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Anatoly Seleznev
Anatoly Seleznev

Chapter 18: The Mines Of Mandalore


The Mandalorian and Grogu head to Tatooine and reunites with Peli Motto, whom he hopes will have a memory core that he can use to revive IG-11. She does not have one, but offers to sell him R5-D4 instead. The Mandalorian reluctantly agrees. The Mandalorian and Grogu head to Mandalore. The Mandalorian sends R5-D4 to scan the planet. When he does not answer, he heads into a cave to find him. There he is attacked by several Alamites, who he kills with the Darksaber. After running several tests, The Mandalorian discovers that the planet's air is breathable, and heads back out with Grogu. They head below the city of Sundari, in search of the mines. There he finds an old Mandalorian helmet, which is a trap set up by a cyborg creature. The creature captures The Mandalorian and imprisons him.




Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore


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As Djarin and Grogu arrive in the vicinity of Mandalore, Djarin assures Grogu that while it may look scary, with its turbulent stormclouds, it was once beautiful and verdant, back in the days when the songs Djarin knows about Mandalore were written. He tells Grogu that it is the homeworld of their people, and that every Mandalorian can trace their roots back to this planet and its beskar mines. He confesses that he has never been to Mandalore either, and that instead, he grew up on Mandalore's moon, Concordia. He points to Concordia, which they can see from the cockpit, and then to Kalevala, reminding Grogu that it is where Bo-Katan Kryze lives. He then points to the scope, which shows the three astronomical bodies he has mentioned, explaining to Grogu that Mandalorians must be skilled at reading maps so they do not get lost.[5]


As the ship descends through the atmosphere of Mandalore, the clouds buffet R5-D4 and cause the ship's systems to flicker. When they have broken through the clouds, Djarin suggests that the fusion bombs from the Great Purge of Mandalore disrupted the magnetic field around the planet, preventing any communication out of atmosphere. The ship lands in a clearing surrounded by jagged pieces of green trinitite, and Djarin orders R5 to scout ahead and test the atmosphere in the mines. R5 reluctantly trundles off in the direction Djarin indicates. When Grogu shows concern about R5, Djarin says they can watch it on the scope, which shows a dot slowly travelling away from them before abruptly disappearing. As Djarin unsuccessfully tries to raise R5 on comms, the ship's systems flicker again. Djarin says it is probably just atmospheric interference, but acquiesces to Grogu's distress, leaving the ship to go find R5 after pressurizing his helmet.[5]


When Djarin receives the atmospheric readings from R5-D4, he discovers that the air is breathable and declares that Kryze was right, and that Mandalore is not cursed. He takes Grogu into the cave, pausing at the precipice from before and telling Grogu that this was once the civic center, where Kryze told them to go. He uses his jetpack and Grogu uses his hovering pram to descend past the mangled metal skeletons of buildings, pausing on a girder to tell Grogu that the mines are further down, and that they were on their own from here. They continue descending down a well, past ancient water pipes, before landing at the bottom.[5]


Before Djarin responds, they reach a gate and enter a much older part of the city: the mines proper. Kryze reveals that she has been to the Living Waters before, as a child. She spoke of how, as a member of the royal family, she had taken the Mandalorian tenets publicly, but that it was merely theater for their subjects: a spectacle of a princess reciting the tenets while her father looked on with pride. Djarin suggests that her father was proud, and that he would like to have known him. Kryze responds that he was proud of her, and that he was a great man who died defending Mandalore. In response, Djarin stops, and when she turns to face him, he solemnly proclaims, "This is the Way."[5]


They reach the Living Waters, a vast pool of water accessible by a wide stone staircase. Before he enters the water, Kryze insists on reading him the commemorative plaque near the steps. It records that the mines date back to Mandalore the Great, and there is a tradition that they were once the lair of mythosaurs. The plaque also notes that the mythosaur skull was adopted as the symbol of their planet because Mandalore the Great tamed the great beast. When she sees that Djarin has not reacted to any of her words, she asks if he is alright, but he does not respond. Instead, he removes his jetpack and weapons and wades into the pool, reciting the ritual words: "I swear on my name and the names of the Ancestors that I shall walk the way of the Mand'alor, and the words of the Creed shall be forever forged in my heart."[5]


They make it back to Mandalore, and Bo-Katan tells Grogu she needs him to lead her to Din. He is visibly afraid, his fear intensifying the deeper they get into the mines. But he persists, and they find Din injured and in desperate need of saving.


When they reach the living waters below the mines, Bo tells him more about the history of Mandalore and the surrounding legends. In an emotionally raw and moving moment, he begins his ritual, preparing to enter the water and restore his status as a Mandalorian.


This episode sees Mando and Grogu head to the planet Mandalore, long since abandoned and thought to have a toxic atmosphere since the Galactic Empire purged it. Mando needs to step into the living waters of the mines of Mandalore and bring back proof in order to redeem himself for willingly removing his helmet.


Din and Grogu head back into the cave, and they fly down to the Civic Center. They continue to descend deeper and deeper into the caves towards the mines. Creatures watch from the shadows. They descend further into the caves.


Grogu and Bo embark, with R5 staying on board to track their progress. They too walk through the caves and into the mines, just as Grogu and Din had earlier. Looking over the city ruins, Bo removes her helmet. She refers to the once great civilization as a tomb, and they descend to the bottom of the caves. With the creatures still waiting, Bo needs to push Grogu to help her find Din.


"These mines date back to the age of the first Mandalore. According to ancient folklore, the mines were once a Mythosaur lair. Mandalore the Great is said to have tamed the mythical beast. It is from these legends that the skull signet was adopted and became the symbol of our planet."


As they head into the mines, Mando manages to get caught in a metallic booby trap of a crab-like creature. This is a fantastic cyborg style design that seems ripe for an awesome action figure later down the road. 041b061a72


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