The Mandalorian journeys to a world ruled by a cruel magistrate who has made a powerful enemy.
PLOT / STORY
Well, that was something. "Chapter 13 - The Jedi" hit the ground running, taking no time bring Ahsoka Tano into the fold with a thrilling action sequence. It was made clear immediately that she had a purpose for what she was doing, and unlike in eras past, she had no qualms with killing her enemies.
At long last, Din Djarin was able to reach his destination and fulfill his quest of finding one of the Child's kind. Mando "accepting" the magistrate's proposition to find and kill Ahsoka was just a means to end, as finding the (former) Jedi was always his ultimate goal.
And their meeting widened Din's perspective on the world as Tano told him about the Force. "Chapter 13" was the biggest character building episode The Mandalorian has had since Season 1, and it set up the plot that will likely carry us through the rest of this season while also hinting at a much bigger story at play. - Andrew Gilman
ACTING / PERFORMANCES
It's a weekly tradition by now, but Pedro Pascal must once again be commended for his performance. Din Djarin was raised in a very rigid and strict culture, one that allowed little room for outside influence or flexibility in terms of bending the rules. The journey the character has taken in Season 2 is eye opening for the character, and Pascal's acting was exceptional as Mando learned about the Force and the baby he's grown such a tight bond with.
And now we must discuss Rosario Dawson. The anticipation for the live-action debut of Ahsoka Tano reached biblical heights, and the actress did not disappoint. It's always a bit jarring to see a familiar character in a new medium for the first time, but Dawson was able to portray Ahsoka in a way that felt like a seamless transition from animation to live-action. - Andrew Gilman
PRODUCTION - CINEMATOGRAPHY, MUSIC, EDITING, ETC.
The first thing that needs to be addressed is the music. Season 1's score was entirely new and free of influence, but hints of familiar cues by John Williams had started to appear briefly in this second season. That trend continued, as there was a small rendition of Yoda's theme and many instances where Kevin Kiner's theme for Ahsoka was sprinkled throughout "Chapter 13" - but in ways that felt organic and fit the mold of what Ludwig Goransson has established for The Mandalorian.
As always, the production quality was top of the line. The dim lighting perfectly fit the unique city on Corvus, and the use of the lamp in the woods masterfully represented the light beacon our heroes are shining as in these dark times. For the first time, white lightsabers have now appeared in live-action, and while they looked weird at first, it gradually became more natural.
"Chapter 13" was Dave Filoni's one and only directorial episode of Season 2, and we once again have to tip our caps to him. As great as his episodes were in the first season, massive improvements could be seen in "The Jedi" that showed us that the Cowboy Hat is becoming much more comfortable with live-action. The beginning and final battle sequences were so well directed, and the writing expanded our understanding of the show while staying true to the characters. - Andrew Gilman
A LARGER WORLD
Grogu. That's gonna take some getting used to.
We can finally stop calling him Baby Yoda, though that nickname is going to stick for a while. At last, the Child's history has been revealed, and he's got a much more familiar background than people thought. Grogu was a Jedi Initiate during the Prequel Trilogy era but was taken and hidden by someone during Order 66, and where and by whom while remain great points of intrigue.
We can't talk about growing connections to the rest of Star Wars without addressing Grand Admiral Thrawn. When Ahsoka said she was seeking the magistrate's master, the immediate presumption was that the person in question was Moff Gideon. It turns out, Ahsoka is on the hunt for Thrawn and, presumably, Ezra Bridger.
When we last saw the pair, the Purgil were blasting the Chimaera off into hyperspace above Lothal. What became of the adversaries has been a mystery, but it seems like Ahsoka's quest to find her lost friend continues. There's the possibility that she's already found Ezra and her new goal is stop the threat posed by Thrawn, but the canon has been establishing a storyline that seems to be aiming more towards the Grand Admiral protecting his own people versus oppressing others.
Everything about Ahsoka was amazing to see. She's still got her white lightsabers from Star Wars Rebels, we got a subtle reference to Anakin's fall, and the call heard as an owl rested in the trees indicated that Morai was present. Next up for Mando is the planet Tython, the original home of the Jedi in Legends and a similar site in canon. For a show that once felt self-contained, The Mandalorian has now become as big a part of the story of Star Wars as any. - Andrew Gilman
What an episode. As was said above, it'll take a bit of time to get used seeing Ahsoka Tano in live-action, but not long. There's no better person to write the character's debut than Dave Filoni, and he did a phenomenal job. The heroine is such an important part of Star Wars, and her involvement in The Mandalorian perfectly fit the needs of the character and the story.
One of the initial concerns going into the season was that it would feel a bit like a "cameo of the week" type of run. All of those concerns have been laid to rest, as the focus of the series still remains on Din Djarin and Grogu, something that the creators of the series certainly won't be losing sight of.
Over the course of these first two seasons, we've gotten to see how tight of a bond Mando and the Child have forged. Ahsoka said it herself: the baby views Din as a father. For that reason, there's just no way that any Jedi may come along and take Grogu away. The relationship between the two is the center of the series, and that's something that can't be removed without fundamentally changing the show entirely.
Now that Mando knows who he's protecting, expect things to take a turn for the worse. When the duo reaches Tython, it's more likely than not that the baby will choose to stay with his new father, but Moff Gideon is still set to return and things will all go to hell. Fortunately, Mando's got a new Beskar spear to combat the Darksaber, and hopefully his skills will be enough to keep the little one safe. - Andrew Gilman