Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Mandalorian Review: "Chapter 13: The Jedi"

(We're doing the out of order thing again. Whoops! I filmed a video talking about chapter twelve earlier today. That will be edited and posted tomorrow.)

This episode is, in many ways, what I've been waiting for. Before watching The Mandalorian, I had already picked up from the internet that the Child was Force-sensitive, so I expected the Jedi to come into play, and after learning that Rosario Dawson was cast as Ahsoka Tano, I knew that was coming too. And this is the episode where Mando finally meets Ahsoka and learns a bit more about the Jedi.

Before Mando meets her, though, we see her fighting against an imperial magistrate and her forces who are controlling a city. Ahsoka asks for the location of the magistrate's master. The cinematography of that scene makes it very spooky. Everything is dark and foggy, and it makes Ahsoka's lightsaber stand out in the darkness. I loved it!

When Mando arrives on the planet, he meets this magistrate before finding Ahsoka. She asks him to kill Ahsoka for her in exchange for a beskar spear. Even though he agrees, I had a pretty good feeling that he wasn't going to even attempt to kill Ahsoka. At this point, we know he cares deeply for the Child and wants to return him to his people. Ahsoka's his best chance of that, so I didn't see him trying to kill her.

Sure enough, he meets Ahsoka and tells her about the Child, who we learn is named Grogu. We also learn that he was raised at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant (i.e. the same one where Anakin/Darth Vader killed all the children). This raises some interesting questions about how Grogu survived. We know some Jedi did survive, but it's surprising that so young of a kid did. Did he do it on his own? Or did someone help him, and if so, why him instead of one of the other children?

I've wondered before if the Empire's focus on Grogu was about something more than just him being a Jedi. I wondered if there was something particularly special about him. I still wonder that. There aren't many Jedi left, so it's completely possible the Empire wants him because he's one of a few and also still a child, making him easier to control. Still, we're learning now that he was also saved from the temple somehow, and that makes me wonder even more if there's something more to him that the Empire wants than just being Force-sensitive.

Ahsoka won't train Grogu because of how attached he is to the Mandalorian, but she does tell him how they might find another master for him. I would probably have more to say about Ahsoka's feelings towards training Grogu if I'd watched Clone Wars and knew more about Ahsoka as a character. From what I do know, there are things in her past that are almost certainly coming into play here.

After discussing Grogu, Ahsoka and Mando work together to take down the magistrate. Ahsoka faces the magistrate one-on-one. She wins, and this is when we learn that the master she's looking for is Grand Admiral Thrawn. This is another piece of Star Wars canon/legend that I know of but don't know that well. I know he's an incredibly popular character that showed up in some of the Legends books. I know he's also been in a series of books in what is now considered the canon universe. I have a lot of those books on my (much too long) TBR list but haven't read any of them yet. I know we're getting an Ahsoka series, so I'm intrigued by what this means for that show.

The episode ends with Mando taking Grogu to the planet where Ahsoka says they may be able to find him a master. Season two is also getting close to an end now, so you know something dramatic is going to happen, but I'll talk more about that next time.

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