This review contains spoilers.
The Mandalorian – Season 2, Episode 6, Chapter 14: The Tragedy
Last week was a great episode wasn’t it? I mean, who doesn’t love Ahsoka? It was also a huge episode in terms of finding out ‘the child’s’ name, Grogu, and we got the huge namedrop of Grand Admiral Thrawn. I still get goosebumps thinking about it!
Mando left with Grogu to find the ruins of the first Jedi temple on the planet Tython, the birthplace of the Jedi order. I’m looking forward to going here, or returning here, as it is a planet and level in the Star Wars: The Old Republic game. I wonder if there will be Flesh Raiders? The planet is also native to Twi’leks and Zabraks, so will any of these be seen in the episode? I’m fully expecting a lot of Jedi lore to be explained, somehow, to Mando. I assume he will meet a local who will be able to assist him and inform us, the audience, about the Jedi and Force lore. Or, they could go a completely different route with Tython, there is nothing stopping them from doing their own thing, which I would be just as happy with, as it will be something both familiar and new at the same time.
I’ve been thinking about the events of last week’s episode all week, creating theories and wondering if this character or that character will show up. This is never a feeling I had in the first season. But since the introduction of characters and lore from The Clone Wars and Rebels, my mind has really started to wander! I think as fans we also need to reign this in a little. I know it is easy to get carried away, hey, I’m guilty of this too!, but that can also lead to ridiculous expectations and disappointment if things don’t happen as we plan out in our heads. This show has yet to put a foot wrong this season and it is unlikely to do so, based on the current evidence. What I’m trying to say is, we need to trust the storytellers and allow them to do it their way, regardless of if that leads to the final result we want.
On their way to Tython, Mando continues to play with Grogu and the ball. You can hear the strain of sadness in his voice when he talks about Grogu having to leave, should a Jedi come to find him. It was subtle, but it was powerful, you felt every sorrowful word.
Tython looked just like I had hoped it would, a mix of grassland and rocks. The temple itself is not accessible and they cannot land the Crest there, so they go via jet pack. Grogu is placed on the seeing stone, but nothing happens. Mando hears a ship close by, wait, was that Slave 1? Mando runs to Grogu but he is connecting with the force and Mando cannot reach him due to a forcefield. He heads back over to the clifftop and looks in the direction of the newly landed ship, Mando see’s a figure leave the ship and heads off to buy Grogu some more time. As he reaches the ship, he comes under fire. It’s Boba Fett!! Fett has come for his armour, but he hasn’t come alone! Fennec (Ming-Na Wen) is also alive and well and now sporting a bionical stomach. Before they can finish a deal for the armour, a second ship lands beside the Razor Crest, Stormtroopers! Boba and Fennec start to engage in a blaster fight. A group of troopers get in close to Boba and he dispatches them with ease with his gaffi stick. It was brutal! God, I love you Temuera Morrison! Coming under heavy fire, Fennec kicks down a loose boulder, and in true Indiana Jones style it rolls down the hill taking out the rest of the troopers. Boba kills the commander and heads to the Razor Crest to retrieve his armour.
Mando tries to get Grogu multiple times out of the force field, but it’s no good, he is thrown back every time. Mando heads down to help Fennec but just as he leaves, Grogu drops the force field, he is now totally drained and completely vulnerable. Mando and Fennec are surrounded, but just as it looks as if their days are numbered, a now fully armoured Boba Fett jet packs in for the save. As the transports and remaining troopers escape, Fett uses his missile to take out both ships! This two minute scene alone undid years of Boba Fett jokes, you don’t mess with Fett! Before our heroes can triumph, an orbital strike from Moth Gideon’s flagship hits the Razor Crest, which explodes in a ball of fire. There is no saving this one! The Razor Crest is gone..
On board Moth Gideon’s ship, the Captain confirms the destruction of the Razor Crest and Gideon orders the Dark Troopers to move in and take Grogu. The Dark Troopers jetpack down to the seeing stone and surround an unconscious Grogu. Just as Grogu wakes up, they take him and fly off to the ship. Fett heads off in pursuit onboard Slave 1, but cannot take the shot without killing Grogu in the process. Instead he follows the Dark Troopers to find out where they came from. As the ship breaches the clouds, Fett sees Gideon’s cruiser and proclaims to Mando and Fennec that the Empire is back. Gideon’s ship enters lightspeed and escapes, Grogu is gone…
Back on Tython, Mando inspects the charred crater where the Razor Crest once stood. In the ashes he finds the steel ball, gripping it tightly he takes it, along with the Beskar spear. Boba and Fennec look on, a look of understanding on both their faces. Fett shows Mando his armour’s chain code, proving that he is the rightful owner of the armour and Mando agrees. Mando says the deal is now complete, but Boba disagrees. He says that the deal was for the safe return of the child and he won’t rest until he has fulfilled that end of the bargain.
Slave 1 lands on Nevarro and Mando heads off to find Cara, who it turns out is now a Marshal of the New Republic! He asks her to check prison records for an ex-imperial sharpshooter called Migs Mayfled, Bill Burr’s character from Season One. Turns out he is serving 50 years in the Karthon Chop Fields but Mando needs to spring him from jail in order to locate Moff Gideon’s cruiser. Cara is reluctant to help, but as soon as she learns the Grogu has been taken, that all changes.
On board Gideon’s cruiser, Gideon heads over to the detention block to check up on his prisoner, turns out Grogu is having some fun with two Stormtroopers, using the Force to throw them around the room. He begins to force choke them, but he is not strong enough, and he collapses. Gideon pulls out the Darksaber teasingly in view of Grogu. Gideon orders the captain to send word to Dr Pershing that the donor has returned. The episode ends with an unconscious Grogu shackled…
Well, wasn’t that an episode full of emotion! I KNEW the second I saw the episode title that he would be taken. I half expected it last week when he was left sleeping onboard the Crest. But still, it was a hard one to take. I loved that Grogu was fighting back in his cell, but he just does not have the training or power yet to prolong his Force usage. When they stunned him I was ready to charge at my screen, so much more so than when he got punched twice by the Scout Troopers last season! They were just punching a bag, so it wasn’t the same as seeing Grogu in the flesh being treated this way. With Kershing likely to arrive soon, who knows what horrors Grogu will be subjected to and what effect this will have on him long term.
As for the return of Boba Fett? I could not have asked for more and I think a lot of fans will be very happy! He’s been subjected to so much ridicule over the years but I think it’s safe to say they have more than made it for it and given us a character that finally lives up to the hype!
It was also good to see Dark Troopers cross to live-action and with them being the traditional, robotic versions, it puts my theory of Force wielding Dark Troopers to bed. With that said, I don’t think they are going to link up with the Emperor or Snoke cloning storylines from The Rise of Skywalker, so while the Dark Troopers themselves won’t be Force users, I still think the cloner super soldier angle is the end game.
Robert Rodriguez did a good job with the episode, especially with some of the action sequences. This was a nice episode for him to be involved with, although it did go by very quickly, don’t you think?
Overall, this was another strong episode of The Mandalorian. Ok, so we didn’t get the Jedi and temple lore that I expected, but who cares when they give us Boba Fett tearing up the place! This was the type of episode that we needed after the highs of Ahsoka last week and we are very much now getting into the meat of the main arc. Grogu has been taken and now Mando has a team of Boba Fett and Fennec at his side! I’ve got a feeling that the final assault to free Grogu will also feature the likes of Bo-Katan, Cara and Cobb! Can you imagine?
What are your thoughts about this episode of The Mandalorian? Let us know in the comments below! After all, this is the way…