The Mandalorian Review: Chapter 13 “The Jedi”
By Michelle Gonzaba
Halfway through its sophomore season, The Mandalorian is finally starting to answer some major questions about the Child. Where is he from? Does he know what happened to him before he met Mando? Is he, dare we say, more similar to Darth Vader than Yoda? It looks like we’ll find out in this week’s instalment.
Before Mando and the Child land on Corvus, we see that the planet is already home to conflict. Ahsoka Tano, the Jedi Mando is looking for, is battling her way towards the city of Calodan. At first, it looks like a generic save-the-city-from-the-evil-people mission, but Tano is looking for important information from Calodan city magistrate Morgan Elsbeth. Tano doesn’t finish her fight but gives Elsbeth one day before she comes back to attack.
Mando and the Child, sans vomit, land on Corvus. While preparing to leave the ship, the Child tries to take a metal ball from Mando’s ship (the same metal ball from the first season). He uses the force to unscrew the ball, but Mando ends up taking it from him. The Child’s Force powers seem to be growing; this is the second time in two episodes that he has used the Force to move objects. While this might seem like a throwaway scene, the Child’s ability to use the Force will be an important part of the story.
They find themselves in Calodan, the same city Tano is fighting against. Mando, looking for information on Tano, speaks to Elsbeth. Elsbeth, who is determined to eliminate Tano, wants to take advantage of this Mandalorian who has wandered into her territory. She offers a deal: if Mando kills Tano, she will reward him with a spear made of beskar. While Mando doesn’t agree or disagree, he leaves to find Tano.
It doesn’t take long for Mando to find Tano. Mando is a skilled warrior, but he is no match for a Jedi. Before she can slice him up, he quickly explains his need to speak to her about the Child. It doesn’t take much to persuade her; she can instantly feel a connection to the Child.
Tano and the Child communicate through the Force, but to Mando, it just looks like a staring contest. But all of that staring leads to the first major reveal of the episode: the Child’s name is Grogu! Mando and the audience also learn more about his backstory: Grogu was raised and trained in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. When the Clone Wars ended and the Empire rose to power, Grogu was hidden away from the temple. After that, his memory is hazy.
Before Tano will agree to take on Grogu (it’s going to take a while to get used to that name), she wants to test his Force abilities. She holds a rock in her hand and sends it to him via the Force. He then must send the rock back to her the same way. Like any baby, he just throws the rock on the ground. Only when Mando brings out Grogu’s precious metal ball from the ship is he able to use the Force to move it. Although Tano is pleased with his abilities, abilities he was forced to suppress to protect himself, she quickly realizes she can’t train him. Grogu’s attachment to Mando is too strong and she refuses to train a Jedi with an emotional attachment. She has seen firsthand what attachments can lead to. I guess Mando has never heard of Anakin Skywalker, the King of Emotional Attachments. Mando won’t take no for an answer; his only purpose has been to reunite Grogu with his own kind. So he makes a deal with Tano: if he helps her fight Elsbeth, she will train Grogu. She agrees to the deal and they set off to Calodan.
Tano easily dispatches the guards of the city while Mando frees the prisoners. Tano makes her way to Elsbeth and they face off, lightsaber vs. beskar spear. Although Elsbeth puts up a good fight, Tano defeats her and demands information on Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn. It looks like another figure from the extended Star Wars universe will be joining the show.
After their victory, Mando prepares to leave Grogu with Tano. While watching the pair, she explains that their attachment is too strong. She again refuses to train him. Mando is upset, but she provides him with a different solution. There is a temple strong in the Force on the planet Tython. If he goes to the temple and Grogu decides to reach out through the Force, another Jedi will feel him and might try to find him. This way, Grogu chooses his own path. “May the Force be with you,” Tano tells them, and they leave her behind on their quest.
Highlights and Observations:
- Since we now know Grogu was in the Jedi Temple during Anakin’s slaughter in Revenge of the Sith, we can now rewatch Episode III and imagine Grogu wandering around in the background and stealing food from unsuspecting younglings.
- Does Moff Gideon know about Ahsoka Tano? We know he has a tracking beacon on Mando’s ship, so will he check out Corvus to see why Mando went there? Did Mando unwittingly lead Gideon to a Jedi?
- There was a lot of hype around Ahsoka Tano’s appearance and she didn’t disappoint. I hope this wasn’t her only episode. It seems like the season is building up to a battle between Mando and Gideon, so she could come back to protect Grogu.