With only two more episodes left in the season, The Mandalorian kick-started the final narrative arc with an explosive new entry.
The Mandalorian "Chapter 14: The Tragedy" premiered Friday, December 4th on Disney+. We're going to breakdown and explain all the major moments in this episode as well as its implications for the future of Season 2 and the series as a whole. It's all spoilers from this point forward. Do yourself a favor, watch Season 2, Episode 6, and come back!
Spoilers ahead for "The Mandalorian" Season 2, Episode 6
Chapter 14, appropriately titled "The Trajedy," is the shortest episode yet in the series (with a runtime of only 33 minutes), but might easily be considered the best. For fans like myself that thought the season started off a bit slow, this is what we've been building towards.
Lucasfilm executive, Hal Hickel, teased on Twitter nearly a week ago that these final three episodes would be a "rollercoaster." He was not kidding.
Y'all in for a rollercoaster these last three episodes. :) #Mandalorian
— Hal Hickel (@halhickel) November 29, 2020
Wasting no time at all, Chapter 14 starts with Din Djarin ("Mando") and Grogu ("Baby Yoda") arriving at Tython, the Force-sensitive planet Ahsoka told them about in last week's episode.
"There you will find the ancient ruins of a temple that has a strong connection to the Force. Place Grogu on the seeing stone at the top of the mountain. Then Grogu may choose his path. If he reaches out through the Force, there's a chance a Jedi may sense his presence and come searching for him."
Grogu and the Seeing Stone
Grogu continues to be oddly fascinated with spherical objects...
Before jetpacking to the top of an ancient Jedi temple, we get a heartfelt scene with Din and Grogu where Din encourages Grogu to use the Force like he did on Corvus in a quick game of catch. The tone is that of a reluctant father about to send his son off to college. When Grogu successfully Force-pulls his favorite control knob from Din's hand, Din can't help but exclaim "dank farrik," an expletive in the Star Wars galaxy.
It's clear that part of Din was hoping Grogu couldn't be instructed in the Force and they should just turn around. To his dismay, Grogu proved otherwise. This scene is also possibly hinting that Din will be the one to train Grogu, rather than a Jedi, despite not having Force abilities himself.
Perhaps Grogu will become a Jedi-Mandalorian hybrid, not entirely unlike Tarre Vizla, the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi, who also created the darksaber that Moff Gideon wields.
Later in the episode, Din refers to Ahsoka as that "nice lady," solidifying his Big Dad Energy around Grogu.
Placed upon the "seeing stone" of Tython, Grogu initially seems confused. Concerned it isn't working, Din looks around the rock for a control switch to turn it on, highlighting Din's proclivity for technological solutions and ignorance about the Force.
The blue butterflies fluttering around the temple, similar to those we've seen before on Endor, are a brilliant touch, signaling the mystical energy of the ruins.
Din gets distracted when he spots a ship landing nearby. Turning back to grab Grogu and flee, he finds the Child in a trance-like state inside an impenetrable Force barrier, marking The Mandalorian's entrance into a growing list of Sci Fi and comic book media featuring big blue sky beams.
Boba Fett Returns
(L-R) Fennec Shand & Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison)
Any self-respecting Star Wars fan would have immediately recognized the invading ship as Boba Fett's iconic Slave I. How Boba managed to keep his ship after being swallowed whole by a Sarlacc on Tatooine five years ago, we don't know. However, Boba Fett arrives on Tython with Fennec Shand, last seen left for dead on Tatooine (much like Boba himself) in "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger."
"Fate sometimes steps in to rescue the wretched," Boba Fett explains.
It's nice seeing Boba with a potential love interest, even if his face is half digested and she's a cyborg now.
Fennec Shand shows some... skin?
Boba explains that he and Fennec have followed Din to retrieve his long lost armor. Similar to when Din met Bo-Katan in Chapter 11, Din initially rejects Boba's claim that he is a true Mandalorian. "It goes against the Mandalorian creed," Din argues foolishly.
Season 2 of The Mandalorian continues to point out that only Din and his weirdo cult, the "Children of the Watch," follow strict rules dictating that anyone who removes their armor in the presence of another is not a "real" Mandalorian. We definitely predict that Din will be dropping the helmet by the end of Season 2, giving Pedro Pascal's beautiful noggin some well-earned screen time.
By the end of the episode we receive definitive answers to three long-debated topics in the Star Wars community:
- Jango Fett (Boba's "father") was a foundling, and therefore a "real" Mandalorian.
- Boba Fett is also a "real" Mandalorian.
- Boba Fett completely kicks ass.
The Empire Boba Fett Strikes Back
Boba Fett finishes a stormtrooper with a Tusken Raider Gaderffii
As we've anticipated since the end of Chapter 12 when it was revealed the Empire placed a tracking beacon on Din's ship, the Razor Crest, the Empire shows up to kidnap Grogu.
Two shuttles packed with stormtroopers land on Tython within firing range and begin closing in on Grogu and the gang.
Unfortunately for them, Boba made a deal with Mando just before the Empire arrived:
"In exchange [for the Fett armor], I guarantee the safety of the Child, as well as your own."
Like a true Mandalorian, Boba sticks to his word. He and Shand team up with Din and begin WRECKING the stormtroopers. Instead of a gun, Boba Fett caries a Tusken Raider Gaderffii. A gaderffii, or "gaffi stick" is basically what happens if a crowbar, a hammer, and a spear have a baby.
In other words, it's bashing time.
And bash he does. Boba manages to cave in several heads while Fennec snipes troopers from above and Din plays target practice. Even with their combined firepower, stormtroopers continue to swarm our heroes and it appears the tables might turn.
That is, until Boba Fett puts back on his armor - armor so iconic that without it, The Mandalorian series wouldn't exist.
Boba Fett in all his glory
There is honestly nothing to compare to this moment. I geeked out big time last week when we finally got live-action Ahsoka, but this is on another level. Fans of the original trilogy have waited decades to see on screen and in live action what they've always known to be true: Boba Fett is an unmitigated badass.
Director Robert Rodriguez and actor Temuera Morrison completely nail this scene. For anyone that felt Boba was done dirty in Return of the Jedi, this whole sequence was crafted meticulously for you.
Cool guys never look at explosions
Expertly balancing this ultra-high moment (high like "happy," not high like a "spice dream"), Rodriguez catches us off guard with a large laser blast from above that completely annihilates the Razor Crest. Din's ship that he worked so hard to repair this season is now nothing but dust.
Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) launches dark troopers
Aboard the Imperial star destroyer hovering in Tython's atmosphere, Moff Gideon launches a battalion of dark troopers to retrieve Grogu.
In full Iron Man-fashion, four dark troopers rain from the sky. To the absolute horror of everyone watching, the droids capture Grogu and take off without a fight. Din, Boba, and Fennec were completely powerless to intervene.
Just like that, our precious "Baby Yoda" was finally captured by Moff Gideon and the Empire.
Mando, left with nothing but his new beskar spear, hitches a ride on Slave I back to Nevarro, where he tells Marshal Cara Dune that Grogu is in the hands of the Empire.
Grogu takes the gloves off... then puts the cuffs on
Before the episode ends, we cut back to the star destroyer, where an imprisoned Grogu used the Force to toss stormtroopers like rag dolls. At first it's cathartic and fun to watch Grogu torment his captors. Then a somber and sobering score begins to play as Grogu starts to Force-choke the troopers.
It's as if we're watching a tragic turn, where self defense transforms to vengeance. Rather than being played for laughs, the scene's tone grows increasingly sad.
Exhausted, Grogu falls back while Gideon taunts him with the dark saber, promising to deliver Grogu back to Dr. Pershing. The remaining troopers stun Grogu and place him in handcuffs. Cut to black.
"The Mandalorian" Chapter 14 rating
11/10 rating for "Chapter 14: The Tragedy"
While some might be disappointed with the short runtime of Chapter 14, it's all killer, no filler. In this one episode we saw a new planet in live-action (Tython), amazing action, and the most badass return of an original trilogy character EVER in Star Wars. Disney should be embarrassed when they watch this episode and see how they could have treated Luke, Han, and Leia.
Predictions For Next Week
Obviously "Chapter 14: The Tragedy" is the first episode in a three-part "rollercoaster" arc that begins with Grogu being kidnapped by the Empire. We know for sure that Mando is immediately going to hunt down Moff Gideon and seek to rescue Grogu. The question is: who will be there to help him?
The final shot of Din in this episode is him with Cara Dune (now a Marshall of the New Republic) asking for the location of Migs Mayfeld (Bill Burr). Back in "Chapter 6: The Prisoner" Mayfeld and Din worked together on an entirely different type of prison heist. Things went sour between the characters pretty quick, but Din certainly recognizes Mayfeld's talent in this area.
We know Cara loves Baby Yoda and HATES the Empire. Not only will she break protocol to help free Mayfeld, but she'll surely be coming along for the trip. Given her role in the New Republic, she may be able to call in some X-shaped backup if the situation gets desperate.
Sebastian Stan to play Luke Skywalker in "The Mandalorian?"
Whether or not Ahsoka will return this season or be saved for her own spinoff is unclear. However, we should be expecting another Jedi to appear before the season ends. Grogu appeared to have completed his call to the Force on the seeing stone before dark troopers scooped him up. That means somewhere, somebody heard the call (or else this episode was actually pointless).
Already people are speculating online over which Jedi might be coming for Grogu, with the two top contenders being Mace Windu and Luke Skywalker.
Windu was presumed dead at the end of Revenge of the Sith, but we never saw a body. Given that Mace beheaded Boba Fett's father in front of him, there could be some amazing drama if Mace and Boba are forced to team up in order to rescue Grogu. Plus, who wouldn't be hype to see Samuel L Jackson return to Star Wars, as he has stated many times he'd like to.
Luke Skywalker being the most powerful and famous Jedi in the galaxy at this time is another possibility.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Official Luke and Leia Clip www.youtube.com
Lucasfilm would likely need to do a good deal of digital de-aging on Mark Hamill (no offense, Mark) to match Luke's age at the show's timeline. We know this is possible, and we even saw them do it for a few seconds in The Rise of Skywalker. However, if Luke show's up on The Mandalorian, it will need to be for more than a few seconds and that could potentially be cost prohibitive.
That considered, I would literally give anything to see a PROPER treatment of post-Jedi Luke Skywalker in live action. The sequel trilogy gave Luke about as much respect as the original gave Boba on Tatooine. Oh, how we would love to see The Mandalorian fix the record for both.
Plus if it doesn't work with Mark Hamill, we know Sebastian Stan would make a perfect fit.
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