With the Thanksgiving holiday come and gone in the U.S., Disney Plus is giving fans plenty to still be thankful for as The Mandalorian Chapter 13 dropped on Black Friday. Instead of braving the crowds for $30 TVs and other ridiculous deals, people can stay safely at home with Mandalorian Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and The Child as the second season begins its final four episode run to the finale in a few weeks.
The Mandalorian Chapter 13, entitled “The Jedi,” was a very pivotal episode — if that title doesn’t give that away. It introduced new directions and still managed to tie in to what has come before, once again tapping into The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels lore with an exciting, and welcome live-action appearance of Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). Now with a full fledged Jedi introduced into The Mandalorian mythos, this show continues to exhibit all that makes Star Wars such a beloved property, worldwide.
The Mandalorian Chapter 13 opens on Corvus, as a mysterious Jedi lays waste to armed guards, using the fog and shadows as subterfuge. She makes short work of the unit and then finally confronts the Magistrate (Diana Lee Inosanto) and her personal guard, a hired gunslinger named Lang (Michael Biehn). The Jedi, Ahsoka Tano, demands to know where the Magistrate’s master is. The woman refuses to give up the info and threatens the lives of the villagers. Ahsoka gives her one day to give her the answer she seeks and then she disappears into the mists.
On the Razor Crest, Mando and The Child have another classic parent/child confrontation just as the ship enters Corvus Minor airspace. He sets down and makes his way to the village. He’s confronted by Lang, who opens the gates for the Mandalorian.
Once inside, Mando tries to talk to the villagers but they all spurn him. One man, Wing (Wing Tao Chao), asks that the stranger not speak to anyone, and before Mando can find out why, he is told that the Magistrate wishes to speak to him. He is then led to the sanctuary, which is a far cry from the dirty slums of the village. The sanctuary is green and clean, with fresh water pools.
The Magistrate asks him if he is, in fact, and Mandalorian, and he tells her he is. She then offers him a job hunting a Jedi. Mando tells her his price is high, and she presents him with a beskar spear as a prize for the Jedi’s head. Mando asks where he can find this “Jedi.”
Mando and The Child set out into the charred wilderness in search of his target. Of course, she finds him first and they fight, beskar versus lightsaber. Mando finally tells her that Bo-Katan sent him, and she relents — and then she notices the child.
After the two force users meditate in a clearing, she returns to Mando and reveals that the child’s name is Grogu, and she offers a bit of his history. He was trained at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and was taken to safety during Order 66 by a mysterious person.
The next day, Ahsoka and Grogu begin a test of his force abilities, which he fails. Mando asks Ahsoka to train the child, and she refuses. She says that the child has too much fear, and only Mando can calm that fear. Ahsoka urges Mando to connect to Grogu, and he is able to do so with a fun Season 1 callback. Ahsoka refuses to train Grogu and tells Mando that the child belongs to him, as they’ve developed a bond and his attachment makes him vulnerable.
Mando then reveals that he was sent to kill her by the Magistrate, and he offers to help the Jedi with her issue if she will lead him to someone who can train Grogu. She agrees and a Jedi and an Mandalorian team up to take on the corrupt Magistrate and her army. Ahsoka reveals that the Magistrate is an Imperial shipbuilder who is still working for the Remnant.
Ahsoka begins the assault on the village by taking out the gate guard and sentries. She confronts the Magistrate and tosses Mando’s beskar pauldron as proof that she killed him. The Magistrate then sends her troops to kill the Jedi, and then tells her guard to kill the villagers. Mando appears in time to stop the killing.
Ahsoka handles the soldiers and one of the HK assassin droids, and then makes her way into the Sanctuary to confront the Magistrate. Outside, Mando confronts the gunslinger and they wait out the battle inside the walls.
In the Sanctuary, Ahsoka and the Magistrate come face to face and a tense battle ensues; Ahsoka with her two colorless lightsabers and the Magistrate with the beskar spear. Ahsoka finally gets the upper hand and demands to know where she can find Grand Admiral Thrawn!
Outside, Lang tries to get the better of Mando and loses, badly. Mando also takes out the remaining HK droid, ending the Magistrate’s occupation.
As the two warriors depart, Wing is restored as governor and peace seems to be returning to Corvus. Ahsoka gives Mando the beskar spear. He then goes back to the Razor Crest to collect Grogu for Ahsoka, and realizes that he can’t really give the little guy up. Ahsoka gives him a new mission: to take Grogu to the planet Tython and the Jedi Temple there. He can then reach out to find other Jedi who might be able to train him.
Mando gets a new direction and this show continues to shock and surprise, week in and week out.
Is This Star Wars?
Of course it is. We had a friggin’ Jedi, HK-87 assassin droids, classic Star Wars lore, and the Thrawn name drop was almost too much goodness — in a season of too much goodness every week. I’m not sure we will ever see the resolution of Ahsoka Tano’s hunt for Thrawn, but if they do check into that story thread once in awhile, I might very well lose what’s left of my mind. I’ve waited almost 30 years to see Thrawn in live action. Could my wait be over soon?
Also, one last neat nod: when Mando takes off and Ahsoka looks on, the scene is staged oddly like the scene in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke departs Dagobah as Yoda watches. I’m sure it was intentional and a neat callback.
Writing And Directing
Dave Filoni wrote and directed The Mandalorian Chapter 13, and that is fitting since Ahsoka Tano is his creation — his baby, if you will. Fans have watched her grow from an annoying sidekick to Anakin Skywalker into a full-fledged Jedi with her own life path, one which still presses her forward. And seeing her wield the colorless lightsabers was a thrill.
Filoni does an amazing job writing Ahsoka, and that is punctuated by Dawson’s amazing performance. It was almost ka that she be the actress to play the role, as the similar physical characteristics are striking. She was made to wear Ahsoka’s montrals, and I hope that we see more of her in the future, especially with the revelation of who it is she is hunting.
I particularly enjoyed the final battle’s nod to iconic Japanese cinema. Somewhere Kurosawa would be proud.
I can’t believe this show continues to get better week after week — and it’s already so good. I’ve said it time and again, but Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni completely understand this universe and are making Star Wars better with The Mandalorian. There are only a handful of episodes left in Season 2, but The Mandalorian Chapter 13 could stand as a hallmark of the season and a new direction — or the possibility of a new spinoff — as the story continues to unfold.
The Mandalorian Chapter 13 is available to stream now on Disney Plus. All images owned by Disney and Lucasfilm.