The Mandalorian (2×05 and 2×06)- “The Jedi/The Tragedy”
Written by: Dave Filoni (2×05) Jon Favreau (2×06)
Directed by: Dave Filoni (2×05) Robert Rodriguez (2×06)
So, did anything related to Mandalorian happen while I was away…
Hmm, I’m just going to review the next pair of episodes and let that sort itself out.
We open of some sort of village and it doesn’t look good. Someone’s ringing a big alarm bell and there’s masked troops running to and fro. I wonder what’s happening-
That would do it, I reckon.
This village seems to have crossed a Jedi with twin lightsabers.
White-bladed lightsabers, that’s a new one.
The woman in charge of things is watching it all play out with a very “Good Evening, Mr. Bond” vibe until the Jedi has killed all her henchmen. She seems to have information that the Jedi wants and she’s going to kill the whole village to keep it. The Jedi gives her a day to thinking it over then she’s coming for what she’s after and for just a moment, I’ve seen a glimpse of the wandering Samurai Jedi show I’ve wanted since the first time I watched Luke walk into Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi and that was just the cold open.
Anyway, I’m guessing that this is Corvus and the Jedi is Ahsoka Tano since the next scene is Mando and the kid landing outside the village the next morning. He tries asking around but the locals are not too talkative and he’s drawn enough attention to get a face to face with the Magistrate (the woman Ahsoka threatened.) After Mando takes in the sights (Frightened villagers, people in electrified gibbets, the usual) he’s introduced to the Magistrate.
She seems pretty nice all things considered and she’s happy to hire Mando to take care of a problem she has. It sounds like a sweet deal, a pure beskar spear to kill a Jedi. Since our boy was looking for a Jedi he pretends to take the offer and she sends him on his way.
He walks through a pretty dead looking forest but Ahsoka gets the jump on him. Lightsabers vs armor, so long Mando-
Or maybe not! I guess now we know what the fuss is concerning beskar. Mando is still pretty quick to name drop Bo-Katan and introduces Ahsoka to the Child. The pair have a long talk via telepathy and Ahsoka tells Mando what she’s learned.
The Child’s name is Grogu, prior to the fall of the Republic he was raised at the Jedi Temple but he was hidden away during the chaos of Order 66. She explains to him what The Force but when Mando explains his task to her she seems hesitant but agrees to test him the next morning.
The test doesn’t go well, Grogu seems unwilling and afraid to use the Force with Ahsoka but when she suggests that Mando help and he offers up the control knob he’s taken such a shine to Grogu shows that he’s as strong in the Force as the Empire seems to believe. There’s a problem, Ahsoka will not train him and it’s definitely will not as opposed to cannot.
Grogu’s formed a strong attachment to Mando and as the Prequels made abundantly clear attachments can lead Jedi astray faster than Padme’s exposed midriff. As far as Ahsoka is concerned, Grogu’s better off letting his connection to the Force be forgotten.
Mando’s not convinced, he offers to help her get to the Magistrate in exchange for helping him see to Grogu’s training. As they plan their assault, Ahsoka explains that the Magistrate, despite having the least Star Wars name ever (Morgan Elsbeth,) worked for the Empire after her people were massacred during the Clone Wars and her specialty is strip mining worlds.
That night, they attack, starting with Ahsoka literally jumping the city walls and killing the guards before presenting Elsbeth one of Mando’s pauldrons. While most of the guards go after Ahsoka, Elsbeth orders the rest to slaughter the villagers before she retreats into her gated home.
This is when Mando shows up he Ahsoka make quick work of the private army until only her chief lieutenant remains. Mando takes care of him while Ahsoka takes care of Elsbeth. The two have a pretty cool spear vs Lightsaber fight but it seems an angry sole-survivor is no match for a Jedi but before she takes care of Elsbeth she wants to know where her master is and her master is Grand Admiral Thrawn!
The next morning, while life is returning to normal in the village. Ahsoka offers up two rewards. First, the beskar spear that Morgan offered him since, while he didn’t do what was asked of him to receive it, she feels that beskar belongs to the Mandalorians.
Second, while she is still unwilling to train Grogu she believes if Mando takes him to the ancient Jedi world of Tython and places him atop one of the Seeing Stones that Grogu could make contact with a Jedi willing and able to train him. Before he leave she warns him that there are not that many Jedi left.
Unlike when he left Bo-Katan Mando wastes no time heading to Tython. Well, maybe a little time because he and Grogu have spent the trip getting used to his name and playing some more with the control knob. However, he startles Grogu and he has to explain that while he doesn’t really want to give Grogu up, his powers are best explored with the help of another Jedi.
They find the Seeing Stone Ahsoka described but they have to land at the base of the mountain it’s on and jet pack up to the top. He places Grogu on top of the Stone but when nothing happens right away, Mando gets a little frustrated. Soon enough they have much bigger problems.
Namely the arrival of a ship:
That’s not good, and things don’t get any better for Mando since the Seeing Stone apparently just needed time to boot up because now Grogu is caught up in some sort of energy field that Mando can’t get past. He heads down the mountain to try and hold off their visitor but he’s quickly pinned down by sniper fire.
Enter Boba Fett.
Boba’s come for his armor, he’s not as orthodox as Mando when it comes to the rules about armor and his sniper is Fennec Shand. Before they can do more than establish that Boba was the man that found Fennec and that he offers the safety of the child in exchange for his armor Imperials arrive. While Mando tries to get the kid out of his communion with the Force Boba and Fennec lay waste to a squad of Stormtroopers.
Even though reinforcements arrive, things don’t get much better for the Imperials when Boba sees Mando’s ship and says to himself “Why bargain when you can take?”
Boba reclaims his armor and decimates most of the remaining troopers before shooting down their drop ships as they try to leave.
It seems Moff Gideon is on the Imperial cruiser in orbit and he decides two can play at this game. His ship destroys the Razor Crest from orbit and he sends down Dark Troopers to retrieve Grogu. Fortunately for Boba, Gideon decides that he’s gotten what he came for and they leave without shooting down Slave I.
After Mando goes through the wreckage of the Razor crest all he finds is the spear Ahsoka gave him and Grogu’s control knob. Boba then offers his and Fennec’s aid reclaiming Grogu per the terms he made for his armor. He starts with giving Mando a ride to Nevarro to enlist Cara’s help rescuing Grogu. To do that they’ll have to spring Mayfeld from the New Republic prison he’s currently serving time in.
On board Gideon’s cruiser, the Moff watches Grogu throw around a pair of Stormtroopers before he wears himself out and he orders his Lieutenant to make contact with Dr. Pershing.
God damn! Those were two damn fine episodes.
The Jedi was exactly the perfect combo of a standalone story and a major lore episode. Then again, bringing Jedi back into the Universe on its own is enough to be a major lore episode. The episode does a good job of introducing Ahsoka Tano and (for someone like me that has no idea who she is) hinting at what happened to her during the Clone Wars without the episode screeching to a halt to explain her backstory. I was happy to see Michael Biehn in the episode and for someone that holds the Timothy Zahn sequel trilogy in nearly as high a regard as the original film, just the name Grand Admiral Thrawn is enough to get me excited.
The things Ahsoka explained about Grogu also adds a new mystery that could be explored if the producers desired. Lastly, this hinted at what you could do with not only Ahsoka but other surviving Jedi if the opportunity arises. Lone Jedi wandering the wild parts of the galaxy like Ronin or cowboys in the old west… or wandering Mandalorian bounty hunters and it would be more than enough to keep me happy.
Then came The Tragedy and let me tell you, as someone that isn’t a Boba Fett fan this episode did a hell of a lot to convince on the character. I’ve long maintained that all Boba ever did was stand around while Vader did all the work for him then die like a punk but they presented him as a character and not just the cool looking character George put in each film ala Darth Maul.
Temuera Morrison gave Boba a presence and menace in the first half of the episode and he was convincingly brutal in his action scene with the gaffe stick. After a while, the action was a little cartoony (Again I have to point out turning Stormtroopers into comedic canon-fodder will do more harm than good in the long run.) it was entertaining. Also, I liked the contrast of Boba using his armor vs what Cobb Vanth did with it.
Even though the episode was little more than a sustained action scene, there were some good character moments for Mando and Grogu at the start. You can see how conflicted Mando is becoming when it comes to his mission with Grogu. He’s been given a task but like Grogu he’s developed a strong attachment and he’s reached a point where he may not want to give his friend up when a Jedi finally answers the call.
Two really, really good episodes that set up for a (hopefully) great final act.
Things We Learned:
- In addition to Obi-Wan, Yoda and Luke a few Jedi have survived and among them is Ahsoka Tano.
- The Child is named Grogu and he was trained at the Temple Prior to Order 66 but was hidden away in the final hours of the Clone Wars.
- Grand Admiral Thrawn is alive and presumably plotting something.
- Grogu has used a Force relic on Tython to reach out to one of the surviving Jedi.
- Boba Fett has agreed to work with Mando until Grogu is safely returned to him.
- Who hid Grogu away during Order 66 and are they still alive?
- Where has Ahsoka been since Order 66 and what has she been doing?
- Why is she after Grand Admiral Thrawn?
- Where has Thrawn been and what is his plan?
- Are Thrawn and Gideon working together or are there factions within the Imerpial remnant?
- Did Grogu contact a Jedi while on Tython?
- What will Boba Fett do once his debt to Mando is repaid?
- Will Mayfeld help Mando?
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