SYNOPSIS: The Mandalorian travels through a world ruled by a cruel magistrate who has made a powerful foe for himself.
REVIEW (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THIS EPISODE): Ahsoka Tano is finally revealed! After months of teasing, the unconfirmed cast of Rosario Dawson comes to fruition in an episode filled with new information about The Child and the mythology of STAR WARS as a whole. The episode opens with an action-packed start showing Ahsoka besieging Calodan’s outpost, who is 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 a day. At the same time, Mando and The Child make their way to Corvus.
Arriving at the outpost, Mando and The Child are greeted by Lang who greets the warrior and brings him to the magistrate. Along the way, Mando sees many tortured townspeople and others huddling in their homes. When he meets Morgan, she says she will offer him a reward from her staff which is made entirely from Beskar. In return, she asks him to kill the Jedi who plague her control. The Mandalorian and the Child then set off into the forests of Corvus in search of the Jedi. As they trudge through the forest, Ahsoka attacks and briefly fights with Mando. Ahsoka hits Mando with lightsabers several times but it doesn’t harm his armor. He traps her with grapple wires but she is easily released. Before it could get any worse, 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 Baby Yoda’s name is Grogu and he was raised in the Jedi Temple of Coruscant. When the clone war began, he was hidden by the Jedi masters. Ahsoka says his memory darkens at that moment. She tells Din that she has only known one of Grogu’s species before, a master named Yoda. She asks questions about Grogu’s powers and Mando recounts what he has seen so far. Ahsoka then tests Grogu the next morning using a rock but is unable to succeed. Mando then tries to use the ball of the control stick on the Razor Crest and it works. Ahsoka then says that Grogu has hidden his powers and that his attachment to Mando could lead him to the dark side as he did for Anakin Skywalker.
Ahsoka refuses to train Grogu but gives in when Din Djarin proposes to bring down the magistrate with her. The two attack the outpost as a team after claiming Ahsoka killed Mando. Taking the mercenaries by surprise, Mando confronts Lang while Ahsoka goes after Morgan. Mando is pursued by Lang and his pair of HK assassin droids while the townspeople watch. The former magistrate, Wing, watches Lang and Mando come to a confrontation. Lang says Mando chose the wrong side, but then they wait until they hear Ahsoka and Morgan fight in the distance. The two women are fighting in a temple near the water. At one point, Morgan throws one of Ahsoka’s lightsabers into the water but she gets the upper hand. Knocking out the Beskar staff, Ahsoka holds his blade to Morgan’s throat and demands to know where Grand Admiral Thrawn is. Outside, Lang sets down his blaster but before he can fire 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 reinstated as a magistrate, Ahsoka gives Mando Beskar’s staff. Mando then returns to the Razor Crest to reluctantly retrieve Grogu. While watching him sleep peacefully, Ahsoka arrives and tells Mando again that she can’t train the child. Instead, she tells Mando to take Grogu to the Jedi Temple on the planet Tython, a former source of Force power. There he must place Grogu on a stone he sees at the top of the mountain. If he is supposed to be a Jedi, the Force will send a message to another Master to find him. Mando thanks Ahsoka and leaves. As they leave, Ahsoka smiles and nods at Grogu as if exchanging a thought. She then heads to the outpost and risks finding Thrawn.
STAR WARS UNIVERSE REFERENCES: The opening sequence debuting in Ahsoka featured Anakin and Ahsoka’s theme music from The Clone Wars. The magistrate mentions that the Jedi and the Mandalorians are enemies, referring to the Mandalorian-Jedi war. Din Djarin’s armor being impervious to lightsabers is a new cannon reveal. Ahsoka’s owl companion Morai can be seen while Mando is walking through the forest. It is revealed that Grogu was trained on Coruscant at the Jedi Temple seen in the prequels. Ahsoka refers to Anakin’s downfall when she mentions what feelings can do to a fully trained Jedi. Mando mentions the HK assassin droids that have featured in several Star Wars video games. A Lot cat last seen in Rebels can be seen in the village. Grand Admiral Thrawn is an iconic character in 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 lightsaber fight since the prequels. Seeing Ahsoka’s pair of white lightsabers was awesome.
VERDICT FINAL: It was the most important episode of The Mandalorian to date. Not only did we get to see the First Jedi on the small screen, Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau managed to make it as epic as any we’ve seen in a feature film. The lightsaber fights here were top notch and Rosario Dawson was perfectly cast. Yes, the story itself has been as small as anything in this series so far, but damn if it wasn’t great seeing an old school Jedi again. We also had connections between The Clone Wars and Rebels and the potential to see Thrawn in live action, something fans wanted to see even longer than Ahsoka Tano. This episode is also a clear test to see if Rosario Dawson is capable of directing a spinoff series of her own. The answer to this is a resounding YES!
“The Jedi” was always a story about the Mandalorian and answered as many questions as he asked new. It remains to be seen where this series goes in the final three episodes of this season, but it has certainly opened the door to a great future for this tale. (10/10)
NEXT ON THE MANDALORIAN: Chapter 14 premieres Friday, December 4 at 3 a.m. EST on Disney +.