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 fourteenth episode – Chapter 14: The Tragedy. Beware of spoilerific elements in here.
An episode full of surprises and a fast action-packed episode it was! We had speculated on Making Tracks that it was possible that after his cameo in Chapter 9 we wouldn’t see the mysterious figure we all assumed was Boba Fett again this season, but boy were we wrong! Not only do we see the big man himself make a return, but he dons his famous armour. We get more background information about his father Jango, who just like Din was a foundling. Oddly I was more excited by the first appearance of Slave 1 than I was seeing Fett – that may be due to anxiety that he was going to come to blows with Din – but similar to last weeks episode and Chapter 9 we see both Fett and Djarin put aside their animosity and instead work together to take down the invading Stormtroopers.
What is becoming evidently clearer is that many of the characters we’re meeting all have their own sense of honour and abide by ‘”the code”, or at least “a code”. This seems to be more of a samurai influence than direct western influence to me. For Boba at least I don’t think we’ve really seen that in previous depictions. To use a wrestling term, this chapter really helped put both Fett and Fennec Shand over. In the films at least I’ve always seen Fett as a heel or bad guy character, but both he and Fennec Shand seemed honour bound to help rescue Grogu.
Both characters came across as really likeable in this episode and both Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen really kicked some Imperial ass! With Fett’s exclamation of dismay that the Empire has returned it looks like Boba Fett is being pushed with good guy leanings more so than ever before, but could we see a double-cross? Could we see a deal go down where Fett and Shand delivers Djarin to Moff Gideon?
The action was fast-paced with some nice set pieces and some brutal fighting, yet this chapter felt worlds away from the cinematic quality of last week’s episode. There was something very “TV” about this episode for lack of a better term. Maybe it was the real world location and how Tython didn’t look particularly otherworldly. Beyond the Seeing Stone there was no real sense of a history in Tython. Admittedly we only saw a tiny portion of the world, yet maybe my expectations were too influenced by my time on the planet playing Star Wars: The Old Republic?
This is the second time that we’re left hanging not knowing the fate of Grogu, I don’t know how many more times the story (and my heart) can handle it, but seeing him toy with the Stormtroopers like he did in his cell with his tiny weeny stun cuffs was really quite funny it also left me wondering what did go on with him whilst he was on the seeing stone? Did he commune with anyone? Did he reach out and find another Jedi? Or did he just use the time to reconnect with the Force? Right now we don’t know as the Dark Troopers swept in and whisked him away.
Maybe this was a plot device so the creators didn’t need to answer that question right away? Hopefully we’ll see the Dark Troopers used more in the next couple of episodes, although what we do know is that we’re headed for a massive showdown rescue mission and it looks like we’ll be springing Mayfield from jail on the way. Let’s be honest, with Cara Dune, Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, Mayfield and we assume/hope Greef Karga all at Din Djarin’s side, Moff Gideon and the Empire doesn’t stand a chance!
By the way, is it too late to get a refund on my Haslab Razor Crest pre-order?
With no Bee Gees in sight, the tragedy here is that this latest episode brings us closer to the end of this second season. As soon as we seem to have got going, we’re now looking at the end of the season again with presumably eleven-ish months to wait before we get season three, but let’s enjoy what we have right now, which is another action-filled episode as Mando and Grogu head off to the Jedi ruins on Tython to find the seeing stone and let ‘The Child’ choose his own path.
No sooner have they landed than Mando sees that they have been tracked, but not by who the viewers would expect (Moff Gideon), but a VERY familiar ship to Star Wars fans; SLAVE 1! Yes, having been seen briefly in ‘The Marshal’ Boba Fett is back, and brings along help in the form of Season One’s Fennec Shand, thus answering one of the long-held fan theories that the figure that turns up right at the end of season one episode ‘The Gunslinger’ was indeed Fett junior.
Meanwhile Grogu has managed to activate the seeing stone and is surrounded by a literal force field, as Imperial troop carriers (similar to those seen in the sequel trilogy) land and stormtroopers pin Mando, Fett and Shand down. Cue general bad-assery and trooper bashing. As the trio become separated in the firefight, Boba catches sight of the Razor Crest, setting up one of THE moments of this series, when he returns to the fight in THAT ARMOUR!
With almost all of the occupants of the two troop carriers dispatched, Moff Gideon sends in the Dark Troopers to collect Grogu who is now laying, exhausted atop the seeing stone. He also takes out the Razor Crest with a single shot from his carrier, unaware that our hero has formed a new alliance that will ultimately help him get offworld. Boba, back in Slave 1 tracks the Dark Troopers through the clouds and makes the realisation that the Empire is not gone as was thought, but both he and Fennec agree to honour the pledge that they will ensure Mando and Grogu are safe, and will help them take back the Child from Moff Gideon. As the 33 minutes ends we see Mando back on Nevarro trying to enlist Cara Dune’s help in springing another season one bad guy from the prison ship – Bill Burr’s ex-imperial sharpshooter Mayfeld.
This episode will have had collectors cheering and groaning in equal measure as there are at least 3 figures that can come from this episode, including the Dark Troopers which will undoubtedly be a hit with army builders. I also can’t help but think the destruction of the Razor Crest is a bit of a kick for the 28,000 Haslab backers, after the battering it’s received from week to week, there really is no coming back from this one.
It also sets up nicely the finale to the season with Mando seeming building a team to take back the Child and take down Gideon in the process. There was a particularly funny moment where Grogu has been placed in a cell with two stormtroopers and is throwing them around for fun using the Force, but of course this makes him sleepy as the watching Moff Gideon is only too aware. By the end of it I’d almost forgotten that the seeing stone was putting out a call to any remaining Jedi – so will they feature in the final two episodes to assist Mando’s strike team? Only 14 days left to find out….
In a season that levels up again and again and again you could be forgiven for thinking that last weeks first appearance of Ahsoka Tano would be the high point of the season (and of course for many lovers of that iconic character will be), but The Tragedy not only escalated the peril to dizzying heights but it put front and center a character first seen onscreen 42 years ago in The Star Wars Holiday Special. No, not Ackmena – Boba Fett, and what a return it was.
In what was one of the shortest but most rewatchable of episodes, we meet Fett 5 years after his bad day at work on Tatooine, replete with Slave 1 and on the hunt for his armour, which he more than earns here. I can only imagine the gleeful hysteria of the Mando Mercs as their hero flew onto their screens, and the joy at seeing Fett back at his lethal best. Clearly a lot has happened to Boba, and to see Temuera Morrison finally get the chance to physically inhabit the role was a joy. Slave 1, Boba Fett, Dark Troopers, the welcome return of Fennec Shand….this was all wins.
Well, unless your name is Din Djarin that is. Not only does he lose Grogu, who he clearly has a deep fondness for, to the Dark Troopers and Moff Gideon but also the Razor Crest. On Making Tracks a couple of episodes back I described Djarin as a one man A-Team. Not to slight his obvious mechanical skills, he’s not rebuilding the Crest this time. That said, is there a better stand-in vessel than Slave 1? As Din, Boba and Fennec (mechanical midriff and all) form an alliance to rescue Grogu we have to wonder; did that forcefield protected E.T. moment contacting his people (think of the seeing stone as a roughly hewn Speak ‘N’ Spell) work? Has he been able to contact another Jedi, or is there a chance he could have made contact with a darker presence?
Filoni and Favreau have taken a tight and compact show that worked brilliantly in its first season and ripped opened the box completely, expanding the scope of the show without sacrificing a shred of its spirit and style, although they are skirting the edges of over egging the cake by throwing too many familiar places and faces in – accusations of fan service will be rife this season. The destruction of the Razor Crest, much like the deaths of Kuill and IG-11 in the first season, remind the viewer that nothing and no one is safe. I’ve got my own thoughts on where this could go, which we’ll discuss on Tuesday’s Making Tracks and on Good Morning Tatooine Sunday night on Fantha Tracks TV, but I was entirely wrong before when I said Fett wouldn’t be back again in season 2. Confession time – I’ve rarely been so happy to be so wrong.
Absolutely thrilling stuff; good luck topping this in season three.
Sander de Lange
Alright, let’s start this review with my first negative thoughts of this season: While it is great that we started right away at Tython, which is in itself a surprise as I had figured Tython would not be seen right away this week, it did not felt like the Tython I had come to love from The Old Republic game. Yes, what we saw fits completely with the game, the Stonehenge-like Jedi Temple with the Seeing Stone was nice, but I missed more of a Jedi-have-been-there feel. Maybe a statue or two like seen on Jedha would have helped to make the planet less dull for me.
However the word dull is never one that can be used for an episode of this series, and certainly not for this one. It may have even been better than the one from last week because last week we knew what to expect and the surprises were higher in this weeks episode. The excitement came right away with the arrival of the Slave I. Now I hardly ever cared for Boba Fett, who always have been overused and The Clone Wars did not made me like him any more. In contrast the one appearance from Jango in Attack of the Clones which made me a lot more curiouser for that character and like him a lot more then his clone son Boba. So hearing a lot more background on Jango and having finally put a definitive stop to that infernal nonsense that Jango was not a Mandalorian, are great developments to me. Seeing Boba kick ass and don his old armor again was quite lovely, even if you can clearly see that Boba is no longer in the shape he used to be, making that armor not fit that well anymore.
And then the two tragedies that gave the episode its name…even after all the damage the Razor Crest has went through the ship was a home to not just Din Djarin and Grogu, but to us as a viewer as well. So seeing moff Gideon destroy the ship so fully was a huge “what the hell…” moment. And I am sure all those people who pre-ordered the very expensive (yet very amazing looking) HasLab Razor Crest for The Vintage Collection cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced as well the moment the shot was fired.
The kidnapping of Grogu was another of those moments that were coming, but I had actually expected to see that happen as the season finale, with Din Djarin then getting ready to take his revenge. Considering that this has happened now already, and with two more episodes left to go, one can seriously wonder what that season 2 cliffhanger could be that would top these events.
Exhausted—Grogu after interacting with the Force on Tython and after fighting two stormtroopers aboard Moff Gideon’s light Imperial cruiser. Also exhausted–me, after watching this episode that frantically ripped around my emotions like a desperate fish caught on a line.
It was to be expected after the title of Chapter 14, directed by Robert Rodriguez, was revealed as “The Tragedy.” Getting to Tython and placing Grogu on the seeing stone, or what I’ll refer to as Force Henge, was far too easy for Din Djarin after a very loving opening of the episode between the pair, but as Grogu begins to interact with the blue butterflies approaching him on the sacred plot Djarin is alerted to a coming ship—Slave I.
Boba Fett not only is confirmed as living but also managed to save the life of the mercenary Fennec Shand (oh how I adore and respect the talent of Ming-Na Wen), who is now part cyborg. After the initial standoff between the duo with Mando, The Child connects to the full power of the Force from the mountain top, and that’s when the real bad guys appear.
Two transports of Stormtrooper fodder allow for some amazing fight sequences with weapons and hand-to-hand combat (and a nod to the boulder sequence from Raiders of the Lost Ark). Shand fights valiantly, then is rescued by Djarin, before they are both saved by Fett—who re-acquired his famous ancestral armour out of the Razor Crest (before it is obliterated).
Fett is vicious and relentless in battle, both before and after putting on the armour, but his actions and demeanor during dialogue are what set him apart as someone who appears to have been on a spiritual journey of self-realization. He proves to Djarin that he is worthy of the beskar—his father Jango having been a Foundling—and then shows his true character by agreeing to the terms of their initial deal: Fett and Shand are all-in with their new friend until The Child, who was swept away by four dark troopers, has been successfully returned from the Empire.
Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have delivered on their promise to create an expanding Game of Thrones-style playing board across the galaxy. I’m just curious, and anxious, how they use the final two chapters of Season 2 to reach the finish line of what is sure to be the start of something even bigger.
If this isn’t a spice dream, I don’t know what is.
There is truly little to complain about when it comes to being a Star Wars fan residing in the US. However, trying to sleep after watching a brand new episode of The Mandalorian at 3 in the morning does pose a challenge, and chapter 14 made for a particularly difficult proposition.
Yes, we already saw Boba Fett at the end of the season two opener (well, technically way back at the end of Chapter 5 but most of us didn’t know that) but now he is properly back in full force. It’s great that we’ve suddenly got two new versions of him: Tusken Raider and post-sarlacc armored. There was clearly a great deal of care and respect put into writing Fett’s character and history, from finally seeing his various weapons being used in anger to legitimizing Jango’s Mandalorian status. “I’m a simple man making his way through the galaxy like my father before me” was a great nod to both the original and prequel trilogies. I really liked how Temuera Morrison’s Kiwi ferocity was allowed to shine through too. Was that the first time we’ve seen a clearly mangled stormtrooper helmet? An OT era Slave I given so much screen time was also pretty surreal, and between Boba Fett teaming up with Mando and the Razor Crest destroyed (nooooooooo!!), this is probably just the beginning.
Some other random thoughts: In general I like that this season has brought back a steady stream of old characters, both from past Star Wars films and shows as well as from within the series. Fennec Shand’s return was a complete surprise to me, and it looks like we’ll also be seeing Mayfeld again soon. The prospect of an ex-Imperial being enlisted to attack Imperials is intriguing. Stormtroopers getting run over by a rolling Indiana Jones boulder was pretty funny to watch, and I guess now we know how a game of rock paper E-Web heavy repeating blaster cannon will pan out. Showcasing Baby Yoda (sorry, Lucasfilm) at both his most powerful and most vulnerable within the same episode was an interesting choice. I was surprised that his capture was pulled off so quickly and without a hitch. I thought there would at least be a brief shootout (where did Mando’s jetpack go anyway?), but it was basically a quick curbside pickup. I didn’t quite expect to see Dark Troopers (they fly now?) in action so soon. Last but not least, being shown both the beskar spear and the Darksaber isn’t a coincidence, right?
The Tragedy? More a Triumph in my eyes.
As Mando and Grogu head for Tython, the prospect of communicating with a Jedi from the temple ruins atop a mountain were tantalising. As Luke Skywalker would say: “This isn’t going to go the way you think”. Sure enough, Mando locates the ruins and places Grogu on the all-seeing stone. And now we wait to see which Jedi will come to help.
We didn’t have to wait long for a ship to cross the blue skies above. A rather familiar ship. I am sure I am not the only Star Wars fan to be overjoyed at the sight of Slave-1. It’s unmistakable shape dropped from view and Mando began his descent of the mountain to greet whoever had arrived. It wasn’t long before the stranger opens fire on Mando and a short while later we were all formally introduced to none other than Boba Fett. Glimpsed at the end of Chapter 9, it was widely acknowledged that Temuera Morrison was reprising the role of a Fett – this time Boba rather than Jango. It was nice to have this confirmed.
His scarred head, probably from his dalliance with a Sarlacc serves to show the struggle to survive. But the scarring will also serve another purpose. It will help to differentiate him from other clones that Morrison could – and hopefully – will now bring to the screen. Anyone else want to see the white beard of Commander Rex?
Many folk in fandom speculated we wouldn’t see Boba again this season, but whoa… did we see Boba or what? This was the Boba Fett of legend – a kick-ass bad-ass, packing a punch and showing off his arsenal of weaponry, destroying troopers first of all with a gaffi stick and rifle, later with more sophisticated methods. And he wasn’t alone. The previously believed to be dead Fennec Shand, now cybernetically enhanced thanks to Boba, has re-joined the party.
Boba simply wanted his armour back and we discovered that Jango was a foundling and therefore in turn Boba was a true Mandalorian. Debate settled. As Mando and Fennec carried on dispatching stormtroopers Boba retrieved his armour from Mando’s much-loved ship. There was an Indiana Jones style poke of fun at Boba Fett’s advancing years when he was congratulated for downing a drop ship with his rocket and he exclaimed: “I was aiming for the other one.” As it is the explosion took both ships out of the sky.
Talking of exploding ships, it was an absolute ‘tragedy’ to see The Razor Crest destroyed from an Imperial vessel that had deployed the two drop ships and four menacing Dark Troopers. I can only imagine how miffed some Haslab patrons will be at the destruction of Mando’s ride.
Alas, Mando and his two new allies were too late to stop the troopers from taking Grogu to Moff Gideon. Mando seeks out Cara Dune to help him locate Mayfield who we last encountered on the prison ship in Season 1. Perhaps we will get to see a huge ensemble of Bounty Hunters? I’d love to see Bossk, IG-88, Dengar and co. We see Grogu show off his growing powers, tormenting troopers – much to Gideon’s delight. With the show drawing to a close and The Child in manacles, we can only speculate where the story goes now. Time will tell – about a week.
The Tragedy: a delicious one, though. This episode wove comforting, familiar, and rare flavors together. Despite it being titled that one had to know that would not be all doom and gloom.
Laying out the adorableness of this duo, Mando and Grogu still delighting in his name and Force powers set up our warm fuzzy feelings, a dose of comfort. Thankfully the storyline continued right where we left off, but the title made me wonder what might delay Grogu from learning his path. Sitting that cute little baby’s butt upon that boulder and waiting to see its power was enough of a plot promise to sustain me. But, yes, knowing the title, it was not going to stay so serene.
Slave I. That’s when I stood up. I watched the rest of the episode standing a few feet from my screen. I didn’t think we were going to get more of Boba Fett so soon. Boba Fett is one of my favorite characters, and as I rewatched movies over the decades, I looked for details in the films to tell me more (I have not read the books that give details about him). The armor and weapons give morsels for one to gather and questions for one to try to infer answers. The pieces given in the films were enough for me to infer that he was a badass.
As I learned more about young Boba and Mandalorians in The Clone Wars series, the idea that Boba, despite having the armor, was not a Mandalorian sat okay with me. If he stole it from one and got away with it, that is sheer badassery. It’s what makes his death so infuriating–a badass going out with a scream into a giant desert vagina. (That is reality, though: some gracefully cast off their mortal coil with bedside farewells in old age, and some fall into an orifice in their prime).
The films fed us delicious bites of characters then took them away, creating an intense desire for more. The small-screen productions are bringing them back and fully satiating us. I cannot wait for the story of Boba’s survival and how he reunited with his ship. It’s pleasing that the armor is rightfully his and that he is the clone of a foundling so that it bonds him with Mando.
More cheers that Fennec has also risen from the dead–another badass character that I thought was a one-off and who had an unworthy death. So cool that she has a cyber torso! That link to the saga and the questions it raises is another example of the brilliance in how the show infuses familiar flavors of the galaxy that are ingrained in our minds while introducing hints of new ones to leave us wanting more.
Mando is adding Boba and Fennec (and maybe Mayfeld?) to his network of other lone wolves and the disenfranchised, those in the galaxy who are not for the Empire nor the Rebels. Those for whom the Death Star exploding did not mean fireworks and drum circles in tall trees. They’ve gone all this time on their own, refusing to bend from their justified self-serving paths, and now they’re putting aside rivalries, forgiving wrongs, and letting go of prejudices because of the cutest baby in the galaxy.
I, too, would band together as many of my toughest adversaries, to save Grogu. I am so worried about him; it pained me that there was nothing I could do to help and that he has to wait in that cell in those tiny shackles and that I have to wait a week (or maybe more) to find out if he’s going to be okay.
For me, the biggest tragedy was the Razor Crest. Please. Oh, please tell me it’s going to be okay. T’is just a scratch, right?
Struggling to get the words together in a coherent sentence following this week’s chapter of The Mandalorian. Slave friggin 1! Boba flippin Fett! The return of Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand! Grogu on the seeing stone! Dark Troopers! My mind was truly blown and couldn’t believe how much Star Wars magic was wrapped into a stunning 30 minute package.
Star Wars is full of moments that have become part of our lives and chapter 14 of The Mandalorian had several of those – incredible and unforgettable moments that will live forever in the tradition that is Star Wars. What an episode my friends, what an episode.
Finally, after a 37-year wait, The Tragedy brought Boba Fett back. Although the show had already provoked us with this return and we all knew it was coming, it still made me feel like a child again. I was completely happy to see you back and I will never forget that.
From Boba Fett’s return to the capture of Grogu and the destruction of the Razor Crest, The Tragedy was anything but. Ahh, of course, it was a tragedy for the characters, but for us, its driving story, incredible action, unforgettable revelations and shocking moments contributed to another sensational episode. There are only two episodes of The Mandalorian left this season – we wish it never ends.
So we sat down ready for this week’s instalment, and Henry Towers was not disappointed!
Another jam packed episode, we all commented although the episodes are short it feels like watching a movie. The pieces of the jigsaw are coming together nicely as we search for the child’s Jedi, and having Boba Fett in this makes sense, although at the starting this season I wasn’t convinced. I just didn’t know how it could happen, but just like bringing Maul back Filoni has done it again!
It was great to see Ming-Na Wen back too. From the child’s Force power (which bit of it won’t stop until it stops did the Mando not get …), we watched in horror as the ship blew up, but we knew he would find the child’s toy.
We giggled watching the child play around with the stormtroopers, but The burning question here is; what does Moff Gideon want the child for? We think it’s to clone midichlorians into troopers, making them useful rather than cannon fodder.
Who knows, only time will tell….
This season just gets better and better. After last week’s phenomenal episode, I’d have forgiven the show for taking a breather for Chapter 14, but no time is wasted as we open with Mando’s mission to Tython. In the first five minutes Grogu is placed on the seeing stone. Job done.
Then, without warning, we see flipping SLAVE I! I felt as if millions of Star Wars fans suddenly cried out in joy. Boba is back! Tem Morrison brings a new gravitas to the familiar bounty hunter, and the action that follows, under the expert direction of Robert Rodriguez, is nothing short of breathtaking.
The titular tragedy happens as Dark Troopers capture Grogu, and now we have an epic team up for the inevitable rescue mission. I just can’t wait for next week.
- Hardcover Book
- Szostak, Phil (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 256 Pages - 12/01/2020 (Publication Date) - Harry N. Abrams (Publisher)