Disney Plus’ The Mandalorian chapter four recap: Sanctuary

Chapter 4. Gina Carano is Cara Dune in THE MANDALORIAN exclusively on Disney+
Chapter 4. Gina Carano is Cara Dune in THE MANDALORIAN exclusively on Disney+ /

After escaping with Baby Yoda, The Mandalorian looks for sanctuary in a faraway system. He ends up finding friends and foe alongside him.

The Mandalorian survived a showdown against an army of bounty hunters to flee with Baby Yoda. In chapter four of the show, he discovers Sorgan, a planet that he believes would be a perfect hideaway for him and the Child. What Mando doesn’t realize is that the planet he is headed for is often under attack by raiders. In the opening scene we witness a village being torn apart by a weapon that shouldn’t exist any more.

Enter Cara Dune

Mando chooses to fly to Sorgan as it’s a backwater planet with a sparse population and little technology. No one is going to find him and the Child there. Or so he thinks. Mando lands his ship away from the populated village with the intent of looking around on his own. No such luck! The Child refuses to leave Mando’s side. He’s like a little puppy.

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At the local cantina, Mando recognizes a familiar face – Cara Dune (Gina Carano). The two have history and begin brawling even before they’ve said ‘hello’. It takes the Child’s noisy slurping of the local soup to stop them. Dune was an Imperial shock trooper back in the day. She continued working even after the battle of Endor, but soon found the work distasteful given that in the guise of being ‘peacekeepers’ she was simply continuing the oppression of the people.

Dune only arrived on Sorgan recently, as ‘an early retirement’. But she’s obviously chalked up some enemies because she assumed Mando was sent by the Guild to kill her. That’s why she attacked him so hard. Dune warns Mando to leave as she got to the planet first, so Mando prepares his ship for yet another escape.

The People of Sorgan

Chapter 4. The Child in THE MANDALORIAN, exclusively on Disney+ /

If you’re in the Star Wars universe, your best laid plans will always get ruined. Two of the villagers sneak up on Mando and plead with him to rid their home of the raiders. They offer whatever credits they can, but Mando isn’t interested. Not until the villagers mention that they’re Krill farmers living tucked away in the middle of nowhere. As the chapter title says, Mando has found his ‘sanctuary’.

Mando knows better than to go up against an unknown enemy on his own. He offers the villagers’ credits to Dune, who reluctantly accepts. It’s not like she’s doing anything else. Following the long journey, the Mandalorian, Cara Dune and the Child are welcomed with open arms by the villagers. Mando and the Child are given a place to stay by Omera (Julia Jones), who is immediately empathetic towards our hero.

While Omera’s daughter plays with the Child (unlike Mando, the children on Sorgan treat Baby Yoda like a little pet, whereas Mando is paternal towards him), Omera herself seems keenly observant of Mando. She’s noticed that he refuses to eat in public and realizes that it’s because he cannot remove his helmet. When Omera asks how long it’s been since Mando showed his face to anyone else, he tells her that he’s worn it since he was a child. The Mandalorians took him in after his parents were killed, and he has honored their kindness since because this is the way.

Attacking the Raiders

Chapter 4. Scene from THE MANDALORIAN exclusively on Disney+ /

Dune and Mando track the raiders and find evidence that they have an Imperial Walker – an AT-ST. We’ve seen the original Star Wars trilogy, those things are lethal, but vulnerable if you have an army. Mando and Dune don’t have one. So, they return to the village and order them to leave.

Of course, the villagers refuse to budge. This is their home. Despite Dune’s insistence that with only two fighters, there’s no way to take down the AT-ST, the villagers insist that they can help. Eventually, Mando gives in. Dune comes up with a plan that involves training the villagers to fight with weapons. Omera is the only one who knows how to shoot, but she practices alongside the rest with Mando’s arsenal. This entire sequence looks like an homage to Seven Samurai.

After a day of preparations, the villagers wait for Dune and Mando’s signal to attack. The pair, on the other hand, infiltrate the raiders’ base. Though it’s easier to get in, the pair struggle to get out of the base as the raiders keep attacking them. With a thermal detonator ticking, Dune and Mando leave their escape to the very last minute.

But the attack does the job of attracting the Imperial Walker’s attention. It follows Dune and Mando to the jump site, but stops short of walking into the ravine that Dune had the villagers dig up. With their best shot at destroying the AT-ST inches away, Dune jumps into the water to coax the beast to its own destruction.

For Dune to succeed, the villagers and Mando have to keep the hordes of raiders at bay. The villagers fight with gusto, even though not all of them are good at it. They provide enough cover for Dune to damage the AT-ST enough, and then Mando delivers the killing blow. The raiders retreat and the villagers celebrate.

A Bittersweet Farewell

Pedro Pascal is the Mandalorian and Gina Carano is Cara Dune in THE MANDALORIAN
Chapter 4. Pedro Pascal is the Mandalorian and Gina Carano is Cara Dune in THE MANDALORIAN exclusively on Disney+ /

Free of the threat of violence at last, the villagers are overjoyed. The children are boundless with happiness, and so is the Child. Mando knows the Child belongs to this sleepy town, but he does not. Even after Dune insinuates that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to take off his helmet, settle down with Omera and together take care of his kid (everyone just assumes Baby Yoda is Mando’s adopted son, it’s honestly so adorable!), Mando knows that he and Dune are targets.

Mando reluctantly tells Omera that he has to leave, but he wants the Child to stay so that he can have an actual childhood. Omera is understanding and agrees to take care of him. If only things were that simple. The tranquil moment is shattered when a bounty hunter appears in a nearby forest and sets his blaster on the Child. We momentarily fear that this is the end for Baby Yoda, but Dune snuck up on the bounty hunter and killed them before they got a shot off. So much for finding a sanctuary.

The villagers tearfully bid farewell to their saviors and Baby Yoda. It’s onwards to yet another planet for our heroes.

The Mandalorian has been unabashed in its emulation of old westerns, and it’s never more apparent than in ‘Sanctuary’. From the rugged hero showing his soft side by caring for a lost child, teaming up with a morally ambiguous anti-hero to train and save a village under attack, to the kindly young villager who seems wise beyond her years and inclined to kindle affection in our hero, this episode is full of the tropes of yesteryear. But, when adapted to fit the landscape of a galaxy far, far away, and with a cast of actors of diverse ethnicities and genders, it turns those tropes on their head and gives viewers a world that looks like the multicultural hotpot of reality.

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This episode is practically faultless under Bryce Dallas Howard’s direction – she has an epic and cinematic eye that she brings to episode-length properties. Even Jon Favreau’s writing has improved, with far less exposition dragging down the pace. For a show that started off so poorly, The Mandalorian is fast becoming one of the most polished and accomplished properties of the Star Wars universe. The highlight of each episode is the nuanced character moments for the cast. They make us want to tune in every week.