‘The Mandalorian’ episode 2.5 review: The most pivotal episode yet
‘The Mandalorian’ returned with the debut of a new character, a classic story and a lot of exposition about a specific character.
Warning: This article contains spoilers from “The Mandalorian” season 2, episode five. It’s probably best not to read this review unless you’ve watched the episode.
“Star Wars: The Mandalorian” may have just had its most pivotal episode yet and will end up being one of the most memorable episodes from the entire season once it’s wrapped up.
The fifth episode of the season — titled “The Jedi” — features The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and The Child (Baby Yoda) visiting the planet Corvus, where they meet with a Jedi named Ahsoka Tano, who was the same Jedi the Mandalorian set out to find a few weeks back. The two unite to take down the villainous magistrate of the city of Calodan.
This is a significant moment in “Star Wars” history, as Ahsoka Tano was previously an animated character who appeared in “The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels” television shows. She has now made her live action appearance, and it might not be her last.
Here are some key takeaways from the episode.
The opening five minutes will make ‘Clone Wars’ fans want to cry.
I watched the animated series “The Clone Wars” and really connected with the ending of the show, which prominently featured Ahsoka Tano. Her character grew from one of the most criticized to one of the most beloved. Seeing her on the live action screen felt like a fever dream. It was like something you don’t expect to see in your life and then it happens.
The opening minutes of the episode will make those “Clone Wars” fans want to cry from joy at seeing Ahsoka Tano. She’s finally making her big screen appearance. She uses her lightsabers in the way she did in the show. She has the same attitude and manor of speaking. It’s a jarring moment for sure. But it makes you nostalgic for “The Clone Wars” and full of remembrance for her journey through that series.
It was a little surprising how well she works on screen. Taking an animated character and putting her on screen could be risky since she might not seem so natural in the live action world. But that is far from the truth here. Ahsoka looks and feels just like the character seen in “The Clone Wars” animated series.
We learn about Baby Yoda’s origins.
I won’t spoil some of the reveals here, but let’s just say they’re going to shock you. We learned a little bit about where The Child came from, how long he has known about the Force and what even makes him tick.
Learning of his origins was a major development for the show. For more than a year now, we’ve only known that he’s a young child — though he’s technically 50 years old, as the first episode of the series revealed — that can use the Force. Now, we know he’s actually been lightly trained before. And he was learning how to be a Jedi before the Clone Wars. He’s not only a baby. He’s an actual Jedi who has remained in hiding.
The ramifications of this are huge. If he’s really 50 years old and trained at the Jedi Temple, then it means he would have known Yoda, Obi-Wan, Anakin Skywalker — all of the major characters and Jedi masters from that time. It will be fascinating to learn what else Baby Yoda has for us.
Oh, and we learn his name. Yeah. It’s Grogu. That’s cool. We learn Baby Yoda’s actual name! This is something of a game changer for the series as it continues to build out its characters. Now we have a name for one of the biggest character inside and outside the fictional universe.
There’s a huge reveal at the end.
OK, so the episode ends in a way similar to the last, with Mando and The Child heading off on another mission to find out more about Baby Yoda. They’re going to visit a Jedi Temple, where Baby Yoda will make a choice about his path, and that’s really all we know.
But there’s an even bigger reveal about five minutes before the end of the episode. Ahsoka Tano captures the magistrate of Calodan and asks the whereabouts of her master, which is revealed to be ... Grand Admiral Thrawn! Again, another huge reveal on “The Mandalorian.”
For the uninitiated, Grand Admiral Thrawn was a major enemy in the “Star Wars Rebels” series — and had brief run-ins with Ahsoka Tano. He was a prominent figure in the Star Wars Legends books and comics, too, which were wiped from being canon when Disney took over. But he was added back into the franchise soon after. I’ve written about him before for the Deseret News so feel free to read more about him if you’re interested.
This reveal is a big deal. It hints that Ahsoka Tano might be seen again on the show, if she’s truly seeking Grand Admiral Thrawn. Or she could appear on a separate “Star Wars” product as she continues her search. This shows that her journey is not done in the slightest, and we may even get more Ahsoka down the road.
We’ll remember this episode for a long time.
The action wasn’t too plentiful in this episode. Some of the final shootouts and sword fights at the end didn’t hit as well as in previous episodes. The camera shots weren’t perfect either, as the episode focused on faraway camera angles that showed characters walking. Those scenes lasted for a little too long.
But the exposition of the episode suggests we’re going to remember this episode for a long time. We will remember seeing Ahsoka Tano in live action for the first time, and we will remember learning Baby Yoda’s real name and his origins. It also gives us a new direction with Baby Yoda and potentially sets up future storylines and series with Ahsoka.
The ending left little to be desired. There was hope that Ahsoka Tano would go with The Mandalorian to the next location. But this might only be the beginning of Ahsoka’s journey on “The Mandalorian,” and it may only be the first step in Baby Yoda’s path forward.
When we look back at “The Mandalorian” season 2, this will be one of the episodes we remember most.