The Mandalorian delivers yet again this week with “The Jedi.” The fandom has been holding its collective breath since the announcement that fan favorite character Ahsoka Tano would be joining the cast of The Mandalorian in her first live-action appearance. Ahsoka’s first live-action appearance did not disappoint.
There’s lots to love in episode 2×05. As predicted in our last review, this seems to be the pivot of the story this season. Here’s a list of things that had us geeking out about “The Jedi.”
- Costuming and makeup for Ahsoka is ON. POINT. Massive props to the costuming and makeup departments at Disney for bringing a CGI-only character to life in such a fantastic way.
- I was not 100% aware that Beskar could withstand lightsaber hits, which made for quite the shock when Mando and Ahsoka clashed.
- Again, in true classic Star Wars fashion, we have not one, but TWO showdowns/“gunfights”, leaning hard into this space western motif. However, what made those showdowns special is their locale. The Magistrate’s fortress is not unlike a samurai fortress in an Akira Kurosawa film, another of Lucas’ inspirations in the original Star Wars trilogy. It was so nice to see a visual homage to another classic Star Wars inspiration in The Mandalorian, which continues to prove that it’s still the most classic Star Wars anything since classic Star Wars.
- As a fan of the Alien franchise, it was so fun to see Michael Biehn (Corporal Hicks in Aliens, Kyle Reese in Terminator) guest star as Lang in this episode.
- GROGU! Baby Yoda’s name is GROGU! We’re all still calling the little guy Baby Yoda though, right? Right.
- Though this occurs many years after Ahsoka’s last confrontation with her former mentor, Anakin Skywalker, the pain of his betrayal still runs deep. Her every word drips with the sorrow of the loss of her friend, both his turn to the Dark Side and his physical death as well, thus her extreme caution in choosing not to train Grogu as a Jedi.
- Seeing how deeply attached Baby Yoda has become to Mando isn’t surprising, but it’s also clear that leaving the little guy with Ahsoka would have been incredibly difficult for Mando too.
- THAT NAME DROP AT THE END. Grogu isn’t the only big name drop this season–“Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?” had me gasping and squeeing. It’s so fun to see how The Mandalorian continues to tie in Star Wars: Rebels and The Clone Wars. For those of you not in the loop about Grand Admiral Thrawn, just trust that he is truly one of the baddest dudes on the block. You can learn more about his role in the “Legends” and his role in the new canon on Wookieepedia.