The Mandalorian is providing fan service for the filthy casuals and the stuck-up lore-obsessed alike and I am eating it all up with a spoon.
This week the Mando and his precious, bouncing baby boy are headed for Tython. The planet is an ancient Jedi homeworld and there’s this rock for Grogu to sit on while he sees a vision of his future. They arrive and Grogu begins his Foce vision, a blue field of light surrounding him that cannot be penetrated and thus the kid can’t be retrieved if people come for him.
They come for him.
Tons of things happen in this episode, but one of the most important is the fulfillment of the teaser in episode one. I can now cease redacting the name and happily proclaim that Boba Fett (Temura Morrison) has arrived. He’s toting several scars, a rifle, and a Tusken Raider’s staff as he approaches with Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). She’s been healed by the rogue bounty hunter and the two are cruising after Mando and B-Yodes in search of the Fett’s armor, which was retrieved in episode 1 of this season. The Empire emerges, led by Moff Gideon, and they go after the kid. The two foundling Mandalorians are forced to work together as they face wave after wave of Stormtroopers and a new type of terror.
Let’s address this new thing. In 1995 a computer game titled Star Wars: Dark Forces was released, chronicling the adventures of rogue Kyle Katarn (think of him as if Chuck Norris played a Force-Sensitive version of Han Solo) as he went after the Empire’s secret plans for the ultimate soldier. These were the Dark Troopers, and including them in this episode is cool for new viewers without being overwhelming. Star Wars has tons of this stuff, with a billion variants of Clone Trooper armor and now several different Stormtroopers as well. This is just that, some odd cyborg/robo troopers that are going to do very well in toy sales later this year.
Aside from that we are just spoiled children. “Chapter 14: The Tragedy” delivers an embarrassment of riches in the form of new troopers, Boba Fett absolutely wrecking Imperial troops, and some really great moments with Grogu. There’s no fat to trim this week, the runtime down to just 32 minutes and leaving no room for side quests or B-plots. It’s brisk, thrilling, and also seems like a narrow and focused story once again. The players are assembled, the board is set, and we’re ready to find out just what happens as we head into the final two episodes of the season. I’m anticipating something wild, so brace yourselves.