(SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on if you have not watched the fifth episode of season 2 of Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian.”)
“The Mandalorian” teed up the arrival of Ahsoka Tano two episodes ago and judging from the speed and cameo size of the show thus far, viewers would have been forgiven for thinking we might only get a small glimpse of the Jedi this episode. But that thought was immediately sliced in half by two white lightsabers.
Chapter 13, titled “The Jedi” and directed by executive producer and “Star Wars” guru Dave Filoni, kicks off in spectacular fashion. We meet Ahsoka in all her dual lightsaber-wielding glory, slashing away at masked enemies on the forest planet of Corvus. Rosario Dawson is unmistakable as the orange-skinned Togruta, using her extensive action experience to bring her to life in undeniably epic fashion.
We learn that Ahsoka is there to confront a mysterious woman known as the Magistrate (Diana Lee Inosanto), who is willing to torture and murder the civilians of the planet to stop Ahsoka finding out her secret.
Later on, the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda arrive on Corvus, and the Magistrate offers him a spear made of pure Beskar (the same material as Mando’s armor) to kill Ahsoka.
If that isn’t mouth-watering enough, here are five smoking hot burning questions from this episode:
How does Mando’s first encounter with Ahsoka pan out?
Things start off a little ropey, as Mando has to hold off her lightsaber ambush just long enough to tell her why he’s here and more importantly who he’s brought with him. As soon as Ashoka sees Baby Yoda she relents and starts to engage with the Child. She says she has only known one of its kind before, master Yoda, of course, and gives Mando a little lesson in the fairly disastrous recent history of the Jedi.
What is Baby Yoda’s real name?
It’s official folks, our adorable little green friend is no longer Baby Yoda or the Child. We discover from Ahsoka’s mind-reading powers that his real name is Grogu. You read that right, Grogu. Doesn’t have the same ring to it as Baby Yoda, not sure it’ll stick, but that is definitely its name. Ahsoka also reveals Grogu was raised in the Jedi temple on Coruscant and received training from multiple Jedi masters (Yoda presumably among them?). However, when the Clone Wars came to an end and the Empire took over, he was stolen away from the temple and hidden. From there, Ahsoka says his memory is dark and she senses fear developing in him. We all know what fear leads to!
What does Ahsoka want with the Magistrate?
Ahsoka says the Magistrate plundered numerous worlds to help the Empire build its star fleet. She’s a nasty piece of work to be sure, but Ahsoka manages to best her in a thrilling action sequence which culminates in a lightsaber vs. Beskar spear duel. In the meantime, Mando wins his stand-off with the Magistrate’s second in command (Michael Biehn). After the fighting is done, Ahsoka demands the Magistrate tell her the location of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a name which will send the hearts of “Star Wars” fans aflutter. Thrawn is an evil blue-skinned, red-eyed Imperial officer who was first introduced in Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars novels and also appeared in the “Star Wars: Rebels” animated series. The last we saw of him, he was being dragged into an unknown part of hyperspace with “Rebels” protagonist Ezra Bridger. At the very end of “Rebels,” Ahsoka set off to find them, so clearly she’s still on that mission.
Will Baby Yoda (Grogu if you’re willing) be trained in the Force?
Mando assumes that he has finished his quest by bringing Grogu to Ahsoka, however, she refuses to train him, saying that Baby’s attachment to Mando makes training him dangerous. She has seen Jedi knights succumb to that kind of attachment (referencing herself and likely Anakin Skywalker as well), and tells Mando it’s best to let Baby’s force powers sink away. But Mando insists that he be trained, so thankfully the tearful farewells are put on hold, and Ahsoka tells Mando to take the diminutive fellow to the planet Tython. There, he will find the ruins of a Jedi temple that has a strong connection with the force. Ahsoka instructs Mando to place Grogu on “the seeing stone” at the top of the mountain, at which point there’s a chance a Jedi could come searching for him. But that prospect is pretty slim given that there aren’t many Jedi left at this point.
Will we see Ahsoka again?
After such a spectacular debut, the question is will we see Ahsoka again? Given both the quest to find Thrawn (which …. does that mean we’ll get a live action Thrawn in “Mandalorian”?) and the powerful force kick Ahsoka brings to the whole series, “Star Wars” fans would surely be devastated if this was our one and only glimpse of Dawson in action. But then again, we only saw Boba Fett for half a second and it’s unclear whether Bo-Katan will be back or not, so who knows? Here’s hoping for more Ahsoka and for more episodes like “The Jedi.”