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“The Mandalorian” Chapter 14 Recap: the Empire strikes back

Mandalorian chapter 14

Boba Fett returns, the Child is kidnapped, and Robert Rodriguez throws us into the action-packed midpoint of the season in Chapter 14 of The Mandalorian.

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Previously on The Mandalorian: Mando (Pedro Pascal) and The Child went to Corvus, where they met Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), liberated yet another town, acquired a beskar spear, and Ahsoka gracefully declined to train our little Force kid, citing his deep emotional attachment to Mando.

She did, however, give the pair another possible locale to maybe find some Jedi, and told us all The Child’s name: Grogu, a name to which many people on the old internets have shown a certain Resistance*. It’s his name, though, y’all! And he likes it! Also, Moff Gideon got a tracking beacon placed on the Razor Crest and he wants Grogu’s blood to make….something.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Jon Favreau, we have arrived at “Chapter 14: The Tragedy”, AKA “Din Djarin and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. Strap in, folks. 

Mando and Grogu are on their way to Tython, home of an ancient Jedi temple and a seeing stone where Grogu can ostensibly reach out with the Force to find another Jedi to train him. He is exceptionally fond of hearing Mando use his name, but not so fond of Mando’s sad determination that once they locate another Jedi, Grogu has to go with them. Mando can’t train Grogu himself, so it’s better this way. Who are you trying to convince here, Din?

Mandalorian chapter 14
The Mandalorian (Disney+)

The stone is too small of a landing area for the Crest, so Mando flies himself and Grogu down via jetpack, where he, in true Mando form, sets Grogu on the stone, shrugs, and asks “Does this feel Jedi to you?” Grogu is more interested in the butterflies than in anything else, and a frustrated Mando sees a ship fly overhead. 

As he goes to investigate, Grogu activates the stone, meaning that once Mando ascertains that the strange ship is landing and they need to move out, he’s unable to reach the now Force-fielded Child. Now, Grogu? You do this now? Mando watches as a cloaked figure leaves the ship and heads down to check it out, asking Grogu to please hurry up

Mando soon finds the cloaked figure, one Mr. Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), who is there to demand the return of the armor that Mando took from Cobb Vanth back at Mos Pelgo. Mando points out that beskar is for Mandalorians, but Fett doesn’t care: it belonged to his father and he wants it back (not to mention that it was Mandalorians who gave it to his father in the first place). And why can’t Mando just shoot Fett where he stands? Because Fett has a sharpshooter on the ridge, aiming at the Child. And not just any sharpshooter: Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). 

Fett suggests that they all just calm down and talk about this, so they lower their weapons (and Mando removes his jetpack) and we learn that Fett saved Fennec when she was left for dead last season and she now has droid intestines. Which, ouch. Fett wants the armor back, in exchange for which he’ll offer protection for Mando and Grogu, as the bounty on Grogu has gone way up. The appearance of yet another ship interrupts their parley, another ship that alarms all three. 

It’s that time again, time for The Mandalorian to get serious about things.

Fett and Fennec race to a shooting position while Mando runs back to Grogu (forgetting his jetpack). He tries to get through Grogu’s Force shield, but can’t and he’s knocked out as down the hill, the new ship opens up and deposits many stormtroopers.

Fett and Fennec make short work of most of the stormtroopers, but they just keep coming and are rather effective for once. Fett suddenly notices that the Razor Crest is open (Din, come on). Fennec continues shooting as another transport lands next to the first. 

On the hill, Mando comes to and tries again to reach Grogu, when he’s unable he decides that the Child is pretty protected as is, and heads down to aid Fennec and Fett. As soon as he leaves, Grogu comes out of his Force trance and passes out, without his protection. Mando and Fennec team up against another onslaught of stormtroopers, but things are looking grim until Fett swoops down, back in the old get-up. 

Faced with two Mandalorians, the stormtroopers decide it’s time to get out of there, retreating to their ships and taking off. Fett doesn’t let that happen. 

And then.

Mandalorian chapter 14
The Mandalorian (Disney+)

A red bolt comes out of the sky and blows up the Razor Crest. Fett heads for his ship while Mando and Fennec race back towards Grogu. On his Imperial Cruiser, Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) smirks when he learns the Crest is no more and tells his people to dispatch the Dark Troopers. And dispatched they are, four of them, who head directly down to the seeing stone and make off with Grogu just before Mando can reach him. 

Fennec comms up to Fett (now in the Slave I) that the Troopers have the baby and not to try and stop them since Grogu might get hurt. Fett follows them and sees the Cruiser, reporting to Fennec and Mando that the Empire is back. The Dark Troopers and Grogu enter the Cruiser and it leaps into hyperspace. 

Back on Typhon, Mando walks through where his ship used to be, as Fett and Fennec look on. He finds Grogu’s favorite little metal ball in the ashes and tucks it away. He also finds the beskar spear. Hey, isn’t it interesting that beskar can hold up against lightsabers? Maybe even, say, darksabers? 

Fett shows the chain code of his armor, proving to Mando that it’s his and that his father was a Mandalorian foundling, and Mando says that means that their deal is complete. Not so fast, Fett notes, their deal was that in exchange for the armor’s return that he and Fennec would help to protect Grogu. Until he’s back safely with Mando, they’re there for the long haul. 

Intense, exciting, and emotional, “The Tragedy” was just what we’ve been waiting for. 

They head to Nevarro, where we learn that Cara Dune (Gina Carano) did accept the offer to become a Marshal. Mando asks her to look up the location of Migs Mayfeld (Bill Burr), the sharpshooter who was part of Mando’s crew in last season’s “The Prisoner”. Mando is going to need to spring Mayfeld to aid in locating Gideon. Cara notes that while she hates the Empire, she’s kind of a Marshal now and has to obey the rules…until Mando admits that Gideon has Grogu. You didn’t LEAD with that?! 

On the Cruiser itself, Gideon goes to see Grogu in his cell, where Grogu is flinging around a couple of stormtroopers via the Force. Grogu is angry. Gideon, delighted by Grogu’s display of power, taunts him by noting how tired it makes him. Gideon has a trooper knock Grogu out and put him into Force-resistant shackles, and arranges for a message to be sent to Dr. Pershing, telling him that they have their donor once more. 

We close on poor little Grogu, unconscious. 

It’s that time again, time for The Mandalorian to get serious about things. We’ve gone on some side quests, we’ve met a lot of returning and new-to-this-show characters, and now it’s all started to come together into one horrible gel. It was inevitable that Gideon would get his hands on Grogu again, but he has a whole extended family coming for him now. My assumption is that next week will be primarily about fetching (and convincing) Mayfeld, and then…then we get to see a spear fight**. 

“The Tragedy” was a short episode, but had plenty of action and big moments, honestly, had it been any longer it would likely have dragged. Mando already tried to get through that Force field one too many times. Intense, exciting, and emotional, “The Tragedy” was just what we’ve been waiting for. 

Bantha Droppings:

  • Last season in “The Prisoner” we got some hints about what a cold cruel bastard Mando used to be. Maybe let’s dig down deep for a little bit of that? 
  • I didn’t need this! Who needed this?! What did I literally just say last week about Clan Mudhorn! Din, did you get your jetpack? Has Grogu eaten? Has anyone told Space Grandpa Karga yet? 
  • I guess it’s fortunate that Mando goes most everywhere in every article of clothing he owns. 
  • Didn’t the Armorer tell him specifically to watch it with the whistling birds? What, did he find them in bulk?
  • *Credit for the Resistance joke goes to my brother. 
  • **Let’s make it a better spear fight than Pedro Pascal’s last one, though. 
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Megan Sunday

Megan Sunday is a writer, archivist, and cohost of Let’s Get Weirding: A Dune Podcast. She lives in the DC area with her family and her growing collection of horror paperbacks.