Greetings from a galaxy far, far away! This week, we continue our journey with Din Djarin (a.k.a., The Mandalorian) and Grogu (a.k.a., The Child), as I review and analyze The Mandalorian S2E6, “Chapter 14: The Tragedy.” This week’s episode delivers a lot, including exactly what the title promises. Mando and Grogu have barely escaped tragedies all season long. It looks like their luck has finally run out.
This episode moves the story right along. I heard earlier this week that it was the shortest one of the season, clocking in at less than 34 minutes including the recap and credits. Some speculated that would mean this week was another diversion from Mando’s primary mission and this would be a standalone adventure. With only this episode plus two more left this season, there isn’t time for side adventures. Luckily, Jon Favreau and crew take us straight to the action.
Time to Part
The Mandalorian S2E6 opens in the Razor Crest cockpit as our heroes head to Tython, with Mando talking to Grogu about his future. Mando shows that he is able to do some light training with Grogu, but he knows he can’t really teach him. There is too much Mando doesn’t know and, as he states, Grogu is simply too powerful. Mando believes that the best things for Grogu would be to go off with a Jedi, if one wants to train him, and fulfill his potential.
This scene is a sad one. It seems clear that neither wants to separate. Mando doesn’t want to see his clan come to an end, but knows he must let Grogu go. Just like any other parent, he knows Grogu needs to go his own way to flourish. Grogu also expresses, through his grunts (as the subtitles call them) that he doesn’t want to go. The show has consistently used this noise, perhaps more like a raspberry, when Grogu doesn’t agree with what Mando is saying. Regardless, they both seem resigned they will have to part ways soon.
The Seeing Stone
It doesn’t take long for Mando to find the seeing stone above the Jedi temple. Finding it, though, and figuring out how it works are completely different things. I am curious about the blue butterflies that approach Grogu and the seeing stone as Mando looks for some way to activate it. The camera focuses on the first butterfly a little too long for it to be meaningless. Additionally, Grogu soon finds himself surrounded by these butterflies, right before the stone activates. Grogu enters a trance while surrounded by a blue Force field. Are the butterflies a manifestation of the Force? Are they simply attracted to Force users?
Apparently, blue butterflies appeared in a Ben Solo episode of the animated Star Wars Roll Out, and this has spawned a fan theory dealing with resurrection. I don’t know whether or not there is anything to this theory, but resurrection is certainly a theme of The Mandalorian S2E6. We already knew that Boba Fett was back from the dead. In this episode, we soon find out that Ming-Na Wen’s Fennec Shand is also seemingly risen from the dead. Could this become even more of a theme as we move forward, especially when we look at it in the light of Emperor Palpatine’s resurrection in The Rise of Skywalker? Is this another clue that Gideon is trying to bring back the Emperor?
Grogu’s success with the seeing stone brings even bigger questions. What did he see? Did he contact a Jedi, or did one see him? What path will he choose? I still believe it is likely Grogu will end up remaining Clan Mudhorn, but maybe he will spend some time with a Jedi. If so, who will accept him? It is possible that Ahsoka will change her mind. As I mentioned in last week’s article, we know that Luke Skywalker is around. Ezra Bridger may or may not have returned from the Unknown Regions. Leia is out there, too, but is an unlikely trainer. Could we see another, unknown Jedi respond to Grogu’s call?
While Grogu is in his Force trance, Mando hears a ship approaching. It is tempting to think the remnant found him or somehow a Jedi was already responding. Temping, that is, until we see the ship fly by the temple. The ship is immediately recognizable as Boba Fett’s Slave I. This ship was first seen in The Empire Strikes Back, as Boba Fett hunted Han Solo. We saw it again in Attack of the Clones, when it was owned and piloted by Boba Fett’s father, Jango Fett. Somehow, Fett has tracked down Mando and Grogu.
After “Chapter 9: The Marshal,” I wondered if Fett would chase Mando down for his armor and serve as an adversary. It turns out, I was only half right. Fett has indeed been searching of his armor. He demands Mando return it. If he does not, Fett tells Mando that the resurrected cyborg Fennec Shand, last seen apparently dead in “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger,” is targeting Grogu. Fett shows he doesn’t want a fight and has no hard feelings toward Mando. He just wants what is his returned to him.
It is unclear to me how Boba Fett chased down Mando. He says that he has been trailing Mando, but we haven’t really seen any hints at his pursuit since “Chapter 9: The Marshall.” This is one of the few areas where I feel like the creative team may have erred. While I can see an argument for saying it is more effective to have Fett’s appearance be a complete surprise, I think the show could have built suspense by showing Fett getting closer to his quarry each episode.
…Followed by the Imperials
In The Mandalorian S2E6, Slave I isn’t the only ship to appear on the scene. The Imperial Remnant shows up on Tython, having tracked down Mando via the homing beacon the Imperial spy placed on the Razor Crest. Their appearance quickly defuses any conflict between Mando, Boba Fett and Fennec Shand. The three quickly join forces to fight the Imperial Forces, under the agreement that Mando will return Fett’s armor in exchange for Fett and Shand ensuring Grogu’s safety.
This team does extremely well against the Stormtroopers. Fett displays his legendary fighting skills (really the first time we have seen them on screen), whether it is with a blaster, a gaffi stick or knee missiles. Fennec Shand shows exactly why she is so dangerous—she never misses. Mando continues to show his skill and his bravery, charging into the line of fire. It doesn’t take long before the few remaining Stormtroopers retreat.
While The Mandalorian S2E6 is called “The Tragedy,” it really has two. One involves the Razor Crest; the other, Grogu.
Season 2 has been particularly hard on the Razor Crest. Through the first five episodes of this season, we’ve seen the ship crash onto an ice shelf, fall several stories from there, get stomped and ripped apart by ice spiders, crash into the ocean, and nearly get stuck in deep space. In this episode, we see the Razor Crest meet its ultimate end, as Moff Gideon’s star destroyer vaporizes the ship. The explosion leaves nothing but ash, a few random components, Grogu’s favorite shifter knob, and the beskar spear.
Though our heroes were able to fight off the Remnant Stormtroopers, Moff Gideon has more cards to play. We saw at the end of The Mandalorian S2E4 that Gideon is creating an army. I posited that Gideon was trying to create an army of force-powerful warriors, maybe modeled after Darth Vader. It appears I may have missed the mark. When Gideon deploys these warriors, we find out they are Darktroopers. These troopers originally appeared in the Star Wars: Battlefront video game, and are advanced model battle droids. If they are truly droids, it is unlikely they are Force powered—unless, that is, they have an organic component and are actually cyborgs like Fennec Shand.
The Darktroopers are able to reach Grogu before Mando, and capture him. They return to Gideon’s star destroyer, where Gideon locks him up. Gideon and Dr. Pershing once again have their midichlorian donor. The question again becomes why do they need his midichlorians. Given the lab we saw on Nevarro in The Mandalorian S2E4, the use of Snoke’s theme in that episode, and the resurrection themes, it seems like Gideon end game is most likely trying to bring back The Emperor (and maybe creating Snoke in the process).
A question in Star Wars fandom that has long been debated is whether Boba and Jango Fett are Mandalorians or just bounty hunters who wear the armor. Some sources indicate the former, while others indicate the latter. The Mandalorian S2E6 seems to give us the answer. Boba Fett tells us that Jango was a foundling, just like Mando. Additionally, he fought in the Mandalorian civil war. It turns out Jango was indeed a Mandalorian. Boba, on the other hand, says “I give my allegiance to no one.” Boba was likely born a Mandalorian, but no longer seems to follows the creed.
Even if he isn’t a Mandalorian, Fett displays Mandalorian honor. Fett makes a deal with Mando that if he returns his armor, Fett will ensure the safety of Grogu. Even though Fett essentially steals the armor back from Mando, he still is determined to fulfill his end of the bargain and help Mando save Grogu.
Thoughts and Theories
- Fennec Shand says the bounty for Grogu has gone up significantly. Even once Mando rescues him, Grogu won’t be out of the woods.
- Fennec Shand is not the first cyborg we have seen in Star Wars. The most notable one from the past is Revenge of the Sith’s General Grievous. Others include various servants seen in both Solo and Rogue One.
- The medal-like object that Carson Teva gave Cara Dune at the end of “Chapter 4: The Siege” turns out to be a New Republic Marshal Badge. Cara is now formally an official of the New Republic. I guess she is a joiner.
- Mando tells Cara Dune that he needs to spring Migs Mayfeld, who is serving 50 years in the Karthon Chop Field. Mando believes he needs his help to locate Grogu. Last season, Mayfeld showed he wanted to see Mando burn. Will he be willing to help Mando? Will he agree and then betray him?
- Grogu’s Force powers continue to grow. In addition to his success in using the seeing stone, Grogu throws his Stormtrooper guards around like rag dolls. That said, he is still limited in how much he can use the Force before becoming exhausted.
- Is the beskar spear simply highly valuable, or is it something more? I wonder if it will turn out to be some type of “mythic” weapon, given it was one of the few things to survive the destruction of the Razor Crest. Maybe it will be the weapon that ultimately kills the Force-powerful being Gideon appears to be trying to create. Maybe it will become a symbol of his future leadership in Mandalorian society.
- Robert Rodriguez joins the list of The Mandalorian directors. He is best known for El Mariachi, Sin City and Spy Kids.
Memorable Lines from The Mandalorian S2E6
- “Looks like that’s the magic rock I’m supposed to take you to down there.”
- “Can you please hurry up?”
- “But fate sometimes steps in to rescue the wretched.”
- “That’s it, kid. We got to get out of here.”
- “Nice shot.” “I was aiming for the other one.”
- “This isn’t a spice dream.”
- “Until he is returned to you safely, we are in your debt.”
- “You’re not ready to play with such things.”
A Bounty Captured
The Mandalorian S2E6 “Chapter 14: The Tragedy” continues this season’s streak of amazing episodes. While this episode is heartbreaking, Mando is determined to get Grogu back and appears to have a plan. He is forming an all-star team and looking to expand it. I fully expect that in the next episode will see Mando ready to launch his rescue attempt, with Cara Dune, Greef Karga, Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, Cobb Vanth, Mythrol and Migs Mayfeld in tow. Maybe we will see others join, like The Armorer, Peli Motto, Carson Teva or even Frog Lady. Will Bo-Katan, Koska Reeves and Axe Woves sign up to help him? Might Ahsoka Tano make a return? Will we see another Jedi, like Ezra Bridger, show up to help Grogu fulfill his destiny? We only have two more episodes this season to find out.
If you have comments, theories or other easter eggs I didn’t mention, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
This is the Way.