«The Mandalorian», Season 2: «Chapter 14: The Tragedy»
First off: this discussion of the episode includes spoilers! So watch «The Mandalorian – Chapter 14: The Tragedy» before you read on.
Curious. Din Djarin, the Mandalorian, has finally found a Jedi. But he can't leave Grogu, the Child, with her. Because Ahsoka Tano, the Jedi who isn't really a Jedi anymore, tells him to take Grogu to Tython. According to the MMORPG «The Old Republic», it’s the planet on which the Jedi Order was founded.
There, he is expected to find the the seeing stone on Jedi ruins at the top of a mountain. All Djarin has to do is place Grogu on it. If this goes to plan, it should reveal whether Grogu's strong connection to the Force can attract a Jedi to take over his training.
But Djarin won't find another Jedi. Instead, he'll come across probably the first fan favourite in the Star Wars story. And a tragedy. These are the episode's best WTF moments and Easter eggs.
The Mando laughs He actually laughs.
In the first scene, Djarin and Grogu practise summoning the metal joystick ball of the Razor Crest. Djarin holds it up and Grogu has to make it float towards him using the Force. What puts Djarin off his stride is that every time he calls the little thing «Grogu», he reacts. It's something he’s never seen the Child do before. It makes him laugh.
Laugh. The Mandalorian laughs.
My first thought was: I've got a bad feeling about this. It's the first time I've heard Djarin laugh in «The Mandalorian». Or am I wrong? My Jedi sense is that if a character that never usually laughs or is happy suddenly laughs and is happy, something bad is about to happen to them.
Before they land, Djarin and Grogu play the Force game with the ball one more time. OMG, how cute is that? I don't want the Mando to ever take the Child back to the Jedi. The duo belongs together. Full stop.
Tython, the low-budget planet with history
For starters, I played the MMORPG «The Old Republic». Tython is the starting world of the Jedi character classes. So I have an image in my head of how Tython looks. Or should have looked. Green and lush with meadows, forests and rivers. And in between, majestic snow-capped summits with deep valleys, home to noble Jedi temples.
Something like this:
Tython looks totally different in «The Mandalorian». It's basically a planet of barren rocks and bushes. And a pair of Stonehenge-like stones in the middle of nowhere.
I'd imagined them to be a bit more spectacular. Especially after everything that «The Mandalorian» has had to offer in the way of settings so far. The volcanic planet Nevarro, which was renovated from the ground up. The icy spiders' lairs from «Chapter 10: The Passenger». The Nordic feel on the estuary moon Trask or Asian, industrial-inspired forest planet Corvus. But Tython... well, it's a bit low budget.
I've got nothing against outdoor shots. At least this episode looks like it was filmed in a real location, not in an ultramodern studio.
But shouldn't there have been Jedi ruins?
A few ancient, broken Jedi statues like the ones on Jedha in «Rogue One: A Star Wars Story» – extremely underrated in my opinion – at the least would have improved the atmosphere.
OK, it's a big planet. It doesn't have to look the same everywhere. And the vegetation could have changed a lot since then. After all, the game «The Old Republic» is set a good 25,000 years before the Battle of Yavin (BBY). It’s also one of the grimmest chapters in the «Star Wars» story.
The Sith era ended in 1000 BBY with the Seventh Battle of Ruusan when the Sith and Jedi armies fought their final battle.
The Sith aimed to wipe out the entire Jedi army during the battle with the thought bomb, the ultimate weapon of the dark side of the Force. The ritual that was recorded by Sith Master Darth Revan thousands of years ago in his Sith holocron and, when activated, immediately annihilates every Force-sensitive being caught within its blast radius.
However: while the thought bomb severely depleted the Jedi Order, it also eliminated the whole Sith Order. Apart from one sole survivor: Darth Bane.
Strong, powerful, and incredibly cunning Darth Bane capitalised on the situation: after the Sith had been wiped out, he established the [Rule of Two] (https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Rule_of_Two), setting forth that only two Sith Lords could exist at any one time – a master to embody the Force and an apprentice to be trained.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No. It's the Slave I.
Back to the present and the Mandalorian. He places Grogu on the seeing stone and the little one falls into a kind of trance. A trance that sends a... some kind of blue sky beam into the heavens. Probably the aforementioned connection to the Force, which aims to alert another Jedi.
Then came the shot that had me screaming. From behind over Djarin's shoulder. He's spotted something. There, in the sky, breaking through the clouds. A spaceship that's almost as iconic for Star Wars fans as Han Solo's Millennium Falcon, which managed the Kessel Run in less than 14 – sorry – 12 parsecs.
The Slave I.
What we're seeing is no less than the official return of Boba Fett to the «Star Wars» universe. A return that clarifies Boba Fett's status among Mandalorians.
Because the films themselves don't give a lot away about Boba Fett and his father Jango Fett. Except that Jango Fett was the best bounty hunter in the galaxy, wore probably stolen Mandalorian armour and provided the genetic template for the Grand Army of the Republic, the Clone Warriors. As payment, Jango was said to have asked for a single benefit alongside money: another clone, albeit with normal aging, which he could raise as his son – Boba Fett.
So was Jango just a gifted bounty hunter who somehow came by Mandalorian armour?
Not according to this episode. What has been suggested in comics and novels, but never fitted into the official canon, is now set in stone: just like Din Djarin, Jango Fett was a foundling. Years before the outbreak of the Clone Wars, Jango fought in the Mandalorian Civil Wars and earned the iconic green beskar armour as thanks and recognition for his loyalty.
The beskar detail is new.
Until now, we thought that Boba Fett's armour was made from durasteel, one of the most common materials in the galaxy. It's also one of the toughest materials, which is why it's used to make spaceships among other things. But durasteel is no beskar; it's not even close to being so strong and valuable that not even a lightsaber can penetrate it.
Yeah, Jango Fett's armour has definitely had an upgrade. An important one. I’ll come back to that. But this second season of «The Mandalorian» establishes, yet again, that beskar belongs to the Mandalorians like lightsabers to the Jedi – and that beskar and lightsabers are equal.
Boba Fett, everyone
OK. We now know that Jango Fett is officially a Mandalorian. Boba Fett, who took over Jango's legacy as a bounty hunter after his death at the hand of Mace Windu, is one too. And Boba's claim to his father's armour – now an heirloom – is legitimate. This is why Din Djarin agrees to give up the armour if Boba helps him protect the Child from the impending threat of the Empire.
But it brings up new questions.
How is Boba Fett still alive? He fell into the sarlacc's pit in «Star Wars – Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi». Or, in the words of C-3PO, Boba met his death in the belly of the almighty sarlacc, where he would have experienced a new definition of pain and suffering as he was slowly digested for over 1,000 years.
«The Mandalorian» owes us an official explanation. But it gives enough hints that we can put two and two together ourselves.
Right, back to the armour. According to the new canon, it is indeed made of beskar. Baskar can withstand a lot. Not just the blade of a lightsaber. But also the corrosive acid that the krayt dragon uses to kill its adversaries, as we saw in «Chapter 9: The Marshal».
We also learned in that episode that the krayt dragon lived in a sarlacc pit, probably after it ate the sarlacc that occupied it beforehand. It's also very possible that Boba Fett survived in the belly of the sarlacc until a krayt dragon ate it. The sarlacc itself could have been dissolved by the corrosive acid and Boba Fett could have escaped through the krayt dragon's mouth thanks to his jet pack, just like Din Djarin did in the aforementioned episode.
A lot to survive. But why did Boba lose his armour?
Cobb Vanth, a former slave and now the marshall from Episode 9, acquired the armour from the Jawas. It could well be that Boba Fett, now scarred, wasted away after his escape until Jawas found him and pilfered his armour. So that Cobb Vanth could get his hands on it years later.
We'll find out what the Dark troopers are up to next time. Or when they're drawn into a real battle. Because this Robert Rodriguez-directed episode concentrates on a very different star: Boba effing Fett.
Seriously though. How awesome was Temuera Morrison's appearance? His charisma was godlike even without his armour. His combat style as efficient as it was brutal. Those poor stormtroopers. Using his gaffi stick, Boba shattered both bones and entire suits of armour.
As if that weren't enough, Rodriguez gives us what fans have waited a long time for: Boba Fett in action.
With his armour.
While I was apprehensive of a filler episode because of its runtime, I got an episode full of action and important plot details. Boba Fett is back. He has his armour. And, after Grogu's kidnapping, he takes up the chase with Din Djarin and rescued sniper Fennec Shand from «Chapter 5: The Gunslinger», who is now in Boba's service.
With the Slave I, of course.
Was it the best episode ever? No. I preferred the episodes with Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka Tano. Also because of the setting. Tython felt too cheap for me. Too much like a fan film. Despite that, though, it was a great episode. Mainly thanks to Boba Fett.
This is the Way.
What did you think of this episode? Are there any more Easter eggs I've missed? Let me know in the comments. See you next Friday – and it really will be Friday this time! – for the «Chapter 15» episode discussion.