The Mandalorian Chapter 14 gives Star Wars fans a glimpse of where the series is headed as it deals out some heavy losses for our hero.
The episode, titled “The Tragedy,” picks up right where the previous episode, “The Jedi,” left off. At the end of that story, Mando and Grogu set off for the planet Tython so the young foundling can reach out to any remaining Jedi, helping Mando fulfill his duty to return the child to those of his kind. The first live-action appearance of Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) led a what felt more like a masterful, Kurosawa-esque epic than a series episode. “The Tragedy” is, literally, a Robert Rodriguez action-adventure. He directed it. These two episodes together are roughly one million times better than all of the Disney sequel films, better than the prequel films, and better than Return of the Jedi.
We know from previous adventures that Mando’s Razor Crest is being tracked by the villainous Imperial holdout, Moff Gideon. Gideon has a great deal of Imperial firepower at his disposal and he’s working with Doctor Pershing to use Grogu to create something monstrous and powerful. The black-clad exoskeletons we saw briefly at the end of “The Siege” turned out to be a red herring on that front. They’re flight-capable mechanical Dark Troopers, and don’t appear to be force-sensitive. They’re what Moff Gideon will turn to when his plastic blaster-fodder troops fail, as they usually do.
As Din Djarin and Grogu attempt to use the Seeing Stone atop a mountain on Tython to reach out to find remaining Jedi, and Grogu powerfully succeeds, the Mandalorian comes under attack. Star Wars fans likely leaped out of their seats as Mando’s assailant turns out to be none other than Boba Fett (Temeura Morrison), the legendary bounty hunter from the original trilogy and the infamous Christmas Special.
We knew he was coming. Fett’s armor appeared in Season 2 Episode 1, “The Marshal,” and Fett himself appeared briefly at the tail end of that episode. He seemed to be tracking his armor’s location, explaining his appearance then and in “The Tragedy.” Left unexplained at this point in the series (as opposed to the non-canon Star Wars Legends) is how he survived the events of Return of the Jedi and the inglorious death we all had thought he suffered at the time. The scars on his face tell some story, that’s certain.
Fett has no beef with Djarin, he just wants his armor back. They argue over whether Djarin can return it according to the Mandalorian Creed. Knowing that Djarin is pretty much the most dangerous gunfighter in the galaxy, Fett enlists the aid of bounty hunter Fennec Shand (Ming Na-Wen), whom he has saved in the desert of Tatooine, to make sure he can provide enough of a threat to persuade Djarin without having to engage him in combat.
Think over that for a second. Boba Fett acknowledges that in Din Djarin, he’s met his match if not more. He saved and enlisted Fennec before ever tangling with Djarin, and then they worked out how to approach and deal with him without getting themselves killed. #Respect.
Imperials arrive to take Grogu by force, and Fett pledges his aid to keep the child safe as long as he gets his armor back. Over the course of the ensuing, and quite glorious, battle, Star Wars fans are treated to some of the most spectacular combat in the entire saga. Boba Fett goes on two rampages against the hapless men in useless white plastic. First, without his armor, Fett goes full martial arts master, defeating waves of stormtroopers with his staff weapon. Then, Fett retrieves his armor from the Razor Crest and puts on an even bigger show with a dazzling array of weapons.
One Mandalorian warrior is a platoon. Two amount to an army. The two in this episode, Din Djarin and Boba Fett, are incredible to watch. We need to see an army of them go toe-to-toe with the Empire’s best, and The Mandalorian seems to be destined to deliver that. At some point we’ll see the beskar spear in battle against the legendary Darksaber. Moff Gideon currently has that, and Bo-Katan Kryze wants it back.
Before we get there, though, Grogu is captured by Gideon’s Dark Troopers and used to show off some of his force capability, which does not look like it’s all entirely on the light side. He’s tossing stormtroopers around like rag dolls, and force-choking them. Gideon also blasts the Razor Crest from orbit, leaving little more than a smoking crater. Mando’s pure beskar spear, won by Ahsoka Tano during the events of “The Jedi,” is all that survives, which tells us how valuable beskar truly is. “The Tragedy” more than lives up to its title, while also giving Star Wars fans the most satisfying Boba Fett screen time since his 1978 debut.
“The Tragedy” ends with Mando, Boba Fett and Fennec Shand uniting to pursue Moff Gideon, and Mando asking New Republic Marshal Cara Dune to help him find an additional ally introduced back in Season One. They’ll need a sharpshooter who knows Imperial ways, and Migs Mayfeld (Bill Burr) is the man for the job.
The show is certainly delivering something else fans will love apart from the Boba Fett fan service and that little “baby Yoda” guy. The course of its first 14 episodes have brought several characters with complimentary skills and experiences across Mando’s path. They include Cara Dune, former rebel commando and now New Republic marshal, with access to most of what the new government knows; Greef Karga, the bounty hunter guild leader turned magistrate, who can fight, manage, and figure things out through his networks; Peli Motto, the ship’s mechanic on Tatooine, who can probably repair or source anything; Marshal Cobb Vanth, the plucky and courageous gunslinger with a good heart; Migs Mayfeld, the sketchy gangster Mando worked with (and against) back in Season One’s “The Prisoner,” who is alleged to be a former Imperial sharpshooter; Bo-Katan Kryze, the former terrorist and once and maybe future ruler of Mandalore and wielder of the Darksaber, who has her own beef with Moff Gideon; bounty hunters Boba Fett and Fennec Shand; and former Jedi Ahsoka Tano, who was only Anakin Skywalker’s padawan apprentice and a fine warrior and commander in her own right; to name most if not all of the surviving ones. Mando can also count on the Mandalorian Covert that scattered from Nevarro after helping him escape the bounty hunters there with Grogu, various townspeople on various worlds, and the Tusken Raiders should he need them. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Leia, and other assorted potential allies are out there in this time period as well. That’s quite a team The Mandalorian is assembling.
Taken together, Mando’s list of allies as he pursues Gideon in search of Grogu is long, varied, and very capable. They might even be able avenge Grogu’s capture and mistreatment, though they cannot stop the rise of the evil First Order.
Seriously, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are taking The Mandalorian down a path similar to the one Filoni took Clone Wars and Rebels on, and Favreau took The Avengers MCU on.
Star Wars fans should have a very good feeling about this.
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