By Jamie Binegar
Just a warning – this review will contain spoilers for Chapter 14 of The Mandalorian, aptly titled, “The Tragedy.”
This week, Din Djarin lost his ship and his kid after a showdown with Moff Gideon’s Imperial forces on the planet Tython. But let’s rewind and take a look at events leading up to the kidnapping.
Din and Grogu arrive at Tython after practicing the kid’s Force moves in the cockpit of the Razorcrest. They make it to the seeing stone without issue. At first, nothing happens when Grogu sits on the stone; he’s too busy watching butterflies, anyway. Moments later, a ship arrives – the instantly recognizable Slave I—finally, a Mandalorian showdown.
Naturally, Grogu chooses this moment to connect with the stone, sending a sort of Force-shield around him while he communicates with…whoever is on the receiving end. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Din tries to get him to safety, but the Force pushes him back.
Boba Fett is here, and he wants his armor back. His backup sniper is Fennec Shand, who was left for dead by that rookie bounty hunter last season. Thank goodness, because if we never saw Ming-Na Wen again, that would be the actual tragedy. Din refuses to hand over the armor, and Boba makes an offer – he gets the armor, and in return, Boba and Fennec protect Din and the Child. The bounty on Grogu is higher than ever, so they’ll need all the help they can get.
Before they can reach an agreement, Imperial troopers arrive. Because he didn’t learn the first time, Din tries to grab Grogu again, but the Force straight-up knocks him out this time. This sets us up for maybe the coolest action sequence in the season thus far. Boba and Fennec take on the troopers themselves, and it is a delight. Boba wields a gaffi stick, which smashes right through the trooper armor. Fennec is crafty as well, even using giant boulders to crush their stronger ammunition.
Boba eventually sneaks onto the Razorcrest and gets his armor, and it’s over for the stormtroopers. I have always been ambivalent towards Boba Fett. He didn’t thrill me throughout the years, didn’t seem that extraordinary. He was just a bounty hunter. But, damn, was this sequence satisfying: the expertise, the precision, the raw strength. I mean, it left me a bit breathless.
The stormtroopers flee, but Moff Gideon obliterates the Razorcrest with a single shot. The only thing that survives is the beskar spear. To add insult to injury, Gideon’s Dark troopers swoop down and snatch Grogu, taking him to the Star Destroyer before it zips away.
Boba and Fennec tell Din that until Grogu is safe, they are in his debt. Din goes to Cara Dune for help locating a New Republic prisoner – the ex-Imperial Mayfeld from last season.
Meanwhile, Grogu is angrily flinging some troopers around with the Force, but quickly tires and passes out – but not before Moff Gideon teases him with the Darksaber. He sends a message to Dr. Pershing – their donor has returned.
This episode gave me everything I wanted – electrifying action, heartwarming Dadalorian-Grogu moments, and most importantly, story progression. Perhaps an underrated scene is the introduction, where Din and Grogu are practicing Force tricks with his favorite metal ball. Din’s softer side is showing more and more. He chuckles when Grogu perks up at his name, he’s proud of his kid’s abilities. But he understands that his knowledge of the Force is non-existent, and he’ll have to say goodbye to Grogu so the kid can have a chance to learn and grow. You can tell he struggles with this but wants to do right by Grogu. It’s a bittersweet scene, and it makes the kidnapping even harder.
Our featured characters in this episode were spectacular. Ming-Na Wen is always a delight, and seeing Temeura Morrison return to Star Wars is perfect. Casting anyone else as a Fett wouldn’t feel right.
We’re down to the final episodes of the season, and so much still needs to happen. It looks like we need to bust Mayfeld out of prison, rescue the kid, and find his Jedi master. Which begs the question – who was Grogu communicating with on that seeing stone? What are your theories?
Until next time!