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‘The Mandalorian’ Chapter 14 is a Salacious Bounty Hunter Three-Way

The latest chapter delivers on the season premiere’s action figure promise, but don’t let it distract from the heart beating at the center of this story.
The Mandalorian Chapter
By  · Published on December 4th, 2020

The Mandalorian Explained is our ongoing series that keeps an eye on Lucasfilm’s saga about the Galaxy’s most dangerous single dad. In this entry, we look at what went down in The Mandalorian Chapter 14 — the sixth episode of Season 2 — and consider the path ahead. Yes, there be spoilers here.

There is no meandering after last week’s revelations. Mando Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) does what he was told to do by former Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). He transports Grogu — ah, still loving how we don’t have to refer to him as “The Child” or “Baby Yoda” anymore — to the temple ruins on Tython and places him upon the Seeing Stone.

During their short flight between worlds, it’s clear that Mando has developed a deep affection for the kid. With a name to hang on his companion, Mando delights in encouraging Grogu’s abilities. He sees nothing but bright potential in the foundling, and Mando is like any other parent. He wants Grogu to receive the best possible education he can get.

With no idea who might come calling, Mando continues to have faith that some smart Jedi will fall from the sky and offer up their services. This episode’s cold open puts a smile on our face, but the second Chapter 14’s title card drops, the sunny grin disappears. “The Tragedy” says it all. Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) is knocking on your doorstep, baby.

The runtime may be thirty minutes, but there are no shortcuts for this adoptive family. Every chapter erects a wall between Mando and his plan. Once he realizes ditching the kid was never an option, life won’t get easier, but it will become more focused. There is an entire galaxy out there for father and son to scrub free of leftover Imperial scum.

It’s unclear whether Grogu triggers the stone, or the stone triggers Grogu, but just as the infamous Slave I ship touches down on Tython, a bright blue beam of light blares skyward, encasing Grogu within. Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) has somehow tracked Mando across the stars, and he’s brought a special friend with him. The resurrected Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), last seen with a hole in her gut in Chapter 5, has sworn allegiance to Fett in return for his miraculous medical talents.

Fett demands Mando return his father’s armor, or Shand will pop a cap in Grogu’s tiny noggin. Before their testy exchange of words comes to a completion, a couple of dropships descend on the scene. From their belly spill forth a gaggle of Stormtroopers. As usual, they’re more nuisance than threat.

The three bounty hunters decimate the goon squad. Once Boba Fett obliterates many skulls with his Tusken Raider gaffi stick, he slinks away to steal back his armor from Mando’s Razor Crest. Mando can’t be too mad about it as Fett uses the suit to demolish the remaining soldiers. As a few scatter to their ship and take to orbit, Fett does something we never got to see him do in the movies: he launches the rocket off his back, destroying the two dropships in the process.

This is why you get Robert Rodriguez to direct your episode. The man who made El Mariachi relishes any opportunity to depict the busting of heads. Even if he can’t splatter the screen with squibs, Rodriguez still finds ways to sell the violence through the splattering of Stormtrooper helmet pieces. Boba Fett is a beast, a no-nonsense tough guy treated with the import so many ’80s kids decreed him to have through their action figure role play.

Relief doesn’t last. Moff Gideon calls in the big guns, confirming what we suspected at the end of Chapter 12. After eradicating the Razor Crest with one shot fired from the Imperial cruiser, finally putting Mando’s ship out of its misery, a handful of Dark Troopers fly down to the temple. 

Do they contain any biological bits inside their suits? Does not appear so. Like their Dark Forces video game counterparts, the Dark Troopers are red-eyed, mechanical, and swift. They snatch Grogu into custody, leaving the three bounty hunters twiddling their thumbs.

Boba Fett reveals his chain code to Mando. It explains how Fett’s father, Jango Fett, was a Foundling similar to Mando. Fett even explains that Jango fought in “The Mandalorian Civil Wars,” a conflict between the old school warriors and the New Mandalorian peace movement. When it finished, Bo-Katan Kryze’s sister, Duchess Satine, took control and expelled the extremists off-world.

What side did Jango fight on? Well, considering his role in Attack of the Clones, we can assume he was not on Team Kryze. This could lead to an interesting dynamic between Fett and Bo-Katan if they come face-to-face in this season’s climax.

The final two episodes of The Mandalorian promise a massive cast assemblage. Not only do Fett and Shand hitch their wagon to Mando’s mission to retrieve Grogu, but Cara Dune (Gina Carano) pops up at the end as well. She agrees to bend her newfound position as a Republic Marshall to locate a certain prisoner’s whereabouts.

Thanks to Mando, Migs Mayfeld (Bill Burr) found himself behind bars at the end of Chapter 6. He’s a former Imperial sharpshooter who should know how to track Moff Gideon’s cruiser. With these five toughs bringing the fight to the Empire, can we also expect the inclusion of Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), Bo-Katan, and Ahsoka Tano?

As rad as it would be to see Moff Gideon cross his Darksaber with Tano’s twin blades, the fact that Mando went back to the rubble of the Razor Crest to retrieve his Beskar speer (and Grogu’s favorite silver ball) indicates that he’ll be the one participating in this season’s climactic duel. Daddy can’t let others do the fighting for him. He’s gotta be the one to slap that smug smile off Gideon’s face.

However, the largest question left unanswered after The Mandalorian Chapter 14 is who will answer Grogu’s blue-beam distress call? Ahsoka Tano told Mando last week that if Grogu reached out with the force while upon the Seeing Stone, a proper Jedi should sense his presence and respond. Expect the final frames of The Mandalorian season two to unveil a significant figure from Star Wars lore.

Last season climaxed with Moff Gideon sawing free from his crashed Tie Fighter using the Darksaber. The black blade’s appearance sent a shiver of excitement across the fandom. It was an animated series deep cut, another validation of the Expanded Universe.

The Jedi who responds to Grogu’s call could be another deep cut meant to excite the entrenched geek and puzzle the casual fan. We could meet a live-action Ezra Bridger, the young Jedi lost during the final episode of Star Wars: Rebels and sought after by Ahsoka Tano. Or how about the Force ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi? After all, Ewan McGregor is set to reprise the role in his Disney+ spinoff series.

If Jon Favreau really wanted to blow minds and cause a stir, Luke Skywalker could appear. Thanks to The Last Jedi, we know Luke spent this period of time after Return of the Jedi searching temple ruins, attempting to comprehend his order’s history. His mind is open; he should hear Grogu’s call. And yes, this would be the perfect opportunity to re-cast Luke with Sebastian Stan.

The trick will be finding another reason to keep Mando and Grogu together. The Mandalorian is their story. Not Luke’s. Skywalkers only complicate matters.

Who’s to say a Jedi will answer anyway? What if it’s a Sith? What if it’s Darth Maul? Yes, yes, yes. He’s dead by this point in the timeline, but let’s not forget about those Ray Park rumors. We initially suspected his appearance via an Ahsoka Tano flashback, but what if this baddie found himself another pair of robot legs?

If Maul can come back once, he can come back twice. One merely needs to look at Boba Fett and Fennec Shand for further evidence of Favreau’s willingness to keep his favorite toys around.

With the finale in mind, Chapter 14’s most significant moment remains its opening scene. This show is all about a proud Daddylorian exclaiming joy after witnessing his kid’s potential. On the next ship they get together, they’re going to need a fridge with a lot of space to pin Grogu’s A+ Jedi homework.

Mando does not believe he’s a good enough teacher to aid Grogu, but that’s what every parent thinks at the beginning of their journey. His love won’t allow for a Moff Gideon to get in the way, or a Darth Maul, or a Luke Skywalker. Whatever these last two chapters reveal, the outcome will be father and son together forever.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)