The Mandalorian explains is our ongoing series that keeps track of Lucasfilm’s saga about the galaxy’s most dangerous single father. In this post, we look at what happened in The Mandalorian Chapter 13 – the fifth episode of Season 2 – and look at its extensive revelations. Yes, there are spoilers here.
There are many gifts on offer war of stars Fans in this week’s episode of The Mandalorianbut none greater than Grogu’s name. Yes, yes, yes, we can finally stop referring to the child at the center of the story as “Baby Yoda” (or even “The Child”). He’s not a clone (likely), and he has tragic origins linked to the Imperial rise and the Jedi extermination.
Mandalorian chapter 13 with the mischievous title “The Jedi” does not seek its information slowly. Its writer and director, Dave Filoniis here to celebrate. The one-off showrunner of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels can finally introduce his most cherished character into the glorious realm of live action, in the first few frames of this episode.
Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) rips through the opening scene and cuts through a sad crowd of henchmen. We can find them exactly where Bo-Katan Kryze Mando Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) she would be on the forest planet of Corvus. She is on a mission herself and frees a persecuted village from the tyrannical rule of Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) and extract the whereabouts of an old enemy from the twisted brain of the gangster.
Magistrate is not an easy sign, and despite Tano’s tremendous skill, she is unable to do the job on her own. Enter: Mando. After a brief tour of the city and a chat with the magistrate, Mando apparently takes a job to hunt down the lightsaber duel hidden in the light. In this case, the magistrate will give Mando her impressively pointed rod made of Beskar steel.
Mando and Ahsoka have a Marvel meetup where introductions can’t happen without a little argument. He calls her name and mentions Bo-Katan. Ahsoka takes a while to think, discovers our favorite child with a hungry goblin and lowers her blades.
The child and Ahsoka share a moment of solitude. You communicate through power. Words are not spoken, but information is exchanged between them.
Tano passes the message on to Mando. The kid is Grogu, a boy from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, the central city planet that hosted all of your favorite Senate hearings during the prequels. After the empire came to power, Grogu was hidden. During the aftermath of the Clone Wars, someone stole grogu from the temple. The child’s thoughts are shadowed around the event because his memory is too dark in places.
Mando begs Tano to take the child with him. He is of his kind; He’s one of the Jedi. Tano tells him the Jedi fell a long time ago, but she doesn’t mention how she turned her back on her order in the last few days of The Clone Wars. She is not a Jedi.
Many years ago, Tano was charged with a crime by the Jedi. She saw her fear infect her judgment. She knew that her actions during the Clone Wars led them down a dark path from which they could not escape. Little did Tano know, of course, that even her master Anakin Skywalker could succumb to the worst of fears and condemn the galaxy with his will.
Tano knows the fate of Darth Vader and is reluctant to train Grogu in the ways of power. She tells Mando that it is better to wait for these powers to fade.
Mando says he will help Tano defeat the magistrate if she raises the child. She makes him think she’s going to keep that promise, but we know Din Djarin Grogu won’t be rid of anytime soon. The Mandalorian is now the saga of a father and a son.
Grogu is a child whose family was stolen. Mando is a kid with the same backstory. He has become more than a protector over the past two seasons. We see the love he has for grogu in the tiny gestures he offers, in the way he tilts his head towards the child and in the way he carries grogu by his side. Tano tells him at the climax: “You are like a father to him.” We know it is true, and it looks like Mando is going to get that way of thinking too.
Tano and Mando destroy the thugs who rule Corvus. The action is powerful and quick. While Mando frees the imprisoned citizens from their electrical supplies in front of the gate of the magistrate and confronts a gruff mercenary (Michael Biehn), Tano clashes with the magistrate. Her Beskar staff stands lightly against Tano’s two lightsabers, but the magistrate can’t keep up with Tano’s ferocity.
The magistrate reveals the location of their master, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Whoa, whoa, whoa. As if seeing Ahsoka Tano in action and learning the name Grogu wasn’t enough, Mandalorian chapter 13 introduces the galaxy’s most feared Imperial officer again !?
The revelation is practically a death sentence for Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). Think about it for a second. The moment the Darksaber-wearing villain entered the scene also meant the annihilation of Werner Herzogis more than a little intimidating despite being a nameless client. Gideon suddenly seems to be just this season’s boss fight with Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Thrawn is likely a new name for those who have never explored the expanded Star Wars universe. He originally appeared in the author Timothy Zahn‘s novel trilogy that began with Legacy of the Empire. Zahn’s books were written between the return of the Jedi and the Phantom Menace and were a lifesaver for fandom. While they have since been removed from the canon – thanks to Disney – the great evil of books has resumed over some new Zahn novels and the Star Wars: Rebels animated series.
Thrawn is a blue-faced Chiss, a royal military genius who commanded the Imperial Navy and only answered the Emperor. The key to his many victories was a thorough understanding of his enemies. He fetishized his prey and became obsessed with its culture. For Thrawn, there is no greater pleasure than consuming the story of a species before it’s obliterated from reality.
In the season four finale of Star Wars: Rebels, series hero Ezra Bridger confronts Thrawn on his Star Destroyer Bridge. He defeats the Imperial scum by summoning power friendly creatures known as Purrgil. These massive space whales rip through the hull and expose the fighters to space, but Bridger forms a power bubble around himself and Thrawn. The whales drag them into hyperspace, where they are considered lost.
Ahsoka Tano makes a pact with Mandalorian badass Sabine Wren to spend her days hunting down Ezra Bridger. If Thrawn made it out of that insane space whale hyperspace, then it stands to reason that Bridger did too. Tano is less about knocking down an old enemy than about relocating an ally.
Mandalorian chapter 13 ends with Tano refusing to train grogu. She won’t make the same mistakes Obi-Wan Kenobi made. She won’t raise another Vader.
Tano does not completely suppress Grogu’s Jedi possibility. She instructs Mando to take the child to Tython, where they find the ruins of another Jedi temple. When Mando Grogu lays on the “seeing stone” on top of the mountain and grabs with force, there is a chance that a real Jedi will sense his presence and call out.
With no further options, Mando and Grogu, father and son, took the next step.
The Mandalorian chapter 13 gives more than just a taste of the many battles that take place on the fringes of this series. While Mando and Grogu travel the stars, Bo-Katan battles the remnants of the Empire so she can restore the pride of her people. Ahsoka Tano is desperate to find a friend, and Moff Gideon and Grand Admiral Thrawn are thirsty to heal their scraps.
It’s a lot for a show to put out there, and you could easily see The Mandalorian break down into multiple spin-off programs. The great appeal of Star Wars, however, lies in its huge canvas. From A New Hope on, the feeling of an invisible epic was always there. That’s what Luke Skywalker imagined as he stared intently into the two setting suns of Tatooine.
There are no sidelines. Be busy with life or be busy with dying. Take part in the fight. It works without you.