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Every Episode of "The Mandalorian" Season 1: Ranked

"The Mandalorian" might just be the best thing to come out of the Star Wars universe since "Empire."

Graham Steinberg


The Disney+ breakout series “The Mandalorian” might just be the best thing to come out of the “Star Wars” universe since “Empire,” and with the release of season two, I couldn’t help but rank all the episodes from the first season. SPOILERS AHEAD.

16. "The Gunslinger"



No episode of “The Mandalorian” is actually bad, and I loved the return to Tatooine. Amy Sedaris is great as Peli Motto and it was fun to see Mando come to an environment that is a nostalgic return for the viewer.

15. "The Passenger"



Mando seeks out another opportunity to find his fellow Mandalorians, and this entire episode takes place on the flight in between. Where The Marshal (see below) creates an awesome one-off story in between the larger goal of the season, this feels a bit like it is filling the gap between one episode and the next. The ice planet from this episode definitely made me miss Hoth from Empire.

14. "The Sin"



This is where Mando’s character starts to change for the better and he becomes more of a protector of The Child. The battle at the end was awesome but the rest of the episode was just some Mandalorian backstory that we already learned enough about in the pilot.

13. "The Siege"


A really fun classic heist episode with the return of three fan favorite episodes. What more could you want? How about Grogu stealing a kid's macaroons with the force. Yeah that's even better. Just an all-around entertaining midseason episode that proves Jon Favreau can always keep the plot moving even if you're not focusing on the main objective each week.

12. "The Reckoning"



The unofficial first part to the season finale had a lot of build-up and ended with a cliffhanger, which is unusual for the series. Giancarlo Esposito is of course fantastic in his several seconds on screen, and it was great to see Mando put together his own team of characters from across the series to help protect The Child.

11. "The Heiress"



Really fun to see the show start diving down the rabbit hole of Clone Wars lore. We've been anticipating it all season and in one episode we get hit with both Bo-Katan (played by original voice-actor Katee Sackhoff) and the promise of Ahsoka Tano! A really tight plot set almost entirely within an Imperial freighter with some really great action sequences. As a follow-up to Sanctuary (see below) Bryce Dallas Howard does it again.

10. "The Prisoner"



“The Mandalorian” is really strong at pulling together great bottle episodes, and this is no exception. Mando joins up with a ragtag crew to rescue a prisoner of the New Republic in a classic heist-style episode. Really fun plot and great direction by Rick Famuyiwa with a twist at the end that was actually quite unexpected.

9. "The Mandalorian"



Favreau and company knew they had put together a really stellar pilot to draw people into a “Star Wars” series without all your favorite characters, and they proved themselves immensely capable. Director Dave Filoni may know more about “Star Wars” canon than George Lucas, and it shows in his excellent world-building here. Of course the unexpected twist at the end was a brilliant sleight of hand from the massive marketing campaign for the series.

8. "The Believer"


Oh man, loved this ungoing redemption arc for characters like Shand, Mayfeld and, of course, Boba Fett. Yet another tight setting gives to great pace. It's this idea that the lines between light and dark are more blurred that makes The Mandalorian such a strong entry into Star Wars lore.

7. "The Jedi"


Not surprised at all how perfect Rosario Dawson is for the role of Ahsoka Tano. She owned every scene she was in. Watching the show honor its samurai roots here was really fun and the world setting was eerily gorgeous. AND GROGU!

6. "Redemption"



The first season finale pulled everything together perfectly. The action was excellent, the message was endearing, and IG-11’s character arc made me really sad that he wouldn't be returning for the second season. Everyone gives their all here, including Pedro Pascal, whose most raw moment comes in this episode. Of course Taika Waititi pulled off one of the best episodes of the show while doing double duty as actor and director.

5. "The Marshal"



If anyone was worried that “The Mandalorian” was a one-hit wonder, those concerns came crashing down with the second season opener. Mando is on a new journey (more of an arc developing this time around) to reunite The Child with the Jedi. Looking for an unnamed Mandalorian to guide him, he returns to Tatooine in a much more fun encounter than his first go. Really emphasizing the show’s Western inspiration, this episode focuses on uniting the humans with the Tusken Raiders to kill a sleeping dragon in a blast of a one-off story (love those Tusken cookout and chill sessions). Timothy Olyphant made a fantastic addition to the show, and I hope he returns. But the biggest headline here was the earth-shattering final shot.

4. "The Child"



After leaving us all shocked and in awe with the reveal of Baby Yoda, “The Mandalorian” begins to put together its real story in its second episode. It’s a complete sideline of what we all anticipated the plot to be and it just works. The more rough and rugged action is fantastic. The return to classic puppeteering is perfect (thank you Wener Herzog!) Nick Nolte as Kuiil and a deep dive into Jawa lore really rounds out the episode that is kind of a pilot part two.

3. "Sanctuary"



This recreation of “Seven Samurai” put together by first-time director Bryce Dallas Howard takes the cake as the best episode of the series so far. The plot is simple and the background setting is gorgeous. It is a heartwarming story revolving around a small fishing community going up against the last remnants of The Empire, with Mando acting as a warrior-teacher to them. Loved every second of it. 

2. "The Tragedy"


This will easily go down as the best and most important episode of The Mandalorian. The tight runtime and single setting makes every moment feel so impactful. Robert Rodriguez is of course a masterful director. The choreography is amazing to watch and of course Temuera Morrison dropping down in his Boba armor sent chills down my spine. And it's not just all the earth shattering things that happen that make this great. It's also just a perfect episode of the show. You could feel how excited Pascal and Favreau were to do this episode. Absolutley flawless.

1. "The Rescue"

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I'm usually against giving top rankings to big tentpole episodes because they always have an unfair advantage but this was too perfect not to make the number one. An emotional, wild, and completley unexpected wrap-up to the story between Din and Grogu. The battles were amazing, the score was on fire, and the performances from the ensemble cast were flawless. And of course there were all the earth (galaxy?) shattering twists that I won't spoil here. Just get over to Disney+ and watch it right now. If you haven't started the series I recommend you do that too, it totally just stuck the landing.