The Mandalorian this week answered some big Baby Yoda questions, thanks to the much anticipated — and spot-on! — introduction of another Clone Wars character.
We the viewers actually arrived at the planet Corvus ahead of Mando, where we saw Calodan city magistrate Morgan Elsbeth (stunt performer Diana Lee Inosanto) and right-hand man Lang (Michael Biehn) oversee a clash in the nearby dark, dead forest — between numerous guards and a double lightsaber-wielding Ahsoka Tano (played by Rosario Dawson, looking as cartoon-accurate as one could ever hope). When the formidable Jedi emerges from the woods triumphant, Elsbeth refuses to part with the knowledge she seeks. Undeterred, Ahsoka Tano gives the magistrate one day to change her mind. Or else.
The Razor Crest touches down in the forest, and Mando (with the Child still in a shoulder bag) approaches the city wall, telling Lang he is in fact a Guild hunter, and in need of a layover. After receiving an arms-length reception from the frightened villagers inside, Mando is brought to the magistrate, who offers him a fine fighting staff made of pure Beskar — in trade for him killing the Jedi in the forest. After all, are Jedi not enemies of Mandalore?
In the forest, Mando is attacked by Ahsoka Tano, but he fends her off by declaring that Bo-Katan sent him, and they need to talk. “I hope it’s about him,” Ahsoka Tano says, nodding at the Child. We then see Mando pacing as Ahsoka Tano sits with the Child in what appears to be silent “conversation.” “Do you understand him?” asks Mando. “In a way,” Ahsoka Tano answers. “Grogu and I can hear each other’s thoughts.”
Yep, Grogu is Baby Yoda’s true name. Yea or nay, folks?
Ahsoka Tano proceeds to relay that Grogu was raised in a Jedi temple on Coruscant, where many masters trained over the years. At end of the Clone Wars, the Child was hidden — until someone took him from the temple. “Then his memory becomes dark,” says Ahsoka Tano. “He was lost, alone.” Ahsoka Tano says she has only known one other being like this: the wise Jedi master Yoda. She then laments that the Jedi Order fell a long time ago — “so did the Empire, but they still hunt him,” Mando counters. “He needs your help.”
The next morning, Ahsoka Tano tests Grogu, but he comes up short. Mando is invited to lead the testing, and he has much more success in inviting the Child to use the Force to take the shiny, coveted control lever knob from him. Upon witnessing that, Ahsoka Tano declares that she cannot train Grogu, saying that his attachment to Mando makes him “vulnerable to his fears, his anger…. I’ve seen what such feelings can do to a fully trained Jedi knight,” and she will not start him down that path. Instead, she counsels Mando to let the Child’s abilities fade. Mando reveals that the magistrate sent him to kill her. He offers to help Ahsoka Tano with that problem, if she will then see to it Grogu is properly trained.
Ahsoka Tano says that the magistrate is Morgan Elsbeth, whose people were massacred during the Clone Wars; afterward, she used her anger to help build the Imperial Starfleet. Ahsoka Tano makes clear that freeing the prisoners being tortured in the city square is Priority One, and they proceed with their attack. Ahsoka Tano storms and leaps onto the perimeter wall, taking out guard after guard after guard. Inside, she is met by Lang, more guards and two battle droids. As they engage in a bit of cat-and-mouse amid the maze-like market booths, Mando jetpacks in and frees the prisoners with the help of a villager. After Ahsoka Tano takes out all of the guards and one droid, she heads off to find the magistrate, while Mando readies for a showdown with Lang.
In her duel with a Beskar staff-wielding Morgan Elsbeth, Ahsoka Tano loses one saber yet comes out on top, and then presses for the knowledge she seeks: “Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?!” Lang meanwhile tries to outwit Mando by laying down his rifle but then reaching for a sidearm, but gets zapped in his tracks. The villager from before then warns Mando before the second droid can blindside him from a rooftop, and Mando guns down that droid as well.
As that villager is anointed “mayor” or something by his friends, Ahsoka Tano gives the Beskar staff to Mando, saying it belongs with a Mandalorian. When Mando goes back to the ship to wake Grogu, Ahsoka Tano catches up to him and insists she cannot train the Child. She does offer another possibility, though, directing Mando to the planet Tython, where he’ll find the ruins of an ancient temple. “Place Grogu on the seeing stone on the top of the mountain,” she says, and the Child will choose his path. If he reaches out to the Force, a Jedi knight may sense his presence and come searching for him. “Then again, there are not many Jedi left,” she reminds, before sending Mando off with a “May the Force be with you.”
What did you think of the episode “The Jedi,” and seeing a live-action Ahsoka Tano?