The latest episodes of The Mandalorian have made extensive use of nostalgic fan service. Not just one, but two classic Star Wars characters have been brought into play, and we’re all excited to see what the rest of the season does with them.
The show’s sophomore season so far is consistently exciting, edgy, and creative. Let’s recap on the story and talk about some of those seriously huge reveals.
(And if you need a refresher on the first episodes of the season, check The Mandalorian Chapter 9-11 recap.)
CHAPTER 12: THE SIEGE
Carl Weathers (Greef Karga; Dillon in Predator) is quite the actor, but he shows a true flair for creativity as the director of “The Siege.” The episode is a smorgasbord of humor, visuals, and the Star Wars equivalent of car chases.
The Mon Calamari didn’t do such a great job repairing Mando’s ship, so he and the Child travel to Nevarro to meet a couple of their old friends from Season 1.
The planet has changed for the better. Greef Karga is now the magistrate, and he runs the planet quite benevolently. Corruption and villainy have been mostly weeded out, thanks in no small to Cara Dune, who serves as marshal. Like Mando himself, these characters were more ambiguous in the first season. Now, they follow a mostly righteous path, using their gifts to better the lives of others. Nevarro even has a school, which our cute “Baby Yoda” (The Child) is quickly enrolled into – at least while his adoptive father goes on a mission.
In exchange for repairs, Djarin will help Dune and Karga to wipe out the last vestige of evil on the planet – an Imperial base surrounded by molten lava. They are joined by a blue Mythrol, Mando’s bounty from the very first episode. Now paying off his debts in the service of Karga, he certainly keeps things funny with his awkward personality.
Some awesome blaster action (not to mention a real-life crewmember in jeans accidentally shown on-screen) follows as the heroes break into the facility and fight some stormtroopers. The action is consistent with the tone, and a few stormtrooper deaths are hilarious.
As the place is about to be melted by lava, the heroes learn that the base is actually a science facility. A recording made by Dr. Pershing reveals that Moff Gideon wants the Child’s DNA for its midi-chlorian count, which the villains are using in experiments on test subjects. Strange creatures are also shown growing in giant test tubes.
Mando activates his jetpack and flies back to his ship while his three teammates continue fighting troopers. They eventually get away in an armored vehicle, and a wild chase ensues. TIE fighters arrive and shoot at them from above. It looks hopeless, but then the Mandalorian comes back and saves the day with his ship’s weapons.
Later, Mando departs to search for Ahsoka Tano on Corvus. Soldiers from the New Republic arrive on Nevarro. They know that this region of space has seen some bizarre action lately, and they’re investigating the planet to find out who and what their enemy is. An officer offers Cara Dune a job with the New Republic, and she doesn’t seem very enthusiastic, but we do learn some of her backstory. Apparently, everyone she loved was killed when the Death Star destroyed Alderaan (A New Hope).
The episode closes with a scene aboard Moff Gideon’s light cruiser. It’s revealed that a tracking beacon has been placed on the Razor Crest, and it’s only a matter of time before the wielder of the darksaber closes in. And he’s got some interesting new toys: ebony droid monsters waiting patiently for activation. Dark Troopers.
CHAPTER 13: THE JEDI
From its opening scene, Chapter 13 delivers for fans. It starts out with what basically amounts to a dream come true – a popular character from a Star Wars animation transposed into live-action.
We’re immediately given a fight scene on the planet Corvus. The soldiers of a dictatorship, Calodan, are battling an enigmatic figure in the shadows of a forest. That figure is Ahsoka Tano, a fan-favorite former Jedi from The Clone Wars and Rebels. In the animated series, she was a tough and smart apprentice. Now, she’s an expert fighter, using foreboding fog to her advantage and making quick work of the soldiers.
The choreography and the atmosphere of the sequence are some of the best we’ve seen in the series so far. Add to that the fact that Rosario Dawson portrays Ahsoka with grit and passion, and we have the makings for a truly exciting episode.
At the gates, Ahsoka confronts the evil ruler of the city, Imperial Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth. The Force-wielder wants to know where the villain’s master is and delivers an ultimatum; Elsbeth is given one day to reveal the location of her intended target, and Ahsoka retreats into the fog until then.
Din Djarin arrives the next day with the Child. He’s looking for a Jedi, and Elsbeth tells him about Ahsoka, who she needs to dispose of. If he tracks her down and kills her, the bounty hunter will be given a spear of pure Beskar. Of course, Mando doesn’t really want to kill a Jedi – he only wants to find one for the sake of the Child.
He finds Ahsoka in the woods. After a brief fight, he tells her that he was sent by Bo-Katan Kryze. As if seeing a live-action version of Ahsoka wasn’t cool enough, we soon learn the backstory of our other favorite character, the Child. Reaching out to him via the Force, Ahsoka learns that the baby’s name is Grogu, and that he was actually trained as a Jedi youngling before the rise of the Empire.
Unfortunately, Ahsoka doesn’t want to train him. She senses much fear and anger within, and she doesn’t want Grogu to turn to the dark side like her former master, Anakin Skywalker. She suggests letting his powers fade over time. But Mando strikes a deal. If she agrees to train him, he will help her take back Calodan from Elsbeth.
The plan is executed, and it doesn’t take long for the former Jedi and the Mandalorian to free the citizens from Imperial rule. Ahsoka fights Elsbeth near the villain’s pristine abode as Mando frees villagers strung up on poles in the city. Mando then confronts Lang, Elsbeth’s lead lieutenant (portrayed by Michael Biehn of Aliens and Terminator fame). Their standoff is tense, but not as much so as the fight they can hear behind the wall.
Elsbeth turns out to be a very skilled fighter, even using the Beskar spear to knock one of Ahsoka’s lightsabers into a pond. But in the end, our favorite Togruta proves stronger, and she learns the location of Elsbeth’s master, Grand Admiral Thrawn (a Rebels villain and yet another fan-favorite Star Wars character).
Mando kills Lang, and the city is officially saved. Grogu is set to finally train with Ahsoka, but she again refuses. Instead, she tells Mando to take Grogu to the planet Tython to find an old Jedi temple. If Grogu is placed atop the Seeing Stone, he can reach out with the Force and hopefully attract a Jedi to their location.
With this, the former Jedi, the Mandalorian, and the Child part ways with new information guiding their quests.
CHAPTER 14: THE TRAGEDY
Mando and Grogu are nearing Tython. They share a few emotional moments: Mando calls Grogu by name, and he clearly thinks the baby is adorable when he looks up at the sound of his name. Grogu also practices his Force powers, using his mind to retrieve the shift knob he’s always been so fond of. Djarin is clearly conflicted: he knows Grogu will be better off with his own kind, but doesn’t want to part with him. He seems to even choke back tears behind his stoic helmet.
They arrive on the planet, and Grogu is placed atop the Seeing Stone. But as he surrounds himself with a field of energy that knocks Mando back, a familiar ship crosses the horizon. Mando heads down the hill and meets the pilot, a savage-looking man who demands his armor back. It’s none other than Boba Fett, the feared bounty hunter fans have adored since Empire Strikes Back. Temuera Morrison nails the performance, as the character does seem like a grown version of the teenager we knew from Clone Wars (in the films, there wasn’t much characterization or dialogue for the character).
Mando is warned that if he shoots Boba, a nearby sniper will shoot Grogu. Boba’s partner turns out to be Fennec Shand, the bounty hunter assumed dead in Season 1’s “The Gunslinger.” Just as fans suspected a year ago, the character that found her body on Tatooine was in fact Boba Fett. He apparently nursed her back to health and fitted her with cybernetic implants to repair her damaged organs.
Fett promises that if he gets his armor, he will guarantee the safety of both Djarin and the Child. Then the standoff is interrupted by more ships. Stormtroopers have arrived, and as Mando rushes to protect Grogu, the two bounty hunters start shooting.
We honestly never saw much of Boba Fett in the films. It was always assumed he was a fantastic warrior, but we hadn’t really seen it until now (and, to an extent, in Clone Wars). But as he fights the troopers with a Tusken Raider staff, everything we ever hoped of the character’s skills is proven accurate.
The fight scene is intense, but as more troopers arrive, it looks hopeless – until Boba puts on his armor. Seeing a fully armored Boba Fett – the original Mandalorian – take out Imperial soldiers with rockets and spin the blaster in his hand perfectly hit some fans the way Luke’s appearance did at the end of Force Awakens. Fett is so skilled that the troopers flee back to their ships. But he’s not finished with them yet. Using his rockets, he brings down both ships with ease.
Then a huge laser blast comes out of nowhere. An Imperial ship in orbit has blown up Mando’s ship, the Razor Crest. Soon after, mechanized terrors fall out of the sky – the Dark Troopers. These villains were first introduced in a 1995 game, Star Wars: Dark Forces, but they’ve never been in canon Star Wars until now. It’s unclear whether they’re simply robotic or have organic elements like General Grievous, but they certainly look lethal.
Before Mando can make it up the hill, the Dark Troopers have kidnapped Grogu and flown back up to Gideon’s light cruiser. Mando seems to give up all hope. Boba reveals via chain code that the armor did indeed belong to his father, Jango Fett. Mando surmises something we didn’t know – the Fetts are more Mandalorian than we thought they were, as Jango was actually a Foundling like Djarin. This doesn’t make Boba a full Mandalorian warrior, but he’s pretty close, and the armor is indeed his heritage.
Boba, often seen as a brutal villain, is now an ally. Keeping his word, he tells Mando that he and Shand will help him rescue Grogu. They fly Slave I to Nevarro, and Mando meets with Cara Dune. Now an official marshal of the New Republic, she consults her computer to find someone Mando is looking for. Mando’s plan is to break Migs Mayfeld (last seen in Season 1’s “The Prisoner”) out of jail and use him to find Moff Gideon.
Aboard Gideon’s ship, Grogu uses the Force to choke and subdue a couple of stormtroopers. Gideon watches as the Child tires himself out, and he orders one of his men to stun the weakened baby. He then tells another officer to contact Dr. Pershing and inform him of Grogu’s capture.
What’s your favorite scene from The Mandalorian Season 2 so far? Are you excited about Ahsoka Tano and Boba Fett? Do you think we’ll see Admiral Thrawn before long?
Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!