The Mandalorian Episode 13 Review
Ashoka Tano; few characters in Star Wars have had such a complex journey, both in-universe and in the real world. When she debuted in the pilot movie for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, people thought she was an annoying tag-along that would die before the show’s end; she did, but it didn’t stick. Twelve years later, though, and this former Jedi turned rebel stands as one of the franchise’s greatest heroes. Now, after months of speculation, and two weeks since the name drop in “The Heiress”, the fans wish came true.
THANK YOU, DAVE FILONI!
Ashoka Tano’s Journey Continues
Canonically, the last time we saw Ashoka was sometime after the fall of the Empire. She and Sabine Wren left in search of Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger, who disappeared into the Unknown Regions at the end of Star Wars: Rebels. Flash-forward four or five years, and she’s fighting the forces of a corrupt magistrate on Corvus. Fighting, and winning. In fact, if it weren’t for the Magistrate’s willingness to kill the townspeople under her thumb, I think Ashoka could have taken her down with little effort.
Fans of Star Wars may know that the Jedi took a lot of inspiration from depictions of the Samurai of Japan. That influence is very much prevalent in “The Jedi”, down to Ashoka’s role in the episode. If the Jedi are Samurai, then Ashoka’s a Ronin, a wandering, master-less Samurai trying to help those in need. She’s fighting to free a town from its cruel lord, which leads to a final showdown between her and the Magistrate in the latter’s compound. The backdrop’s got some heavy Oriental influences to it, while the fight itself resembles what you might expect from Akira Kurosawa’s films. In other words, Ashoka spends the whole episode kicking ass, and I love it.
Mando Learns More About Baby Yoda
When Mando arrives on Corvus, the Magistrate’s desperate enough to get rid of the former Jedi that she hires him to kill her. Big mistake, though, as all he does is talk to her about Baby Yoda. Or rather, she communicates with Baby Yoda using the Force, while Mando’s left in the dark. She seems pleased by what she learns, and is happy to share it with Mando.
It’s here that we actually learn more about Baby Yoda’s past. He was once a Jedi Youngling living in the Temple. When Order 66 saw the Temple attacked, someone took him away and hid him. He’s been alone and in hiding ever since. We also learn Baby Yoda’s real name: Grogu.
Yeah, I’m still calling him Baby Yoda.
Despite Mando’s argument that the Child should be trained to control his Force powers, Ashoka refuses. She says that the bond that Grogu and Mando have could lead to him tapping into the Dark Side. She knows from first-hand experience how that can end badly for everyone.
Ashoka makes a good point: Jedi who let fear and negative emotions cloud their judgement are dangerous. However, I think that Ashoka’s suffering from slight PTSD over the fact that her master became Darth Vader. That’s why she won’t train him, even after Mando helps her free the town from the Magistrate.
She does, however, point him on another path.
Two Big Name Drops
The reason why Ashoka was fighting the Magistrate was because she was wanted information. It’s not until the end of the episode that we actually learn what it was she wanted to learn: the location of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Fans of Rebels will remember him as the blue-skinned Admiral of the Empire that served as the big bad for the latter half of the show. He and Ezra disappeared into the Unknown Regions in the series finale, hence Ashoka’s quest to find Ezra. The fact that we got his name dropped by Ashoka means two things. Firstly, that Thrawn’s still alive and operating somewhere. Secondly, that Ezra Bridger is most likely alive as well.
The episode ends with Ashoka and Mando going their separate ways, so there’s no indication that she will return in the future. However, it’s likely the events of this episode could set up Ashoka for her own series focusing on her search for Ezra. Or maybe the two will intersect in the future.
Ashoka does point Mando and Grogu in the right direction, though. She tells them to travel to the planet of Tython. There they’ll find the ruins of an old Jedi Temple that’s strong in the Force. Grogu will be able to use it to choose his own path; if he wants to, he can call out to another Jedi through the Force.
While it hasn’t been made any big appearances in the new canon, Tython had a big impact in the old Expanded Universe. Located in the Deep Core, Tython’s thought by some to be the homeworld of the Jedi Order. The Jedi abandoned it after their founding before returning millenia later, only for it to be abandoned once more. If Tython is Mando’s next destination, then I can’t wait.
Dave Filoni Does it Again
Overall, this episode was amazing and worth the months of waiting. Rosario Dawson knocked it out of the park as Ashoka and I hope we see more of her in the future. Dave Filoni once again demonstrated why he’s one of the best people to take over the reins of Star Wars while showing off his love for the franchise. And we finally got some clues regarding Baby Yoda’s past. Stellar episode overall; one of the best of the series.
This is the Way.
I Give “The Jedi” A Solid 5/5
- Listen closely and you’ll hear Ashoka and Yoda’s themes play at certain points in the episode
- Morai the owl-thing is back!
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