- Episode 5 (of 8), ‘Chapter 13: The Jedi’
- Written by Dave Filoni
- Directed by Dave Filoni
Spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2 follow.
On the planet of Corvus, a warning bell rings from the city walls of Calodan. The residents hide in their homes, while soldiers get ready for battle. A military commander looks out and sees blaster fire in the forest. His soldiers are attacked by a pair of white lightsabers belonging to former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano. She uses the cover of darkness and her skills with the Force to move through the battlefield, effortlessly removing the enemy.
“Show yourself, Jedi,” the city’s Magistrate calls out. Ahsoka says she knows what she wants, but the Magistrate tells Ahsoka she’ll get nothing from her. The Magistrate brings out a prisoner and asks how many lives the knowledge is worth, telling Ahsoka that people will suffer because of her actions. Ahsoka demands the Magistrate’s surrender, giving her one day to make a decision. The Magistrate’s right-hand man, Lang, says they’ll be ready when Ahsoka returns as the Magistrate orders her soldiers to cage the prisoner.
The Mandalorian and the Child arrive in the Corvus system. The Child eyes up the silver ball lever topper that’s always fascinated him, and uses the Force to unscrew it. The Razor Crest lands in a forest, where giant beasts are wandering around. Mando realizes the Child has taken the silver ball and reminds him it’s supposed to remain on the ship. They walk towards town.
Lang asks Mando’s business, noting his Mandalorian armor. Mando says he’s there for a layover, while confirming he belongs to the Guild. He’s invited for an audience with the Magistrate. He tries speaking to the locals but they all avoid conversation. Three prisoners are caged in the street, tied to posts that give them intermittent electric shocks. They call out for help, one of them shouting, “She’ll kill us all!”
The Magistrate says she has a proposition that may interest the Mandalorian. He says his price is high, but she counters that the target is priceless – she wants him to kill the Jedi that’s been plaguing her. Noting that the Jedi are the ancient enemies of Mandalore, she offers him a spear made of pure beskar as payment. “Where do I find this Jedi?” he asks.
Lang asks what “that thing” (aka Baby Yoda) is. Mando says he carries it for luck. Mando and the Child walk out into the woods, arriving at the coordinates they’ve been given. They hear rustling in the woods, so Mando sits the Child on a rock. Mando is attacked by Ahsoka Tano, but he fights back with his flamethrower and grappling hook to incapacitate her. She leaps over a tree and leaves him hanging, cutting herself free with her lightsabers. “Ahsoka Tano!” Mando calls out. “Bo-Katan sent me. We need to talk.”
“I hope it’s about him,” she replies, looking at the Child.
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Ahsoka sits quietly communing with the Child. She carries him over to Mando. She says that she and “Grogu” can feel each other’s thoughts, confirming that Grogu is his real name. She explains that he was raised in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, and that many masters trained him over the years. At the end of the Clone Wars, he was hidden but someone took him from the temple. She adds that after that his memory becomes “dark”, and that she’s only known one other like him – a wise Jedi master called Yoda.
Ahsoka asks if he can still wield the Force. Mando says he’s seen the Child do things he can’t explain, and that it’s his task to bring him to a Jedi. “The Jedi Order fell a long time ago,” she says.
“So did the Empire, yet it still hunts him,” Mando replies, telling her Grogu needs his help. Ahsoka says she’ll test him in the morning.
After dawn, they move to a clearing. Ahsoka floats a rock towards Grogu using the Force and asks him to return it. He just drops it. She senses much fear in the Child, explaining that he’s hidden his abilities to survive, and changes the experiment, asking Mando to hold out the stone. Grogu refuses to move the stone, but when Mando tries the silver ball from the Razor Crest, he instantly pulls it towards himself.
Ahsoka says she cannot train Grogu because his attachment to Mando makes him vulnerable to his fears and his anger. She explains that she’s seen what these feelings can do to a fully trained Jedi knight – “to the best of us” – and says she will not set Grogu on this path. She believes he’ll be best off letting his powers fade.
As Ahsoka turns to leave, Mando says the Magistrate sent him to kill her, but that he never agreed to anything – he’ll help Ahsoka with her problem if she sees to it that Grogu is trained. Ahsoka explains that the Magistrate is Morgan Elsbeth – during the Clone Wars her people were massacred, and she subsequently built an industry that helped construct the Empire’s Starfleet, plundering entire worlds in the process. Ahsoka and Mando agree to team up.
The guards spot Ahsoka coming and sound the alarm. She takes out all the soldiers on the wall and cuts the bell in half. Ahsoka confronts the Magistrates and her guards in the town, throwing down Mando’s mudhorn-inscribed pauldron. “Your bounty hunter failed,” she says. “Tell me what I want to know. Where is your master?” The Magistrate tells her guards to kill Ahsoka. As she returns to her compound, she orders the guards to execute the prisoners, but the Mandalorian arrives in time to stop them, prompting one of the town residents to free the prisoners.
Mando and Ahsoka work their way through the guards, until Mando ends up facing up to Lang, and Ahsoka takes on the Magistrate.
The Magistrate draws the beskar spear and duels Ahsoka. Hearing the fight, Lang asks Mando who he thinks will win. He says he has no quarrel with the Mandalorian, as the Magistrate knocks one of Ahsoka’s lightsabers into a pond. Ahsoka fights back and causes the Magistrate to drop her weapon. She holds her lightsaber to her enemy’s neck.
Lang realizes his boss has lost and appears to surrender, offering his rifle. Mando keeps his hand near his blaster, so he’s ready when Lang pulls out a pistol and tries to shoot him. One of the locals tells Mando there’s a soldier behind him, and he’s able to shoot him.
Ahsoka asks the Magistrate where she can find her master. “Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?”
In the morning, the citizens celebrate their freedom, as the man who helped Mando and freed the prisoners is named the new Magistrate. Ahsoka offers Mando the beskar spear as payment, but he refuses because he didn’t complete the job he was hired for. She tells him it belongs with a Mandalorian anyway.
Mando returns to the Razor Crest to fetch Grogu, who’s sleeping in a hammock. He says it’s time to say goodbye, and they share some time together.
Ahsoka confirms that Mando is like a father to Grogu, who is so attached that she cannot train the Child. Mando says he held up his end of the bargain, she should deliver hers. Ahsoka says there is another possibility. The Mandalorian should travel to Tython, where there’s an old Jedi temple that has a strong connection to the Force. If Grogu is placed on a seeing stone at the top of the mountain, he’ll be able to choose his path. If he reaches out, a Jedi may come searching for him – though she points out that there aren’t many Jedi left. “May the Force be with you,” she says, as Mando climbs the ramp to the Razor Crest. Ahsoka walks away.
His name is Grogu! Yes, the character officially known as “the Child” has finally been given a moniker, and it’s undoubtedly the biggest headline of the episode – possibly the whole of season 2. Not that anyone in the real world is going to stop calling him Baby Yoda…
Up to now, The Mandalorian has existed in a hinterland where the Jedi Order is little more than a myth, and displays of the Force are limited to Baby Yoda’s (sorry, Grogu’s) party tricks. Here we get to see Anakin Skywalker’s former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, in full flow, and it’s exhilarating to see her dual lightsabers in live action for the first time.
Rosario Dawson really nails the part, both on the action front and when it comes to supplying the all-important Force mythology in the episode's slower moments. Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side has clearly made her wary, with Grogu’s connection to Mando a little too reminiscent of Skywalker Sr’s ties to his mother and Padmé. There’ll be no training for the kid – unless Mando can find another Jedi to do it.
While the overall plot is familiar Mandalorian fare – Mando and friend battle against the odds to defeat seemingly superior opposition forces – it’s directed with considerable style. The barren forest world of Corvus is full of interesting shadows, while director Dave Filoni takes massive influence from horror movies – the sequence where Ahsoka moves through the darkness to eliminate enemy soldiers, visible only when she ignites her lightsabers, is genuinely striking.
And then there’s the episode’s other big revelation. Okay, it’s not going to be as talked about as Grogu, but knowing that Star Wars Rebels Big Bad Grand Admiral Thrawn is still out there really hots things up in the post-Emperor galaxy. Will he and Moff Gideon be friends or enemies?
Force the facts
- A familiar-looking droid can be seen walking the streets of Calodan. The tall white robot who passes Mando is a Roche Hive 8D series smelter droid similar to 8D8, who tortured other mechanicals in Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi.
- If the Magistrate’s right-hand man, Lang, looks familiar, that’s because it’s James Cameron regular Michael Biehn. The Terminator, Aliens and The Abyss star can now add Star Wars to his impressive sci-fi resumé.
- This episode may mark Ahsoka Tano’s debut in The Mandalorian, but she’s already a big part of Star Wars lore. The Togruta was Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan learner in The Clone Wars, and returned in Star Wars Rebels as a key player in the early days of the Rebel Alliance. While she was voiced by Ashley Eckstein in the animated shows, here she’s played by Rosario Dawson.
- Those characteristic white lightsabers (whitesabers?) aren’t the ones Ahsoka carried in The Clone Wars. Having lost her green sabers during the Emperor’s Jedi purge, she’d refashioned new ones by the time Star Wars Rebels came around.
- It’s interesting that Ahsoka mentions that she only knew one of Grogu’s kind at the Jedi Temple, seeing as another – Yaddle – appears in The Phantom Menace. What happened to Yaddle in between The Phantom Menace and the start of the Clone Wars?
- The name of the Magistrate’s master will also be familiar to Star Wars fans. Grand Admiral Thrawn is a blue Chiss whose mastery of strategy carried him to the very top of the Empire. He was originally created for Timothy Zahn’s 1991 novel, Heir to the Empire, where he took control of the Imperial military after the Emperor’s demise. Those stories now belong to the non-canon ‘Legends’ series, but Thrawn’s also part of the Disney-era continuity. He was one of the main villains in Star Wars Rebels, and was last seen disappearing into hyperspace with trainee Jedi Ezra Bridger. His destination was unknown, but the fact that Ahsoka’s looking for him suggests he’s found a way back. It may also mean that Bridger is still out there somewhere – perhaps Grogu will be able to reach out to him from that temple on Tython…
- The world of Tython also has some history in Star Wars lore. Some believe it to be where the Jedi Order began, and it was first mentioned in Legends novel Darth Bane: Rule of Two. In the current Disney continuity, it debuted a 2016 RPG, before returning in the Doctor Aphra comic book.
- It’s not surprising there are so many callbacks to The Clone Wars/Rebels in this episode – its writer/director, Dave Filoni, was showrunner on both shows.
New episodes of The Mandalorian are available to stream on Disney Plus every Friday.