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

Rupture

For All Mankind1974: Ed Baldwin’s son, Shane, has been left brain-dead after being hit by a car while trying to ride his bicycle to a school basketball game. Ed’s wife, Karen, makes the decision to take the burden of decision-making about Shane onto herself and also insists that Ed – now the lone American on the moon – not be told about his son’s condition. Ed does have a full plate on the lunar surface, gathering increasing evidence that the Soviet crew of the Zvezda lunar station is encroaching on the vicinity of the Jamestown station, of which Ed is now the sole occupant. As the preparation for Apollo 24 continues to run into delays, Karen Baldwin must begin facing the possibility that her son will never recover…and that she will have to tell Ed that not only is all not wall at home, but that things are in fact catastrophically bad.

For All Mankindwritten by Nichole Beattie
directed by Meera Menon
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Joel Kinnaman (Edward Baldwin), Michael Dorman (Gordo Stevens), Sarah Jones (Tracy Stevens), Shantel VanSanten (Karen Baldwin), Jodi Balfour (Ellen Waverly), Wrenn Schmidt (Margo Madison), Chris Bauer (Deke Slayton), Wallace Langham (Harold Weisner), Arturo Del Puerto (Octavio Rosales), Olivia Trujillo (Aleida Rosales), Krys Marshall (Danielle Poole), Rebecca Wisocky (Marge Slayton), Leonora Pitts (Irene Hendricks), Chris Agos (Buzz Aldrin), Stephen Oyoung (Harrison Liu), Noah Harpster (Bill Strausser), John Rubenstein (Doctor Marsten), Spencer Garrett (Roger Scott), Megan Dodds (Andrea Walters), David Gautreaux (Barry Newsome), Scott Alan Smith (Dr. David Josephson), Tait Blum (Shane Baldwin), Germain Arroyo (Anthony), Tracy Mulholland (Gloria Sedgewick), Dan Warner (General Arthur Weber), Brian D. Johnson (Grush), Jeff Denton (Pendle), Krystal Torres (Cata), Kevin Glikmann (Jerry Biddle), Jan Munroe (Dr. Weddle)

Notes: Deke Slayton requalifying himself for flight status isn’t science fiction; he did, in fact, do this, but in preparation for the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project flight, a joint rendezvous and docking mission with a Soviet Soyuz vehicle. As is also the case in For All Mankind’s fictional narrative, his requalification came after long-standing concerns about Slayton’s cardiovascular health (which had left him grounded since the Mercury program) were re-evaluated by NASA flight surgeons.

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

Bent Bird

For All MankindChristmas 1974: Apollo 24 finally lifts off, but a faulty circuit board in its Saturn V rocket prevents it from executing an engine burn to put it on course for the moon. Apollo 25, whose crew was already preparing for a satellite repair mission in low Earth orbit, is given a new mission: repair Apollo 24’s booster in orbit. While it may sound simple on paper, the repair procedure involves extensive spacewalks and previously untried procedures. Worse yet, the moment that the new component of Apollo 24’s booster is installed, the rocket fires, dragging the Apollo 25 command/service module along with it; Apollo 24 astronaut Harrison Liu is killed. Molly Cobb, still tethered to the Apollo 24 booster, untethers the Apollo 25 command module and then herself, necessitating an unplanned rescue mission with razor-thin fuel margins. Apollo 24 is out of contact with Houston, and according the best estimates of its trajectory, will miss the moon completely, continuing on into deep space and dooming its crew. On the moon, now more than seven months into his stay, Ed Baldwin comes face-to-face with a Soviet cosmonaut who has been making unauthorized use of Jamestown Station’s ice extraction equipment. When that cosmonaut knocks at Jamestown’s base, short on oxygen and in need of refuge, Baldwin could make the obvious choice to help his fellow man…but doesn’t.

For All Mankindwritten by David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
directed by John Dahl
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Joel Kinnaman (Edward Baldwin), Michael Dorman (Gordo Stevens), Sarah Jones (Tracy Stevens), Shantel VanSanten (Karen Baldwin), Jodi Balfour (Ellen Waverly), Wrenn Schmidt (Margo Madison), Chris Bauer (Deke Slayton), Sonya Walger (Molly Cobb), Wallace Langham (Harold Weisner), Arturo Del Puerto (Octavio Rosales), Olivia Trujillo (Aleida Rosales), Krys Marshall (Danielle Poole), Mark Ivanir (Mikhail Mikailovic), Meghan Leathers (Pam Horton), Rebecca Wisocky (Marge Slayton), Lenny Jacobson (Wayne Cobb), Stephen Oyoung (Harrison Liu), Charlie Hofheimer (Dennis Lambert), Chris Agos (Buzz Aldrin), Noah Harpster (Bill Strausser), Nick Toren (Tim “Bird Dog” McKiernan), James Urbaniak (Agent Gavin Donahue), Megan Dodds (Andrea Walters), Mason Thames (Daniel Stevens), Tracy Mulholland (Gloria Sedgewick), Aria Song (Cecelia Liu), Carin Chea (Penny Chen), Theo Iyer (Carl Reid), Brian McGrath (Sam), Ben Solenberger (LMSYS)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Chapter 7: The Reckoning

Star Wars: The MandalorianGreef Karga sends a message to the Mandalorian, revealing that the Imperial presence near the Guild’s home base on Nevarro has grown to an intolerable level, almost as if the planet is again under Imperial rule. Karga proposes using the child as bait to draw out the Imperials who wanted to dissect him, and then take out their leadership. The Mandalorian changes course, but not for Nevarro; first he returns to offer Cara Dune the job of backing him up. They then travel to the planet where the child was found, where the Mandalorian plans to make the same offer to Kuiil, only to discover that IG-11 is still operational – reprogrammed by Kuiil to be a servant. With Dune, Kuiil, IG-11, and Kuiil’s blurrgs aboard, the Razor Crest finally returns to Nevarro. En route to the city, the local fauna attacks, and Karga is seriously injured, but the child heals his injuries completely; this inspires Karga to take out what remains of his security detail and warn the Mandalorian that the plan was to lure him back to Nevarro, where the now sizeable Imperial regiment would kill him and take the child. The plan is altered accordingly, but it would seem that even the Imperial client who originally ordered the child’s capture is marked for death. Someone else is now calling the shots: Moff Gideon.

The Mandalorianwritten by Jon Favreau
directed by Deborah Chow
music by Ludwig Goransson

Cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Carl Weathers (Greef Karga), Gina Carano (Cara Dune), Nick Nolte (voice of Kuiil), Taiki Waititi (voice of IG-11), Werner Herzog (The Client), Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon), Adam Pally (Bike Scout Trooper #2), Dave Reaves (Zabrak Fighter), Misty Rosas (Kuiil performance artist), Rio Hackford (IG-11 performance artist), Chris Bartlett (RA-7 Droid performance artist)

The MandalorianNotes: Death Troopers were established in Rogue One (2016), and appeared again in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels; they accompany only high-ranking officials such as Director Krennic or, in this case, Moff Gideon. Gideon’s TIE Fighter, though it looks much like a standard-issue Imperial fighter, demonstrates a previously unseen ability to fold up its wings and land; also seen for the first time in live action is an Imperial Troop Transporter, a vehicle that was introduced to the Star Wars universe not by a film or animated appearance, but by Kenner’s toy line from the original movie. (Naturally, Hasbro, Kenner’s successors to the Star Wars toy license, rolled out a new Imperial Troop Transport after its appearance in The Mandalorian. Odds are pretty good that they’re working on Gideon’s TIE Fighter too.)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

A City Upon A Hill

For All MankindChristmas 1974: Astronaut Ellen Waverly, command module pilot of Apollo 24, regains consciousness. One of her crew members has been lost; the other, Slayton, is injured and has to be hauled back into the command module by his tether. The booster finally runs out of fuel, but Apollo 24 is so far off course that Waverly has to burn every drop of fuel left in the command/service module to bring its speed down enough to capture by the moon’s gravity…and even then, she comes up short. A plan is devised to have Ed Baldwin launch from the moon to rendezvous with – and refuel – Apollo 24, but he has his hands full with a cosmonaut found lurking outside Jamestown Station, and Baldwin has maintained radio silence with Houston since learning of the death of his son. Slayton’s condition continues to worsen, and NASA resorts to desperate means to get Baldwin’s attention. With time running out to save Apollo 24, Baldwin must contemplate the unthinkable – trusting his Soviet counterpart to cooperate with him in the rescue effort.

For All Mankindwritten by Matt Wolpert & Ben Nedivi
directed by John Dahl
music by Jeff Russo

Cast: Joel Kinnaman (Edward Baldwin), Michael Dorman (Gordo Stevens), Sarah Jones (Tracy Stevens), Shantel VanSanten (Karen Baldwin), Jodi Balfour (Ellen Waverly), Wrenn Schmidt (Margo Madison), Chris Bauer (Deke Slayton), Sonya Walger (Molly Cobb), Wallace Langham (Harold Weisner), Arturo Del Puerto (Octavio Rosales), Olivia Trujillo (Aleida Rosales), Krys Marshall (Danielle Poole), Mark Ivanir (Mikhail Mikailovic), Pam Horton (Meghan Leathers), Nate Corddry (Larry Wilson), Rebecca Wisocky (Marge Slayton), Lenny Jacobson (Wayne Cobb), Charlie Hofheimer (Dennis Lambert), Chris Agos (Buzz Aldrin), Noah Harpster (Bill Strausser), Nick Toren (Tim “Bird Dog” McKiernan), Spencer Garrett (Roger Scott), Megan Dodds (Andrea Walters), Mason Thames (Daniel Stevens), Zakary Risinger (Jimmy Stevens), Dan Warner (General Arthur Weber), Krystal Torres (Cata), Penny Chen (Carin Chea), Theo Iyer (Carl Reid), Brian McGrath (Sam), Ben Solenberger (LMSYS), Alex Skinner (Telex Guy), Mel Fair (Reporter 1), Stephen Jared (Reporter 2), Chi-Lan Lieu (Reporter 3), James Thomas Gilbert (Protest Man), Clint Culp (Guy at Bar)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Chapter 8: Redemption

Star Wars: The MandalorianKuiil has been killed by Imperial Stormtroopers, and the child has been abducted, though the troopers are held up at a checkpoint outside of the city gates as Moff Gideon delivers an ultimatum to the Mandalorian, Cara Dune, and Greef Karga. An unexpected wild card tips the negotiations in the Mandalorian’s favor: IG-11, programmed to serve as a nurse droid for the child, kills the tiny creature’s captors and rescues him, before commandeering a speeder bike and blasting a path through the Imperial reinforcements. The Mandalorian and his allies use this distraction to decimate the Imperial platoons keeping them pinned down, though Moff Gideon proves to be harder to eliminate. The Mandalorian is severely injured; IG-11 creates an escape route for Dune, Karga and the child, staying behind to tend to the Mandalorian’s injuries before helping him escape as well. In the sewers underneath the city, the Mandalorian is stunned to find that, in the wake of his previous escape from Nevarro, the Mandalorian covert was laid to waste, leaving only the Armorer alive to count the dead and reclaim their armor. She gives him his pick of munitions, as well as a jet pack that he will have to learn to use, before covering his escape yet again. Escape is seemingly in sight when the Mandalorian spots an Imperial platoon ready to ambush; IG-11 entrusts the care of the child to the Mandalorian before sacrificing itself to make sure they escape alive. But Moff Gideon is leaving nothing to chance, and intends to deal with the Mandalorian personally.

The Mandalorianwritten by Jon Favreau
directed by Taiki Waititi
music by Ludwig Goransson

Cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Taiki Waititi (voice of IG-11), Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon), Gina Carano (Cara Dune), Carl Weathers (Greef Karga), Emily Swallow (The Armorer), Jason Sudeikis (Bike Scout Trooper #1), Adam Pally (Bike Scout Trooper #2), Aidin Bertola (young Din Djarin), Alexandra Manea (Din Djarin’s Mother), Bernard Bullen (Din Djarin’s Father), Brendan Wayne (Mandalorian Warrior), Rio Hackford (IG-11 performance artist)

The MandalorianNotes: Cara Dune was born on Alderaan; at this point, she may be among the last living Alderaanian natives. (Even though Leia is still alive during the events of The Mandalorian’s first season, she was Alderaanian only by adoption, not by birth.) Moff Gideon is shown to be wielding the Darksaber, a weapon introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (The Mandalore Plot, 2010) and last seen in the hands of Sabine Wren (Star Wars: Rebels: Legacy Of Mandalore, 2017). Assuming that there has been only one Darksaber all along, presumably the weapon fell into Gideon’s hands during the purge of Mandalore during the darkest era of Imperial rule.

LogBook entry by Earl Green