The Mandalorian Chapter 13 Introduces a Highly-Anticipated Jedi Character

Jedi encounter reveals the Child's real name and raises questions about his training in use of the Force.

by | November 27, 2020 | Comments

Pedro Pascal in The Mandalorian Chapter 13
(Photo by Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

This week’s episode of The Mandalorian wastes no time revealing its special guest and confirming the most pivotal casting decision of the second season. It is also, potentially, the most pivotal episode overall as Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) gets closer to the Force and one Star Wars’ best-established television story. So let’s dive in and see what the Mandalorian’s latest meeting could mean for his journey and the galaxy.

The following contains spoilers about The Mandalorian, season 2, episode 5, “Chapter 13: The Jedi.” Stop here if you have not watched the episode.

Bo-Katan Kryze Put the Mandalorian on the Path to Jedi Ahsoka Tano

Katee Sackhoff in The Mandalorian Chapter 11
(Photo by Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.)
Receiving a tip from Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in Chapter 11, Djarin began a journey to the planet Corvus in the hopes a Jedi named Ahsoka Tano could help him with his quest to reunite the Child with his people. But as the Razor Crest was badly damaged, he made a pit-stop on Nevarro for repairs in Chapter 12. While there, he aided Greef Carga (Carl Weathers) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) in raiding a Imperial Remnant base, where he learned Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) is still alive and conducting experiments with the Child’s blood.

Chapter 13 Quickly Introduces Ahsoka Tano

Rosario Dawson in The Mandalorian Chapter 13
(Photo by Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

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On Corvus, Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) is locked in a struggle against Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto), a Clone Wars profiteer with information the Jedi exile desperately needs. Unfortunately, Elsbeth, a magistrate, holds the entire town of Calodan under her thumb, making Ahsoka’s usual plan of attack nonviable.

When Djarin arrives on Corvus, Elsbeth immediately hires him to kill Ahsoka; of course, he has no intention of fulfilling the contract as he sussed out the situation in Calodan and needs the Jedi’s help with the Child.

Tracking Ahsoka to the burned out forest outside the city walls, the two immediately fight, but a mention of Bo-Katan gives Ahoska reason to listen to the Mandalorian. Upon seeing the Child, though, her attention is swayed. The two meditate and, at long last, Djarin learns the Child has a name: Grogu. He also learns a few key pieces of his history. Djarin asks for her help training the child in the Jedi arts, but she refuses. He manages to strike a bargain, though: he will assist her raid on Calodan if she will train Grogu.

Pedro Pascal and Diana Lee Inosanto in The Mandalorian Chapter 13
(Photo by Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Ahsoka arrives in town feigning Djarin’s defeat at her lightsabers. She also takes out a number of Elsbeth’s guards on her own. But as the fight moves to the rooftops, Elsbeth orders the execution of her prisoners and the townsfolk. Luckily, Djarin arrives via jetpack to stop the slayings. He also corners Lang (Micheal Biehn), Elsbeth’s chief mercenary.

Meanwhile, on the magistrate’s estate, Ahsoka fights Elsbeth, who brandishes a Beskar spear. Though she holds her own for a bit, Elsbeth is ultimately no match for Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice. And as it happens, the information vital to Ahsoka is the location of Elsbeth’s master, Grand Admiral Thrawn.

With Elsbeth’s regime toppled, Djarin returns to the Razor Crest to get Gorgu ready for his training and say goodbye. But Djarin allows the child to sleep, and Ahsoka makes her own way to the ship and says, once again, she cannot train him. Instead, she suggests taking him to the ruins of a Jedi temple on Tython, where Grogu can choose his own destiny and reach out to a Jedi better suited for an apprentice.

Once Again The Fulcrum

Rosario Dawson in The Mandalorian Chapter 13
(Photo by Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

While Ahsoka is the most important guest character to appear in The Mandalorian, Djarin and Grogu managed to become high-profile guests in Ahsoka’s ongoing story and, in a way, the continuing storyline of Star Wars Rebels.

In that series’ final moments, Ahsoka returned to the planet Lothal to tell Mandalorian Sabine Wren that the time had come to find their lost comrade, Ezra Bridger. The young Jedi vanished alongside Grand Admiral Thrawn during the liberation of Lothal, a confrontation which occurred shortly before the Battle of Yavin.

Four years after their reunion on Lothal, it is unclear if Ahsoka and Sabine ever found Ezra. Her quest to find Thrawn could mean any number of things. If he’s active in the galaxy again, it is possible Ezra has already been found and this is part of the aftermath. Alternatively, the pair could still be on the search for their friend after all this time.

Rosario Dawson in The Mandalorian Chapter 13
(Photo by Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

If the search ended in tragedy, though, it may explain a certain ruthlessness on Ahsoka’s part. As played by Dawson, the character is surprisingly vicious while dispatching Elsbeth’s goons and, seemingly, Elsbeth herself. Ahsoka’s path is not exactly in keeping with the Jedi Code, of course — she walked away from the Order during the Clone Wars — and it is easy to see how she could be as formidable as her former master.

Also, Djarin meets a surprisingly somber Ahsoka. This is in contrast to the character as voiced by Ashley Eckstein, who voiced Ahsoka throughout Clone Wars and her various appearances on Star Wars Rebels. Though the character went through dark times on those shows, she always retained a youthful sparkle that is completely missing here — even when she is pleased to meet Grogu. At the same time, though, it totally makes sense for Djarin to meet a grimmer version of her, as she is a guest character here and, really, Jedi should be terrifying.

The Child in The Mandalorian (Disney+)
(Photo by Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Speaking of the child (we’re letting go of the capitalization now that he has a name), we learned some key details about his past. He was raised in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and began his training sometime before or during the Clone Wars. Hidden after the fall of the Old Republic, his memories of the ensuing two decades become hazy.

This new intel rewrites our perception of Grogu as he is not quite the infant we assumed him to be. Although younglings were brought to the Order very early in their lives — Ahsoka herself was only 3 when she began training — the longevity of Yoda’s species led us to believe Grogu, at age 50, was still, essentially, a newborn. But if the Jedi deemed him old enough to be trained, he has some understanding of the wider galaxy and his place in it.

We also think he plays up the childlike innocence as a defense mechanism, much like Ahsoka’s suggestion that he hides his powers in order to survive.

Back on the rumor front, Dawson was long associated with Ahsoka and this proved to be correct. Biehn, meanwhile, ended up playing a far more minor figure than anyone guessed. Although, we noticed the initial reports of his involvement indicated he would play a bounty hunter. A merc is not far off from that, so those early reports were also more or less true; that said, we would’ve liked to see him in a more pivotal role.

With the conclusion of this episode, nearly all the credible rumors have been resolved and just about everything anticipated about the season has come to pass. It means next week’s episode will be something fresh and surprising. Although, we wonder if the season’s established pace means another detour before reaching Tython. As it happens, the planet is nestled in the Deep Core, so it will take the Razor Crest some time to get there.

Questions for the Jedi

John Wilson/© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
(Photo by John Wilson/© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

While we ponder how lightspeed travel will affect the pace of the show, there are some other questions to consider. Now that the Jedi have invaded The Mandalorian, it is time to wonder about some other key Star Wars characters.

Where is Sabine Wren? Is she still looking for Ezra or did she find him? If things went poorly, is she also on the hunt for Thrawn? And, perhaps more importantly, will Djarin’s journey bring him into contact with her? Presumably, she’ll want to be part of the Bo-Katan’s liberation force. Provided Sabine is still alive, of course.

Has Ahsoka Reached Out to Luke Skywalker? While we’re happy to never have a Skywalker appear on The Mandalorian, one would think Ahsoka would reach out to him and offer some guidance in rebuilding the Order. Then again, considering how disastrously Luke’s attempt to rebuild the Jedi will go, maybe their conversation was ill-fated. He may be the Jedi she alluded to in her parting words with Djarin, but his track record suggests he is not the person to teach Grogu.

Is Ezra Fated To Teach Grogu? Considering The Mandalorian wanders in Dave Filoni’s quadrant of the galaxy, it is possible Ezra is best suited to aid the child. He may also be one of the Jedi Ahsoka mentioned and his journey to become one — chronicled in Rebels — makes him a far better candidate than Luke. Granted, we always prefer Jedi with more shades of gray to their philosophy than the absolutism Luke was taught. Also, we’re assuming Grogu will want to be a Jedi. The visit to Tython may show him a different Way to follow.

Is Grogu Related to Yoda? Now that we know he was in the Jedi Temple, the question must be asked. Considering how rare examples of Yoda’s species seem to be — Ahoska apparently never met Jedi Master Yaddle, who left the council before the Clone Wars — a direct relationship between Grogu and Yoda is likely. Also, the longevity of the species and their high midi-chlorian counts suggest they may be more directly tied to the will of the Force than anyone suspects. Once again, we look to Tython with the hope its connection to the Force will shed more light on The Mandalorian‘s mysteries.

The Mandalorian releases new episodes each Friday on Disney+.

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