The Mandalorian knocked it out of the park AGAIN this week with “The Tragedy.” An episode that brings not one, but two characters officially back from the dead, adds more cuteness (and Big Force Energy) from Grogu, Mando expressing some feels, AND puts Robert Rodriguez in the director’s chair? Dare we ask for more next week? I think we’re getting more regardless. Here are a few thoughts about episode 2×06 of The Mandalorian, “The Tragedy.”
Space Western Meets The Lord of the Rings
As it has from day one, The Mandalorian has always placed itself squarely in the genre of space western, but this episode brought visual cues from one of my other favorite films to the screen as well–The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. I mean, those shots of the top of the mountain with the way those stones were placed and Baby Yoda/Grogu in the middle being surrounded by dark troopers brought to mind Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin being descended upon by the Ringwraiths at Weathertop, except in the daylight. I can’t be the only person that noticed this, right? Star Wars has always been intertextual, but it’s fascinating to see The Mandalorian be intertextual in new ways. Considering the genre whiplash a person can get looking at Robert Rodriguez’s resume on IMDB (From Dusk till Dawn to Spy Kids to Grindhouse to Shark Boy and Lava Girl), this really isn’t that much of a stretch to watch two different fantasy worlds (albeit one in space), overlap in this manner.
“But fate sometimes steps in to rescue the wretched.”
As I mentioned in my review of “The Marshal”, one of my hopes for this season would be the return of Fennec Shand. One does not simply ice Ming-Na Wen after one episode and waste all her badassery for nothing. I am quite happy to see my hope did not prove false. It’s so nice to see her back and apparently with a cybernetic six-pack. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen some machinery get integrated into a human to perform a medical miracle–think Luke and his prosthetic hand and of course, the majority of Darth Vader’s body.
It’s not just Fennec back from the dead; Boba’s back too. We saw him first at the end of “The Marshal”, with Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett in The Attack of the Clones and the voice of Boba Fett in Star Wars: Battlefront) taking on the role of Boba Fett, but this time in real life. We also get the answer to the question every OG Star Wars fan had back when we only had the original trilogy–what does Boba Fett look like? It’s hard to keep a Mandalorian down, even when they’re swallowed whole by a sarlaac.
Also, both she and Boba Fett seem to have had a change of heart. They are still bounty hunters, but both are no longer supportive or even indifferent to the Empire. Being left for dead has changed them both. These are powerful allies and it’s quite fortunate that they are on Din Djarin’s side. He’ll need them, especially now that the Razor Crest is dust.
The Force is Strong with this One
Grogu has had us swooning from day one, long before we knew his name. He dialed up the cuteness this episode, but I’ll admit, I think Ahsoka might be right about him; the boy should not be trained. After watching him mess up those stormtroopers in such a merciless way, I got scared. Someone so cute should not also be so deadly. Yes, there’s an argument to be made for self-defense here, which I don’t deny or necessarily disagree with. But I’ll say this–we don’t see the light side doing any force choking. The force is used for self-defense, but to get away, not kill. That scene was disturbing. Will Baby Yoda join the dark side? The way Moff Gideon taunted him with the Darksaber makes me nervous. We shall see what the rest of the season holds.
Rally the Troops
I’m not talking stormtroopers here. Cara Dune did indeed join up with the New Republic, upping her to Marshal of the territory. Though she’s got to play by the rules now, Cara isn’t going to ask for permission when it comes to rescuing her favorite little guy from the clutches of the Empire. Our team is up to Din, Boba, Fennec, and now Cara. They’re about to go pick up another familiar face from season one, Migs Mayfeld (Bill Burr) to round out their team. They’re outnumbered, but this isn’t a team I’d want to face down myself. Hang tight, little guy. Your daddy and posse are coming.
What did you think of “The Tragedy”? Leave us a comment and let’s talk The Mandalorian.
The next episode of The Mandalorian will air on December 11, 2020 on Disney+.