It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for. Was it worth the wait?
We got a lot of info dumping this episode, which was inevitable given Ahsoka’s grand entrance. We learned a LOT about Baby Yoda’s past (including his name). Furthermore, an important Imperial antagonist still lives and may make a future appearance.
“Chapter 13” functions as a traditional western and samurai mashup. Mando arrives on Corvus in a newly repaired Razor Crest ready to meet Ahsoka. He stumbles upon Calodan, a city run by tyrranical Imperial magistrate Morgan Elsbeth.
However, Ahsoka’s been busy fighting off the magistrate’s band of soldiers. This made for a cool lone samurai reference, especially with a character like Ahsoka.
Ahsoka and Din’s paths cross, and we learn just who Baby Yoda actually is. Then, we quickly move on to this week’s mission.
Ahsoka’s fight scenes drew me in immediately. It was obvious a lot of time, effort, and attention to detail went into the choreography. Every moment was carefully curated.
Even the cinematography flourished in all the right places. When the reveals happened, the setting allowed them to settle. Corvus appears as a bleak and lifeless place at first glance, much like Ahsoka’s hope for Baby Yoda’s Jedi training.
All in all, it was impressive return for Ahsoka. We may not see her again for a while, but it works. We now have a new objective: find the Jedi Temple. And with Moff Gideon not far behind, I’m sure we’re heading into the best this season has to offer.
The Moff Gideon showdown is coming.
I wasn’t expecting that, and that’s a good thing.
Okay, I finally conceded to the Mission of the Week format. It’s obviously staying. The showrunners made that clear at this point. Luckily, our favorite duo’s side quest packed plenty of action and foreshadowing.
We find ourselves back in Nevarro (where all the interesting stuff happens anyway) to repair the Razor Crest. Of course, Din gets swooped into another mission because he’s Din. And what is this mission? Destroy some more Imperials, of course!
Except, that’s when the new plot developments start rolling in.
The gang learns that Moff Gideon is, in fact, alive. They also learn via Dr. Pershing (as a hologram) why the Imperials need baby Yoda. My guess? Girl, they trying to make a clone Sith army.
And honestly, if that’s truly the plan, I’m REALLY going to side eye the First Order still using Storm Troopers. Like what is their purpose besides selling new toys? Okay never mind. I’ll stop being cynical.
Back to “Chapter 12.” We end our side quest with a high speed chase and a scene with Gideon revealing he’s placed a tracking device on Mando’s ship. So, expect a showdown in the season finale at least.
We lost some of the momentum from last week’s episode, but I’m okay with it. There were still plenty of important plot beats to move things forward. Now, with the Razor Crest repaired, it’s time to complete our quest.
Ahsoka Tano is coming!
Now we’re getting somewhere! Quite literally.
In my earlier reviews, I lamented at the lack of clear plot progression. “Chapter 12” succeeded in knocking my opinions flat on their backs. We not only meet other, native-born Mandalorians. A crucial detail about our protagonist materializes: he’s been indoctrinated.
Fans have long speculated Din was adopted by the Death Watch during the Clone Wars. Now, we have our confirmation, which gives Din MUCH more depth and opens him up for quite a few character moments.
There’s still the Mission of the Week format, but it works here. Clearly, the showrunners want to fold overarching plot developments into each mission. We just get a little bit more each episode. Viewers like some level of routine, so I can appreciate that that.
We learn the Imperial outcasts have quite a bit of firepower left, led by the incredibly capable Moff Gideon. We also learn the whereabouts of Ahsoka Tano, which is really what we’ve all been waiting for.
“Chapter 12” displays a near-perfect blend of humor, tension, and world-building all in its 30-minute run time. It didn’t feel like a short episode, as there was a lot to process. So, with that being said, maybe I should just trust that the showrunners and their decision to slow-burn us to death.
Clearly, they know when and how to quickly bring us up to speed.
Yup, it’s another dungeon quest and Boss battle.
I’ll give kudos to this episode for trying something different (or for not forcing us to look at sand anymore). “Chapter 10” offers a subtlety in the place of clear plot momentum.
We still have the main objective: find the Jedi. However, as I mentioned in the previous review, we’re still gonna have some sidequests along the way. Thankfully, this side quest manages to shed light on an important dynamic for our protagonist: parenthood.
From the first episode of the series, we knew Mando was going to be conflicted with his feelings about taking Baby Yoda under his care. Heck, it’s a strong possibility he’ll be quite reluctant to part with the adorable blob once he meets the Jedi.
So what role does the Mandalorian want to fill for his charge? We’ll need a few more episodes for that question to be completely answered, but “Chapter 10” succeeds in foreshadowing what will surely be a critical character moment.
Nevertheless, “Chapter 10” still feels like an unnecessary episode, but it’s at least better than “Chapter 9” and its return to the Wild West schtick. With only 6 chapters left to go, this needs to be the final episode where we get no new developments.
I’m sure Disney+ wants to keep the “I only subscribed for Mandalorian” numbers up, so here’s to hoping we there’s a narrative shift next episode. We’ve had enough side quests. It’s time to continue with the main storyline.
Are there other important planets besides Tatooine?
The Mandalorian kicked off its season premiere with more of the same and came across as more of a retread of earlier story elements.
After a fantastic season finale, many fans were expecting a narrative shift that would more directly follow the reveals and outcomes of the season 1 finale. However, it seems season 2 wants to take the slow approach, which is fine. I’m all for subverting fan expectations, ESPECIALLY Star Wars fans. We’re annoying.
Still, it would have been nice to see some sort of nod or tease thrown in the mix. Where is Moff Gideon? Where did Cara Dune end up? Is Greef Karga planning a new way to double-cross someone? It would have been nice to see what they’ve been up to (and plotting).
An episode like “Chapter 9” wouldn’t be so glaringly tedious if not for the fact that we’re only getting 8 episodes this season. Did we need to get sidetracked in Mos Eisley yet again? Did we need another Boba Fett tease? Just wheel the guy out already!
Not every episode needs to be a mind-bending, plot twisting, explosions and cool poses extravaganza, but more of the same won’t cut it this season. There are other, more creative ways to make us wait for our questions to get answered.
All in all, this season still holds plenty of promise. The “go find Jedis” mission rings very much like an RPG video game objective. However, from the looks of “Chapter 9,” we’re going to be going on a lot of side quests until things get interesting.