mandalorian runs for so long and that’s why I love “The Prisoner”.
The sixth chapter proves that there are many, many different stories to tell in the Star Wars universe. Each of the colorful characters – the stocky Devaronian, the pair of Wiley Twi’leks and the human smugglers who support them – could easily carry a few episodes for themselves. I hope that people like Jon Favreau, Taika Waititi, Rick Famuyiwa and Bryce Dallas Howard have had the opportunity to do more for many years. – Charlie Hall
Best moment: At the very end. Then we learn that Din Jarren locked the villains away instead of a vengeful killing spree. It not only shows the depth of its humanity, it also puts these characters into hibernation when fans meet them, learn more about their stories and fall in love with them again.
4. Chapter 1: The Bounty (full review)
Shared media experiences hardly disappear these days. With platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime that bring entire seasons out of orbit, even the most casual water cooler conversations can pose a threat. But it feels like everyone discovered Baby Yoda together in the same week together. It was a moment of true Disney magic in a distant galaxy.
The whole episode is immaculately elaborated, with timing and pace and big revelations. One revelation is Werner Herzog, who sets the tone for the entire following seven-episode arc almost casually. While the premiere will ultimately be enhanced by later contributions with better courses of action and more meaningful consequences, “Chapter 1” is the perfect starting point. – CH
Best moment: It takes a split second before the camera turns to The Child for the first time, where you can barely see the silhouette of his wide-eared head. I gasped, a moment before everyone else in the room watching me. Only those who grew up with Star Wars can say that. It feels like you are winking between the super fans behind the camera and those in front of the screen for the first time.
3. Chapter 3: Sin (full review)
Chapter 3: The SinImage: Lucasfilm
“Chapter 3” is a testament to how much drama can fit in half an hour if the authors know the universe. Mando says goodbye to Nick Noltes Kuiil, connects with Baby Yoda, gives him away, fights with his Mandalorian colleagues, has a different heart, saves Baby Yoda and escapes in a massive shootout in about 30 minutes. It’s impressive and has led to one of the most exciting episodes of the series.
But more importantly, it is proof that the Mandalorian can do more than show off new planets and fight Mudhorns. Mando’s emotional inclination to take care of the child goes deeper than just another mushy Star Wars adventure, regardless of the risks. The moment he handed the little silver ball from his ship to Baby Yoda, he made sure that we were all firmly on Mando’s side, because we knew he would protect Baby Yoda from now on. Or at least try, he’s … not the most experienced parent. – AG
Best moment: The Mandalorians reveal themselves to save Mando and Baby Yoda. We have seen teams of Mandalorians fighting together in animation series, but this was the first time that we saw the armor-wearing warriors in live action and look so tough.
Chapter 2: The Child’s Picture: Disney
The first episode of The Mandalorian made people cautiously optimistic, but “Chapter 2” made it a phenomenon. After the standard pilot introductions were no longer in the way, Chapter 2 was able to enjoy the universe and give us the first real insight into what makes Baby Yoda tick.
“The child” is remarkable because there is almost no dialogue. Mando’s ship is dismantled in parts, he rages against Jawa and then opts for diplomacy. His search for the egg reveals some of the most striking (and memorable) moments in the series: Baby Yoda, who is driving around in his half-shell, Baby Yoda, who uses power for the first time, and of course Baby Yoda, who chugs a whole frog.
The episode drips with a little confidence and creates a perfect balance between the extreme and the silly tones – and thus reflects the two main characters. It was the episode that made us all fall in love with Baby Yoda, and we were never the same again. – RF
Best moment: Baby Yoda eats a whole damn frog.
1. Chapter 8: Repayment
The last episode of the first season of The Mandalorian has it all: a nurse droid spins like a top on a speeder bike (Baby Yoda giggles all the way); Jason Sudeikis as a hideous scout soldier who channels Troops’ classic Star Wars cops mashup parody; a look at Din Djarin’s handsome but bloody face; and Moff Gideon emerges from his despondent TIE Fighter with a humming Darksaber in his hand, which leaves us with some big questions in season two.
And the last victim of IG-11, who was laughed at in Chapter 1, is surprisingly moving in the final.
“Redemption” was a satisfactory delivery to The Mandalorian. It pays off for the Schlammhorn battle when Djarin finally accepts his seal. Without a doubt, we learn why he rightly does not stagger with droids, but strictly respects the creed. And Mando’s wish “I have to get one” comes true when the gun master gives him a jetpack.
“Chapter 8” was rich in earnings and offered unexpected glimpses of Djarin’s equally protected compatriots Cara Dune and Greef Karga. This also follows from an important revelation about Moff Gideon: he knows things about our heroes. And in the post-imperial world of the Mandalorians, in which secrecy and privacy are as important as Beskar, this understandably makes them uneasy.
Our heroes feel a bit too confident after cleaning up Navarro, but that leaves us a good place for the next season, which may be teasing the most enticing revelations of them all. – Michael McWhertor
Best moment: The cold of the episode, in which two scouts shoot the shit while taking care of Baby Yoda, is hilarious. It seems to go on forever, but thanks to the impeccable timing of comedians Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally, who live their best lives under worn white armor, it never gets boring.