At long last, The Mandalorian finally sent Din Djarin to Corvus to find Ahsoka Tano, the beloved character first introduced in 2008’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Miraculously, Mando wasn’t side-tracked or followed by Moff Gideon and his soldiers; it was smooth sailing all the way to the forest planet. For the first time all season, an episode opened with the guest starring character and her plight rather than Din and Baby Yoda.
It was a nice change of pace and not unsurprising considering that Ahsoka Tano has a longer history and is much more revered as a character than the titular Mandalorian. Written and directed by Dave Filoni, “Chapter 13: The Jedi” was the best episode of the season and boasted strong performances, action sequences, and a storyline that finally gave us Baby Yoda’s real name.
Season 2’s fifth episode opens on Corvus, a planet that was likely lush with vegetation before Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) entered the picture, holding the town of Calodan and its people hostage, torturing them and ensuring their endless pain under her control. It seems she’s been in a tiff with Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson, an alleged transphobe to add to The Mandalorian’s growing list) for some time — the ex-Jedi battles and defeats the magistrate’s soldiers, merely acquiring as to the location of her mystery boss and for the freedom of the townspeople. As you can guess, the answer was a big nope from Morgan.
Enter Din Djarin, whose arrival immediately gives him an audience with the magistrate. Her request? Kill Ahsoka Tano and he can have the beskar spear as a reward. (Beskar is the same material that Mando’s armor is made out of.) But, instead of killing Ahsoka as requested (the Jedi and the Mandalorians have historically not been very friendly with each other), Mando asks Ahsoka to train Baby Yoda. The ex-Jedi tries, but Baby Yoda is resistant and afraid. However, Ahsoka gleans some information from The Child.
The first being that his name is actually Grogu — it’s not bad, but it takes a while to get used to — and he once lived in a Jedi temple where he trained to master the Force. However, Grogu was taken by an unknown person, hidden away, and his Force powers concealed so that he wouldn’t attract attention. Long story short, Ahsoka refuses to train him because she’s seen first-hand how the Force can turn even the best of people to the dark side (she’s alluding to Anakin, aka Darth Vader, with whom she shares a storied history).
While this episode was chock-full of spectacular moments, the highlight was Mando’s realization that Baby Yoda (I’m sorry, it’s hard to stop calling him by this name) reciprocated the love. This adorable, cooing green creature was just as attached to Din Djarin as the helmeted man was to Grogu. And if that isn’t just the sweetest thing in this entire show then I don’t know what is.
It’s silly of Mando to have thought otherwise because OF COURSE Grogu was growing more attached to him. How could he NOT be? Then again, there was a language barrier between them, so it was nice for Mando to get confirmation and to learn more about Grogu’s past. There was plenty of downtime to chill and learn from Ahsoka (not much else to do in a dead forest) and it was honestly nice that Din got to get in on the action knowing full well what to expect.
His team-up with Ahsoka may have been the best one of the series thus far. A Mandalorian and a Jedi? The magistrate did not see that one coming, just as they’d planned. While The Mandalorian’s cinematography is always exceptional, “Chapter 13” was even more beautiful than usual. Perhaps it was the neutral color palette of Corvus that accentuated Ahsoka’s lekku (the white and blue head-tails that sprang from her crown) and double lightsabers, or the gorgeous wide shot of the magistrate’s face-off with both Ahsoka and Din that illuminated the details of her home environment and its soothing waters, juxtaposed with a harsh, dead climate everywhere else.
The reveal that Ahsoka wants information on Thrawn, a former admiral-turned-Imperial commander who was now leading what’s left of the Galactic Empire, and not Moff Gideon was an unexpected surprise. Thrawn is one of the Star Wars baddies who was introduced in the early ’90s prior to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm. His canon history was all but erased after that, but he was reinstated when he appeared in the animated Star Wars Rebels. All that said, he’s a great bad guy and the name drop certainly sets up a future confrontation between him and Ahsoka (and maybe even Mando).
On one hand, it’s a shame that Morgan was a one-dimensional villain used to prop up another who doesn’t even appear onscreen. However, the episode was so good that it’s a forgivable offense, though one The Mandalorian does often repeat in its weekly escapades. All that aside, “Chapter 13: The Jedi” was a superb episode that introduced one of the most iconic Star Wars characters into live-action and finally shed some light on Baby Yoda’s background.
Header Image Source: Lucasfilm