‘The Mandalorian’: Music and Dave Filoni Set an Epic Pace for ‘Chapter 13’ — REVIEW
The Mandalorian has been expanding on the world it’s creating for its original characters like Mando and The Child. But it’s also doing a great job of linking to the expanded universe of Star Wars that fans are already familiar with. This includes Bo-Katan in Episode 3 and the hint at Snoke in the last episode (or the early creation of him at least).
Now, the moment so many have been waiting for has arrived with Episode 5, “Chapter 13: The Jedi,” and it didn’t disappoint. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 5].
Mando comes to Corvus but stumbles into an actively hostile situation
After the debut of a certain someone (which we’ll get to in a minute), Mando finally makes it to Corvus. He heads into the fortified town that we just saw housed not-so-great people, but of course, Din doesn’t know this. He sees right away that the people are being held hostage, though, and are afraid to talk to outside people.
The Magistrate, as she’s called, then requests Mando’s help in killing the Jedi who tried to break into the town the night before. Of course, Din knows this is probably Ahsoka Tano, so he agrees but is only doing it to get to Ahsoka.
It was a bit scary watching Din waltz into this town, knowing there is danger, but luckily they let him leave. The Child is still being a cute little goober, and is even a bit shy when one of the main guards asks about him.
“I keep around for luck,” Mando said about Baby Yoda. While that was just a cover, that was probably closer to the truth than Din will ever know.
Speaking of, The Child is getting a lot more verbal, which is thrilling to hear. Even if it is just for the cuteness factor.
Ahsoka Tano finally makes her live-action debut; it’s worth the wait but is very different than the animated version
OK, getting into the Ahsoka Tano of it all, her big entrance started off the episode. This chapter was written and directed by Dave Filoni, who co-created the character with George Lucas for The Clone Wars animated movie and subsequent series, which began in 2008. He’s known for many things, and Ahsoka is one of them. There are also Loth-cats here as well, so Filoni’s influence is hard to miss.
Seeing Ahsoka run through the barren trees and hearing her lightsabers cut through the air was exciting for the character’s longtime fans. She is so unique in the fact that she’s stood the test of time longer than most Star Wars characters have. This is her live-action debut, portrayed by Rosario Dawson.
However, this is hardly the most exciting nor most epic moment for Ahsoka Tano. But it was still a big moment for the character and for The Mandalorian to bring up such a role. And any fan would be lying if they said that hearing Ahsoka’s theme in the music didn’t send shivers down their spines as she stepped into the frame for the first time.
Moving into her aesthetics, it seems like an odd choice to make Ahsoka’s lekku and montrals so much smaller than they were in Star Wars Rebels, but maybe they didn’t translate well into live-action. Although, fans have seen it in Revenge of the Sith with Shaak Ti.
Maybe Ahsoka’s look was changed for mobility. That was always going to be a hurdle. Taking a beloved animated character with so much screentime and transferring her into live-action was not going to happen without its obstacles. They did a decent job with Ahsoka.
Baby Yoda isn’t Baby Yoda any more
With Din Djarin walking right into Ahsoka’s territory on Corvus, very obviously a Mandalorian, fans were in for a tense meeting, but it was still very fun to see them interact. Ahsoka, of course, got a head start on Mando, and they had a little fight. But she stopped once Mando mentioned Bo-Katan.
And, of course, she noticed The Child right after, and took great interest in him.
She uses the Force to converse with him, and it is quite adorable to see The Child in this element. And, he’s no longer “The Child” or even “Baby Yoda.” His name is Grogu, and he’s not even a Strand-cast or clone like many thought. He is a living, breathing being, who’s very real, and who was training at the Jedi Temple during the Clone Wars. He was there when Ahsoka was as well. And he was hidden away after Order 66, somehow, and ended up in the hands of the Empire, The Client, and the experiment that is currently trying to use his midi-chlorian cells to create Force-sensitive clones.
Mando wants Ahsoka to train him, of course. That’s the whole reason he’s here. He set out to take The Child — Grogu — to Jedi so he can be protected and train. However, Ahsoka is very against this. For one, she doesn’t say this to Din, but she’s technically not a Jedi. She does explain that the Jedi Order isn’t a thing, but the main reason is Grogu’s huge attachment to Mando. This is the first time someone says, outright, that Din is a father-figure to Baby Yoda.
There is a lot left open and a ton of information thrown at the viewer
Ahsoka knows what having attachments does to a Jedi. Firsthand, she saw how Anakin went from being the best person she knew to being Darth Vader. Mando doesn’t know the Jedi Code, so it’s difficult to see him struggle to understand this, but the audience also knows the pain Ahsoka’s gone through. It’s heavy.
But Ahsoka accepts his deal for help in overthrowing the Magistrate of the town. In exchange for his help, he won’t kill her (although, would he really, if it came down to it?) and she’d train Grogu.
Viewers find out the Magistrate is Morgan Elsbeth, who’s also been around since the Clone Wars and who is known for plundering worlds, like this one.
This is a pretty dark episode, with Ahsoka killing off the guards in the Magistrate’s court one by one. But it really evokes Ahsoka’s coolness factor. This is the part of the episode that definitely falls the most in-line with how fierce Tano is. The shot with Ahsoka igniting her lightsabers in front of her face, right before she strikes one of them down? Golden.
It’s a suspenseful episode as well, with many gasp-worthy moments. And with only three episodes left, and most likely no more time with Ahsoka this season, the episode points to spinoffs and future plans.
With something as big as Grand Admiral Thrawn mentioned, that’s ripe for a spinoff or a trilogy of movies somewhere down the line. There is no way The Mandalorian is going to tackle that, at all, and especially not this season.
This also means that Ahsoka is still looking for Ezra Bridger. Which is very interesting because, then, why is she alone? Where is Sabine Wren? The last time viewers saw Ahsoka, she was with Sabine, off to find Ezra. The biggest possibility, here, is that they split up, and Ahsoka followed the lead on Morgan Elsbeth, while Sabine went elsewhere. This would explain why Bo-Katan knew where Ahsoka was because she kept in touch with Sabine, and Sabine kept in touch with Bo-Katan. Presumably, that is.
The music of this episode is truly what made Ahsoka Tano feel like Ahsoka Tano
There’s no lie that there isn’t some sadness associated with this moment for diehard fans of Ahsoka Tano. Ashley Eckstein, the originator of the role, isn’t involved at all in this new iteration of Ahsoka. And that’s kind of felt. Eckstein really is the heart of the character, and as good as it is to see her in live-action, there does seem to be something missing from the part. And it might just be the soul that Eckstein brings to Tano.
So hearing Ahsoka’s theme again at the end was truly what brought everything together. The music is always the driving force of The Mandalorian, as it is with most of Star Wars. And having that extra push of nostalgia and character magic to associate us with Ahsoka at her most emotional moments in this episode meant a lot.
With her physical appearance a bit off, and her fighting style different than her animated form, Ahsoka Tano is definitely not the same Ahsoka fans fell in love with in 2008 and again earlier this year. But she still symbolizes a massive beacon of hope. Because Ahsoka isn’t just Anakin’s former Padawan or some really powerful Force-wielder. She’s one of the most powerful Force-sensitive people alive at this point. And she’s also the most golden-hearted.
It’s quite obvious Filoni nor Star Wars is anywhere near done with Ahsoka Tano yet. And The Mandalorian is also heading to an ancient Jedi Temple. Now is the a great time to be a fan.