Carl unpacks The Mandalorian‘s action-packed fourteenth chapter – complete with spoilers!!
Despite being the shortest episode so far of ‘The Mandalorian‘, what we have been given this week, although feeling like a trailer for what is to come, is yet another triumph. We get action, adventure, shocks, and comedy all wrapped up in a thirty-minute episode that leaves us gasping for more. Gina Carano makes an all too brief appearance near the end in a cameo as Cara Dune but her brief appearance is a vital cog in the bigger wheel that is to come. And we do get what is possibly the most moving start to an episode there has been so far.
After the obligatory flashback intro, we open onboard the Razor Crest. And what we are afforded brings a great sense of warmth from the start. The Mandalorian, Din Djarin, is playing with Grogu (The Child) in the cockpit of the ship, in what can only be described as a loving father playing with his son. We have never seen Din this way before. We finally see the human side of the character, his enjoyment as Grogu smiles and reacts when he calls his name. It is a moving start which will lead us into a false sense of security about what’s to come. The ship is on course for the planet Tython, the place where Ahsoka Tano told Din in last week’s episode a fallen Jedi temple was located and where Grogu would make his choice. He would either call out through the force or he would reject what he truly is and stay with Din as a father figure to a young son. The Razor Crest cannot land near the ruins as it is too big so Din lands on the surface and flies Grogu up to the monument via his jetpack. He places Grogu onto the pedestal located in the ruins and waits for something to happen.
Suddenly, the roar of a ship distracts Din. He looks up and spots what is a familiar-looking ship flying down to the surface of the planet. It is familiar to us but not to him. We have to hold onto ourselves but with a sudden smile on our faces. For the ship is…SLAVE-I! We haven’t seen the ship in its current condition for forty years, at the climax of ‘The Empire Strikes Back‘. Could it be? What do you think? Din turns round to pick up Grogu and escape only to find that he is surrounded by an energy field with Grogu in the middle with his eyes closed, seemingly meditating. Din tries to enter the field only to be thrown back by the power it contains. Instead, he decides to take on whoever has emerged from the ship that has just landed to give Grogu more time to complete what he’s doing and to come back to awareness so they can leave.
Din jumps down only to be fired upon. A mysterious figure, the one who has fired on him calls out to him and makes himself known. It’s Boba Fett! But he hasn’t come alone. In a surprise turn of events, another figure is on top of a ridge, aiming a rifle directly at Grogu. It’s Fennec Shand. We last saw her lying dead in the desert on Tatooine, shot by a would-be bounty hunter in season one. But at the end of the episode, a pair of boots approached her body. It is confirmed that it was Boba who saved her life and she is now in his debt, working alongside him. A ceasefire and truce are called where Boba tells Din he wants his armor back. Din refuses at first until Boba tells him part of the story about how the armor is his.
All of a sudden, another ship appears but this one is full of Stormtroopers who immediately start firing on the trio. Boba and Shand fight back while Din tries to rescue Grogu from the energy field. The field throws him back forcefully again, this time knocking him unconscious. Boba takes on the troopers using the Gaderffii stick he carries, killing many of them. His moves are extremely similar to Chirrut Imwe’s from ‘Rogue One‘ and are a great call back to that film. However, Boba notices that he is close to the Razor Crest where his armor is being kept. By now, a second ship full of Imperial forces has landed. Din awakens and again tries to rescue Grogu and again, he is thrown back but this time, he decides to join in the fight. All is going well until he and Shand find themselves outnumbered.
Of course, Boba flies in to save the day. The Stormtroopers retreat into their ships and take off but Boba has other ideas. Flicking down his targeting scope, he takes careful aim and fires his rocket from his Jetpack, hitting one of the escaping ships, causing it to plunge into the second, destroying them both.
From out of nowhere, a large laser bolt comes screaming from high above, striking the Razor Crest and blowing it to pieces, destroying it completely. Moff Gideon is aboard a Destroyer above the planet’s surface and orders the Dark Troopers to be unleashed. Four of them fly down to where Grogu is lying asleep, the force field now gone. Before Din and the others can react, the four troopers kidnap Grogu and fly back to Gideon’s ship. Boba takes after them in Slave-I but he is forced to abandon the chase when he is informed the Troopers have Grogu aboard. Gideon’s ship enters Hyperspace and departs. Din is stranded on Tython without a ship but Boba tells him the rest of his story, naming his father Jango and showing Din that the armor is truly his.
Boba tells him that he owes Din a debt and until Grogu is rescued, the debt is outstanding. Boba and Shand take Din back to the planet Nevarro where he meets with Cara Dune. Din informs her that he needs the imprisoned criminal Mayfield to be sprung from the planet’s prison. She denies this request until Din informs her that Grogu has been taken by Gideon. Onboard Gideon’s ship, he orders that Dr. Pershing is contacted and told he has Grogu for the donor he needs. Entering the cell where Grogu is being held, he watches in amusement (and ours) as Grogu, now starting to realize his powers, is using them to slam his two Stormtrooper guards about the cell before forcing them to collide with each other, knocking them out.
Gideon stands over Grogu and watches as he slowly starts to fall asleep, the use of the force weakening him to the point of sleep. Showing him the Darksaber, which Grogu holds out his hands for, Gideon orders him to be stunned by a Stormtrooper rifle and shackled. We draw back from the stunned Grogu inside his cell and the episode ends.
Wow! Thirty minutes and a whale of a time to be had. The episode has again been written by Jon Favreau and directed by Robert Rodriguez and both have pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. It is possibly one of the finest episodes that have been made so far. It does feel like an extended trailer for what is to come in the final two episodes of this season but what a way to start the sprint to the finish. Pedro Pascal as Din brings a vulnerability to the role in this episode and his humanity has never been more evident. Ming-Na Wen is a welcome sight as she returns as Fennec Shand, this time, she is a badass warrior, shooting and fighting with a huge sense of style and finesse. But make no mistake, this is Temuera Morrison‘s episode without a doubt.
The small glimpse we saw of him at the end of the opening episode to this second season was a small taste of what he would be doing in the season. He plays Boba as he has never been away. The show shows him heavily scarred and marked, no doubt from his time inside the belly of the Sarlaac and this suits the resurrected character completely down to the ground. His moves as Boba before he gets his armor back are worthy of watching on repeat, all fast-flowing and quite violent and nasty to be honest. But, of course, once he puts Boba’s armor back on, he takes on a whole new dimension. BOBA FETT IS BACK! There is no doubt of this. He even has a few new devices in his armor that we haven’t seen before and that adds to the legend of the character. Morrison, until now had only voiced the character in an overdub for the special edition of ‘The Empire Strikes Back‘ but had played Jango Fett and all of the clones in ‘Attack Of The Clones‘ and ‘Revenge Of The Sith‘. He now has the honor of playing the badest bounty hunter in ‘Star Wars‘ history and he takes to his task like a duck to water.
I get the feeling that Boba and Shand, alongside Cara Dune and Greef Karga, will be standing alongside each other by the season’s climax and going toe to toe with Gideon and his minions. Hell, we may even get Bo-Katan thrown into the mix and set up the battle for the throne of Mandalore for next season or beyond. Anything is possible. But without a shadow of a doubt, what Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have in store for us over the last two episodes will blow us all away. The pair have single-handedly managed to bring the fanbase back together after the split caused by the last two ‘Saga’ movies. And by bringing in these much-loved characters and writing the show so brilliantly, we once again have our ‘Star Wars‘ back. And this truly is the way!
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently
Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!