‘The Mandalorian’: Another Beloved ‘Clone Wars’ Character Makes Their Live-Action Debut (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 5, “The Jedi.”]
She’s finally here! After months of pretty-much-confirmed speculation that Ahsoka Tano was making her live-action debut, the ex-jedi finally showed up on our screens—and, as reported, she’s played by Rosario Dawson.
Mando (Pedro Pascal) seeks her out to train Baby Yoda, but she has some reservations, so they strike a deal involving working together to free a nearby village… and get some information with HUGE implications out of its corrupt leader.
A New Job
Mando heads to Corvus to find Ahsoka, who’s embroiled in a conflict between the town’s Magistrate (Diana Lee Inosanto) and its citizenship. Ahsoka’s looking for knowledge the Magistrate has, and, in one of the most badass scenes we’ve seen on The Mandalorian so far, she proves she’s willing to, and capable of, slicing through her soldiers like scissors through paper to get it.
Anyway, the Magistrate has a job for Mando—she wants him to kill Ahsoka. “My price is high,” Mando says, not particularly interested in killing the person he’s been trying to find since the beginning of the season. She offers him a pure beskar spear, and he asks her where to find them; note he never actually accepts the deal.
He heads into the forest, to the coordinates the Magistrate gave him, and finds Ahsoka. They battle for a few seconds, but all the fighting stops when Mando says he was sent by Bo-Katan, and they need to talk. “I hope it’s about him,” Ahsoka says, looking at Baby Yoda.
Passing the Test
She’s able to understand the Child’s thoughts, so she can provide Din with more info than he’s ever learned about him before. First, Baby Yoda has a name: Grogu! (He seems like a Grogu, doesn’t he?) Second, he was trained at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, but he had to go into hiding at the end of the Clone Wars. He’s felt lost and alone over the years, so it stands to reason he was happy to find Mando when he did.
Ahsoka tries to test him when the next day comes, but Grogu’s just not feelin’ passing a stone back and forth using the Force. “I sense much fear in him,” Ahsoka says, noting that Grogu’s hidden his abilities to stay safe over the years. She then tries a new tactic: she uses Din to get Grogu to demonstrate his Force abilities. And Grogu passes with flying colors: he takes the ball from the lever on Mando’s ship—you know, the toy he always likes to play with?—right out of Mando’s hand. “Great job, kid!” Mando says. “I knew you could do it!”
I Sense Much Fear in You
The jedi senses a problem, and, like Anakin Skywalker before Grogu, it has to do with attachments. She refuses to train him because he’s grown too fond of Mando. “I’ve seen what such feelings can do to a fully grown jedi knight,” she says, “to the best of us. I will not start this child down that path.”
Mando takes this opportunity to offer Ahsoka a deal: he’ll help her save the village and take down the Magistrate (who is, as he learns, connected to the Empire), but only if she sees to it that Grogu is properly trained. On that note, they head back to the village to enact their plan.
Ahsoka fights her way through the guards and heads for the Magistrate, telling her that her bounty hunter failed. She demands she tell her about her “master.” The Magistrate refuses, telling her guards to kill the prisoners and then go door to door in the village. At that point, Mando steps in, swooping down to kill the guards and free the prisoners. He saves the villagers while Ahsoka destroys the Magistrate’s forces, then goes back to the leader to fight her one-on-one. The jedi wins, and she drops another huge bombshell for fans of the animated series when she demands to know the location of the Magistrate’s master. “Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?” she asks.
Mando’s Next Quest
With the village freed and the Magistrate either dethroned or dead (we don’t actually see her die), the bargain between Mando and Ahsoka is in effect. She gives him the beskar staff the Magistrate offered, saying it belongs with a Mandalorian, then asks where his “little green friend” is. Mando says he’s back at the ship and goes to get him. He finds the child and says, “it’s time to say goodbye.” Awwwwwwwww!
Except it’s not, because Ahsoka still won’t train him. Instead, she gives Mando a new mission: he needs to take Grogu to the planet Tython, where he’ll find the ruins of a jedi temple that has a strong connection to the Force. From the seeing stone at the top of the mountain, Grogu can choose his own path—whether he wants to be trained as a jedi or remain with Mando. If he reaches out through the Force, Ahsoka says, a jedi might come searching for him. They fly away in Mando’s ship, and as Grogu looks back at Ahsoka, she smiles.
- GRAND ADMIRAL THRAWN. Well, now I’m wondering whether Moff Gideon is the endgame villain for the series or if he’ll be defeated this season so the show can move on to using Thrawn as an antagonist.
- Also, if Thrawn’s still around, the likelihood we’ll see a live-action Ezra Bridger goes up exponentially. The Mandalorian is slowly becoming Clone Wars and Rebels 2, and I don’t hate it.
- That opening sequence with Ahsoka fighting the guards was one of the coolest things I’ve seen from The Mandalorian, and The Mandalorian delivers cool things on a weekly basis.
- While I’m not sure Ahsoka was translated quite as well as Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) to live-action, it would’ve been hard to hit the nail on the head that effectively again, given that Kryze is being played by her voice actor. Ahsoka looked great, was in-character, and fought incredibly, and that’s what matters.
- I wasn’t sure we were ever going to get a name for Baby Yoda, but now we have one, and it’s perfectly adorable. Wonder if Mando’s going to keep calling him “kid,” or if he’ll start using his real name? Also, how hilarious that all the Christmas “Baby Yoda” merch won’t be using his real name.
- I got chills when Ahsoka said she “sensed much fear” in Grogu. Disney’s not going to turn Baby Yoda into a Sith (right? Right.), but it gave me Anakin Skywalker/Phantom Menace vibes.
- If the Magistrate’s head guard looked familiar to you, it’s probably because he was played by Michael Biehn, who appeared in Terminator and Aliens.
- Rating: 5/5. Again, The Mandalorian delivers an incredible episode that expands its universe and delves into the lore behind it, boasts fantastic visuals and action sequences, and pleases Star Wars fans—no matter how many of the animated series you’ve seen.
The Mandalorian, Fridays, Disney+