EPISODE: “Chapter 13: The Jedi” – Written and directed by Dave Filoni
SYNOPSIS: The Mandalorian journeys to a world ruled by a cruel magistrate who has made a powerful enemy.
REVIEW (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THIS EPISODE): Ahsoka Tano is finally revealed! After months of teasing, Rosario Dawson’s unconfirmed casting comes to fruition in an episode packed with new information about The Child and the mythology of STAR WARS as a whole. The episode opens with an action-packed debut showing Ahsoka laying siege to the outpost of Calodan which is being held captive by a deadly magistrate named Morgan Elspeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) and a mercenary named Lang (Michael Biehn). Ahsoka demands knowledge about Morgan’s master and promises to return in one day. At the same time, Mando and The Child make their way towards Corvus.
Arriving at the outpost, Mando and The Child are met by Lang who welcomes the warrior and brings him to the Magistrate. Along the way, Mando sees many of the townsfolk being tortured and others huddling in their homes. When he meets Morgan, she says she will offer him a reward of her staff which is made entirely out of Beskar. In exchange, she asks for him to kill the Jedi plaguing her control. The Mandalorian and The Child then set off into the forests of Corvus to find the Jedi. As they trudge through the forest, Ahsoka attacks and briefly fights with Mando. Ahsoka hits Mando with lightsabers multiple times but it does not harm his armor. He traps her with grappling wires but she easily breaks free. Before it can escalate further, Din Djarin says Bo-Katan sent him. As they lower their weapons, she sees The Child.
Ahsoka then uses The Force to communicate with The Child. We finally learn that his name is Grogu and that he was raised at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. When the Clone Wars began, he was hidden by Jedi Masters. Ahsoka says that his memory grows dark at that point. She tells Din she has known only one of Grogu’s species before, a master named Yoda. She asks about Grogu’s powers and Mando relates what he has seen so far. Ahsoka then tests Grogu the next morning using a rock but he is unable to succeed. Mando then tries using the ball from the control stick on the Razor Crest and it works. Ahsoka then says Grogu has been hiding his powers and his attachment to Mando could lead him to the Dark Side as it did to Anakin Skywalker.
Ahsoka refuses to train Grogu but relents when Din Djarin offers to take down the Magistrate with her. The pair attack the outpost as a team after pretending that Ahsoka killed Mando. Taking the mercenaries by surprise, Mando taces off against Lang while Ahsoka goes after Morgan. Mando is chased by Lang and his pair of HK assassin droids while the townspeople watch. The former magistrate, Wing, watches as Lang and Mando come to a showdown. Lang says that Mando has chosen the wrong side but their wait as they hear Ahsoka and Morgan dueling in the distance. The two women fight in a temple by some water. At one point, Morgan knocks one of Ahsoka’s lightsabers into the water but she regains the upper hand. Knocking away the Beskar staff, Ahsoka holds her blade at Morgan’s throat and demands to know the whereabouts of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Outside, Lang lays down his blaster but before he can sneak off another shot, Mando kills him. Wing emerges to warn Mando who takes down the last HK droid. The day is saved.
As Calodan celebrates and Wing is reinstalled as Magistrate, Ahsoka gives Mando the Beskar staff. Mando then returns to the Razor Crest to retrieve Grogu, reluctantly. While watching him sleep peacefully, Ahsoka arrives and tells Mando once again she cannot train the child. Instead, she tells Mando to take Grogu to the Jedi Temple on the planet Tython, an ancient source of Force power. There, he is to place Grogu on a seeing stone at the top of the mountain. If he is meant to be a Jedi, the Force will send a message to another Master to find him. Mando thanks Ahsoka and departs. As they leave, Ahsoka smiles and nods at Grogu as if they exchanged a thought. She then heads back towards the outpost and likely to find Thrawn.
STAR WARS UNIVERSE REFERENCES: The opening sequence debuting Ahsoka featured Anakin and Ahsoka’s theme music from The Clone Wars. The Magistrate mentions that Jedi and Mandalorians are enemies, referencing back to the Mandalorian-Jedi War. Din Djarin’s armor being impervious to lightsabers is a new canon reveal. Ahsoka’s owl companion Morai can be seen when Mando walks through the forest. It is revealed that Grogu was trained on Coruscant at the Jedi Temple seen in the prequels. Ahsoka references Anakin’s downfall when she mentions what feelings can do to a fully-trained Jedi. Mando mentions HK assassin droids which have featured in several Star Wars video games. A Loth-cat last seen in Rebels can be seen in the village. Grand Admiral Thrawn is an iconic character from Timothy Zahn’s non-canon novels as well as the animated series.
COOLEST SCENE: The showdown between Ahsoka and Morgan was a solid duel and the best live-action lightsaber fight since the prequels. Seeing Ahsoka’s pair of white lightsabers was awesome.
FINAL VERDICT: This was the most important episode of The Mandalorian yet. Not only did we get to see the first Jedi on the small screen but Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau managed to make it as epic as any we have seen in a feature film. The lightsaber-fights here were top notch and Rosario Dawson was perfectly cast. Yes, the story itself was as small-scale as anything on this series so far, but damn if it wasn’t awesome to see an old-school Jedi again. We also got connections between The Clone Wars and Rebels and the potential of seeing Thrawn in live action, something fans have wanted to see even longer than Ahsoka Tano. This episode also is a clear test to see if Rosario Dawson is capable of headlining a spin-off series of her own. The answer to that is a resounding YES!
“The Jedi” was still very much a story about The Mandalorian and answered as many questions as it asked new ones. Where this series goes in the final three episodes of this season remains to be seen but it certainly has opened the door for a big future for this tale. (10/10)
NEXT ON THE MANDALORIAN: Chapter 14 premieres Friday, December 4th at 3 am EST on Disney+.