Warning: This article contains spoilers for Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian
At long last, the episode many fans have been waiting for has arrived. After months of speculation and rumor surrounding the character, Ahsoka Tano has made her live-action debut. Ahsoka, who first debuted back in 2008 in the computer-animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars had become the staple for a new generation of Star Wars fans as well as pushed female-inclusivity in the franchise to new heights. After being voiced by Ashley Eckstein in numerous different projects over the last twelve years, Rosario Dawson (Daredevil, Sin City, Men in Black II) has been cast to play the character in live-action.
Let’s dive into the content of this episode! Following the adventure and revelations on Nevarro last week, Din Djarin and the Child finally arrive on the forest planet of Corvus. Here we find that Ahsoka is at war with a magistrate by the name of Morgan Elsbeth, a victim of the Clone Wars who ended up making starships for the Empire. Upon arriving on Corvus, Din strikes a deal with Elsbeth, in which he kills Tano in exchange for a spear of pure beskar. Din, of course, never intends to kill Tano, instead uses the bounty as a way to locate her.
Once the two finally meet, Ahsoka immediately takes interest in the Child. She communes with him through the Force, after which we learn the Child is named Grogu, a former padawan of the Jedi Order who was hidden after the Great Jedi Purge. Tano insists that she cannot train Grogu, but agrees to help if Din can help her rescue the village Elsbeth has under siege. Typical Star Wars action ensues, and concludes with a duel between Tano and Elsbeth in which the former bests the latter. Ahsoka seeks knowledge from Elsbeth, asking “Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?”
The episode ends with Tano again saying that she cannot train Grogu, but if Din takes the Child to the planet Tython where an old Jedi Temple rests, Grogu can reach out with the Force and possibly commune with a Master who will come looking for him. The two then go their separate ways as the credits begin to roll.
As I expressed last week, this episode is something I have looked forward to for years, while being simultaneously terrified for this moment. Ahsoka Tano is one of my favorite characters to emerge from the Star Wars universe and translating her character from animation to live-action would not be an easy task and truthfully I feared that it could not be possible. However, this episode is written and directed by Dave Filoni, who alongside George Lucas, created the character of Ahsoka all those years ago. Filoni has since been one of a small group of creators to touch the character, and he has guided her journey all the way up to this point and most certainly beyond.
After a shaky opening sequence, I must admit the Filoni, Favreau, and Dawson all did an incredible job bringing the character to life in this episode. From costume design to performance and stunt coordination, this felt like Ahsoka Tano every second she was on-screen. I could not be more impressed with how she was handled. While I still wish that Ashley Eckstein could have provided the voice or even the live-action portrayal, Dawson did a great job playing an older Ahsoka and I would not mind seeing her appear again in future seasons of the show.
It is hard to try and break down everything that has occurred in this episode, but one of the highlights that stood out to me was learning more about the Child, now officially known as Grogu. Learning that Grogu was once a youngling at the Jedi Temple prior to Order 66 is a really interesting tidbit and something that I did not expect. I fully expected Grogu to come from the planet that his species lives on and that is it. Giving the character such a rich and tragic backstory only adds more to his character. Ahsoka mentions that “someone” took him from the Temple. I look forward to learning more about that story over time and seeing who that character might be.
Oddly enough, the person I have not talked about in this episode is Din Djarin himself. It is interesting to see how his character is simultaneously evolving while other major plot points are being unraveled. In this episode, we begin to see the attachment that Din has grown with Grogu, and the bond that the two are beginning to have. This will certainly carry the story onward as Grogu must make a decision about his future – to train as a Jedi or stay with Din.
Without divulging into heavy lore discussion, some of you might have recognized the name Grand Admiral Thrawn that was dropped at the end of the episode. Thrawn originally debuted in Star Wars Legends, but was reintroduced into canon through the animated series Star Wars Rebels. Without revealing too many spoilers, Thrawn was last seen with Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger before disappearing into unknown space and Ahsoka is most certainly looking for them both. There has long been speculation and rumor of a sequel series to Rebels and this episode certainly seemed to tease that, although whether that series is live-action or animated remains to be seen. I highly recommend you watch both Rebels and The Clone Wars series if you are interested in learning more about Ahsoka’s character.
Looking ahead to next week, I really cannot speculate any further than what we learned this episode. Unless there is a new trailer imminent, we have no released footage for the remainder of the season. I certainly hope that next episode Din and Grogu travel to Tython, but knowing the style of the show, this may not be the case. Unlike the planet Corvus introduced this week, we do have some canonical and Legends information about Tython. It is located in the galaxy’s Deep Core and many believe it is is the location of the first Jedi Temple, although there are many planets in canon that are believed to be the home of the Jedi. In Legends, Tython was a pivotal planet in the story of the Jedi, as it was home to its predecessors, the Je’daii. It has two moons, Ashla and Bogan, which have been re-canonized as early names for the Light and the Dark, respectively. There is much history here with this planet, and I look forward to what lore surprises this creative team have in store for us moving forward. It is also important to remember that the Razor Crest is being tracked by Moff Gideon, so expect his reappearance sometime soon.
What did you think of this episode of The Mandalorian? Where do you think the show goes from here? Let us know in the comments below and on our social media pages!