Main cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Temuera Morrison (Boba Fett), Ming-Na Wen (Fennec Shand), Gina Carano (Cara Dune), and Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon)
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Previously… well, remember the episode The Gunslinger? Fennec Shand is back—it turns out that she was saved by Boba Fett some time after being left for dead, and now these two are partners. I have no issues with that at all, because the best Ming-Na Wen is a kick-ass one. You know, as much as I rag on the empty, performative wokeness of Disney, I am loving the abundance of strong female characters populating this series. They are strong and they are female, but you know what, it’s all done organically and cohesively. There is none of that “Look at us, we are so progressive that our strong female leads are defined by their sex and nothing else because we can’t be arsed to give them an actual personality, character arc, or anything else!” nonsense here.
My only issue here is how poor Mandy is left in the cold as everyone else basically uses his show to audition for their own spin-offs. Give him a break, people, let him have at least one moment to shine in the episode of his own show!
Oh, and before I go on, I have to say: I absolutely love how Mandy has Baby Grogu practice catching the ball-thing with his power while they are on their way to Tython. He’s like a proud daddy wanting his son to impress the baseball talent-seeker or something, and I can only go aww, men with buckets over their heads are so adorable.
So yeah, these two reach Tython and the Jedi Batsignal Temple without any drama, but alas, as we know by the end of the previous episode, Moff Gideon had a tracking device sneaked onto the Razor Crest by a mechanic in his payroll. He and his men swoop in to collect Baby, muahaha. Luckily for Mandy, once again he is met by allies clamoring for their own spinoffs: Boba Fett and Fennec Shand. How, you ask? It’s hilarious: turns out that there are two trackers sneaked onto Razor Crest! Oh, Mandy. He is good at killing things when the plot demands it, but so clueless and gullible at other times.
The meta nature of this episode is almost as prevalent as that of the previous episode. A throwaway remark by Boba Fett as to why he helped Shand actually refers to his supposed death while tumbling to the vagina maw in Return of the Jedi, but one has to read some of those books in the Extended Universe series to get the full picture. Boba Fett, like Ashoka Tano, is also a character whose background and depth will only be appreciated by fans that are familiar with his back story. Well, that or just read his entry in Wokieepedia—that always works. In fact, Tython and the temple itself are the biggest meta elements in this episode. The significance of these locations will be clear only to folks that have followed the Star Wars lore closely. For casual viewers, those locations would come off as odd places for Mandy and Baby to be.
The Tragedy is another great episode, one packed with so many twists and turns that the episode ends up feeling like a far longer roller-coaster ride than it actually is. Sure, our anti-heroic lead characters’ bad-assery are utterly wasted on Stormtroopers and they end up coming off as heavyweight boxers beating the crap out of babies, but Moff Gideon is cool enough to make up for that. I have no idea how there can be such a huge intellectual discrepancy between him and the average Stormtrooper, but I’m not surprised that the Empire is a standard inclusion in any YouTube video or article that touches on villainous factions that are too stupid to exist.
Anyway, great episode. This and the previous episode almost make up for the fact that half or so of this season so far had been fillers. If the show would keep this up, I may actually end up having a great time after all!