The Mandalorian continues to pick up steam as it inches closer and closer to the finale of season 2. After last week’s run-in with Ahsoka Tano, the former Jedi padawan directed Din and Grogu (that still hasn’t fully sunk in yet) to the planet Tython, which is perhaps best known for fans of Star Wars The Old Republic MMO game. But once they get there, things go from bad to worse pretty quickly.
Directed by action veteran Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, Spy Kids, Sin City), the episode manages to feel the most high-stakes in the show’s entire run so far while also being one of the shortest. But before things get too grim, we’re brought into the fold with some cute humour. Din, now knowing Grogu’s name, can’t stop helping himself by saying it out loud and watching the little guy beam with joy. Din actually laughs upon seeing Grogu chirp up. He gets Baby Yoda to use the Force yet again to grab the little ball from his hand, which is easier said than done, but the challenge is completed, foreshadowing his adept skill at using the Force.
Once they get to Tython, which I’m pretty sure was filmed on location and not in “the volume“, Grogu starts his meditation, which creates a forcefield that Din is unable to pass through. While it’s great that Grogu was able to channel the Force, the timing could have been better as Slave I showed up. I felt like that Leonardo DiCaprio meme from Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, pointing at the screen going “oh, Slave I!”. And course, where there’s Slave I, there’s Boba Fett.
I’m glad we didn’t have to wait another season for the return of Boba Fett, which was a fear of mine after his brief introduction in the season 2 premiere. The bounty hunter and former meal for the sarlacc emerged, revealing he had been tracking Din and wants his armour back. With him is Shand (Ming-Na Wen) from season one, who now works for Fett after he healed her wounds and installed cybernetics in her. Din questions the validity of Fett having the armour, he has no creed after all, but their discussion is brought to a halt with the arrival of the Imperial Remnant.
For most of the rest of the episode, it’s a huge action scene, featuring stormtroopers storming the hill in an attempt to get Grogu, who’s in deep meditation at this point. Despite being confined to the hill and the surrounding area, this is one jam-packed episode and one of the best of the series so far. Rodriguez and Favreau essentially created an episode that feels like it was ripped straight out of the old expanded universe. During the chaos, Fett, who was already smashing stormtrooper faces with his gaffi stick, retrieves his armour and really begins wasting the bucketheads. Boba Fett is one of the most popular characters in the Star Wars universe, despite him not really doing anything in the movies, and it’s great to finally see him do some amazing action in live-action. Furthermore, we got some confirmation on the whole “is he a Mandalorian or isn’t he” debate that’s been going on for years. Boba reveals that Jango was a foundling, which is the best answer he could’ve given, meaning he is Mandalorian but while also not contacting the Prime Minister in season 2 of The Clone Wars, who turned up his nose and said Jango wasn’t Mandalorian, likely not acknowledging Foundings as “true” Mandalorians.
Unfortunately, during all of this chaos, Gideon blows up the Razer Crest (!!!) and unleashes the Dark Troopers (called it!) and they snag the child, as Din was off fighting the stormtroopers. It was nice to see Fett chase after Grogu and upon seeing Gideon’s ship, not immediately rejoin up with them. Currently, the Empire isn’t paying him and he struck a verbal bargain with Din, and it’s nice to see that Fett is a man of his word, refusing to break it and return to his formal employers.
This episode also breaks away heavily from the Wild West/Samurai influences and feels the most classical Star Wars. There’s a Jedi Temple atop the hill, stormtroopers charge the hill and Mandalorians are fighting them off. Meanwhile, Grogu is using the Dark Side of the Force on the Stormtroopers while held captive on the ship and Moff Gideon shows him the Darksaber. I mentioned in episode four that it was great to see The Mandalorian step away from Din and show us what’s going on elsewhere and once again, we pull away from Din and see what Gideon’s up to on his ship. I like this approach and hope we get more of it in the future, as it creates a more cinematic experience as opposed to sticking to Din like glue.
Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is did Grogu speak to anyone while meditating on Tython and if so, who was it that heard the call? I don’t think we’ll find out this season, but this will likely the theory that fans will latch onto until season 3 comes back. Personally, I don’t think Luke is in the cards, but someone like Cal Kestis from Jedi Fallen Order or Ezra from Rebels could show up at some point. And I think a Jedi will likely have to show up, as Grogu was taken prisoner and begins showing some Dark Side tendencies on the ship, choking troopers and smashing them around like ragdolls. Gideon enjoys this and I worry that Grogu may become a little…lost, for a while, and would need a Jedi to help bring him back into the light. The idea of Din and his squad simply rescuing him and thwarting Gideon seems way too easy and anti-climactic, so the finale is likely to throw some sort of curveball at us to keep the narrative going for next season. The only things to survive the destruction of the Razer Crest was the little ball Grogu liked, which I’m sure will play a role later, and the Beskar spear, which I’m also sure will be used in a duel against Gideon at some point.
It seems that next week will involve Din assembling a crew in order to bust Grogu out of Imperial clutches. It seems Fett and Shand will be sticking around to honour their deal of the amour for the safety of the child (which isn’t honoured at this point), but we’ll also get Cara Dune, Mayfield and who knows who else. The finale will likely be very explosive and shocking, but the show is on an all-time high right now and I can’t wait to see what happens next week and in the finale. If I had to nitpick, I’d say that I wish that the episode was a little longer, half an hour seems so short. The Mandalorian is hitting all the right buttons with fans right now and it’s fun to theorize yet again.
We have an article up on the site right now about the 2005 Clone Wars animated series with a petition to get this movie placed on Disney+. There’s a ton of Star Wars material on the streaming platform, but this piece of art by Tartakovsky isn’t available on the site platform. It doesn’t have to be canon, but having the means to watch it would be awesome. Thanks for reading and signing!