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Recap And Review Of The Mandalorian, S2E5: Chapter Thirteen, “The Jedi”

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Ok, now that I’ve gotten all that out of my system:

Recap of The Mandalorian, S2E5: “The Jedi”

A foul smog swirls through the shattered forests of Corvus as an alarm sounds through the streets of Calodan. Townsfolk hide while masked guards fan out among the trees, looking for an unseen foe. Twin lightsabers ignite in the mist—it’s Ahsoka Tano! She handles the guards easily, fading in and out of the polluted mist like a phantom, her natural agility enhanced to extraordinary levels by her training and connection to the Force. Atop the city gates Morgan Elsbeth, the magistrate of the city, demands the Jedi show herself. Ahsoka needs information from this woman; unwilling to part with it, Elsbeth threatens to kill Calodan’s citizens unless Ahsoka backs off. 

Meanwhile, the Razor Crest drops into orbit above Corvus. After a long voyage (with many, many stops for snacks) Din Djarin and the Child have finally arrived. The kid Force-ganks his favorite toy (a knob from the cockpit of the Crest) as they head into the city. Things are not good in Calodan. Its citizens cower away from Djarin, who is allowed to enter after being vetted by Lang, the cruel magistrate’s enforcer. The Mandalorian is escorted past rows of shock cages into Elsbeth’s idyllic sanctum. Having ascertained his credentials through his Guild status and armor, she offers him a staff made of pure beskar in exchange for killing Ahsoka Tano.

Later, the Mandalorian walks through a dried creek bed in the barren wastes outside Calodan, scanning for Ahsoka. She finds him first and attacks, but her lightsabers can’t pierce Djarin’s beskar; the bounty hunter drives her back with his flamethrower and ties her up only to find himself on the defensive once again. He hastily explains that Bo-Katan Kryze directed him to Ahsoka. Some time later Ahsoka and the Child sit around a heat lamp, communing silently while Djarin paces uneasily. His BDE (Big Dad Energy) is palpable. Unable to contain himself, the Mandalorian asks if Ahsoka can understand the Child, if she can communicate with him. 

She can, and she’s learned much about the kid. His name is Grogu, for starters, and he once lived at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. According to his fellow Padawan, many Jedi trained Grogu before he was hidden away at the end of the Clone Wars; after that, according to Ahsoka, the Child’s memories become “dark”. Djarin begs her to train Grogu, citing the Empire’s relentless pursuit of him. The next morning, Ahsoka tests Grogu’s Force abilities. He’s unresponsive (stubborn, according to Djarin) and fearful, unwilling to use the Force except in situations of grave danger.

Looking for a different source of motivation, Ahsoka asks Djarin to coax the Child into using the Force. The Mandalorian convinces Grogu to use the Force by brandishing the knob he stole earlier from the Razor Crest. Djarin’s pride in Grogu’s feat is immediately extinguished by Ahsoka’s refusal to train the Child. Grogu has formed a strong attachment to the Mandalorian; those feelings drive Grogu’s fear, his anger, and Snips knows what that can do to even the greatest Jedi.

Desperate, Djarin offers to help Ahsoka obtain the information she needs from Morgan Elsbeth if she’ll train Grogu. As they make their way back to Calodan, Ahsoka fills Djarin in on the magistrate. Elsbeth’s people were massacred during the Clone Wars, and the genocide warped her into an angry, nihilistic plunderer. She embraced the Empire, razing entire planets for their raw resources and funneling them into the Imperial Starfleet. Ahsoka needs to find out where Elsbeth’s “master” is.

Djarin and Ahsoka wipe out Elsbeth’s security force during a pitched battle through the streets of Calodan. As Djarin rescues the civilians trapped in the shock cages and guns down Lang, Ahsoka faces Elsbeth. The magistrate is skilled and strong but Ahsoka subdues her, finally putting her to the question: Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?

We don’t hear Elsbeth’s answer but Ahsoka gives Djarin the magistrate’s beskar staff—something must’ve have been resolved. Peace restored in Calodan, Djarin heads back to the Razor Crest to fetch Grogu. The Child sleeps peacefully in his hammock, but it’s time to return the once and future Padawan to his people. The Mandalorian lingers with Grogu, knowing he must train with the Jedi but unwilling to say goodbye just yet.

When Ahsoka comes to the Crest, she once again senses the bond between Djarin and Grogu and refuses a second time to train him. She offers another way forward: Grogu must be taken to the ruins of a temple steeped in the Force on the planet Tython. If Grogu is placed on the seeing stone atop this mountain and reaches out into the Force, one of the few remaining Jedi may sense him and come for him. As the Razor Crest lifts off, Ahsoka strides away toward Calodan. 

Recap of The Mandalorian, S2E5: “The Jedi”

Leave it to Dave Filoni to create The Mandalorian’s greatest and most lore-packed episode yet. “The Jedi” has so many entry points that it’s hard to know where to begin to unpack it all. Let’s start with three most important characters in this episode.

  • Ahsoka is alive and well! The episode confirms the rumors that have swirled for months in its opening thirty seconds. Snips has compiled quite the résumé since leaving the Jedi Order, but the long gaps in her history leave plenty of room for “The Jedi”. Katie Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan already proved that digital characters can successfully transition to live-action, but Ahsoka’s the most beloved Star Wars character of the past decade. Translating her looks and personality to live-action is a much trickier needle to thread. Thankfully, Rosario Dawson sticks the landing magnificently. She has Snips’ mannerisms and movements—the slow smile, her lightsaber technique, the quiet humor, even the way she moves her eyes—down pat. She truly looked like Ahsoka. The years away from the Order have not worn down Snips’ Jedi training and skills; she’s lethal and efficient, confident in her abilities without becoming overly sadistic.
  • Ahsoka’s looking for another major non-movie figure, one of the most feared commanders in the Imperial Navy: the remorseless Mitth’raw’nuruodo, better known as Grand Admiral Thrawn. This is the second major reveal of “The Jedi”, one that builds more connective tissue between The Mandalorian and other parts of the Star Wars universe. His connection to Moff Gideon and The Mandalorian are unknown at this point, but Thrawn is a deadly foe. If he’s the mastermind behind Gideon’s plans, Djarin and the Child’s chances of a happy ending just got dramatically worse. Here’s the bigger question about Thrawn—will he lead Ahsoka to Ezra Bridger? Thrawn disappeared with the young Jedi into the depths of hyperspace during the events of Rebels. If Ahsoka can find the Chiss, she might find Ezra.
  • After a year of calling Grogu the Child, Baby Yoda, or Frog Destroyer, we’re gonna need to start using his real name. His story is the biggest takeaway of this incredible episode. We now know that Grogu’s not just a Force-sensitive baby; he was once a Padawan like Ahsoka and trained for an undetermined period at the Jedi Temple. Like another young Jedi with attachment issues, Grogu’s past has made him fearful and attached to a parental figure (in this case, the Mandalorian Din Djarin). These emotions color his connection to the Force and may potentially drive him to the dark side. While Ahsoka refuses to train him, she says there are other Jedi who might. Unless Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni plan to introduce an entirely new character (which can’t be ruled out!), there are only a handful of Jedi left at this point in the timeline. Ezra Bridger and the famed Luke Skywalker are obvious choices, but the incredible 2019 video game Jedi: Fallen Order introduced two Jedi who survived Order 66: Cere Junda and Cal Kestis. Will one of these answer Grogu’s call, or will a dark side Force user seek him out?

“The Jedi” pushes Din Djarin and Grogu further into the wider Star Wars universe—particularly the elements established or explored outside the core films—than ever before. The first season emphasized Djarin’s status as a lone gunman, but that vibe is fading faster than Anakin Skywalker’s original Force ghost in Return of the Jedi. 

More and more threads connect The Mandalorian to diverse, often obscure corners of the galaxy. Take, for example, the planet Tython mentioned by Ahsoka at the end of the episode. This frozen planet in the Deep Core sector of the galaxy first appeared in the excellent Star Wars: Doctor Aphra comic book in 2019. The last issue of that series established that the planet holds not just a Jedi Temple but also the mysterious Martyrium of Frozen Tears. As previously established, Dave Filoni knows exactly what he’s doing here. It just might take us viewers a few more episodes to figure that out. 

Poor Grogu really tugs at the heartstrings in “The Jedi”. Despite being older than his surrogate dad, Grogu’s still an infant for his species. Filoni leans heavily on baby imagery throughout the episode. The Child plays with his favorite toy, squeaks and mumbles like a toddler, and naps adorably at multiple points. These cute little details make Grogu’s backstory that much more harrowing. As Ahsoka describes the years of darkness and hiding after the Clone Wars, and knowing the pain the Imperials have knowingly inflicted on him with their experiments, Grogu’s eyes and actions radiate exhaustion, pain, and confusion. Despite training at the Jedi Temple, despite his enormous Force powers, Grogu is a baby abused by the adults who are supposed to protect him. It’s no wonder the kid’s gotten attached to Djarin (and vice versa).

Speaking of Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One’s legacy looms large over “The Jedi”. Little orphan Ani’s emotional issues stemmed from the loss and later death of his mother; that fear of loss later shifted onto his wife, Padmé Amidala. Anakin’s fear of losing the people he loves led him to the dark side in his quest for control over everybody, everything, every emotion in his life. Ahsoka senses that same fear in Grogu (and also notes that, also like Anakin, he’s too old to resume his training). Will Grogu end up a Sith Lord? Probably not, but the way Filoni shades in his emotional status is further indication of the director’s mastery of his subject.

Quick hits and observations from “The Jedi”:

  • In the midst of such a rad episode it’s easy to forget that the Razor Crest has a tracking device on it—Gideon and his Imp goons know exactly where Djarin and Grogu are. 
  • Djarin’s latest description of Grogu (answering Lang’s question) makes the kid sound like a lucky rabbit’s foot: “I keep it around for luck.”
  • Sharp-eared listeners can spot a nice musical nod to John Williams’ “Yoda’s Theme” while Ahsoka explains Grogu’s backstory!
  • Djarin is such a proud dad when Grogu Force-pulls the knob in front of Ahsoka. These two are gonna break our hearts, aren’t they?
  • More Filoni magic: peep the multiple transition wipes in this episode! George would be proud.
  • It sure looks like there are some Loth-cats lurking in the back alleys of Calodan. 
  • Djarin tells Ahsoka that Elsbeth has a couple HK-87 droids in her entourage, but these don’t look nearly as lethal as the HK-47 of Knights of the Old Republic fame.