Chapter 22: Guns for Hire
Released on Disney+ on April 5, 2023
Bo-Katan, Din Djarin and Grogu set out for the idyllic planet Plazir-15, where Bo-Katan’s former army, now led by Axe Woves, have set themselves up as mercenaries. Before they can meet them, they are involuntarily diverted by the planet’s rulers, Captain Bombardier and the Duchess, who ask for their help in neutralizing several repurposed but malfunctioning Imperial and Separatist droids. After stopping a rogue droid, Bo-Katan and Djarin follow its trail to The Resistor, a droid bar, and convince its bartender and clientele to help them. They find out that the droids were sabotaged through nanodroids in the bar’s maintenance fluid, which were covertly imported by Commissioner Helgait, head of the planetary Security Office. Confronted, Helgait reveals himself as a Separatist before Bo-Katan knocks him out. The Duchess sentences a remorseful Helgait to live in exile on the Moon of Paraquaat. Granted an audience with the Mandalorian privateers, Bo-Katan challenges Woves for leadership and defeats him. To help her ascendance, Djarin admits his capture by the cyborg in the mines of Mandalore and his rescue by Bo-Katan, which rightfully bestows the Darksaber back to her.
Hail, Imperial friends.
We are a peaceful Quarren freighter making our way to do business in the Mid Rim.
And were unaware of any local warlords that required payment.
SHIP CAPTAIN: (ON COMMS) I am not a criminal.
Of course not.
I intended no disrespect.
Basic is not my native tongue.
I meant to say that we were not aware of the majestic Imperial presence in this sector, and we will gladly hire your protection.
SHIP CAPTAIN: We are not Imperial either.
We are Mandalorian.
And, sadly, you’re too late to hire us.
You see, we’ve been commissioned to track you down, Captain Shuggoth.
This is an act of war.
AXE WOVES: “War?” (LAUGHS)
We’re privateers. Individuals for hire.
The price is high but we are very good at what we do.
Loyal as well.
Which is why we cannot accept your generous offer.
You see, we were already hired by a certain Mon Calamari Viceroy who has reason to believe you absconded with her son.
It’s a lie.
We finally have peace with the Calamari.
Why would I jeopardize peace and prosperity?
We have all suffered too much from war.
I didn’t say anything about war.
I know it was for love.
But my job is not to judge, but simply to complete the tasks for which we were hired.
No. I won’t go. I won’t go.
We love each other.
AXE WOVES: Sorry. I’ve gotta bring you back home to your folks.
After that, you can do whatever you want.
Okay, let’s make this quick.
We got a contract waiting for us on Plazir-15.
I can’t go back to that wretched palace.
Don’t make us damage your girlfriend’s pretty little ship.
Captain, please, talk to him.
You have to go with them.
No. I love you.
I can’t destroy everything I’ve built for a childish fling.
(STAMMERS) Is that all this was to you?
No, that’s not what I meant.
But you need to go.
We knew fate was not on our side.
Who cares about fate? I love you.
And I will always love you.
KOSKA REEVES: Come with us, Prince.
You can do this. I’ll see you again.
KOSKA REEVES: It’s a long ride home.
I thought Mandalorians were honorable.
KOSKA REEVES: We are, kid. All it takes is a few credits.
There they are.
THE MANDALORIAN: That’s quite a fleet.
It took me a long time to assemble it.
Most of it was captured from the Empire.
THE MANDALORIAN: I knew they looked familiar.
Could come in real handy taking back Mandalore.
Axe Woves is their leader now.
It’s going to take some convincing to get them to join us.
THE MANDALORIAN: I wonder what they’re here for?
This planet isn’t on the New Republic Registry, so I’d guess it’s an independent world that hired them for protection.
THE MANDALORIAN: Can’t imagine Woves will be happy to see you.
I’ll land outside the fleet’s perimeter.
It’s probably best if we go in on foot.
(FANFARE MUSIC PLAYING)
FEMALE VOICE: (ON COMMS) Welcome to Plazir-15.
The Outer Rim’s only remaining direct democracy.
You’ve been assigned a docking slip.
You will be guided on the assigned path.
Engaging automated guidance.
THE MANDALORIAN: What happened?
They’ve taken control of the ship.
I guess we’re going for a ride.
THE MANDALORIAN: This is interesting.
RA-7: Welcome to Plazir-15.
Please proceed to your hyperloop pod.
THE MANDALORIAN: Why do they have Imperial droids on an independent world?
It’s the Outer Rim.
Your guess is as good as mine.
Bring us to the bay closest to the Mandalorian fleet.
FEMALE VOICE: (ON PA) As per Article Nine of the Coruscant Accords, permission must be granted from High Senate for access to self-defense forces in the peacekeeping zone.
Do you grant permission to scan your chain code?
Din Djarin and Bo-Katan Kryze.
Your presence has been requested by the leadership of the planetary democracy…
I’m afraid we have more pressing matters.
Perhaps at a later time.
Please do not attempt to leave the vehicle.
This is not a request.
I’ve never been here before. Have you?
THE MANDALORIAN: I haven’t even heard of it.
Do you think we’re gonna have to blast our way out of here?
We’ll find out.
(CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING)
MAN: Join us! Come!
It’s a party.
(LAUGHS) Come! Everyone, special guests.
I hope you like secretions. Take a little sip-sip.
(IN SING-SONG) Do you love me?
WOMAN: Oh, my goodness. (IN SING-SONG) Yes, I do.
Let’s address the bantha in the room.
I was once a facilities planning officer during the war.
And thanks to the New Republic Amnesty Program, I was able to help rebuild Plazir-15.
THE MANDALORIAN: You were Imperial?
Plazir suffered greatly under Imperial rule.
My husband came here as part of his rehabilitation.
He oversaw the rebuilding of this planet on which my family served as nobility since it was originally settled, and… we fell in love.
We fell in love. We did fall in love.
Could I perhaps hold the baby? Please?
THE MANDALORIAN: He doesn’t take kindly to strangers.
You are so fast. Yes.
(THE MANDALORIAN SIGHS)
You see, it was time for our planet to move into a new age.
We held direct democratic elections for the first time in our history.
We are both royals and elected leaders.
THE MANDALORIAN: And the Mandalorian privateer warships docked in your fields?
Oh, we hire them for protection.
Our charter forbids us from having a military because of my husband’s Imperial past.
But because of this, all of our resources go to growth and the people.
I’d like to speak to these “privateers.”
That can be arranged.
There is just one condition.
You really must see the view.
Right this way.
We’ll just be a moment. Enjoy your meal, don’t get up.
Let’s show our guests the view.
We have a problem.
A droid problem.
THE MANDALORIAN: What kind of “droid problem”?
A coordinated malfunction.
THE MANDALORIAN: What makes you think that?
The planet’s Imperial droids were reprogrammed for peace.
I personally oversaw the program.
I can assure you they were completely rehabilitated for peaceful purposes.
They were, my love, I personally oversaw the program.
THE MANDALORIAN: What kind of malfunction?
CAPTAIN BOMBARDIER: I mean, nothing too serious at first.
Unexpected power cycles. Deleted task stacks.
THE DUTCHESS: Then it got worse.
Traffic accidents. Heavy equipment failures leading to injury.
THE MANDALORIAN: “Assault”?
Respectfully, what does this have to do with us?
Our constables are ill-equipped to confront battle droids.
Uh-uh-uh-uh. Former battle droids. They’ve been rehabilitated for civic duty.
(SIGHS) We thought.
THE DUTCHESS: Obviously not.
The Mandalorian garrison outside your city walls can make quick work of your battle droids.
That’s just it.
Our charter forbids any standing army from entering our city.
Our constables aren’t even allowed to carry blasters.
THE MANDALORIAN: But you allowed us to be armed.
The people have voted that we are a pluralistic society.
You are Mandalorians.
Weaponry and armor are intrinsic to your culture, are they not?
You see where we’re going here?
You want us to eliminate your droid problem.
I knew you would help us.
Hold on there, Your Majesty. We didn’t agree to help you.
Please, Princess Kryze. Your Grace.
This is not intended to be a work of charity.
Unlike my brethren outside your city walls, I am not a mercenary.
Apologies if that is the impression I gave.
What I intended to convey is that I would hope that this “excursion” would be viewed as an act of diplomacy between our two planets.
In fact, Plazir-15 would formally recognize Mandalore as a sovereign system and petition the New Republic to recognize it as such.
The mercenary captain, Axe Woves, indicated that he split from you because you had designs on ruling Mandalore once again.
Those plans have been abandoned.
The offer stands nonetheless.
What do you think?
THE MANDALORIAN: You had me at “battle droids.”
These droids were all reprogrammed to serve the community from the stockpile of captured Imperial robotics scheduled to be scrapped at Karthon.
The droid’s reprogramming was a complete success, until one day, an isolated event…
This is just a small collection of malfunctions that our security cameras caught.
Turn them off.
Why not turn them all off?
Who’s in charge of that?
I am. There’s a failsafe cutoff switch built into the system. However…
The citizens voted against any interruption in droid services. (LAUGHS) They can’t live without it.
And why’s that?
The citizens are no longer required to work and can spend their days engaging in recreation, the arts, and participating in our direct democracy. If we shut down the droids, (LAUGHS) our citizens wouldn’t know how to survive. Our society would collapse.
Then what do you want from us?
To seek out and decommission any remaining rogue droids, until we can fix the problem.
(SIGHS) Give us the list.
Well, for that, you’ll have to go to the lower level and speak to the Ugnaughts.
See what happens when you rely on droids?
Are you taking this personally?
Just pointing it out.
Let’s just finish this so we can be on our way.
I am Bo-Katan Kryze.
Which one of you is in charge?
We were sent on behalf of The Dutchess and Captain Bombardier to help you with your droid problem.
This is going nowhere.
I am Mandalorian Din Djarin, friend of Ugnaught Kuiil.
You will answer our questions and help us with our task.
I have spoken.
Thank you for your hospitality and for sharing your table with us.
We were engaged to hunt down and eliminate the malfunctioning droids.
There are no such droids.
You may not have heard the news down here, but your droids are wreaking havoc in the world above.
There is not much of which we are not aware.
These halls are the central nervous system of the city.
I assure you, the droids are not malfunctioning.
Citizens have been harmed by these malfunctioning machines.
This is not the case. I have spoken.
We’re not in any way suggesting that your work is to blame.
The stories of Ugnaughts’ skill with smithing droids are legendary.
We know that Ugnaughts are considered the hardest working species in the galaxy.
We, like you, have been engaged with a task to perform.
We will investigate the dangerous incidents.
We would appreciate your help.
Here are the locations of the droids you seek.
We are in your debt. I have spoken.
What was that?
I’ve spent time with Ugnaughts.
There’s a particular way to communicate with them.
Accusing their work of malfunctioning is an insult.
Now, they’ve indicated that there’s a likelihood that the next event will be at the loading docks.
How sure are they?
Hard to tell.
Ugnaughts always seem sure of themselves.
Well, it’s the only lead we’ve got so we might as well have a look around.
I haven’t seen battle droids since the Clone Wars.
Any of ’em look suspicious?
They all look suspicious.
DROID FOREMAN: Halt.
This is a restricted area. You are to vacate immediately.
We have a few questions.
DROID FOREMAN: Show me your identification please.
We’re here on behalf of The Dutchess to investigate the droid malfunctions.
DROID FOREMAN: Yes, I saw the reports.
Rest assured, I’ve had the entire line of loaders undergo maintenance protocols as a safety measure.
The, uh, certification is on file.
Uh, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.
-THE MANDALORIAN: Why’s that?
As a precaution.
Their base function was warfare.
THE MANDALORIAN: I thought they were just checked out.
DROID FOREMAN: They were.
Uh, what are you doing?
Then this shouldn’t faze them.
DROID FOREMAN: Uh, sir?
Excuse me! (STAMMERS) Excuse me! Sir!
DROID FOREMAN: You should have left them alone.
THE MANDALORIAN: Keep going!
CONSTABLE DROID: This is a crime scene.
Thank you for standing back.
This is a crime scene.
Thank you for standing back.
This is a crime scene.
Thank you for standing back.
I found a spark pad.
What’s it say?
Sounds like a droid bar.
And there’s an address.
BO-KATAN: Let me do the talking in there.
THE MANDALORIAN: Why is that?
Because I wanna get the information fast and get to the fleet.
So do I. What’s your point?
(DANCE MUSIC PLAYING)
You kicking droids is really not helpful.
I figured out which one was malfunctioning, didn’t I?
You did it your way, now let me do it mine, okay?
This is the address.
(MUSIC AND CHATTER ABRUPTLY STOPS)
THE MANDALORIAN: I don’t think they get many of our kind here.
BARTENDER DROID: Can I help you?
That depends. Is this The Resistor?
BARTENDER DROID: This is.
That spark pad was found on a rogue battle droid.
BARTENDER DROID: We give out lots of spark pads.
What are you getting at?
There has been a string of malfunctions that all point to this oil can.
BARTENDER DROID: You can check my registry.
We are in full compliance with Planetary Hierarchical…
If you don’t start answering questions,
I’ll yank your memory circuit and dissect it back at the lab.
Stay where I can see you.
(WHISPERING) What are you doing?
You’re wasting your time. You can’t reason with droids.
Their behavior is programmed.
All they do is reason.
They’re also programmed not to harm organics.
How’s that going?
Look, you are not helping.
Just because the malfunctioning droids happen to visit here doesn’t mean that this one is in on it.
BARTENDER DROID: I want to help.
THE MANDALORIAN: You want me to pull your hearing sensors too?
We are worried that if these horrible incidents continue, we will be…
THE MANDALORIAN: You’ll be what?
There are concerns among my customers that we will be replaced.
Most of us have been refurbished and reprogrammed.
Some droids on Plazir date back to the Separatists.
The New Republic would send them to scrap.
But here on Plazir, they are given a second chance.
Well, these catastrophes don’t help your argument.
That’s why we need your help.
We don’t want to be replaced. We still have a lot to contribute.
Human life is so short.
They don’t ask that much of us.
Organics created us.
It’s the least we can do.
(DROIDS CHATTERING IN UNISON)
BO-KATAN: Do you have a record of what each of the suspects ordered?
That is not how it works here.
There is no selection of beverages as with organics.
Here, droids are served Nepenthé.
THE MANDALORIAN: What’s Nepenthé?
It is a viscous lubricant that protects against mechanical wear while delivering program refreshing sub-particles.
So Nepenthé reprograms the droids that drink here?
It patches the programming as the commands of the mainframe change.
It seems the malfunctioning droids all imbibed from the same batch of Nepenthé.
LAB TECH: These are the remains of the latest malfunctioning droid.
We’re looking for programming sub-particles.
Yes. Let me isolate them.
All right, let’s see if they give us a reading.
The particles are definitely present.
What are the chances that they’re still active?
(LAB TECH GRUNTS)
They’re still active.
LAB TECH: These are the sub-particles.
They’re actually nano-droids.
How did nano-droids get into the Nepenthé?
LAB TECH: The striations?
Just an aberration in the metal.
Probably malleability limitations at this scale.
No. It’s writing.
Rotate the perspective.
It’s a chain code.
If it has a chain code, then we should be able to determine its point of origin.
LAB TECH: In theory.
Let me see what I can find out.
Yes, here we are.
They were originally manufactured by the Techno Union.
Been in cold-storage for ages.
The chain title says it didn’t arrive on Plazir through Droid Acquisitions.
How did it arrive?
They were requisitioned by the Security Office.
Is that unusual?
There’s no record of this transaction on the government registry.
These droids were ordered by an individual.
Is there a name?
LAB TECH: Our head of security.
Check the cycles of security cameras for any potential irregularities.
Commissioner, we have some questions for you.
Sorry, I have to check the data farm for anomalies.
We know about the Nepenthé. And the nano-droids.
They didn’t malfunction.
You programmed them to disrupt and attack.
You’re coming with us.
If I trigger this failsafe, it will convert the planet’s docile workforce back into battle droids and unleash them upon the unsuspecting citizens of Plazir!
Don’t make me do it.
BO-KATAN: There’s no way out, Commissioner.
Give yourself up.
COMMISSIONER HELGAIT: Give up?
I never give up.
I didn’t give up to the corrupt Republic, I didn’t give up to the Empire, and I won’t give up to you.
You’re a Separatist?
Separatist is a pejorative term.
I support democracy.
Count Dooku was a visionary.
He was cut short in his prime by the Jedi enforcer…
(COMMISSIONER HELGAIT GROANS)
(CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING)
Okay, let me get that for you, M’Lady.
Your toss, lovey.
(THE DUTCHESS BREATHES DEEPLY)
A Quadro-blast! I’ve never seen such a streak!
What are you doing with Commissioner Helgait?
THE MANDALORIAN: We found the cause of your “malfunctions.”
Is this true?
I’m afraid it is, M’Lady.
If that isn’t the Quacta calling the Stifling slimy.
I beg your pardon.
This planet is unrecognizable since he arrived.
I had a feeling you hated me.
I’m disappointed in you, Commissioner.
You served my family well.
But Captain Bombardier is the love of my life.
And I know his heart is true.
Sure, he’s made some mistakes in the past, but who here among us has not?
Is there no room for a little bit of forgiveness in a galaxy so vast?
I am sorry to have disappointed you, My Lady.
Perhaps someday I can earn such forgiveness from Your Grace.
As for now, you must live in exile on the moon of Paraqaat.
And as for you, Lady Bo-Katan Kryze and Din Djarin of Concordia, I grant you audience with our deployment of Mandalorian privateers.
I also give to you both our highest honor, the key to Plazir.
You will always be welcome in our domed paradise.
And to this little one, I grant knighthood.
You are now a knight of the Ancient Order of Independent Regencies.
Go in peace, brave travelers. Until our paths meet again.
THE MANDALORIAN: M’Lord. M’Lady.
FEMALE VOICE: (ON PA) Now approaching landing field three.
You’re their leader.
They’re going to follow you.
I’m not their leader anymore.
Axe Woves is.
Then what’s your play?
I’ll know when I get there.
AXE WOVES: Have you come back to join the mercenaries?
I’ve come to reclaim my fleet.
It’s no longer your fleet, is it?
I’m now in command and grown quite fond of it.
Then I challenge you, one warrior to another.
Do you accept my challenge?
Do you yield?
Do you yield?
You’ll never be the true leader of our people.
You won’t even take the Darksaber from him.
He’s the one you should be challenging.
Enough Mandalorian blood has been spilled by our own hands.
Mandalorians are stronger together.
But a misguided zealot possesses the blade.
One, I might add, who has not one drop of Mandalorian blood in his veins.
Din Djarin took the Creed and chose to walk the Way, just as our ancestors did.
He is every bit the Mandalorian that they were.
Certainly as much as any of us.
But according to our ways, the ruler of Mandalore must possess the Darksaber.
Then she shall have it.
This belongs to you.
It’s not a gift to be given, no matter how well intended.
It’s not a gift.
While exploring Mandalore, I was captured.
And this blade was taken from me.
Bo-Katan rescued me and slayed my captor.
She defeated the enemy that defeated me.
Would this blade then not belong to her?
Would it not belong to her?
I return this blade to its rightful owner.