Every time an episode of The Mandalorian lands, Fantha Tracks will be giving their responses, and here are our initial gut feelings, deep dives and thoughts on the thirteenth episode – Chapter 13: The Jedi. Beware of spoilerific elements in here.

Sander de Lange

The moment where we all were waiting for, and some of us in my group of friends dreaded, has come at last: the arrival of Ahsoka Tano. Does she takes over the show, will her appearance distract too much from the Mandalorian and the purpose of the show? Or does Filoni finds a way to pull it off without showing off too much of his love for the series that started his LFL career?

Right from the opening prologue, we are treated to an action sequence introducing us to Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka. While her fighting style is not the acrobatic kind as seen way back in The Clone Wars, it is still an amazing sequence, with her popping in and out of the shadows as if she was playing a game of Assassin’s Creed. In fact, Dawson turned out to be the perfect actress that could have been cast for the role. Yes, we all love Ashley Eckstein and she still is Ahsoka for us, but Dawson portrayed her in a way that made us forget that their voices do not match at all. And the facial expressions Dawson made after the Mandalorian tells her that “A Jedi and a Mandalorian? They never see that coming.” truly made me feel like I was watching the character once called Snips. She may be older and wiser, but the personality was still there.

But a good character is nothing without a good story, and as I mentioned in my opening questions, there was a big danger for her to take over the show and forget what it is all about: the mystery of the Child and how the Mando deals with everything that comes his way. Obviously with the Force introduced to the Mando and him learning a lot more about the Child, like his name Grogu, there will be somewhat of a shift even if he may still see the Jedi as the enemy and is sceptical of them. However he is no fool and does know that what he experiences with the Force does mean that it is true. So will it take over the story? Who knows, the jury is still somewhat out on this, but the fact that Ahsoka just gave him information and refused to train Grogu and leaves the story means that it may very well be the only time that we see her character….or at least for now as there is now no longer a reason for her to pop up. Yes, Ahsoka mentions Thrawn and her search, and that series will still come, but I really believe, and hope, that won’t happen within this series.

So yeah all in all Filoni managed to walk the tightrope he had in front of him with balancing a beloved character returning and still stay true to the story he had set out to tell. Next stop: Tython, which excites this ancient Jedi lore lover!

Greig Robertson

Best TV show ever! Dave Filoni delivered on so many levels with this chapter and it was so beautifully shot. Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to love Rosario Dawson more, she nails the performance of Ahsoka Tano. So many beautiful touches in the show; did anyone else spot Morai in the tree before Mando meets Ahsoka?

Can’t wait to see where the show goes next, but will be gutted when the season comes to an end. Looking forward to another few rewatches of this today!
Sheila Wright

I cheered upon seeing Ahsoka kicking ass at the beginning of the episode! Oh, I’ve missed her! Thank you, Dave Filoni, for not making us wait!

The scorched earth setting reminded me of Mustafar and the opening of The Rise of Skywalker when Kylo Ren is searching for the wayfinder, which I thought was a fitting place for us to reunite with Anakin’s padawan and to learn of the dark secrets that Grogu is hiding. I feel like if Dagobah was razed to the ground that it would look like Corvus. The medieval accents — a walled town with its prisoners caged and tortured in public as well as the Asian influences, most prevalent in the Magistrate’s garden — had such a strong feature film quality to them and visually wove together influences on Lucas’ creation of Jedi and reminders of our fallen Jedi — those who turned to the dark side, those who left the order, and those who are now one with the force — in this mournful place.

I’ve seen the complaints about Ahsoka, both about the actress’ views and that she didn’t look anything like our beloved animated Ahsoka voiced by Ashley Eckstein. However, nothing struck me as problematic. I adore Ashley Eckstein and the life she brought to animated Ahsoka, so maybe I resolved any resemblance issues with the fact that Ahsoka has been through some significant trauma that would alter anyone’s appearance.

I teared up when she determined that she could not train Grogu because of his dark feelings. Her sadness about Anakin was also shown when she notes that Mando is like a father to Grogu. Threads of ideas about broken homes, broken dreams, broken hearts, and broken deals that permeate Star Wars wove together beautifully in this episode, giving that authentic Star Wars flavor in this new recipe. My heart broke to hear her recall Anakin and also when she wondered how many Jedi are really still out there. Her giving Mando guidance on where to take Grogu so he can find his path and hearing “may the Force be with you,” shows she still has hope.

The battle between Ahsoka and the Magistrate had a Kill Bill/Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon feel to it, and I enjoyed that their battle contrasted with the Old West-style battle between the men outside the courtyard walls. And, oh how wonderful to see more diversity with the inclusion of more people of color in positions of power in the production, too. I’m half Asian, and ¼ white and ¼ African American, so to see people on TV who are not token and that I can see myself in still affects me to my core.

Dave Filoni is a genius and he gets Star Wars, and I savored this episode that he wrote and directed. We are so fortunate to have him continuing the Star Wars saga.

Johanna Nybelius

Already in the middle of the day while I was still at work the reactions were starting to come up on my social media. Even if they weren’t spoilers it was obvious that this would be the episode where we finally saw Ahsoka Tano in a live action format. I am not particularly attached to Ahsoka, so she just showing up didn’t give me instant excitement. That being said it was a really good episode. I was more intrigued with the magistrate though, and her revelation on who her master was. Well that was the really big surprise, and to me that came totally out of the blue. The whole fight scene with Ahsoka and the magistrate, while the Mandalorian and the other man is just listening outside was one of the best segments in the whole series. It was beautiful, and even if you know who’s going to win it was full with suspense. After all you didn’t know exactly how Ahsoka would win.

Still I must say that there are a few things that bugged me. I didn’t like Ahsoka’s silent communication with the child, and why hadn’t she heard of Yaddle? And I guess my biggest issue is that now when it’s clear that Ahsoka lives and is on the hunt for a certain Grand Admiral. It feels like the Star Wars universe has split in two, one that is occupied with the films and one for the rest. You can get all kind of connections, but at this time it feels strange that nobody is mention Luke Skywalker or the fact that he is now a jedi. And to me it feels wrong that Ahsoka would hide out and not try to seek out Luke Skywalker and tell him about Anakin. Well I guess it’s still a chance that we will see another jedi show up in the series.

So in short. The episode is a beautiful episode in itself, but I feel that it left me a bit too puzzled about its place in the larger Star Wars universe.

Matt Neve

Loved it. Pure and simple.

So much happened to make me so so happy. Seeing Ahsoka in live action was frankly, wonderful. I felt Rosario Dawson did a fine job in portraying her, and she carried that steely and assured confidence that Ahsoka had in latter parts of her time on Rebels exceedingly well.

The way that The Force was portrayed and explained felt like going back in time and learning more about Grogu (!) was both fascinating and fun in equal measures.

The action scenes were tense and I felt well shot (seen criticism out there) with the duel between Ahsoka and The Magistrate being a particular highlight.

Is this a one-and-done of Ahsoka?! I doubt it, but if it was, it was a pleasure to see you again old friend.

Mark Mulcaster

When Bo Katan pointed Din Djarin in the direction of Ahsoka Tano many of us were left wondering when we’d get our first glimpse of her in The Mandalorian. I think Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau made a good decision by not drawing Din’s search out for too long and also by revealing her right at the top of the show.

Fans of The Clone Wars and Rebels were possibly expecting a massive fanfare with Ahsoka’s return but for those not so familiar with her any big fanfare would probably have been lost on them jumping right in made for an exciting start. It’s great that we get ton of screen time with the ex-Jedi as she makes her first live action appearance right at the top of the show. Fanfare or no fanfare what an entrance! Slightly similar to last week’s chapter opening where we see a strong female character kicking bad guy butt.

The samurai-infused story of a cruel township despot works beautifully as a backdrop to this week’s episode and acts as real showcase to show how formidable Ahsoka is.  Chapter 13 is quite a violent episode and yet the Mandalorian doesn’t really have much to do, other than stand and wait to see what the meeting of this Jedi will mean to his little buddy.

This week’s episode title of The Jedi whilst many took that to directly refer to Ahsoka could also denote more than one Jedi in this chapter; Let’s not forget that Din has been carrying, swaddling and feeding a Jedi for 1 and a half seasons.  We learn more about Baby Yoda’s Grogu’s past in this week’s episode and how it ties to the Jedi order. We’re left wondering how much has Grogu been taught? what does he know about his powers and the Force and more importantly the Light and the Dark?

There’s still a time period which has been blank left in the Child’s backstory, it’s either been let vague for a reason or actually the interim between being taken and being rescued by Din may not matter all that much. Maybe it will open up the possibility of Grogu’s own comic book series…now there’s a thought.

Rosario Dawson played a more reserved version of Ahsoka than what we’ve seen in the past and it was odd at first to hear anyone buy Ashley Eckstein speak her lines. Physically I brought Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka; she had the physicality and presence, although I think the production team may have spent more time looking at Ahsoka in Clone Wars than Rebels as her Montrals were far longer in Rebels and a look that worked really well in my opinion.

I really digged the look and feel of this episode. The Japanese\ pseudo-McQuarrie influence in the architecture of the town is evident and with Diana Lee Inosanto, the god daughter of the great Bruce Lee as this week’s Magistrate (the Mandalorian does seem to alternative been Marshals and Magistrates) the duel between her and Ahsoka felt believable and at times I was generally worried for Ahsoka.

The HDR really makes Ahsoka’s shorter shoto-blades pop, it makes her standout as a beacon of light in the otherwise gloom of the planet Corvus – both metaphorically and literally as this is probably the gloomiest planet we’ve ever encountered, but Baz Idoine’s cinematography doesn’t mean you’re left struggling to figure out what is going on, even the rattiest of looking Tooka’s can be seen scurrying away when the action kicks off in the settlement. For the most part this felt like a real weighty episode, with long drawn out shots and some beautiful silhouettes.

We’re all used to the term “faster more intense” but this episode was more of a “slower more intense” pace. Although it didn’t feel drawn out, in fact the time we spend with Ahsoka and Grogu was given the space and time it deserved. Corvus gave off the Dagobah vibes and Ahsoka was really channelling her Obi-Wan and Yoda lessons.

It was such a poignant moment when she declines training The Child and for good reason. We know as the audience why she declines, we know who she’s talking about and why she can’t risk creating another Vader…..albeit a cutesy half pint sized version.  Whilst we don’t know the full extent of Grogu’s powers or what he’s capable of, we know he has been trained and we guess Ahsoka is basing his potential on the knowledge and experience of seeing Master Yoda’s abilities.  But also having Ahsoka take Grogu wouldn’t mean he’s in much more safety. Ahsoka has her own mission and she’s pretty ruthless in making sure she tracks down her own target as is evident in this episode.

Story and Visually speaking I’d say its hard to argue that Dave Filoni doesn’t deserve a crack at the big screen, however the way the dialogue is written and presented in this series makes it hard to say that Dave Filoni is a superb actor’s director as even with the scenes between Ashoka, Din and Grogu uses very economical dialogue, it’s refreshing. So that is not a critique against Filino’s directing skills but rather a request to see him direct more character driven content.

If I had to summarise The Mandalorian so far I think I would have to say that is probably the most important story since the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney.  This is not a slight on the Sequel trilogy but I think what the Mandalorian has done so well is to set-up so many different storylines and incorporate such an array of expanded universe elements – many long forgotten; when was the last time you heard anyone mention Dark Troopers? But it has continually done so without the galaxy feeling small. Two weeks ago it was Bo Katan’s vendetta against Moff Gideon, this week we learn that Ashoka is still in pursuit of Grand Admiral Thrawn!

Now how much of that story crosses over into the Mandalorian I’m not going speculate here (listen to this week’s upcoming Episode 65 of Making Tracks), nor do I really care, but rather this again is another example of using story and character elements from the wider Galaxy that doesn’t feel small. Even if we don’t get a Ahsoka spin-off series the fact that we know she is out there and what her ultimate goal is suddenly opens her story wide open.

Last week’s chapter we saw the tiniest of glimpses of character development for Cara Dune and the possibility her own separate story but my gut says this is our only episode with Ahsoka for this season. No mention of Ezra although her presence on Corvus at least goes to suggest that she either completed her mission with Sabine to the Unknown Regions to look for Ezra or at the very least had to abandon it. I wonder if Ezra had returned would he have been another candidate for Din to hand over Grogu? Perhaps Ahsoka’s own reluctance to train him means she was also reluctant to pass him onto anyone else either.  But our pair live to adventure another day and I for one am glad this tag-team hasn’t been split up…..onwards to Tython and the “home” of the Jedi!

Carl Bayliss

With the episode that takes us firmly into the business end of season two, we get another action-packed white knuckle ride from the outset, and finally meet the worst kept secret in season 2, Ahsoka Tano (ok, maybe joint worst kept along with Boba Fett).

The episode kicks off with Anakin’s former Padawan dispatching some bad guys in a misty forest – think The Phantom Menace teaser trailer meets the climactic battle in The Force Awakens – with twin white sabers twirling and dispatching her foes with ease. We then meet the ‘boss’ of the local town-come-fortress ‘The Magistrate’ and her second in command (played by Michael Biehn) , and Ahsoka issues them an ultimatum, she’ll be back tomorrow for ‘what she wants’.

Cue Mando and baby Yoda (who finally gets a name in this episode) turning up and promptly being taken in front of the Magistrate and asked to find and kill the jedi that is plaguing the town. The episode then takes on the format of many of the previous stories, Mando and ‘ally of the week’ take on the big bad and win. It’s dawned on me after this episode that this is very much in the mould of classic TV shows such as ‘The A Team’ and ‘The Incredible Hulk’ – week by week our titular hero/heroes are in a new situation but faced with some baddie making life miserable for everyone else and wind up defeating them, whilst also advancing the underlying plot a little each week. Just that this is 30+ years later and in the Star Wars universe – but this is a tried and trusted formula and one that I really think is working.

Unsurprisingly, this episode is both written and directed by Ahsoka’s ‘dad’, Dave Filoni and adds more weight to the calls for him to be given a real go at live action, either a movie or series….but more of that later. The episode felt very much like one of the animated shows he’s helmed, with rooftop escapes, laser bolts, and swirling lightsabers and after Ahsoka mentioning several times she’s seeking the Magistrate’s boss, it’s revealed that it’s not who we’d probably all thought (Moff Gideon) but instead that equally revered character, Grand Admiral Thrawn.

After Ahsoka saying she cannot train baby as he has too much fear, and that can take down even the strongest Jedi (nod to her former master) she tells Mando to go to a former Jedi temple and effectively send out a ‘Jedi distress call’ and see who answers.

With jaw suitably dropped at this point, repeated watches give you the feeling that this is a set up for a future project, not the first time in this series that’s been the case either. I’m fully expecting announcements of an Ahsoka-led show, maybe with Bo-Katan, and a Fett spin-off too – maybe tied in to the Kenobi show?

Really looking forward to the last 3 episodes of this series as there have been so many breadcrumbs dropped it’s currently a real mystery where it’s going to go and who might make a return appearance – all of them ? None of them? We really don’t know whether any Jedi will respond to the ‘call’ and will Moff Gideon track them down. Personally I think we’ll be in for a proper two-parter for the season finale, but this show is succeeding where the sequel trilogy fell short – it just feels like Star Wars. And if Disney and Lucasfilm have any intention of having a franchise to keep bringing in the money, they could do a lot worse than letting Favre-loni oversee things and become the new GL proxy.

Andrew Walker

This is the way! For me this season has lacked some of the spark of the first. I’ve commented before about what I see as a bit of a lack of imagination in the settings and the ideas that were clearly borrowed from other films. In fact, I was starting to get a bit worried that the whole thing was going to just spiral downwards after a great start. Based on this episode, I needn’t have worried.

After last week’s setup from Bo-Katan, it was clear that we were finally going to get a real life version of Ahsoka Tano. Her introduction was great. The wasteland she lives in, her appearance and disappearance in the murky night and her ruthless killing of the guards was just great, exactly the sort of edge that I feel has been missing a bit this series. Her twin lightsabres looked great in their shining silver light and her hesitation to train the Child was just what I would have wanted from this former Jedi. I especially liked that they didn’t spell out exactly why but rather just assumed that we all know about her history and that of a certain other Jedi she had been close to.

OK, once again the bad guys seem to have surrounded themselves with the most incompetent guards with Mando and Ahsoka working their way through them without so much as a scratch. Honestly, where do these people learn to shoot? Even Michael Biehn’s mercenary character was totally predictable in his behaviour. Was anyone actually surprised that he had a second gun behind his back? No! But I loved that Mando didn’t hesitate for a second to gun him down. That’s the feeling I want from this series. He’s a hard man living in a hard place and he doesn’t have time to be nice to everyone.

In my mind Ahsoka’s search for Imperial Magistrate Elsbeth’s master had me thinking she was a Sith apprentice. The revelation that her actual master is everyone’s favourite Chiss is beyond exciting. Please, please, please can we see a real life Thrawn? He’s been a favourite of mine since he first appeared in Timothy Zahn’s books back in the nineties.

There are now only three episodes left in this series and I really hope that we are building up to a major confrontation between Mando, his friends and Moff Gideon perhaps backed up by Thrawn. Now that would be a great end to this series!

Ross Hollebon

Dave Filoni was already a Master Jedi-level creator and storyteller in the Star Wars galaxy—and then he goes and erects this sacred temple of an episode. “Chapter 13: The Jedi” displays how his writing and directing don’t merely merge The Mandalorian, The Clone Wars, and Rebels, but opens the gateway to a fan-centric World Between Worlds ripe to expand even further.

We finally meet the live-action Ahsoka Tano, played exquisitely by Rosario Dawson, as she hunts down information on the forest planet of Corvus. Her twin white lightsabers delivered justice and intoxicatingly haunted lighting as the hooded Togruta was revealed doing what she does best—stopping the bad guys and protecting the innocent inhabitants of Calodan. From her initial battle in the desolate woods through the face-off with Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth, her composure, skills, and tenacity are on full display.

In the lighter moments of her exchanges with Din Djarin and his charge, there is also the unexpected reveal of The Child’s real name, Grogu, which he amusingly reacts to almost every time it is repeated. Djarin continues to learn, this time of the Force and what it is—and also the disappointment in learning why Ahsoka will not train the Force-sensitive being, unaware of her history with Anakin Skywalker.

The episode would have left me completely satisfied if the surprises ended there. But then the other Holy Grail of the Church of Filoni was presented as Ahsoka demanded from Elsbeth, “Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?” The Chiss, Ezra Bridger, and Sabine Wren are now in play!

With so much to still unravel, we are then introduced to another new mystery—while also awaiting the onslaught from Moff Gideon. Ahsoka will not train Grogu, but she informs Djarin of the planet Tython, a place with a rich history where the Dark Side of the Force came to an immeasurable level of power long ago. With so much happening, is the biggest obstacle facing Djarin and Grogu the path The Child chooses during his Seeing Stone experience on the legendary planet? The story will continue to unfold as it reaches yet another pulse-pounding beginning.

Patty Hammond

Oh my! What can I say about this episode. I was very surprised by some things that happened in the episode, but other things I was not. Seeing Ahsoka in live action, especially the first minutes into the episode was amazing and unexpected. I figured she would come in later than that. Also, learning the name of The Child, but of course not the specific species name was another unexpected reveal.
I was disappointed about a few things in the episode 1) That Ahsoka was not voiced by Ashley Eckstein! 2) we did not see Sabine with Ahsoka. Now I need to know where Sabine is and if she is alright!
Overall, a fun episode that moves the story along for both characters. Now are we going to get more on Ahsoka’s search for Grand Admiral Thrawn now? Will The Mandalorian have to go find Luke, Leia or Ezra now?! Guess we will have to wait and find out!
Clair Henry
This episode for filled all my expectations except one thing….what sort of a name is that?Did they decide to play Star Wars scrabble and came up with that? Now that I have that off my chest the rest of the episode!
It felt like it was set in Roman times with the burned out forest, prisoners on display and a local leader living in luxury, and this Ashoka did not disappoint me; calm, methodical and Jedi-like in her ways, and wasn’t it great to hear the buzz of lightsabers.
The ability to communicate with the child and what was discovered maybe was a let down and has taken away some of its mystery, but the story needs to move on so I appreciate that. We’re now seeing the pieces of the puzzle lining up. Will this be as much about finding the child’s people as searching for the darksaber?
Who knows, but I know I’m invested and happy to make that journey!

Becca Benjamin

Chapter 13: The Jedi, written and directed by Dave Filoni is a spectacle of Kurosawa influence, stunning visuals, character crossovers, and the nostalgia of fulfilling answers paired with equal parts ambiguity that harkens back to the star wars creator himself, George Lucas.

The Mandalorian is proof that Star Wars storytelling can incorporate its other mediums into the fold and successfully introduce it to the masses in live-action form. Granted, the audience, whether it be diehard Star Wars fans or the casual viewer, are all watching the story unfold through the lens of Din Djarin, the Mandalorian. So, extensive knowledge on Star Wars lore is unnecessary to follow the story and it’s themes for viewing enjoyment and that’s where the success is. In other words, if you came to The Mandalorian for that particular storyline and you’ve invested in that series, chances are, you’re gonna be inclined to delve deeper into the galaxy far, far away. And that, my friends, is how the Force works.

This is the way…

Daniel Lo

Star Wars has plenty to offer everyone, but for me it’s always been about lightsabers. To say there was a lot to process in chapter 13 is an understatement, and I am by no means a walking Star Wars encyclopedia so I will leave the heavy lifting to the more knowledgeable Fantha Trackers. Below are simply some brief thoughts from someone who really really likes lightsaber scenes.

At best, Ahsoka’s appearance on this episode was a poorly kept secret. However, even fully expecting to see her did nothing to blunt the impact of her live action debut. Her ferocious but stealthy fighting style in the opening sequence instantly reminded me of The Force Unleashed II cinematic when Starkiller made short work of stormtroopers in a dark room in similar fashion. The psychological intimidation that Ahsoka brought to this scene was every bit as cool as the action itself.

As short as it was, I also enjoyed the fight scene between her and Mando. While Ahsoka clearly had the edge, it was also surprising how evenly matched they turned out to be and speaks well for Din Djarin’s combat training. It was impressive to watch him defend himself so effectively against an “enemy sorcerer” that he had only recently learned about, even if he was never going to win that fight. It was also fun watching Ahsoka storming the city and the subsequent rooftop scenes which reminded me of old timey kung fu films. But with lightsabers.

As a huge fan of lightsaber duels, Ahsoka’s showdown against Morgan Elsbeth was an absolute joy to watch… and hear. One of the constant strengths of Star Wars has been sound design, which was on full display during these scenes. The sound of a lightsaber blade striking beskar introduced a whole new type of intensity previously never experienced, and it’s really great that we continue to experience lightsaber combat in new ways. I also really appreciated that the speed of the fight choreography was scaled back to allow each strike to really sink in. The pace of the duel reminded me of Vader vs Obi-Wan in A New Hope. The commentary provided by Lang from just outside the gates was a nice touch too. Why on earth he thought he could outdraw Mando was beyond me, though.

A few random closing thoughts: I’m still not sure how I feel about the Child suddenly having a name. In my mind, he’s been “baby Yoda” (sorry, Lucasfilm) for so long that it’s odd to learn that he’s called Grogu. The fact that we now know a bit about his backstory is also intriguing, as well as setting the expectation that we may see other Jedi coming out of the woodwork. If we now know that Thrawn is alive, does that mean we may see Ezra too? Lastly, it was also interesting to note that Ahsoka never corrected anyone when repeatedly referred to as a Jedi. Is there any significance to that? Lots of questions for the remaining three episodes to answer.

Paul Naylor

Chapter 13 has landed. 13 – the number so synonymous with bad luck. The Mandalorian has made 13 a lucky number for fans of all things Star Wars. When it became apparent a few weeks ago that Dave Filoni was the director of Chapter 13, there were mutterings in fandom that this could be the episode to introduce a live action Ahsoka Tano. The mutterings were true, and in truth, only one man was ever going to be allowed to direct Ahsoka’s premiere performance in this series – the man who helped to bring her into the galaxy back in 2008 when the Padawan learner to Anakin Skywalker first graced our screens in The Clone Wars.

My six favourite aspects of this chapter, in no particular order;

Ahsoka arrives.

It was certainly a confident introduction. Rosario Dawson who embodies Ahsoka is in the thick of battle from the show’s opening moments. A great entrance with the familiar white blades of her large and shorter ignited lightsabers piercing the mist like angry headlights on a sports car. A flash of white light here, a soldier dispatched. A flash of light there, and another is felled. For me, it was just about the greatest entrance the middle-aged Jedi could have wished for – and one that fans should rejoice in.

Another link to Alien.

There has been great Star Wars lore explored throughout The Mandalorian, but Season 2 has more than borrowed from the Alien franchise. We have a) an aged Ellen Ripley lookalike in the form of Amy Sedaris as Pell Motto; b) spider eggs from episode 10, so reminiscent of the Alien face-huggers birthing pods; and c) Corporal Hicks actor Michael Biehn, appearing in Chapter 13 as henchman to The Magistrate.

Ahsoka communicating with The Child.

A beautifully structured scene, with Ahsoka communing by the glow of a lamp with the Child at dusk while a silent Mando lurks in the background. I was transported straight back to 1980 and Luke’s first meeting with Yoda, with R2-D2 looking on. I am not sure whether this was an intentional set up, but it pleased me.

The Child has a name.

And from that communication between Ahsoka and The Child, we discover his name is Grogu and a potted history of the diminutive little fella’s training and subsequent disappearance as the Jedi Order fell. There is a beautiful call back of Yoda’s theme as Tano talks about the former Jedi Master.

Kill Bill 3.

Some of the fight scenes and interactions between Ahsoka and The Magistrate reminded me of the stand off between O-Ren and Beatrix Kiddo at the climax of Kill Bill Vol 1. It was the setting and framing. Everything about it.

Thrawn.

In such an action-packed chapter, so much was revealed in its quieter moments – including the fact that Grand Admiral Thrawn is lurking somewhere in space ready to bring his blue-skinned menace to the already incredible Mando party.

You can probably tell I liked this chapter – a lot.

Mark Newbold

When live action Star Wars was announced as coming to television, it wasn’t a given that the animated cast of Star Wars would necessarily be converted into live action, but the second season addition of Bo-Katan and now Ahsoka Tano has proved conclusively that not only do the animated and live action worlds of the saga fit, they fit seamlessly. That it’s Dave Filoni at the helm isn’t only fitting – after all he was the director of the animated Clone Wars movie that kicked off the modern animated era in 2008 – having him as the director to help bring Ahsoka to the ‘real world’ means it couldn’t be handled with more consideration or care.

It’s a tricky task to handle; one misstep from The Mandalorian team, be it director, writer (also Filoni) or actress would surely unleash a torrent of outrage on social media. Like it or not, many will only ever accept Ashley Eckstein in the role, no matter how flawless the ‘conversion’, and that can’t be avoided, but for those able to see beyond that then they have a Chapter that not only delivers excellent action but also expands upon the wider mythology of the era. Think season 1 X-Files, with its stand alone and mythology episodes; this is the latter.

There’s little I can add to what’s already been said here by the team. Top notch visuals, a stunning score once again from Ludwig Goransson, compelling performances and advancements in the storyline including a future visit to Tython and the search for Grand Admiral Thrawn. Where the final three episodes of season two take us is unknown, but the sure footing of these first five episodes must bode well for wherever we go. And then on to season three…

Sale
Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Season One)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Szostak, Phil (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 12/01/2020 (Publication Date) - Harry N. Abrams (Publisher)