So I’m still working on two books, Out of the Shadows and I Was Anastasia. It’s taking me a while because I’ve started another Loki book called Truth and Other Lies, by Lyra Wolf (what can I say, I’m obsessed, lol). It’s another mythical version of Loki, with all the usual players, just mixed up a little bit differently. It also borders on the paranormal romance with quite a few racy sex scenes. I don’t mind it, but it’s not exactly what I was expecting when I picked up the book, lol. The storyline is keeping me interested, though. It’s the first in a trilogy, and I have the first two on my Kindle, and pre-ordered the third, so I guess I have high hopes, lol. I may do a separate post on all the Loki books I’ve been reading, so stay tuned.
Speaking of Loki, I just finished watching the Loki series for the fourth time. I did say I was obsessed, lol. And so did I notice anything I missed during the first three viewings? Not really (although I’m sure there are plenty of easter eggs I don’t know about), except to realize that Loki is clearly more mischievous in this show than he was in the movies. In the films, he’s a trickster–which is similar but not quite the same–but mostly he’s a villain, an anguished family member, or a wise-ass. He’s angry a lot. But as the God of Mischief, you’d think there would be more tomfoolery. And in the show, we do get glimpses of this: when he plays around with the time device with Hunter B-15, clearly taking joy in tormenting her with it; when he and Mobius are in Pompei, and he just throws caution to the wind, exclaiming on top of the goat cart; and on the train on Lamentis, when he gets drunk and sings. These are just delightful moments, worthy of Loki’s elemental nature, which is just plain fun, and the show gave the creators time to explore that.
I also watched the latest What If? episode, which saw an assassin take out the Avengers one by one. At first I thought maybe it was Loki, but it didn’t quite make sense. It surprised me who it turned out to be; and Loki did make his appearance, at first to avenge Thor’s death, and then to help Nick Fury nab the killer. And then, of course, to take over Midgard, lol. It was a neat episode, as they all are. Fun little nuggets of Marvel.
In more Marvel news, I did catch the Spiderman: No Way Home trailer, after the whole leak debacle. I was more excited about seeing Dr. Strange in it than anything else, but he looked a bit…off, lol. Sweatpants? Snow in the Sanctum? And actually helping Peter with his request to change the fact that people knew who he was? It’s just all wrong. Is he an imposter? A variant? Possessed? What the hell’s going on? Very excited to see him, though, no matter how weird he is.
Finally, in the Star Wars universe, I watched the Mandalorian Gallery on Disney+ on the final episode of Season Two. You know, the one with Luke freaking Skywalker. Very cool, very fun to watch how they put it all together. I had no idea how they brought back a young Luke, except, you know, “technology.” The details are fascinating, and a bit bewildering. It’s so much work! And we are so glad and very lucky we have these dedicated people bringing our favorite characters to life, with so much care and respect. That’s why I love these behind-the-scenes specials, because it’s easy for us to take for granted the amazing shows we watch. But there’s literally an army’s worth of people, tons of talent, and painstaking work behind these shows and films, and I’m awed and thankful at all these souls who bring us such joy. So yeah, check it out if you can, lol.
That’s it for this week. What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
I had fun writing about Obi-Wan’s five best moments, so I thought I’d continue on that theme and do the same with Luke Skywalker. He’s got plenty of great moments too, but these stand out as THE best to me:
Trench run on Death Star 1.
This is Luke’s shining moment in A New Hope. He’s young, idealistic, and ready to do his part to strike a blow against the Empire. His compatriots are shot down (and he loses his friend, Biggs Darklighter) and it’s up to him to drop the torpedo into the tiny little opening of the shaft that leads to the reactor (but that’s okay, he used to target womp rats back home and they’re not more than two meters). He’s supposed to use a targeting computer to make the shot, but then he hears Ben Kenobi’s voice: “Use the Force, Luke.” And so he turns the computer off, which is a HUGE leap of faith, because he basically just learned about the Force like, two days ago, and only got a glimmering of it against a remote on the Falcon. But Ben had faith in him, and so he has faith in Ben’s belief that he can do this. And he does. Han Solo gets the TIES off his back, Luke gets the torpedo into the shaft, the thing blows, and they have a big celebration. He’s not a Jedi yet, but he’s certainly now a hero of the Rebellion.
Battle of Hoth
Not only is Luke a good pilot, but he’s also quite clever. The looming AT-ATs seem indestructible, so Luke comes up with a plan only a farmboy rustling some animals ( can come up with: they use cables to trip up their long, ungainly legs. This is his best moment in The Empire Strikes Back; the rest of the movie, he makes a series of mistakes and bad decisions that almost get him killed. The Empire truly does strike back in this one–but they lose a few AT-ATs on the way!
Saving Han Solo on Tatooine.
Black-clad Luke in Return of the Jedi is a thing to behold: after the debacles, revelations, and pain and loss in Empire, Luke has lost some of his naivete and innocence and has learned patience, planning, and determination. His rescue of Han at Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine (with a little help from his friends) is brilliant and thrilling. He’s calm, confident, and impressive. Even Han doesn’t believe Luke is capable of pulling off the rescue, but lucky for him he’s very wrong on this point. Leia strangles Jabba, Boba Fett is sent falling into the Sarlacc (but not, as we now know, killed), the barge is blown up, and they pick up the droids from the sand on the way out. Easy peasy. The hard stuff is yet to come.
This is obviously the zenith of Luke’s character arc, and his very best moment (apart from his role at Crait, in my opinion, see below). Yoda himself said before he died that Luke must face Vader. I’m pretty sure he meant that Luke had to defeat him in order to become a Jedi. Even Obi-Wan, in his ghostly visitation on Dagobah, expected Luke to kill Vader. Obi-Wan, one of the most compassionate Jedi ever! But Luke insisted he would not kill his own father. “Then the Emperor has already won,” Obi-Wan replies. So defeatist. And short-sighted, one of the very few things that is disappointing about Obi-Wan, at least in this trilogy. Both he and Yoda had given up on Anakin a long time ago, and I understand that, after what they went through. But Luke isn’t ready to give up on him. Like the mother he never knew, he believes there’s still good in him. I’m not sure where this belief comes from, whether it’s wishful thinking, or that he senses it in the Force, or maybe because Vader didn’t want to kill him in Empire but join with him (on the dark side, but even so).
Whatever the reason, Luke goes willingly to Vader and the Emperor on Endor with the intention of trying to turn him back to the light, as he explained to Leia. He keeps his poop together for a while, until the Emperor reveals the trap which endangers his friends; he gets scared and desperate for them. And then, when Vader threatens to turn Leia to the dark side, he loses said poop and gets really angry. He gets mighty close to falling to the dark as he nearly kills Vader, although he realizes it before it’s too late. That’s when his best moment in the trilogy comes: he throws his lightsaber away and declares he’ll never turn. He’s willing to lose his friends, his father and his life at this point; but he will not turn. We all know what happens next: the Emperor nearly kills Luke with his Force lightning, causing Vader to rethink his life choices. He decides to save his son and throws the Emperor down the shaft, sacrificing his own life. A great, possibly the greatest, Star Wars moment.
Battle of Crait.
So Luke Skywalker becomes a legend and a hero, and tries to live up to that over the decades that follow. Unfortunately, he’s a human being who makes mistakes. He loses Ben Solo to the dark side and blames himself (and probably deserves a little bit of blame, among a lot of blame that could be passed around). But instead of dealing with the mistake, he isolates himself. I do believe he thinks he’s helping his friends this way rather than hurting them–after all, look at the damage he did, is probably what he was thinking. He even cuts himself off from the Force, he’s so upset about it. He comes to believe that the Jedi must die, that their arrogance (his included) caused more problems than solved them. Rey doesn’t understand any of this when she comes to Ach-To; she’s still young and idealistic. She believes in the myth. Luke has become–let’s face it–cynical. It’s only after he opens up to the Force again to touch Leia’s consciousness that he decides to do something.
And what a something! He Force-projects himself to Crait to face Kylo and the First Order. Not to save Ben–he knows it’s too late for that, at least for him. But to distract the enemy long enough for the Resistance to get away. And he does it without harming a hair on anyone–except his own. It’s his atonement, as much as anything. And a very Jedi thing to do, in the truest sense. That wink to Threepio, the dusting off his shoulder after “surviving” the bombardment of the First Order, his “See ya around, kid,” to Kylo–I loved it all so much. It doesn’t quite reach the heroic and emotional heights of Anakin’s redemption, but it’s one of the best Luke Skywalker scenes, in my opinion.
Coming to get Grogu.
I can’t have a list of best Luke Skywalker moments without this scene from The Mandalorian (Season 2, Episode 8). It was so unexpected, but so welcome and exciting, most of us were laughing/crying on our couches. When Grogu reached out with the Force at the Jedi Temple, we had guesses and hopes about who might answer. The fact that it was Luke freaking Skywalker himself was just so satisfying and made our Star Wars hearts so happy. As soon as we saw that single X-Wing swing around and saw the other clues, our hearts skipped a beat. CGI Luke was a bit weird, as most CGI characters are, but who cares? He cut through those dark troopers like a hot knife through butter, and we cheered. But that Force crush he used for the last dark trooper is a bit…concerning. I do believe it’s considered, along with the Force choke, a darkside power. He could have just cut it down with his lightsaber, as he did the others, easily. But he chose to do the crush. Why? Hmmm….care to chime in with your ideas, dear readers?
So those are my (again, probably obvious) best Luke Skywalker moments. What are your favorites?
I’ve done several posts on Star Wars fan art, and it was great fun. I haven’t done one for The Mandalorian yet, and I’ve found some great artwork that I wanted to share. Enjoy!
This one is absolutely lovely, with Grogu touching Din’s face as in the final episode of Season Two. The blue butterflies are a nice touch.
I love how this one shows the two faces of Din Djarin.
This one is a whimsical, colorful rendition of Din, Grogu, and Ahsoka. I love her staff (the one we see her with at the end of Rebels) leaning against the tree.
This is a great one of Din and Grogu with Cara Dune. I love that shiny, iridescent armor!
I’m guessing that’s one of Tatooine’s suns reflecting off Din’s helmet in this great piece.
And because my daughter constantly plays Fortnite, I just had to include this official screen art. Baby looks like he’s having a blast as Din shoots off laser bolts.
Hope you enjoyed this fantastic fan art. There’s so much great talent out there, I’m sure I’ll be posting more now and then as I can’t help myself. Do you have some favorite Star Wars fan art, or make your own? Share in the comments below!
Image of Grogu with Ball courtesy of He-Be, redbubble.com.
We finally made it to the Mandalorian finale, and it’s taken me a few days to recover and get my thoughts together, lol. This is a long one, sorry, but it can’t be helped!
I was so nervous going into this episode: would Grogu be rescued? How is Din’s team going to do it? Will he battle Moff Gideon? Will anyone die? Will we see the Jedi? And if so, who would it be? I was squirming with questions and anxiety, but I took a deep breath, sipped my tea, and just took it all in.
I was happy to see Din pick up Bo-Katan and her sidekick, Koska; now the team is complete. All the players are assembled, each with their own agenda and goals: Din, of course, just wants Grogu; Bo-Katan wants Moff Gideon dead and her Dark Saber back; Cara Dune wants to help Din get Grogu, and possibly capture Gideon so the New Republic can get some Imperial intel. Boba and Fennec are just there to fulfill their obligation to Din.
Everyone has their own motives, and there’s not a lot of love lost between Bo-Katan and Boba Fett. There’s some initial squabbling between the Mandalorians and Boba at first: Bo-Katan recognizes his voice as belonging to a clone (she’s met plenty of them during the Clone Wars) and says he disgraces his armor. Boba bites back, calling her “Princess” and again defending his right to the armor; he and Koska even wrangle a bit until Bo-Katan tells them to knock it off.
All of this just reinforces the idea to Din that there are more ways than one to be a Mandalorian; in fact, it’s kind of up in the air as to what, exactly, makes one a Mandalorian. Is it the armor? The creed? Being born on Mandalore? It’s a big Mandalorian mess. And we’re still left wondering: IS Boba Fett a Mandalorian? His father was a foundling, like Din; so Boba has a right to the armor through lineage, but he didn’t grow up in the culture. Like everything else with Mandalorians, it’s confusing and contentious.
Anyway, off they go and capture Dr. Pershing, who is on an Imperial shuttle traveling–well, who knows where, maybe just being escorted back to Gideons’ ship. There’s an interesting exchange between one of the Imperials flying the shuttle, who is using Pershing as a human shield, and Cara Dune, who has her weapon trained on him, along with Din. He taunts Cara; he recognizes her as from Alderaan, and tells her he was on the Death Star when they blew up the planet. He states that millions of people were killed on those space stations when they were blown up by the Rebellion, and that Alderaan was worth it to stop terrorists. We’re not used to looking at the Rebels or the Resistance as terrorists (although the idea is explored more in the books) and it makes us a little uncomfortable. We know they’re the “good guys”, and of course they were right to blow them up. But again, “from a certain point of view,” they’re the bad guys. And in real life, it’s not always so crystal clear as in the movies or TV shows.
Anyway, Cara’s having none of it and she shoots him in the head, leaving poor Pershing nearly deaf. They get information from him about the layout of Gideons’s ship and make a plan: the team will create a distraction and head for the bridge while Din goes to find Grogu in the brig, taking into account the dreaded Dark Troopers, who need time to power up.
Boba pretends to be firing at the shuttle and Bo-Katan flies them into the TIE fighter launching bay; once that’s done, Boba jumps into hyperspace and we don’t see him until later (after the credits, as it turns out). The ladies plow through the ship, killing every stormtrooper in their path (I just love these 40ish women kicking ass), while Din heads for Grogu. He doesn’t quite get there before the Dark Troopers power up and start to come out. He manages to close the door, but one gets out, and he nearly gets killed fighting this thing. He manages to rip one apart with the beskar spear, and then flushes the rest of them out into space.
Meanwhile, the team have made it to the bridge and kill everyone there, but Gideon is not there. Turns out, he’s anticipated their moves and is in the brig with Grogu, holding the Dark Saber over Baby (in his little baby manacles). He looks tired, because Gideon has taken a lot of his blood. Gideon tells Din about the Dark Saber, that it’s what Bo-Katan wants, and Din says, “Keep it. I just want the kid.” Gideon pretty much replies that he can take him and go, since he got what he wanted out of him; I can’t believe Din believed him and turned his back on him. The man’s a treacherous jerk. And of course, he attacks Din with the Dark Saber and we get the confrontation I knew was coming.
Gideon’s not bad with the Dark Saber, but Din is still better, even with just a beskar spear. He knocks the saber out of Gideon’s hand and bests him, but he doesn’t kill him. He cuffs him and brings him to the bridge, holding Grogu–and the Dark Saber. This is where things get interesting, as Bo-Katan looks with bewilderment as they enter. She made it perfectly clear that Gideon was HERS to defeat; and here was Din herding him onto the bridge as his prisoner.
Gideon takes advantage of this, goading them both with the fact that Din can’t just hand over the saber to Bo-Katan. Din owns it now, since he won it in battle. And if Bo-Katan wants it, she must win it from Din in battle, as well. Din tries to simply give it to her–he doesn’t have any interest in fighting her for it–but Bo-Katan hesitates and says that Gideon is right.
So time out here–I think many of us who watched Rebels were wondering WHY she couldn’t just take it. Because Sabine had simply handed it over to her, and Bo-Katan accepted it. So why can’t she do that now? Are they suddenly changing the rules? Well, I don’t think so. Obviously Dave Filoni and John Favreau are aware of what happened in Rebels, so they wouldn’t have arbitrarily changed the rules. They know what they’re doing. And so, trusting in that, I think that Bo-Katan probably feels that, since she lost the Dark Saber and Mandalore along with it, she CAN’T simply take it yet again. She MUST fight for it, she MUST earn it back, or she may be considered a pretender to the throne of Mandalore. She must earn the Mandalorians’ respect and loyalty. That’s my take on it anyway. So even though Din tries to give it back to her, he’s stuck with the stupid thing.
But before she can do anything, the Dark Troopers return. They fly now, remember? And they march toward the bridge, and start pounding on the blast doors. And they can’t do anything except watch and wait for them to crash through that door. Gideon is again annoyingly arrogant, telling them only he and the Child will survive. He also shoots Bo-Katan with a blaster he’d hidden under his cloak on the floor, but I believe she survived. The others point their weapons at him, and he decides to kill himself, but Cara Dune knocks the blaster out of his hands and knocks him out.
This is when the lone X-Wing appears, and my heart skipped a beat. One X-Wing. I can’t imagine it’s Trapper Wolf or that other guy, what’s his name. Can it be? Can it really be? They watch on the monitors as a Jedi floats down the hallways, his robes swishing, and engages the Dark Troopers. A green lightsaber flares. A GREEN lightsaber. A black-gloved right hand. OH MY GOD, it is! It’s Luke freaking Skywalker! My fingers dug into my poor husband’s arm.
He makes quick work of the troopers, and Din lets him in. The hood comes off, and there’s young Luke. It’s a CGI Luke, and as such there’s something a little off about him, but who cares? Din asks kind of a silly question: “Are you a Jedi?” Since he’s seen Ahsoka in action, can there be any doubt? But Luke simply says yes. He reaches out for Grogu. Din says he doesn’t want to go with him, but Luke corrects him: He wants Din’s permission to go.
So there’s the whole goodbye scene with Din and Grogu, and Din takes his helmet off in front of everyone so Grogu can see his face and even touch it. It’s painful for Din, for Grogu, for everyone watching. I love it when R2D2 rolls in and has a little conversation with Grogu, and Baby’s ears perk up a little bit. Then Luke leaves with Grogu, and that’s it. He’s gone.
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful season-ender. And now everyone’s up in arms about what’s going to happen to little Grogu, is Kylo going to kill him at Luke’s Jedi Academy in 25 years? I don’t think so, and here’s why: at first I thought Din would give Grogu his little silver ball as a goodbye token. But he didn’t. Maybe he forgot in the heat of emotion. But that just proves to me that he WILL see Grogu again, and give him his little ball. I’m guessing Grogu will stay with Luke as long as he needs, to learn how to control his abilities, and then he will return to Din. How long will this take? Who knows. Five years? Ten? Twenty? But I think he’ll be gone by the time hell breaks loose with Kylo. At least, I have to believe this, or my heart will utterly break into a thousand pieces.
There’s also questions about Season Three. I’m assuming Grogu will be gone, so where do they go from here? Well, there’s the whole Mandalore question. Will Din help Bo-Katan take it back? Will Bo-Katan fight Din for the Dark Saber? I think those are the questions next season will address, and perhaps lead up to the big crossover between it and the new shows, Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic. Thrawn? Lots of possibilities here.
Of course, on my first watch, I missed the Boba Fett scene at the end of the credits. We usually watch the concept art during the credits, and then shut it off when they’re done. This one had no concept art, so it got shut off sooner than usual. I had to find out about the scene on social media, naturally, and I watched on my second viewing. It was intriguing. Not sure I’m too excited about it yet. If it also crosses over with The Mandalorian, I’m sure I’ll tune in.
So if you’re still with me at this point, I’m impressed! I don’t usually ramble on this long, but there was so much to unpack and comment on. It’s the finale, after all. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you thought of the show in the comments below!
This was another great episode (is there any other kind?), with a lot going on in terms of action and characterization. And let me just say, I had no idea who Bill Burr was before The Mandalorian, but he’s great in my book.
Before the episode aired, the return of Migs Mayfeld was seen by some fans as unnecessary and underwhelming. Not a lot of people liked him, I guess, but I did. Even though he was part of the group that betrayed Din on that prison ship in Chapter Six, there was something about Mayfeld I liked. Maybe it was just his funny quips (I’m a sucker for humor). At any rate, I’ve always believed you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and that there was probably more to him than met the eye.
And guess what? There WAS a lot more to Mayfeld, as we find out in this episode. In his conversation with Din in the juggernaut (well, it’s more like a Mayfeld monologue), we find out that he tends to look at the galaxy philosophically, stating that it doesn’t matter who rules the galaxy–Empire or New Republic–there will always be rulers and the ruled. He also challenges Din on his strict Mandalorian “rules,” asking him if he can’t take off the helmet, or he just can’t show his face? ‘Cause there’s a difference. And how we all get a bit lax on our principles when we get desperate.
The show further pushes Din when he has to take the helmet off in the mess hall to access the terminal they need for the codes. And he does what I knew he would do eventually–break his stubborn rules for Grogu. It’s what this show has been leading up to–challenging Din on what it means to be a Mandalorian. Challenging his very identity. And for Din, there was no question–he took the helmet off in a room full of people, even scanned his face so that it’s now permanently in the Imperial files. All for Grogu.
I loved that we got to see his face again finally. I like his face. It’s a nice face. I’d like to see more of his face in future episodes, which is what I think we’re working up to.
Anyway, we get more insight into Mayfeld, as we find out he was a part of Operation Cinder, a battle that took place in the Aftermath books (which I shamefully have not read). We find out that this battle is the reason Mayfeld walked away from the Empire–the Imperials had incinerated an entire city, along with Mayfeld’s comrades, at least 10,000 of them. You can see Mayfeld getting worked up as he asks this commander, Valin Hess, if it was worth it. And of course this maniac replied it was, that they died for the glory of the Empire. And that was nothing compared to what they’re going to do with the rhydonium they’re mining. He says people think they want freedom, but they don’t: they want order. And when they’re done, the galaxy will be begging for the Imperials to come back and instill order.
During this whole conversation, you can just see Mayfeld’s ire rising until he looks as if he’s about to burst; while Din, as vulnerable as a child with his helmet off, is wishing Mayfeld will just shut up already. Finally, Mayfeld blasts Hess and they have to shoot their way out. But not before giving Din the stormtrooper helmet back and saying, “I never saw your face.”
I just love how this episode turns these two characters on their heads a little bit. Mayfeld rises in our esteem, while Din has to show vulnerability (even during the pirate action scenes, that stormtrooper armor is no match for his beskar armor–even though he’s still a bad ass warrior, he gets beat up. Those bruises are gonna hurt for awhile).
So who’s the Believer in the episode? It’s not as straightforward as we’d like. You have to think about it a little bit. Is it Din, who has to let go of some of his beliefs to find Grogu? Is it Mayfeld, who perhaps believes in himself again, and comes to believe in his own principles (“we have to sleep at night”)? I think it’s perhaps both, and that the title is deliberately ambiguous. It could mean many different things.
In addition to the great character development with Mayfeld and Din, here are a few other things I liked about this episode:
Cara Dune and Fennec Shand girl-power.
Boba’s new paint job.
That sigh of weariness from Din when he sees even more pirates coming.
“Brown Eyes.” That is all.
That Fett sonic boom!
And of course, Din’s message to Moff Gideon at the end of the episode, in which he throws Gideon’s own words back at him: “You have something that I want….He means more to me than you can ever know.” Not only is it a huge F**k You moment, we see that Din doesn’t just look at Grogu as his responsibility, a task, or a quest; he’s his child. And he will do anything to get him back. Which we already knew in our hearts.
So even though Grogu wasn’t even in this episode (I missed his adorableness), it was okay, because we got a fantastic episode. I can’t believe the last episode of the season is next week, and I’m looking forward to how epic it’s inevitably going to be.
P.S.–I’ve never watched The Office, so I didn’t get the TPS reports joke. And I know, I should watch it.
So we got to Tython a lot faster than I thought, and that’s just fine, because this was another great episode! When I saw the title, “The Tragedy,” however, I thought, uh-oh. Things are going to go very bad. And they did.
But not before we were wowed by Boba Fett, a character I was never particularly interested in; I just didn’t understand all the brouhaha over him. But this is The Mandalorian. If he was introduced into the show, I knew he’d do great things. And he did. The damage he did to those stormtroopers, both in and out of his armor, was colossal. Fennec was pretty cool, too, but clearly Boba was the star of the show. I was glad he got his old, beat up armor back, and also glad we got an answer to the question: is Boba Fett a Mandalorian? Turns out he is, as Jango had been a foundling and was in the Mandalorian Civil War. Cool to know. He wants the armor, and in return will help protect Din and the Child.
Backing up, Din had put Grogu on the stone in the center of the Jedi Temple, and waited for him to do his thing. Baby just played with blue butterflies, which, of course brings to mind Ben Solo and the blue butterflies the fandom has associated with him, mainly in the guise of redemption, hope, transformation. What could this mean for Grogu?
Anyway, Grogu succeeds in linking up with the Force and sending out the vibes, and Din can’t get to him when he sees Slave 1 and decides it’s time to leave. So he tries to buy him time, and he, Boba and Fennec fend off an endless stream of stormtroopers. This is a very impressive fight sequence, and we see that Boba, though older and scarred, is an amazing warrior indeed. Unfortunately, Moff Gideon is high above in his ship and blasts the Razor Crest to bits.
Then Gideon sends down his Dark Troopers to retrieve the Child, who has collapsed out of his Force meditation and is drained from the experience. Din had taken off his jetpack in his initial confrontation with Boba, and either forgets about it or is too far away, and can’t reach Grogu in time before the nasty droids haul him away.
Tragedy indeed. No ship, and Grogu kidnapped. It’s what I expected (at least the abduction), but I’m still anxious for Baby. I enjoyed the scene of Grogu smashing the stormtroopers against the walls and each other on the ship, but he exhausted himself. Then Gideon showed up, taunted him, and cuffed him. I REALLY hated that guy just then. And off to Dr. Pershing they went.
Meanwhile, Din retrieves the little silver ball Grogu loves from the wreckage of the ship, and the beskar spear. I see a battle between that spear and the dark saber in a future episode (and gleefully imagining the spear piercing Gideon’s gut, but we’ll see). Boba and Fennec reiterate that in return for the armor (which was Boba’s to begin with, but whatever), they will help him get the Child back.
They take Slave 1 back to Nevarro, where Din asks Cara Dune (now a New Republic Marshal–THAT’S what that medal was for) for help. He wants her help in springing Mayfeld from prison (from Chapter 6, the leader and the one with the cool over-the-shoulder gun). Din thinks he can help get the kid back, probably because of his Imperial past. I liked that guy, so it will be fun to have him back.
So Din is assembling his rescue team, but we’re left to wonder: who will answer Grogu’s call? Man, I really want it to be Luke, but I’d be surprised if was him. But this show has surprised us before. Again, we’ll see. And as much as I want Grogu to stay with Din, it’s clear the kid needs Jedi guidance. As much as I loved his stormtrooper-smashing, he was using the Force in fear, anger, and hatred–and we all know where that leads. I don’t want to see Baby go down that road. And yet, separating him and Din may lead to that as well. What’s the answer? Is he doomed?
Comment below with your thoughts on this, on the episode, or what you think might happen next.
So we’ve finally seen Ahsoka make her live-action debut, and I have to say it was pretty amazing!
Rosario Dawson did an excellent job with the character (though if I’m being nitpicky, something about her montrals and lekku just weren’t right…but I’m not gonna be that person). I’m glad the show began with her right away, rather than a slow build-up where we’re left saying, where’s Ahsoka already????
I loved the look of her twin white lightsabers against the fog and gloom of the planet, and honestly, it was just fantastic seeing lightsabers at all. I love The Mandalorian for being its own thing, but NOW it really feels like Star Wars.
There’s so many things to unpack here, I won’t do a plot summary, just a running commentary on what I thought was interesting, exciting, and just plain cool in this episode.
The planet Corvus is a lot drearier and gloomier than I thought it would be, considering Bo-Katan named it as a “forest planet.” But clearly the environment has been ruined by the plundering the evil Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth (such a normal, non-Star Warsy name!) has wreaked on the planet. And the natives are suffering; it seems like a natural place for Ahsoka to be, to fight injustice and cruelty.
But the real reason she’s there is that she seeks information from Elsbeth: the location of her “master”, who I assumed was Moff Gideon. When it was revealed at the end that she was looking for Grand Admiral Thrawn, I merely said, “Hmmm, interesting,” to my husband (a casual Star Wars fan, though a big fan of the Mandalorian–he had no idea who Thrawn was, but I try not to lecture him with Star Wars 101 unless he asks); while the hard-core fan in me was doing jumping jacks of joy. Thrawn! So she is still looking for Ezra. I assumed Sabine was off following another lead, but maybe we’ll see her soon, too.
Anyway, I thought the best part of the show were the Ahsoka and Child scenes. I’ve read in other places that Ahsoka knew Grogu (our Baby’s name!) at the Temple, but I don’t think so. They were there at the same time, but he was a youngling, an infant, really, and she wouldn’t have crossed paths with him in all probability. And she had to get his story from Grogu himself. I think he’s a delightful surprise to her, which you can see on her face, along with the fond remembering of Yoda. She’s gentle and respectful of him, but he’s also an enigma.
I’m not surprised she refused to train him. Clearly, Grogu is deeply attached to Din, and is full of fear. Fear of the others who seek him, but also fear of losing Din, the closest thing to a father he’s ever had. I think when he refused to use the Force during Ahsoka’s test, it wasn’t because he was being stubborn, as Din claimed. I think he didn’t want to show his powers, knowing it might mean he’d have to stay with Ahsoka. He didn’t want to leave Din. I don’t think he ever will.
And Ahsoka sensed this, and knew that it was too late to train him, remembering what happened to Anakin. She wasn’t even going to go there. Her recommendation to bring him to Tython caused all kinds of speculation on what Jedi may answer Grogu’s call. Luke? Ezra? Someone we don’t even know? But there’s another possibility: a dark Force user. A possibility I fervently hope doesn’t come to pass.
The battles between Ahsoka and Elsbeth, and Din and Lang (Michael Biehn, who I didn’t immediately recognize), were very cool. Ahsoka and Din win the day, and the town is free once again.
I found it interesting that we don’t know if Ahsoka actually killed Elsbeth, or got the information she wanted. I guess we have to wait to find that out.
Oh, and one thing I saw that made me ridiculously happy was a brief glimpse of Ahsoka’s owl, Morai. It almost blended in with the forest, but it was sitting up on a high branch while Din and Baby were looking for Ahsoka. Anyone else see it?
So off to Tython, but I have a feeling the next episode will be a side-track sort of show, maybe a run-in with some baddies, with the last two shows being a two-parter finale on Tython. Just my guess.
Loving this show more and more, and can’t wait to see what’s in store!
So Din makes a stop at Nevarro for some much-needed ship repair, and reunites with Cara Dune and Greef Karga. They’re delighted to see him–and the Child, of course–but, like everyone else on this show, they need his help for something.
Cara and Greef have turned the town around, and would like to mop up any remaining Imperial presence. There’s a bunker or headquarters in the lava canyons outside of town, and they’d like his help in blowing it up.
So Din reluctantly leaves the Child in a classroom (where the old cantina used to be) and sets off with Cara and Greef, along with the blue Mythrol we saw in Chapter One. He’s working off a debt to Greef, and naturally would rather be elsewhere.
Turns out, the bunker isn’t as abandoned as they thought it was, and they have to take out some stormtroopers. They manage to set the reactor to blow, but on the way out they make a weird discovery–the place is actually a lab and–ew, are those Snokes???
We see a hologram of Dr. Pershing (he of the big round glasses) and find out what they want with the Child: his blood, which is “high in M-count” (midi-chlorians), to infuse into the test subjects.
So, let’s just stop right here for a moment. If you’re more than a casual Star Wars fan (and if you’re actually reading this, that’s probably the case), alarm bells should be ringing right about now. To me, it seems that the Imperials are working on the “dead” Emperor’s contingency plan: creating a viable, Force-sensitive body for his evil marbles to inhabit. (I just thought of something: where, exactly, ARE his marbles? Question for another day). I’ve heard other theories, but this just seems the simplest and most obvious answer as to what’s going on. But I could be completely wrong.
Anyway, the clock is ticking to detonation and Din, having learned that Moff Gideon is still alive and a threat to the Child, takes off on his jetpack to get the kid, while the others make a run for it in some old ship they find (yeah, “some old ship.” I’m not good with ships and that sort of thing. I think it was called a marauder).
A wild chase through the lava canyons ensues, as they’re pursued by troopers on speederbikes and some TIES. They make it back to the town with the help of Din and the new-and-improved Razor Crest. He takes off from there to head to Corvus to find Ahsoka (yay!).
Back on Nevarro, Greef evades the questions of the New Republic X-wing pilot, Captain Carson Teva, who we saw in Chapter 10; said pilot then has a little talk with Cara Dune. He tells her that the New Republic needs soldiers like her, but she turns down the invitation. He notices on his data pad that she’s from Alderaan, and asks what I consider to be a silly question:
“Did you lose anyone?”
Um, the whole planet was destroyed. What do you think? Anyway, she replies she lost everyone. He leaves her a medal of some sort (New Republic or Rebellion), perhaps as a reminder or a permanent invitation.
And, it turns out that the Mimbanese who fixed the Razor Crest is an informant for Moff Gideon and planted a tracker on board (I thought that little look he gave before fixing the ship was suspicious), so Din will be followed to Corvus. Do I see a confrontation on the horizon between Ahsoka and Gideon? We’ll see. The last shot is of Gideon on board his ship looking over a room full of black armor, which may possibly be Death Troopers. Or Shadow troopers, or Dark Troopers, or who knows what. Either way, it doesn’t look good for our heroes.
Shout-out to the Child for another consistently adorable performance. Despite the whole egg controversy (which I thought eye-rollingly silly), I believe this sweet baby can do no wrong. Even when he vomits blue cookies.
The latest Mandalorian episode, Chapter 11: The Heiress, packs a punch in its 36 minutes.
Din has to make an emergency landing on Trask because of the pitiful state of the Razor Crest, and has to be fished out of the water by a really cool walker-crane. He throws some credits to a Mon Calamari wearing a warm-looking cable-knit sweater and suspenders to fix it the best he can.
Frog Lady reunites with her hubby, who directs Din to an inn where he can find info on Mandalorians. A Mon Calamari there directs him to some Quarren who will take him on their boat to the other Mandos. But guess what?
The Quarren just want to steal his beskar, and they push the Child (in his egg-stroller–wink, wink, poetic justice) into the mouth of a monster. Din jumps in but becomes trapped; it doesn’t look good until three Mandalorians show up, take out the Quarren and rescue the Child from the jaws of the monster.
So this is when it gets real interesting and kind of flip-out exciting.
Of course, Bo-Katan (!!!) is immediately recognizable with her distinctive armor; she’s showed up with two others of her group (who I’ve since learned are called Nite Owls–never knew this). When they take off their helmets, Din naturally thinks they’re not real Mandalorians, and demands to know where they got their armor.
This is where Bo-Katan sets things straight for Din. She tells him the armor has been in her family for three generations, she was born on Mandalore, and is the rightful ruler. And she recognizes him as one of “The Watch,” a cult of religious Mandos who seek to go back to the old ways (which I believe is a remnant and evolution of Death Watch, as Din was saved and taken in by them–you can see their sigil if you look carefully in Episode 8 of Season One).
So now we understand the whole helmet thing.
And I don’t think Din knows how to feel about all this, either. His motto is “This is the Way,” but it’s not the only way, and he never knew this. He leaves them abruptly, apparently having no use for them. The fact that they just saved his ass and he just abandons them tells me his whole life perspective has just changed and he needs some time to digest this.
They meet up again in an alleyway where they save him again from some Quarren looking for revenge. He agrees to talk with them over a drink, and he tells them he’s looking for Jedi to bring the Child back to its own kind. Bo-Katan replies she knows a Jedi (and we know who she’s talking about–more flip-out excitement!). She can tell him where to go if he helps them with their mission: to steal some weapons from an Imperial ship to help them in their quest to take back Mandalore.
He drops off the Child at Frog Lady’s house for her to watch over him (and gives him stern daddy-orders to behave), and off he goes with the other Mandalorians. They jet-pack onto the Imperial ship, break in, and cause all hell to break loose. When it’s clear to the captain his ship is lost, he contacts–guess who?–Grand Moff Gideon. Gideon basically orders the guy to kill themselves to prevent the weapons from getting into the hands of the “pirates.” And he does it. But not before the Mandos get into the cockpit. Bo-Katan is looking for the Dark Saber–which, of course, Gideon possesses. The captain kills himself before she can find out where Gideon is. They manage to save the ship and and the weapons. She invites Din to help them retake Mandalore, but he has his mission and reminds her of the location of the Jedi she promised. She tells him the name of a planet, Corvus, and then she says it:
Ahsoka-freaking-Tano! Not like that, of course. But that’s what we hear, and we’re over the moon about it.
So Din retrieves the Child from Frog Lady’s house (no pollywogs were eaten), and off he goes, limping away into space again.
Whew! That’s a lot to take in in 36 minutes. But what an amazing episode. I’m sure all of us would love to see Ahsoka in the next episode, but again, I think they’re going to make us wait. I’m betting Din’s going to Navarro to recruit Cara Dune and Greef Kargo to help him first, and then maybe we’ll see our favorite Togruta after that.
If you’re a parent, the second episode of Season 2 of the Mandalorian might have struck a chord with you.
First you’ve got Din Djarin, trying his best to parent the Child, who clearly is in his terrible two’s stage despite being 50 years old. Din keeps telling the little devil to stop eating Frog Lady’s eggs, and guess what? He doesn’t listen. Sound familiar, Mom and Dad? Clearly Mando isn’t feeding his little one enough to get him through his growth spurt. Lots to learn.
Then you’ve got Frog Lady herself, who is trying to get her eggs back to her husband on the planet Trask to be fertilized. They’re not quite children yet, but they’re the potential of her future pollywogs, and so she’ll trust this Mandalorian she doesn’t even know to get her where she needs to go. She figures out the little green rascal is eating them, and so clutches them protectively at the end of the episode.
And then we have the big spider mama herself, coming out in full force to protect her horrible little creepy crawlies, because, once again, the Child is eating other creatures’ babies. But because we hate spiders, we don’t care if those babies get disintegrated or squashed; in fact, we feel a deep need for them to be destroyed.
Anyway, as a Mom I just kind of noticed these parent/children dilemmas and parallels in this episode, and thought it was interesting.
I’ve heard a lot of people complaining that this episode disappointed them, was “boring,” or was just filler, compared to the first episode. And maybe that’s true–from a certain point of view, of course. We’ve gotten so used to extraordinarily good content that we expect it all the time. Or we were just so pysched about Boba Fett, we wanted them to follow up with him immediately. I get it. I do, too. And I’m chomping at the bit to see Jedi. Any Jedi. And who knows if we’ll even see them this season at all? As any Jedi master will tell you, we need to utilize patience, young Padawans.
Personally, I thought The Passenger was anything but boring. The fight with the scavengers/bounty hunters at the beginning, the chase with the X-Wings, and the frantic escape from the spiders–how can any of that be boring? I was on the edge of my seat with the spider thing, I can tell you, because for me, spiders are the stuff of nightmares. Anyway, I thought it was quite entertaining, and the humor–a big part of Star Wars–was abundant and wonderful in this episode. Seeing Dave Filoni as Trapper Wolf again was a nice touch, and a good reminder that the New Republic is out there doing its thing, and don’t you forget it! Also, I think my favorite new alien is Dr. Mandible.
So I’m just going to file this one under “creature-feature” fun and move on, anxiously awaiting next week’s episode. Maybe then we’ll get the answers we’re hoping for.