How would The Mandalorian possibly follow up Chapter 13, “The Jedi”? How would they raise the stakes after bring in long anticipated fan favorite Ahsoka Tano?
By bringing back arguably the longest running beloved cult Star Wars figure of all time. Boba Fett.
Right from the get-go, we get confirmation that it was Boba Fett’s boot at the end of Chapter 5, “The Gunslinger.” The audience gets that satisfaction and only has its pheromones increased more right after. In the ship on the way to Tython Mando acts like the cheesy basic-cable father by giggling when saying Grogu’s name and watching The Child react. Mando has a new sense of pride, especially now that Grogu is using the force with him near.
All this happiness for an episode called “The Tragedy”….All this is going to come crashing down.
Mando and Grogu arrive at Tython and find the extremely force sensitive rock. Mando is confused because nothing seems too special about that place and Grogu is just being cute and literally trying to chase butterflies. BUT WAIT, IS THAT BOBA FETT’S MUSIC??
Boba’s classic ship, Slave I, flies through the sky and sets down near the Razor Crest’s position. Mando gets nervous about the company (naturally) and turns around to tell Grogu they have to go…but that’s not possible at the moment. The force rock that was dormant is now alive and kicking, and Baby Yoda is inside a blue force shield that shoots up into the atmosphere. Mando can’t penetrate it so he goes on the aggressive to try and protect Grogu; we are about to get Mando and Boba meet-up.
On a hill that reminded me a lot of the landscape from the conclusion of The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Mando gets introduced to Boba Fett. The mythical bounty hunter states that he has been tracking Mando because he wants his armor back; the armor that Mando got from Cobb Vanth. Boba is mentioning his father Jango, and Star Wars fans are tingling with all these connections. Mando is reluctant to give it up because he doesn’t believe Boba’s story, but his tone changes when FENNEC’s (???) voice chimes in from the mountain top.
The presumed dead sharp-shooting assassin was saved in the desert by Boba and she is now in the service of her protector. The trio decide to talk civilly and Boba notes that they have made agreement and promise to protect Grogu with Mando in exchange for the Mandalorian armor Mando received from Vanth. All things are progressing swimmingly…until the shadow of another ship travels over landscape.
IT’S THE EMPIRE! Remember at the end of Chapter 12 “The Siege” how a sneaky repairman hit a tracker on the Razor Crest on behalf of the Empire so they were able to trace Mando and “The Asset”? It’s all coming full circle now.
Mando begins running up the hill (no jetpack because he had taken it off to trade talks with Boba) to go and get Baby Yoda. Meanwhile, Boba Fett and Fennec station up on the hill and look to hold up their end of the agreement by protecting Grogu.
This is where we get just 10 minutes of director Robert Rodriguez having fun.
The stormtroopers begin spreading out over the grassy plain. We even get the classic stormtrooper with the orange flap of significance. But whatever classification these soldiers are, they should have all just been wearing red shirts like in Star Trek. (DID I JUST MENTION STAR TREK AND STAR WARS IN THE SAME BLOG, YES I DID.)
Boba Fett, using the weapons of his home planet (Tatooine) Tuskan Raiders, fights like a recently freed caged animal. With rabid ferocity, Boba begins decimating the poor stormtroopers. Moving like a ghost behind rocks and out of view, the empire’s gnats have no chance against the thundering gaffi stick of Boba Feet. Their armor is literally being splintered as its being impaled from all angles. Putting in plainly: it is savage killings, much different from a lightsaber’s smoothness, and it is fun to watch.
Should note that during this initial skirmish, Mando is knocked the F out because he tried to penetrate the force wall surrounding Grogu and was thrown backwards like a bouncy ball ricocheting off the concrete.
Boba and Fennec are taking care of business, but just as it looks they’ve turned the tide, things begin getting more dire. A second empire ship full of stormtroopers appears, and bigger, heavy duty weapons are being unveiled in an attempt to take the hill from the pair. Boba is still having little difficultly taking down his enemies and in the process of his mayhem, he finds himself right next to an open-doored Razor Crest. His eyes begin to wander towards it.
Mando wakes up from his brief nap atop the hill and hears the commotion happening below him. After another failed attempt to get Grogu out of the force shield, the Mandalorian decides the best course of action is to join the fray. Naturally, Grogu’s protective shield disappears as soon as Mando leaves the hill. Baby Yoda is tired.
Mando and Fennec are dealing death with their blasters, but still the odds against them. Mando is protecting his once target with his Beskar, but is taking a beating in the process.
Then the moment when every Star Wars fan audibly went “Oh Fuck Yea.”
Boba Fett is back, and better than ever. Decked out in his armor and now fully armed to his potential, Boba gets his chance to shine ever more. In a suit that doesn’t fit him (a wonderful humanizing touch), the bounty hunter just effortlessly scurries the legion of stormtroopers back to their ships. But safety isn’t in the sky you fools! As the empire is trying to escape, Boba fires the rocket from his jet pack AND TAKES OUT BOTH SHIPS AT ONCE. Then there is a COOL GUYS DON’T LOOK AT EXPLOSIONS shot and everyone watching just melts. Boba Fett, profile view, looking back at Mando and Fennec as two ships are cascading and blowing up in the sky behind him. *chefs kiss*
OH NOOOOO!!!! THE RAZOR CREST!!!!
Mando’s ship, out of nowhere, is blown into smithereens by an imperial battleship in the atmosphere. On that ship is Moff Gideon, and he is smirking from ear to ear knowing the damage he has dealt. Mando’s means of traveling (which had just been prepared) is gone, as well are his weapons and belongings.
On the surface, Boba immediately jet packs to go find Slave I as Fennec and Mando go racing toward the top of the force sensitive mountain. They see things propelling down from the sky, and those are dark troopers. New toys for the new Empire; it appears these were the things that Moff Gideon was building at the end of Chapter 12, “The Siege.” Grogu is there tired and waiting, it’s just a matter of who will get there first.
Much to everyone’s dismay, the dark troopers propel down with effective pace. Is anyone else getting massive X-Men vibes from these dark troopers? They are so like sentinels. That’s just my thinking. ANY WHO. The incredibly sad look of Grogu in the hands of the flying dark troopers as they elevate toward their big nasty ship is not what everyone expected. There was enough tragedy with the Razor Crest being destroyed, but now it’s just ten-fold.
Boba is chasing after the dark troopers and trailing them softly he gets a great glimpse at the empire’s battleship. In an ominous tone, he simply states that “They are back,” meaning the empire. Mando and Fennec don’t believe it, but the damaged voice of Boba is confident with its doomed tone.
Mando appears to have lost everything. He has failed at his mission to get Grogu to a Jedi that will look over it. He has lost his ship. He has appeared to lose hope. It is sad to see him pick up Grogu’s favorite ball from the Razor Crest’s rubble. Admittedly, my first thought when the Razor Crest was destroyed was about the Beskar spear, and that is still intact.
In an effort to try and distance himself from Boba and Fennec, as well as the reality of the situation, Mando attempts to leave the duo. However, Boba and Fennec won’t leave so easily. They have not kept up their end of the promise by keeping Grogu safe, so they will help Mando try and get it back. We are having a bounty hunter team up, and everyone and their mother is stoked about it.
The ending to Chapter 14 comes with a flurry of plot development points. For one, Mando meets up with Cara Dune who is now a certified Marshall and begins asking questions about Migs Mayfield. AKA Bill Burr. Dune says she can’t help with the plan to spring him from prison, but once Mando mentions how The Empire has The Child, the mood on her face changes…
Then we get more Moff Gideon on the battleship. He is going to visit his new prisoner. Grogu is whipping storm troopers around in its cell when Gideon arrives. The malice, black dressed military leader allows Grogu to finish playing with his seemingly increasing force powers; that is because he knows it tires the poor creature out. Grogu is struggling to stay awake as Gideon begins taunting The Child. He takes out the Dark Saber and asks Grogu if he recognizes it…which is intriguing to say the least. I wonder why such the disdain and taunting? Perhaps we will find out soon.
The last real take away from this episode of The Mandalorian is that it looks like Boba Fett is here to stay for at least the short term. I expected just a one-episode adventure like Ahsoka Tano.
- Watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and I just got introduced to Savage Opress. Dude is a monster and I love it. The battle between he, Ventress and Count Dooku was awesome.
- I really loved when Mando said “traveling with the windows down” and it meant using his jetpack and freefalling from his ship holding Grogu. Just small clever writing.
- The meditating Grogu looked A TON like Yoda. Definitely done on purpose and well done by director Robert Rodriguez.
- Fennec’s machine stomach was cool. Reminded me of prequel trilogy C-3PO and his unfinished parts.
- The shot of Fennec just flying through the air in slo-mo and turning around and shooting the storm troopers in the flow of the sun is a callback to something but I just can’t remember right now.