The Mandalorian this week shed light on how exactly Grogu was saved years ago from the Order 66 bloodbath — and the reveal involved a big-time (iffa polarizing!) prequel trilogy callback of sorts.
The early gist of Season 3, Episode 4 (titled “The Foundling”) opened with the first steps in Grogu’s training to eventually rise up to Mandalorian apprentice level. That involved a challenge, against a Mandalorian kid, to a game of “darts” — which in this case are wrist-fired paintballs. The first to score three hits wins, and sure enough, Grogu’s opponent easily splats him with both of his first two salvos. Din counsels Grogu to do that very special thing that he can do, and when the next paint dart heads his way, Grogu somersaults over the kid — and then back-flips to his starting place — before rapid-splatting all three of his darts at his opponent.
Upon being declared the winner, Grogu is led to the forge, where the Armorer turns scraps of Beskar into a rondel (small breastplate) for the child to attach to his chain mail and grow into. But as the Armorer stamps the steel and sparks fly, Grogu’s face melts into the saddest frown you ever did see, as he flashes back to the night that Order 66 was issued.
We’ve seen parts of this memory before, namely multiple Jedi being felled by arriving clone troopers as an especially wee Grogu watches from his nearby pram. But this time around, the sequence continues with one Jedi shouting, “Get the youngling to Kelleran Beq!”
Grogu’s pram is then directed into a nearby lift, whose doors close behind him as even more Jedis fall. When the doors open back up, we meet Kelleran Beq, who is played by Ahmed Best — aka the mo-cap and voice actor for the prequel trilogy’s Jar Jar Binks!
(Best first portrayed Kelleran Beq as the host of the 2020 online game show Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge; he also played a character named Achk Med-Beq in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. I leave it to our smaht commenters to detail any familial connection that might exist.)
After using his dual lightsabers to fend off numerous clone troopers, Beq loads Grogu’s pram into a speeder sidecar, and they fly off into the Coruscant skyline, leaving the burning Jedi temple behind them. Gunships give chase, but Beq evades them with some nimble piloting into and out of a train tunnel. They make a hard landing on a platform, and just before a V-wing arrives with more troopers, Beq and Grogu transfer into a starship and lightspeed away. Grogu comes out of the difficult memory to receive his rondel from the Armorer.
Elsewhere at the Mandalorian covert: A giant raptor swooped down on the sect’s lakefront training session and stole away a child, whom we eventually learn is Paz Vizsla’s son Ragnar. Din, Paz and others give chase, yet their jet packs all run out of fuel — which rarely happens in Star Wars! Bo-Katan in her ship, though, tracks the beast to a nest atop a high peak. She later leads Din, Paz and others on a mission to scale the steep mountain and get Ragnar back. Reaching the nest, they find a trio of raptor chicks, after which momma arrives, coughing up (an alive) Ragnar from her mouth. The Mandalorians battle the beast, using flame throwers, winches and such. Eventually Bo stabs it in its eye, forcing it to release Paz from its talon’s grasp. Moments later, Ragnar is dropped from the other claw and hurtles toward the ground, but Din catches him. The wounded raptor winds up crashing into the lake, where the dinosaur turtle from the season premiere makes a quick meal of it.
Bo’s leadership in the foundling’s successful rescue is deemed “the highest honor of the creed” by the Armorer, who then leads the clan’s new member to the forge. The Armorer makes a shoulder plate to replace one that Bo lost during battle, asking if she wants another Nite-Owl inlay. Bo asks if she can get a Mythosaur instead, and the Armorer happily obliges.
Speaking of Mythosaurs….
“What would you say if I told you I saw one?,” Bo asks the Armorer. The Armorer says Bo was “lucky,” that as one walks the way, they see all manner of noble visions.
“But it was real,” Bo maintains, to which the Armorer simply, obliquely responds — you guessed it — “This is the way.”
What did you think of “The Foundling,” Grogu’s training and the Order 66 reveal?