This isn’t a spice dream: The Mandalorian just served up the moment fans have been talking about since the show was first announced.
Streaming on Disney Plus now, season 2 episode 6 is officially titled Chapter 14: The Tragedy. That ominous title sets up a foreboding mood as the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda make a major breakthrough — only for things to take a cruel twist. (Spoilers incoming…) And we finally meet the man who inspired the whole show, as legendary Star Wars character Boba Fett blasts into action.
The episode opens with the Mandalorian and his Force-powered foster-child Baby Yoda sharing a small but emotional moment. After, Mando’s satisfaction at nearing the completion of his quest is tempered with sadness at having to give up Baby Yoda. One minute the little green guy is squealing with delight at a jet pack ride, the next he’s communing with a Jedi temple. That’s super-powered, galaxy-changing, Force-sensitive kids for ya — they grow up so fast!
Arriving at Ahsoka Tano’s “magic rock,” Baby Yoda begins meditating, surrounded by a force field (or should that be Force field?). But things don’t stay meditative for long, as a ship that’ll be familiar to Star Wars fans comes into view — and the moment we’ve all been waiting for arrives.
New characterhas been the breakout star of The Mandalorian. But from the moment the series was announced back in 2018, fans wanted to know if and how the show would tie in with the Mandalorian who started it all, laconic bounty hunter Boba Fett, first seen in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Fett spoke four lines and was on screen for less than seven minutes, but the enigmatically masked character launched a thousand toys. His role expanded in Return of the Jedi, and we learned his backstory in the — which now comes full circle in episode 6 of The Mandalorian.
Not only does Fett reclaim his father Jango Fett’s armor, he gets to smash up some Imperial Stormtroopers in the process. The white-armored Stormtroopers began as an army of clones, obscene copies of none other than Jango himself — no wonder Boba shows such cold fury as he flamboyantly takes out the Stormtrooper platoon.
Fett was glimpsed in season 2 episode 1, played by Temuera Morrison. It’s full circle for the New Zealand actor too: technically this is the first time Morrison has appeared as Boba Fett — aside from some voiceovers, he played Jango in the prequels — and it’s something of an anticlimax that he simply shows up and starts talking. After Ahsoka Tano last week, this isn’t the first time a major Star Wars character just walks in with little buildup. But then you realize Fett’s arrival is a prelude to the real reveal The Mandalorian has been building toward since its inception. In fact, we get to meet Boba Fett twice: once as badass warrior monk taking out bad guys with a massive hammer, and then again as the armored and iconic Star Wars fan favorite we know and love.
Something tells me Fett’s line, “A simple man making his way through the galaxy like my father before me,” will go down in the Star Wars saga’s history of classic lines.
As enjoyable as all this is, there’s a dark twist to come. Writer and producer Jon Favreau gives with one hand and takes away with the other as our deepest fears for Baby Yoda are realized: Grogu is snatched into the arms of the nefarious Moff Gideon.
It’s fitting that the episode, essentially a running battle in the desert, is directed by directed by Robert Rodriguez, the man behind Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn. But it’s not perfect: The destruction of the Mandalorian’s cool ship the Razor Crest, painful as it is, immediately undoes last week’s big cliffhanger. No sooner has Moff Gideon planted a tracker on the ship than he blows it up barely an episode later. Sure, that subplot has served its purpose now he’s got his mitts on Grogu, but it denies viewers the suspense of the Mando desperately trying to evade an enemy we know can’t be shaken off.
The introduction of the Dark Troopers is also something of an anti-climax. After the Stormtroopers get wasted, Gideon throws these sinister black warriors into the fray to inaugurate their nasty powers. But all they do is fly straight down, pick up Baby Yoda, and book it straight back to their spaceship. Any grunt with a jetpack or speeder bike could have done that. Again, last week’s sinister cliffhanger showing rows of Dark Troopers is undone by their underwhelming debut. Still, I suppose the show has to keep something back for its last two episodes as it builds to a finale on Dec. 18.
Episode 6 ends on a dark note — literally — as Moff Gideon strides through corridors, his black cape swirling and hismenacing Baby Yoda. But it isn’t the threat of what Moff Gideon will do that’s so unsettling: We also see Grogu using his powers to torture more hapless Stormtroopers. Ahsoka Tano already warned of the dangers of the untrained child losing his way, especially when he’s been keeping company with a carer who, let’s face it, is a violent and mercenary thug. Nobody wants to see Baby Yoda turn to the Dark Side.
This week we got to see the thing we wanted all along as Boba Fett swooped in. Let’s see how season 2’s climax shares the limelight between Mandalorian stars old and new.
Check out our recaps for all The Mandalorian’s Easter eggs and important Star Wars continuity references:
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