Chapter 5: The Gunslinger

Star Wars: The MandalorianThe Razor Crest comes out the worse for wear in a dogfight with another bounty hunter, forcing the Mandalorian down on the planet Tatooine’s infamous Mos Eisley spaceport with barely enough Imperial credits on him to rent a hangar, let alone cover the needed repairs. The Mandalorian looks for work in the local cantina, finding only a rookie bounty hunter named Toro Calican on his first job. The problem is that he’s chosen as his first quarry a skilled assassin named Fennec Shand, not an easy target for an inexperienced hunter. With the Mandalorian’s help – and the promise that the Mandalorian can keep the money while Calican gets the reputation points for the catch – they find and capture Shand, but not before she has destroyed one of their speeder bikes, forcing the Mandalorian to go and find another means of transporting Shand back to Mos Eisley. In his absence, Shand tells Calican about the Mandalorian’s own reputation – and the fact that he’s on the run from the Guild, and therefore a far more valuable target than she is. Blind ambition inspires an unwise decision that nevertheless puts the child traveling with the Mandalorian in great danger.

The Mandalorianwritten by Dave Filoni
directed by Dave Filoni
music by Ludwig Goransson

Cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Amy Sedaris (Peli Motto), Jake Cannavale (Toro Calican), Ming-Na Wen (Fennec Shand), Rio Hackford (Riot Mar), Troy Kotsur (Tusken Raider Scout #1), Steve Jay Blum (Spaceport Operator)

Notes: Time – and possibly Luke’s destruction of Jabba’s criminal empire in Return Of The Jedi – haven’t been particularly kind to Tatooine, and the Bounty Hunters’ Guild no longer even The Mandalorianoperates from there. Rusty pit droids dating back to the days of the Republic are still in common use, as are reprogrammed K-2 Imperial droids (K-2SO, seen in Rogue One, was something of a trailblazer in that respect – or maybe that model’s just easily hacked). Toro Calican thinks he’s worthy of holding down Han Solo’s old seat at the Mos Eisley Cantina (a booth where, it has to be said, there’s no evidence of Greedo getting a single shot off, maclunkey or otherwise). Tusken Raiders can apparently be negotiated with if you know their form of sign language (and have something of value to trade), and the Mandalorian acknowledges that the Tuskens are Tatooine’s indigenous life form, and not the vermin that many humanoids take them to be.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Girl Who Made The Stars

Star Trek: Short TreksYoung Michael Burnham is scared of the dark, but her father reminds her of a time when the first people to walk upright and farm the land on Earth also faced that fear – until a little girl from their tribe worked up the courage to venture forth to satisfy her curiosity, and filled the sky with stars.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Brandon Schultz
directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
music by Kris Bowers

Voice Cast: Kenric Green (Mike Burnham), Kyrie McAlpin (Michael Burnham)

Short TreksNotes: Actor Kenric Green also portrayed Mike Burnham, father of Commander Michael Burnham, in live-action flashbacks in the Star Trek: Discovery episode Perpetual Infinity. (He’s also married to Sonnequa Martin-Green, the actress who plays the grown-up Michael Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery.) This short is the first Star Trek episode of any length, in 53 years, to feature an entirely African-American cast, writer, director, and composer.

Along with another animated Short Trek, Ephraim And DOT, released on the same day, The Girl Who Made The Stars is the first animated Star Trek adventure produced by either CBS or Paramount since the early 1970s animated series.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Ephraim And DOT

Star Trek: Short TreksA member of the tardigrade species that travels the mycelial network is looking for a place to lay her eggs when a chance collision suddenly turns the starship Enterprise into her next nest. This doesn’t sit well with one of the ship’s DOT7 maintenance robots, more concerned with keeping the ship free of any infestations than with providing a safe nesting ground. After the tardigrade lays her eggs in engineering, she is forced out of the ship by the DOT7, and then uses her own means to try to catch up with the ship at various points in its future. But little does she know that the Enterprise, still carrying her slow-incubating eggs, has a date with destiny at a nameless world in the Mutara Sector…

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Chris Silvestri & Anthony Maranville
directed by Michael Giacchino
music by Michael Giacchino

Voice Cast: Kirk Thatcher (Narrator), Jenette Goldstein (Enterprise Computer)

Voice Cast appearing in footage from classic Star Trek episodes: William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Ricardo Montalban (Khan), George Takei (Sulu)

Short TreksNotes: Ephraim spent several years trying to catch up with the Enterprise, ranging from her arrival (apparently during the events of 1967’s Space Seed) through a rapid-fire succession of the original series’ greatest hits, including The Trouble With Tribbles, The Naked Time, Who Mourns For Adonis?, The Doomsday Machine, The Tholian Web, The Savage Curtain, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, and Star Trek III: The Search For Spock. These events sometimes appear in a different order from their original broadcast, but as stardates were seldom consecutive (or, indeed, really meaningful) in the original series, there’s some wiggle room for interpretation there. (How Scotty’s engineering crew missed a nest of large tardigrade eggs for years – including throughout the Enterprise‘s refit between the end of the original series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture – is left for the viewer to imagine. There’s also an error in shots of the movie-era Enterprise with the registry Short Treksnumber NCC-1701-A – a ship that didn’t exist until Star Trek IV.) This is the second directorial credit for Michael Giacchino, better known as a composer with dozens of high-profile credits, including Rogue One and the trio of Chris Pine-led Star Trek movies between 2009 and 2016. The DOT7 repair robots were established in the Star Trek: Discovery episode Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2. Kirk Thatcher, one of the producers of Star Trek IV, also appeared in that movie as the boom-box punk on the bus; Jenette Goldstein has also made an on-screen appearance before as a member of the Enterprise-B crew in Star Trek: Generations.

Along with another animated Short Trek, The Girl Who Made The Stars, released on the same day, Ephraim And DOT is the first animated Star Trek adventure produced by either CBS or Paramount since the early 1970s animated series.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Chapter 6: The Prisoner

Star Wars: The MandalorianThe Mandalorian accepts a job from an old associate who needs another associate broken out of a maximum security New Republic prison transport – not exactly the low-profile kind of job that the Mandalorian is seeking, but the only one available to him. Worse yet, his employer hand-picks a team of thuggish mercenaries to do the job – the Mandalorian is expected only to provide the use of his ship and extra trigger fingers. But once this disjointed team is aboard the prison transport, they face more resistance than expected – along with a pilot (on a ship they were told would be staffed entirely by droids) who activates an emergency homing beacon as he is killed, summoning a New Republic X-Wing strike team to its location. And once the prisoner is sprung, the team decides that the Mandalorian is disposable.

The Mandalorianteleplay by Christopher Yost and Rick Famuyiwa
story by Christopher Yost
directed by Rick Famuyiwa
music by Ludwig Goransson

Cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Mark Boone Jr. (Ran), Bill Burr (Mayfeld), Natalia Tena (Xi’an), Clancy Brown (Burg), Richard Ayoade (Zero), Carl Weathers (Greef Karga), Ismael Cruz Cordova (Qin), Matt Lanter (New Republic Soldier), Dave Filoni (Trooper Wolf), Rick Famuyiwa (Jib Dodger), Deborah Chow (Sash Ketter)

LogBook entry by Earl Green