Chapter 5: The Gunslinger

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A Brief Dogfight

The episode opens with the Razor Crest being pursued by a starfighter piloted by another bounty hunter, who demands over the comlink that the Mandalorian hand over the Child to him. The Razor Crest’s left engine takes some damage. The rival bounty hunter warns that he can either bring him in warm or cold. He tries to ram the Razor Crest but fails to knock out the ship. As he drifts into the forward view of the Razor Crest, the Mandalorian destroys the enemy starfighter with a single laser cannon shot, saying that is his line. The Razor Crest floats in space with a damaged engine.

With the Razor Crest’s engines reporting that the starship is losing fuel, the Mandalorian switches off power. The Child sits in his cradle while the Mandalorian starts up the emergency power. The Razor Crest approaches the desert world of Tatooine. The ship is contacted by Mos Eisley control tower, who tells him that he is cleared for hangar 3-5.

The Mandalorian Art by John Park

Landing in Mos Eisley

The Mandalorian flies the Razor Crest down into the deserts of Mos Eisley and lands at bay three-five. He places the sleeping Child in a safe room. Upon landing, three DUM-series pit droids rush out to service the Razor Crest. The droid hating Mandalorian fires a warning shot, causing the pit droids to retract. His shots anger a curly-haired human woman named Peli Motto, who warns him that if he damages one of her droids, he’ll pay for it.

The Mandalorian tells her to just keep her droids away from his ship. She retorts by asking if he thinks it is a good idea. She has a look at his ship and says that it has a lot of carbon scoring on the top. She realizes the ship has been in a shootout and also finds a fuel leak. She says that the ship is in a mess and asks how he landed it. The Mandalorian say that all he has got is 500 Imperial credits.

Peli asks the pit droids what they think and they shake their heads. She thinks that the credits should just cover the hangar. He promises he will get her his money but she says that she has heard that before. Peli is annoyed by his presence and regards him as a womp rat. The Mandalorian exits the hangar bay and walks into the sandy streets of Mos Eisley. He walks past several pikes bearing old stormtrooper helmets.

Later, Peli plays a game of sabacc with her pit droids, betting three bolts and a motivator. They are disturbed by a cry from the ship’s cargo bay. Peli raises her blaster but discovers that the passenger is the Child, who is donning a brown coat. Peli approaches the Child and lifts him in her arms, saying that she will take a good look at him. she asks the Child if that bounty hunter left him alone in that “big, nasty ship.” The pit droids ask in Binary what the Child is and Peli says that she doesn’t know what it is and asks them to give her a second.

She asks the Child if he would like some food and gets the pit droids to fetch him something to eat, preferably something with bones. She tells the Child that she will look after him until the Mandalorian gets back and then she is going to charge him extra for watching him. She playfully teases him, referring to him as “bright eyes.”

The Mandalorian Art by Christian Alzmann

The Job Offer

Meanwhile, the Mandalorian enters Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina, which is being serviced by an EV-series supervisor droid bartender. The bar is frequented by several aliens and even droids including R5-D4. The Mandalorian tells the bartender droid that he is looking for some work. The bartender droid says that the Bounty Hunters’ Guild is no longer operating on Tatooine. The Mandalorian replies that he is not looking for Guild work. The droid responds that he is afraid that won’t improve his prospects by any calculation.

The Mandalorian is being watched by a human man, who calls the bartender droid a “tin can” and tells him to think again. This catches the Mandalorian’s attention. He realizes the Mandalorian is looking for work and invites him for a seat. He introduces himself to the Mandalorian as Toro Calican, telling the Mandalorian to relax. Calican displays a holoprojector image of a female human bounty, telling her that he picked up this bounty before he left the Mid Rim. The bounty is Fennec Shand, an assassin who has been on the run ever since the New Republic put all her employers in lock down.

The Mandalorian is familiar with Shand. Calican says that provisional data suggests Shand is heading out towards the Dune Sea and thinks it should be an easy job. The Mandalorian says good luck with that and turns to leave. Calican tells him to wait. The Mandalorian asks how long he has been with the Guild and he replies long enough. The Mandalorian disagrees and tells him that Fennec Shand is an elite mercenary and made her name killing for the top crime syndicates including the Hutts. He warns that if he goes after her, he won’t make it past sunrise before turning to leave.

Calican tells the Mandalorian that this is his first job and offers to let him keep the money. He says that he only wants to get into the Guild and that he can’t do it alone. The Mandalorian tells him to meet him at Hangar three-five in half an hour and to bring two speeder bikes and to give him the tracking fob. Calican hits the tracking fob against the wall and tells the Mandalorian not to worry because he has gotten it all memorized. The Mandalorian reminds him to meet him in half an hour. Calican cockily remarks that the Mandalorian is now stuck with him.

The Mandalorian Art by Christian Alzmann

Starship Repairs and the Child

The Mandalorian returns to bay three-five and climbs aboard the Razor Crest. He finds that the Child is missing from his bed. Panicking, he shouts but Peli tells him to wait. The Mandalorian questions a pit droid but it folds up in fear. Peli comes carrying the Child and chides him for awakening the infant since she had trouble getting him to sleep. The Mandalorian demands that Peli give him the Child, but she scolds him for leaving the Child alone. She adds that he has an awful lot to learn about raising a young one. The Child warms to Peli.

She tells him that she started the repairs on the fuel leak but encountered setbacks. Since she did not use any droids, it took her a lot longer than she expected. She bangs on the controls to get it to work. Peli tells him that she figured that he was good for the money since he has an extra mouth to feed. The Mandalorian thanks her. Peli assumes that he has gotten a job and tells him that it costs her a lot of money to keep these droids powered up.

She exits the hangar bay with the Mandalorian to find Calican with the two speeder bikes as he had promised. The speeder bikes are old and rusty but Calican claims they are not too shabby. When the Mandalorian inspects his speeder, Calican says that the speeders are from Corellia. He also eyes Peli and the Child. The two men mount their speeders and ride into the Dune Sea.

The Mandalorian Art by Ryan Church

Into the Dune Sea

They race across the Dune Sea, riding over sand and desert mounds. The two come to a stop. When Calican asks what is going on, the Mandalorian tells him to look up ahead. Calican dismounts and takes out his macrobinoculars. He sees a pair of banthas with two Tusken Raiders and says he has heard the locals talking about them a lot. The Mandalorian points out that Tuskens think they are the locals and that everyone else is trespassing. Calican thinks that the Tuskens should keep their distance. The Mandalorian dares Calican to tell them themselves.

Just then, two Tusken Raiders appear out of nowhere from the desert. The Mandalorian tells him to relax and communicates with the Tuskens by sign language, telling Calican that he is negotiating passage across their land. The Mandalorian gets Calican to hand him the binoculars. Despite Calican’s protests, the Mandalorian hands the binoculars to the Tuskens as a trade. Calican protests they are brand new but the Mandalorian counters that they were brand new. The two continue their journey by speeder bikes through the Dune Sea, crossing vast expanses of sand.

When they reach a mound, the Mandalorian dismounts and tells Calican to also get down. Calican tells the seasoned bounty hunter that he sees a dewback and that the rod is still attached to an unconscious figure. When Calican asks if it belongs to their target, the Mandalorian says that he doesn’t know and will go. He orders Calican to cover him and to stay down. The Mandalorian rushes to the dewback to investigate. He finds a deceased figure, who turns out to be a masked man.

Calican asks if she is dead, and the Mandalorian responds that it is a bounty hunter. Calican asks if he has any plans of keeping it all to himself and asks if he can have their blaster. He finds a tracking fob and warns the Calican to get down. Just then, an unidentified figure fires on the Mandalorian. The Mandalorian runs back and narrowly dodges a sniper bolt. He tells Calican that only an MK sniper rifle could have fired that bolt. The Mandalorian reassures Calican that he is all right because his beskar armor deflected the blast.

The Mandalorian Art by Jama Jurabaev

Working Together

Calican says he doesn’t have beskar and asks what they should do. The Mandalorian asks Calican if he saw where the shot came from. Calican confirms that it came from that ridge. The Mandalorian tells him to wait until dark. When Calican asks what if she escapes, the Mandalorian explains that she has the high ground and will wait for them to make the first move. He says he is going to rest and assigns Calican the first watch, reminding him to stay low.

Their opponent watches and briefly lowers her visor. That night, Calican awakes the napping Mandalorian and mocks him from being asleep on the job. He toys with his blaster but the Mandalorian asks if he is done. The Mandalorian tells him to get on his bike and ride towards the rocks as fast as he can. When Calican points out that Shand would snipe them off the bikes, the Mandalorian hands him a flash charger and explains that they will alternate shots, blinding any scope temporarily. He plans to strike Shand using speed and the cover of night.

The two ride their speeder bikes towards the rocks. Shand aims her blaster and the Mandalorian fires a flash shot, temporarily blinding Shand and forcing her to take off her helmet. She shoots at them but misses. Calican fires the second flash charger shot, blinding Shand. The two take turns as they approach Shand. Shand manages to shoot the Mandalorian’s bike, causing him to fall off. He fires a second shot.

Shand shoots at the Mandalorian, knocking him to the ground. Before she can finish him off, Calican surprises her from behind. Shand throws a knife at him and fights him in hand to hand combat. The Mandalorian stirs while Calican and Shand fight in the sand. Calican manages to distract her long enough for the Mandalorian to arrive and force her surrender. Shand raises her hand while the bruised Calican tends to his wounds. He tells Calican to go and find his blaster.

Shand turns to face the Mandalorian and says that it is a long time since she has seen one of his kind. She asks if he has been to Nevarro. Shand says she hears that things didn’t go so well. Calican recovers his blaster and tells Shand that she doesn’t have to worry about Nevarro because they are going to turn her in. He thanks Shand for being his ticket to the Guild and she says that he is welcome.

Calican’s Ambition

The two bounty hunters lead their captive to the remaining bike. Shand taunts her captors by telling them that one of them has to walk. The Mandalorian suggests dragging her. Calican asks what is the plan. The Mandalorian tells him to go and find that dewback they encountered. Calican is unwilling to leave the Mandalorian here with his bounty and his ride. The Mandalorian uses his helmet to locate the dewback and says he will fetch it. He warns Calican not to let her get to the bike because she is no good to them dead. Calican guards Shand while sitting on the bike. She makes eye contact with him.

At dawn, Shand says that it has been a while and that the sun is up. Calican tells her to shut up. She responds that she still has time to make her rounds in Mos Espa. She asks him to take him to it and promises to pay him double the price on her head. Calican says he doesn’t care about the money. She then asks him about the Mandalorian keeping all the money for himself. He says that only because he let him. Seeking to drive a wedge between the two hunters, Shand says that it seems he is calling all the shots. Calican disagrees and says that he hired the Mandalorian to do his job and that bringing her in would make him a full member of the Guild.

Shand points out that he has something more valuable than her but that he doesn’t see it. When he asks what, Shand responds that his armor alone is worth more than her bounty. Calican reiterates that he doesn’t care for the money. Shand asks him to consider what it will do for his reputation. She explains that the Mandalorian shot up the Guild on Nevarro and took some high value target and went rogue. When he asks if it is that Mandalorian, Shand tells him that if he brings the Mandalorian back to the Guild, they will welcome him back with open arms. She tells him that his name will be legendary.

He dismounts from the speeder bike and asks how they can be sure if he is the one. Shand responds that the word is that he still has the target with him. Some say that it is a Child. She tells him that she can help him take on the Mandalorian. Shand tells him to take some advice by taking the best deal for himself and surviving. He looks at the horizon and puts his gun back in his holster. He walks towards Shand and she raises her restraints. However, he betrays her by shooting her. As a dying Shand kneels, Calican says that is some good advice and says that if he took those binders off her, he would be a dead man. If the Mandalorian is worth more than Shand, he asks who wouldn’t want to be a legend and thanks her for the tip.

The Mandalorian Art by Christian Alzmann

Calican’s Betrayal

Calican then mounts his speeder bike. Meanwhile, the Mandalorian returns to the rocks and spots the dead Shand. He finds no sign of Calican and rides back to Mos Eisley, reaching it by nightfall. He returns to bay three-five where Calican’s speeder bike is parked outside. The hangar bay is eerily silent. The Mandalorian sees the pit droids cowering in the office and realizes something is not right.

Calican taunts the Mandalorian that it took him long enough. He appears, holding Peli hostage. Calican boasts he is calling the shots now and demands that the Mandalorian drop his blaster and raise his hands. Calican is also carrying the Child in his left hand. He forces Peli to bind him. The Mandalorian is still holding something in his left hand. Calican mocks the Mandalorian as a Guild traitor and bets that the Child is the target that he helped to escape.

Peli whispers that the Mandalorian is smarter than he looks. Calican says that Fennec was right in that bringing the Mandalorian in would not just make him a member of the Guild but will make him legendary. Before Calican can shoot him, the Mandalorian blinds him with a flash charger. A gun battle breaks out and the Mandalorian shoots Calican, killing him. Calican falls to the ground.

A New Ally and Farewell

The Mandalorian tells Peli to stay back but she asks where the Child is. She soon finds the Child safe and hiding behind a basket. She lifts him and comforts him, telling him that the shot was really loud for his big ears. Peli hands the Child back to the Mandalorian and tells him to be careful with him.

Peli asks if he didn’t get paid and sighs. The Mandalorian instead pays Peli, using Calican’s credits. Pleased with the Mandalorian, she tells the pit droids to drag Calican’s body to Beggar’s Canyon. The droids get to work while the Mandalorian departs with the Child aboard the repaired Razor Crest into space.

Meanwhile, an unknown figure wearing tall black boots and a cape approaches the body of Fennec Shand.


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