The episode this entire season has built up to has arrived! Boy was it a doozy!
The episode does NOT hold off getting to the point quickly. The episode immediately debuts with Ahsoka Tano single handedly laying siege to a village on a swamp planet with her two white lightsabers from Star Wars: Rebels.
As we find out, the town is ruled over by a Magistrate who worked for the Empire scouring worlds for resources to build Star Destroyers. At this point in the timeline, five years after Return of the Jedi, SHES just in charge of a small village on a mostly desolate planet but she has enough security to keep the Jedi at bay, mostly.
Just as Ahsoka is planning to lay her final siege onto the village, Mando and the Child arrive at the planet where they are immediately prompted to hunt down the Jedi in exchange for a rare weapon made of metal from the Mandalorian homeworld.
Mando and the child go out into the woods, not actually planning to follow through on the assassination, and Mando attempts to hand over the child to Ahsoka. The two agree that she’ll consider taking the child after they assault the villain and get the information she needs from the Magistrate while freeing the villagers.
It’s amazing just how many storylines have been seeded in The Mandalorian in just the last three episodes of the series. Filoni and Favreau are REALLY hedging their bets that the series is going to keep rolling for at least two more seasons and remain the flagship series for Disney+ for the foreseeable future.
Episode 3 teased the war to retake Mandalore with Bo Katan and the surviving Death Watch members.
Episode 4 teased Mof Gideon’s motivations for why he wants the child and what he plans to do with him.
Episode 5 goes even farther and sets up several additional plot threads going forward. There are several major reveals in this episode meant to get the Star Wars fans frothing:
1. The child’s name is Grogu and he was trained at the Jedi temple before Order 66.
This reveal actually makes a lot of sense with what we already knew about the child. It didn’t make a lot of sense before when we knew the child was fifty years old because that would’ve meant he was roughly 20 years old by the time order 66 happened. That raises a lot of interesting questions but it definitely suggests he had some connection to Yoda, even if he was just an apprentice to him.
2. Ahsoka doesn’t believe Grogu should be trained in the Force
It does not at all surprise me that the series isn’t going to pull the plug on its main narrative set up. Mando and Grogu have such an intense connection at this point that ripping them apart for narrative purposes would have to be a red herring at this point or lead to some sort of rescue storyline.
It also makes sense that Ahsoka isn’t just going to join the cast as a stowaway on the Razorcrest training Grogu in the background since Rosario Dawson probably does not come cheap. Plus having a fully powered Ex-Jedi aboard would be overkill for a series with normally grounded stakes.
Still, the setup that Grogu is going to goto a Jedi temple to decide his fate once and for all is an exciting idea! We have three more episodes this season and the Imperial remnant is definitely tailing them by now so the final few episodes are starting to form up.
I’m glad this show is going to fundamentally stay the Mando and Grogu show, although I think it will definitely need to evolve and find new stories and purposes as it goes along if they want to maintain that status quo.
3. Grand Admiral Thrawn is Coming Back
This is definitely the geekiest thing about the episode.
Thrawn is a name fans of the Star Wars extended universe are deeply familiar with as he was the star of numerous spin off and book projects such as Heir to the Empire and Tie Fighter. He was reintroduced into the series with Star Wars: Rebels but he disappeared when his ship blasted into the unknown regions for parts unknown with a Jedi aboard his ship.
The fact that he seems to have consolidated power in the Outer rim is fascinating. It’s not clear just how much power since it seems like his only connection so far is a prison camp on a backwater swamp world but knowing the stories he’s in wouldn’t be surprising if he showed up as Mof Gideon’s boss.
Alternatively, he could be the primary villain of the Rebels sequel series/Ahsoka Tano series that keeps getting rumored. Either way, that would likely mean that we’ll be seeing Ezra Bridger and Sabine sooner than later!
Maybe when Grogu reaches out with the force he’ll contact Jorus C’Baoth, the dark Jedi/clone that Thrawn hangs out with in the books. Maybe this is building up to an enormous homage to some of the older legacy era novels. Anything could happen at this point. Heck I was afraid they’d bring back Maul AGAIN when they kept referring to “your master”…
If they’re going to cuck out THAT hard on fan service they might as well just bring in Luke Skywalker singing Guys and Dolls lyrics for all the good it’s gonna do for the series’ quality…
Either way, great episode and I’m dying to know where this is going now!
Also as a side note, the pan flute cover of the title theme at the end of the episode was cute!