The Mandalorian: Season Two, Episode Five Review


Photo by Roman Koval from Pexels

Ahsoka Tano’s twin white lightsabers were ridiculously cool in this exciting new episode.

It has finally happened. After four episodes of The Mandalorian pleasantly spinning its wheels, we have reached the episode that, for the most part, the show has been building towards. Of course, it goes without saying that the first four episodes of season two were not a total waste of time. There were some true delights — Chapters 11 and 12 being the two standouts — but however charming they may have been, they lacked direction. This week’s episode “The Jedi” succeeds in three ways these episodes did not: it has dramatic reveals that propel the plot forward; meaningful, new characters; and a genuine sense of purpose. It is the best episode of season two so far, and one of the best of the whole series, but that is not important. What is important, however, is that we finally found out Baby Yoda’s real name.

His name is Grogu. He was trained in the Jedi temple for many years, but after the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire, the force-sensitive child was taken and hidden far away. We find this out with the help of Ahsoka Tano, possibly the most important Star Wars character to never appear in a movie, as well as this episode’s guest star. For those who have not seen the incredible Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano was Anakin Skywalker’s padawan who left the Jedi Order before she could become a Jedi. Her mark on the Star Wars universe is immeasurable, and being able to see her as a live-action character is a truly incredible experience. What is even better is that her appearance manages to not even be the greatest part of the episode. “The Jedi” could have easily coasted along on its reveals alone and have been a great episode, but what makes it so special is the fact that it tells an equally exciting story.

The episode re-introduces Ahsoka by showing her effortlessly taking down some soldiers guarding the city of Calodan. The city, ruled over by the mysterious Magistrate, is protected by large metal gates. It looks dark and threatening, as does the Magistrate herself. She sits atop the wall watching her men be massacred by the ex-Jedi. She has information that Ahsoka desperately wants. We have yet to find out what this information is, but it sets up a mystery that develops throughout the episode. Mando lands in Calodan in search of Ahsoka the following day, but he is taken to meet with the Magistrate instead. As he enters the city, we quickly realize it is not a happy place: The villagers walk away the second anybody comes near them, and there are men strung up in cages on the sides of the road that electrocute them every time a word is uttered. Calodan is, like all the sets in this show, expertly designed. The stark contrast between the ravaged, unfriendly cityscape and the serene, well-preserved interior of the Magistrate’s castle is amazing. When Mando enters her chambers, all background noise is replaced with a peaceful, eerie silence.

The Magistrate offers Mando a spear made of pure beskar in exchange for the death of Ahsoka. Mando agrees, but once he enters the forest and meets Ahsoka himself it is quickly made clear that he has no plans of hurting her. He introduces her to Baby Yoda, and she sits down with the small creature. For hours, they stare, communicating via the Force, and it is in this moment  that we find out he is named Grogu. We get to see Grogu go through some brief training exercises, and we find out that he is strong in the Force, but he is unstable. According to Ahsoka, his attachment to Mando is unsafe, as attachment is one of the many, many paths to the dark side. Because of this, Ahsoka refuses to train Grogu, but Mando strikes up a deal: She will train him if he helps her defeat The Magistrate. 

The two begin their attack on Calodan in another expertly choreographed action sequence, but the highlight of this episode is the showdown between Ahsoka and the Magistrate. I did not know that beskar could withstand lightsabers, but I am happy that this is the case because it made for a fantastic fight scene that looked gorgeous. Ahsoka wins, and after name-dropping Grand Admiral Thrawn, she and Mando part ways. Before leaving, though, Ahsoka tells Mando his new mission: He must take Grogu to yet another planet and put him on a rock because of… something. I do not fully remember what exactly he had to do, as I am getting kind of tired of each episode ending with Mando being sent to another planet for busywork, but it is a minor complaint from what is overall an incredible episode. I will continue to hope that season two can keep up its new winning streak.

Final Grade:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

5 out of 5 Stars


  • Dave Filoni, who directed Chapter One and “The Gunslinger,” an episode from season one, wrote and directed this episode. This makes “The Jedi” the first episode this season to not be written by showrunner Jon Favreau.
  • It was a small detail, but I loved the incorporation of Yoda’s Theme into the music when his name was mentioned.
  • I thought that Moff Gideon would finally do something in this episode, but it seems like the writers are saving him for later. But, between him, his secret army, Boba Fett, and now Grand Admiral Thrawn, I must wonder if there is even time for all these villains to appear in this season.
  • I am still not fully sure how I feel about the name Grogu. It could be worse, but I have been calling this adorable alien Baby Yoda for so long now.
  • I started wondering halfway through the episode if the previous episode was the final appearance of Cara Dune and Greef Karga for this season. I doubt it, but all their appearances in the trailer were already used. It would be a shame if they do not return, as both are great characters and have a fun dynamic with Mando.