Din and Grogu battle with local wildlife and flashbacks in a Covert-based adventure.
Hello friends, and welcome back to Season 3 of The Mandalorian! Thanks to Tim for taking over last week for the twists and turns of Chapter 19. Let’s dive into the Mandos, Mandos, and more Mandos of Chapter 20: “The Foundling.” Directed by Greef Karga himself (or at least his Earth equivalent, Carl Weathers) and co-written by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni
Hm? What was that? Dave Filoni, you say? In that case, let’s throw up our usual Order 66 warning and get into “The Foundling.”
Back on the Covert’s planet hideout, which they should immediately vacate, various Mandos and foundlings are training and practicing on the beach. There are vibroblades, blasters, and jetpacks galore. Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) moves amongst the groups, taking it all in. Grogu is playing with a bunch of little rock crabs on the beach when Din (Pedro Pascal) scoops him up and tells him it’s time to learn with the other foundlings. As we’ll soon see–and already knew–Grogu has been through a lot, Din. Maybe let him play with the crabs just a little while longer.
Din takes Grogu to where a couple of foundlings are wrestling. Ragnar (Wesley Kimmel) wins the challenge, leaving him ready for the next round. Din declares Grogu as the next challenger. Bo is less than convinced, but Din supports his little guy.
Ragnar isn’t too pleased about being challenged by a tiny fellow who doesn’t even have a helmet yet. Nonetheless, he begrudgingly chooses wrist darts for the battle. These are the paintball version of wrist darts, as we learn when Ragnar swiftly lands two directly on Grogu.
Din briefly coaches his son, encouraging Grogu to show everyone his talents. When the challenge starts again, Grogu Force-jumps over Ragnar’s head and back again. Then he hits the Mando-in-training with all three darts when he lands. Grogu is the winner! Ragnar mopes over to the water’s edge. There he’s almost immediately grabbed up in the talons of a giant pteradon-esque creature and flown away. Maybe Ragnar needs to start staying inside.
Din, Paz Vizsla, and a handful of other Mandalorians take off with their jetpacks after the creature. Unfortunately, before they can reach it, they must stop because of lack of fuel. Paz notes it lives out of jetpack range so they always lose it. How often does this happen? MOVE AWAY.
Fortunately, Bo-Katan hopped into her ship for her own follow mission. She comes back with coordinates to its lair. As a result, she’s put in charge of the war party to pursue the beast. Soon, she, Din, Paz, and some other Mandos form a posse and head out.
Grogu is left behind with the Armorer (Emily Swallow), who starts to give him a Mandalorian culture lesson as she crafts something out of beskar. Unfortunately, the sparks and sounds of the forge send Grogu into a flashback of, you guessed it, Order 66.
“The Foundling” is a fun little jaunt with all of the various Mandalorians who could at any point be THE Mandalorian.
A younger Grogu watches from his pod as various Jedi die by Clone troopers’ hands trying to protect him. One Jedi even calls out to get Grogu to Kelleran before her murder. Luckily, before that death, she did get herself and Grogu in an elevator. It takes him to a higher level of the Jedi Temple, where it opens up to reveal Kelleran Beq (Ahmed Best).
Kelleran picks up the fallen Jedi’s lightsaber and fights off several Clones using two sabers until he can get him and Grogu on a speeder. Pursued through the skies of Coruscant, they make it to a ship Kelleran had waiting. Still being chased, they make it off planet and into hyperspace to escape.
Flashback over, Grogu returns to the present. He re-associates just in time to receive the Armorer’s latest work. It’s an itty-bitty chest plate with a mudhorn emblem on it. If they keep adding armor, the little man won’t be able to walk!
Meanwhile, Bo-Katan and the gang land at the foot of the mountain where the creature nests high above. They make camp there for the night. Bo has to ask Din how they’re all supposed to eat dinner if they can’t remove their helmets. It seems the simplest explanation is the most accurate. They each go off somewhere private to eat out of sight of one another. Paz then adds that as leader of the party, she gets to stay by the fire to eat. Bo accepts the honor and has a lonely helmetless dinner.
The next morning they ready themselves to climb up to the nest. “Our best bet is stealth,” Bo warns her collection of armored people, including Paz and his giant gun. They do some terrifying cliff climbing before making it to the nest. Once there, they find the creature appears to be gone for the moment. Din reads a heat signature in one part of the nest, and Paz immediately takes after it. It turns out Ragnar is his son, so he’s too gripped by fatherly concern to hear Bo’s warning. Whoops.
Instead of his son, though, he finds the heat signature belongs to not one, not two, but THREE giant hatchlings who immediately go after Paz. Mama Bird-Thing shows up soon after to reveal where Ragnar could be if not her nest. Specifically, inside her raptor body. She coughs up a living but strangely ungooey and dry boy Mando into the nest. Time for babies’ dinner.
Seeing [Ahmed Best] back, as a hero, as someone kicking ass with double sabers, was a wonderful surprise. It’s all he deserves.
Paz flies directly into the creature’s mouth while Mama takes off again. She grabs Ragnar once more for good measure. The Mandalorians pursue. Though Bo fails to grab Ragnar on her first pass, she manages to get Mama Bird to drop Paz. More mid-air fighting follows. Eventually, Mama drops Ragnar. Din catches him, delivering the boy to Paz. They share a good dad-hug and Paz gives Din a sincere thank you. The Mama Bird, its wing injured in the fight, crashes into the lake below. There it is promptly eaten by another giant alligator turtle monster like the one that almost ate Ragnar that other time.
The group returns and the Armorer immediately thanks Bo-Katan. Bo responds by pointing out they’ve brought the Covert some new foundlings: the three creature hatchlings. You can’t just gift pets, Bo-Katan.
The Armorer, noting Bo lost a pauldron in the fight, brings her into the forge to make her another. The Armorer asks if Bo also wants the Nite Owl sigil on this one. However, Bo, inspired by a large skull on the wall, asks for a mythosaur instead. She tells the Armorer that she saw a mythosaur, but the Armorer is politely doubtful. This is the Way.
“The Foundling” is a fun little jaunt with all of the various Mandalorians who could at any point be THE Mandalorian. While, obviously, I’d prefer for Din (and everyone, really) to live a life where they don’t have to worry about exile for making their own choices. Still, it’s understandable that he, and now Bo-Katan, are happy to have somewhere to call home. Seeing more of the daily life of the Covert was fun. Plus, I think we’re all happy whenever Grogu gets to show off his skills.
The big news this week is, of course, the appearance of Ahmed Best as Grogu’s savior, Kelleran Beq. A character Best first played on the YouTube gameshow Jedi Temple Challenge, it’s fun to see Beq enter the “grown-up canon.” Additionally, to have him be an important part of Grogu’s origins is a nice grace note. It’s huge news to see Best in Star Wars at all. The backlash to his character Jar Jar Binks in the prequel trilogy was so vile as to cause the actor to consider suicide. Seeing him back, as a hero, as someone kicking ass with double sabers, was a wonderful surprise. It’s all he deserves. I hope we see more of Kelleran in the future, as tragic as I’m sure that storyline will be.
We’re now halfway through Season 3. It’s time for The Mandalorian to start picking up some of these plot points it’s scattered around. Is Dr. Pershing alive? What’s Elia’s whole deal? Is Bo-Katan sufficiently inspired to make another try for Mandalore? Does anyone remember that, technically, Din is their leader? Does Grogu even want to be a Mandalorian? At what point will I have to tie in what’s happening over on The Bad Batch? See you next week!
- “He doesn’t know how to fire darts?” Bo-Katan asks Din in disbelief when he gives instructions to Grogu. Bo-Katan, he’s a 50-year-old little baby. No, he’s never fired darts.
- Additionally, Bo-Katan, would it hurt you too badly to mention your sister? Just once? For a second?
- Temuera Morrison voiced the Clone troopers in Grogu’s flashback, which is always a nice touch.
- I don’t remember if I mentioned this before, but Wesley Kimmel also played my dearly departed Tusken Tween on The Book of Boba Fett.
- This week’s Mando’a word is “Me’copaani?” which means “What do you want?” I want the Covert to move away from this hungry planet.