“Thank you Mando, but our Princess is in another castle!”
Yes, despite finally tracking down Ahsoka Tano in a barnstorming, fan-favourite episode The Mandalorian and Baby… sorry, Grogu‘s challenges are just beginning, with the spacefaring pair sent off on another fetch quest to find Jedi help at the end of last week’s instalment.
Now, heading into this new chapter Din Djarin and The Artist Formerly Known as Baby Yoda were searching for Jedi ruins and (possibly) a new teacher for Grogu, after Ahsoka’s warning that he could be headed down the path to the Dark Side.
So did they achieve their goal? Well, this is The Mandalorian, so you might expect the pair to be immediately derailed by some side-quest, doing some work for some repairs only to be betrayed and attacked or something – but for once, the series quickly gets to the point.
Within the first couple of scenes Mando and Grogu (man, Mando really enjoys calling Baby Yoda that) are at the Jedi ruins on Tython, the little guy is plonked on the “magic rock” and starts firing up some Force voodoo, preventing the pair from leaving. Meanwhile, Mando himself has to deal with his own Attack on Tython when a familiar ship arrives… a certain Slave I…
Yes, this episode finally pays off the shock cliffhanger at the end of the series’ first episode, with Temuera Morrison blasting his way back into the series as actual factual Boba Fett. And yes, he is explicitly Boba Fett – no clone nonsense. In a tense stand-off, he arrives to demand back the armour borrowed by Cobb Vanth, but Mando won’t return it – in part because his religious code is so strong, he won’t hand it over to someone like Boba who isn’t technically a Mandalorian.
There’s something faintly amusing about the idea that the character who basically inspired the entire fictional Mandalorian race (and this TV series) isn’t one of them, though it does answer an age-old question from fans (just because Jango Fett was a Mandalorian, does his clone get the same religious designation?).
No-one has the clear upper hand…until suddenly the whole thing seems like a moot point as an Imperial troop (presumably still tracking Mando) arrives, allowing Fett and his sidekick Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen, making a surprise return from season one) to show off some of their skills… and skills they are.
One of the regular complaints about Boba Fett in the original trilogy is that you never quite see what a bad-ass he’s supposed to be, with the character just… standing around menacingly for a while before being accidentally knocked into the Sarlacc pit. Not exactly the stuff of legend.
The Mandalorian finally puts this right as Boba tears his way through stormtroopers, shattering white armour and putting them down with a variety of weaponry (including a staff) in a thrilling action sequence. When he actually snatches his armour back from our bounty hunter it’s all the better, with Morrison (or rather, what we may presume is his stunt double) ruthlessly defeating the Imperial troops in a matter of moments.
Essentially, this is exactly what fans had been hoping for after Boba’s teased return earlier this season – and just one week after we had Ahsoka join the fray, it’s almost like The Mandalorian is spoiling us.
But when the galaxy giveth, it taketh away again – because lest we forget, this chapter is called The Tragedy. As the battle rages on, Din Djarin’s ship the Razor Crest is destroyed by Moff Gideon’s forces (minus Chekhov’s Beskar spear), and Baby Yoda himself (or Grogu, whatever) is snatched by some creepy-looking Dark Troopers. Finally, at least, the remaining Empire has him back.
It’s a devastating moment in the series… but not one our Mando takes lying down. Within moments he’s started assembling his own sort of Suicide Squad, with Boba and Fennec pledging to help Din Djarin find Grogu in return for Boba’s armour, and Cara Dune also joining the team (along with a sharpshooter from season one’s prison break episode) as they prepare to get their charge back.
Meanwhile, Baby Yoda is in Moff Gideon’s clutches, raging against Stormtroopers… and soon shackled in a prison cell. “We have our donor,” Giancarlo Esposito’s villain says after some moustache-twirling action. Whatever plan he has will now be in motion…
At just 30 minutes this is one of the shortest Mandalorian episodes to date, but so stuffed with action it’s hard to overstate its importance. Not only did Boba Fett come back, but he ruled the stage – and unlike Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka Tano it seems like he’ll be sticking around, possibly answering more questions about what happened to him after Return of the Jedi.
Meanwhile, as we head into season two’s final episodes the main plot is also accelerating, building to a climax that looks set to be pretty momentous.
Strap in, Mandalorian fans (Fandalorians?) – the days of quiet filler episodes where Mando does jobs on random planets may be over.
New episodes of The Mandalorian are available on Disney+ on Fridays – sign up to Disney+ for £5.99 a month or save 15% with the annual plan for £59.99 (savings based on 12 mo. of monthly subscription). T&Cs apply.
Check out what else is on with our TV Guide