The Mandalorian: S1E5
A Note to Parents: The Mandalorian is a series from the Star Wars universe, which means it’s mostly family friendly with scenes of violence. We at The Source For Parents never want to introduce something to kids that you wouldn’t want them to watch, so we develop discussions that parents can use if they feel the show is appropriate for their child. Our friends at Common Sense Media have given us some specifics on what to expect from this show.
Season 1 Episode 5 – The Gunslinger
If you’ve seen any of the Star Wars trilogies, you surely enjoyed the Mandalorian’s visit to a familiar planet. Mando has a space shoot out with another bounty hunter and is forced to land on the home planet of Luke Skywalker, Tatooine. Needing some repairs on his ship, and lacking the resources to pay for these repairs, the Mandalorian heads to the local cantina to look for bounty work.
Toro Calican is a young bounty hunter who is looking to get into the Bounty Hunter’s Guild. He sees the Mandalorian looking for work and he detects a significant career opportunity. The target is a famous and ruthless assassin named Fennec Shand, and Calican knows he can use Mando’s expertise to capture Shand.
The Mandalorian needs the money, so he reluctantly agrees to work with Calican to collect the bounty on the mercenary Shand. After some typical Mandalorian ingenuity, Shand is captured and ready to be brought in so Mando and Toro can collect their bounty. When transportation problems cause a delay, the Mandalorian leaves to secure transportation that would allow the three of them to all leave together. A restrained Shand begins to consider how she can escape from Calican before the Mandalorian returns.
The night passes and morning comes, and the shrewd assassin Shand works her manipulative powers against the young and seemingly naïve Calican.
Fennec Shand: Look, there’s still time to make my rendezvous in Mos Espa. Take me to it, and I can pay you double the price on my head.
Toro Calican: I don’t care about the money.
Fennec Shand: Oh. So the Mandalorian keeps all the money for himself.
Toro Calican: Only because I let him.
Fennec Shand: (laughs) Doesn’t seem that way. To me it seems like he’s calling all the shots.
Toro Calican: Shows what you know. I hired Mando. This is my job. Bringing you in will make me a full member of the Bounty Hunters’ Guild.
Playing on his ego, Fennec works to undermine Toro, wanting him to start to believe he is being played by the Mandalorian. While Toro responds defensively, it does not appear greed is his primary motivation.
Fennec Shand: You already have something that the Guild values far more than me. You just don’t see it.
Toro Calican: What?
Fennec Shand: The Mandalorian. His armor alone is worth more than my bounty.
Toro Calican: I already told you I don’t care about the money.
Fennec Shand: And think what it would do for your reputation. A Mandalorian shot up the Guild in Nevarro. Took some high value target and went rogue.
Toro Calican: That Mandalorian?
Fennec Shand: Like I said, you don’t see many. You bring the Guild that traitor and they’ll welcome you with open arms. Your name will be legendary.
Toro Calican: How can we be sure he’s the one?
Fennec Shand: Word is he still has the target with him. Some say it’s a child. Look. If you’re afraid to take him on, fear not. I can help you with that. Take some advice, kid: you wanna be a bounty hunter, make the best deal for yourself and survive.
It becomes clear that Fennec Shand has convinced the young bounty hunter that the esteem he will garner from capturing the Mandalorian instead of the assassin is exactly what he needs. She makes a significant miscalculation by thinking playing to his ego will leave him wanting to enlist her help. Calican is feeling pretty big at the moment, so he kills Shand and heads off to face the Mandalorian.
Of course, the much more experienced Mandalorian does Mandalorian things, and kills Toro Calican, and uses the coins he takes from his body to pay what he owes for his repairs.
The contrast between Toro Calican and the Mandalorian are striking. The young bounty hunter desperately wants to make a name for himself, wants to become a legend as soon as he is able. The Mandalorian simply wants to protect the child, which is a significant evolution from the Mandalorian we met in the first episode of this season.
Ego and pride prove to be the downfall of Toro Calican. He had what he wanted, and it wasn’t enough. He had captured Fennec Shand, and would earn his way into The Guild. He merely needed to wait for Mando to return, bring Shand in, and his goal would be achieved. Instead, he wanted to be noticed, and that caused him to change course. His pride kept him from being satisfied, and instead caused his destruction.
Pride has been defined as having a skewed view of ourselves. Contrast this with humility, which is having a proper view of ourselves, and we begin to see Toro’s actions even clearer. He thought he was better than Mando, and he was not. He viewed himself as this experienced and ruthless killer who was destined to be a legend, but in reality he was a young man who was deceived into thinking he had it all figured out.
The Bible tells us God stands against the proud. Those who refuse to see themselves in truth, those who fail to recognize their need for God, those who are all about themselves are destined to fall. To those who are humble, who see themselves in their brokenness, who recognize their need for God, who live for Him and others, they will be lifted up.
1 Peter 5:5-6
God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
In our own lives, being blind to pride can be destructive. Perhaps we are quick to find fault with others, or have a harsh way about us. Maybe we have a strong need for attention or fail to care for others. Whatever it might look like in your life, let’s be people who recognize that we are broken people who need God to put us back together. Let’s be people who refuse to spend our lives on our own legacy, but instead invest our days in making the name of Jesus great all around us.
Discussion Questions (for parents and their children to engage in together)
- What came to mind when you realized what planet the Mandalorian had landed on?
- What did you think of the Mandalorian’s “parenting” in this episode?
- When you first met Toro Calican, what did you think of him?
- Do you think the Mandalorian ever trusted Calican? Explain why you think the way you do.
- Do you think Fennec would have killed Toro if he had taken her restraints off? Explain why you think the way you do.
- What are some evidences of pride that you see in Toro’s life during this episode?
- Read 1 Peter 5:5-11. What do you think Peter wants us to know from these verses?
- Looking at ourselves, what does pride look like in our lives?
- Why do you think God is opposed to the proud?
- What does the Bible say God will do for the humble?
- What might you and I do to fight against pride in our own lives?
- As an exercise of humility, let’s close our time together, each of us praying and acknowledging our need for God, and inviting Him to rid our lives of pride.
Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org