The Mandalorian does so much with so little. In an episode titled “Chapter 14: The Tragedy,” the stakes were much higher than usual and the payoff following the building tension is nothing short of spectacular and emotional. Someone please save Grogu immediately. My heart can’t take that he’s been kidnapped.
The episode’s plot is bare-bones, as are most installments of The Mandalorian, but the gut punch it delivers left me reeling for a while after watching. After making it to the bright, beautiful planet of Tython (another location that suggests Star Wars doesn’t understand that planets aren’t small towns), Mando places Grogu in the middle of a Stonehenge-like area to call upon other Force users. It’s a moment many have been waiting for, but a big part of me didn’t want Grogu to make that call because of the conversation that preceded their arrival on Tython. Din Djarin has grown quite attached to Grogu since the first season, that much is obvious. However, the emotion in his voice while in conversation with his baby companion (for what would be the last time for a while) was heartwarming and got me all choked up.
It’s unusual for Mando to show such emotion, stoic as he tends to be, and it was a lovely moment that offered some insight into his headspace. Letting someone you love go is hard, even if it might be for the best. The scene was akin to a parent saying goodbye to their child as they head off to college, only it was unclear if Mando and Grogu would ever cross paths again after this. It was the end of the road and Din Djarin’s life after this, whether he and Grogu carry on together or not, will never be the same. It’s a poignant scene and Pedro Pascal (along with his stunt double) really sell it.
While Grogu is off doing his thing with the Force, Mando gets some company. Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), who appeared briefly at the end of “Chapter 9: The Marshal,” has apparently been trailing Mando throughout the galaxy (how I don’t know). Along for the ride is Fennec (the inimitable Ming-Na Wen), who was thought to have died in Season 1 but was actually saved by Boba and is now his ally. Boba Fett is, of course, after Mando because he wants his armor back.
After some verbal sparring, they make a deal — Din Djarin will give the iconic bounty hunter back his armor if he promises Grogu’s safety. Cool, that was easy. However, they’re interrupted by the arrival of Moff Gideon’s stormtroopers, tasked with retrieving the asset, aka sweet Grogu. What follows is a series of action sequences so wildly intense, enthralling, and explosive (quite literally). It was a showcase of Robert Rodriguez’s superb directing and of Boba Fett’s skillset. The series still hasn’t explained how he managed to survive the Sarlacc pit in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi or why he never bother retrieving his armor from Cobb Vanth, but that seems completely irrelevant here. I was never much of a fan of the bounty hunter. There was a lot of talk regarding his abilities in the field, but the original trilogy ultimately failed to uphold his status as a revered icon.
The Mandalorian chooses to show us what he can do instead of talking a big game. It goes a long way in living up to his legacy. Maybe it’s the fact that “The Tragedy” humanizes him to some degree before he steps back into his armor. We meet Boba Fett the man before witnessing all that he’s capable of in the field and it’s enough to make me interested in his character for the first time ever. This guy even does the classic walk-away-during-an-explosion move and it works on every level. A thousand points to writer Jon Favreau and Rodriguez for finally making me a Boba Fett fan. I’m very much looking forward to what he does next and what new information we’ll discover about him.
What I have been enjoying most about The Mandalorian this season is the badass friends Din Djarin has been making. This man fully expected to go after Grogu on his own after those terrifying dark troopers dropped out of the sky to take him. But no, Boba Fett has sworn to help Mando in his quest to rescue our favorite green baby and that’s amazing considering that they didn’t start off on the right foot. Will Mando, Boba, and Fennec be joined by Ahsoka and Bo-Katan Kryze? I sure hope so. What an amazing team-up that would be! With two episodes left in Season 2 and Grogu at the hands of Moff Gideon, The Mandalorian dialed up the excitement and intensity. There is no turning back now.
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