Polish your beskar, Star Wars fans. A new episode of The Mandalorian has arrived on Disney+. Episode 5 of the second season of The Mandalorian finds bounty hunter Din Djarin taking the next step in his quest to find a home for his Force-wielding traveling partner, Baby Yoda, and calls back to plenty of characters and pivotal moments from earlier Star Wars stories.
Titled The Jedi, the fifth episode of season 2 is directed by veteran Star Wars storyteller Dave Filoni. The episode has Djarin and Baby Yoda (aka The Child) journey to the planet Corvus in search of Ahsoka Tano, a former Jedi who will be able to provide more information about — and care for — the Mandalorian’s powerful foundling. There’s a lot to absorb in every episode of The Mandalorian, so we’ll provide a recap of the latest episode each week and take a deep dive into some of its noteworthy elements. (There will be a discussion of plot points from the episode, so consider this a spoiler warning.)
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Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and
Djarin finally meets Tano, who’s able to communicate with
Djarin and Grogu eventually depart Corvus for the planet Tython, where a mysterious Jedi temple could hold the key to connecting Grogu with other Jedi who are willing and able to train him.
Ahsoka Tano, finally
The episode wastes no time in delivering the much-anticipated introduction of actress Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano, the former Jedi whose adventures provided the main story arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series and featured prominently in various other spinoff projects. The former student of Anakin Skywalker, Tano eventually left the Jedi Order and struck out on her own to fight injustice throughout the galaxy.
One of the most popular Jedi to come out of the animated realm of the Star Wars universe, Tano is a female Togruta from the planet Shili. She trained at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant before serving as Skywalker’s apprentice throughout much of The Clone Wars — the battle that paved the way for the Galactic Empire’s rise to power.
Although she was the primary protagonist in The Clone Wars and played a pivotal role in the follow-up series Star Wars Rebels, Tano never appeared on-screen in the live-action Star Wars universe until this episode of The Mandalorian. However, her voice was one of several Jedi voices heard in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker urging Rey (Daisy Ridley) to rise up against the resurrected Darth Sidious in that film.
Grogu, not Baby Yoda
Although it’s unlikely we’ve heard the last of “
After telepathically communicating with him, Ahsoka Tano reveals that Grogu was originally trained at the same Jedi Temple on Coruscant that trained her. When Darth Sidious initiated Order 66 — the command issued in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith that turned the clone troopers against the Jedi — Grogu was hidden away at the temple. His memory becomes hazy after that point, and Tano tells Djarin that Grogu had to hide his powers to stay safe, leading to a lack of control over his Force-wielding abilities.
And now… Thrawn
Season 2 of The Mandalorian hasn’t shied away from introducing popular characters from the greater Star Wars universe, and another key figure joins the series’ ongoing story in The Jedi. In the episode, Tano is revealed to be searching for Grand Admiral Thrawn, who is revealed to be Morgan Elsbeth’s commander.
The character Mitth’raw’nuruodo — better known as Thrawn — was created by author Timothy Zahn and first introduced in a series of “Expanded Universe” Star Wars novels published in the 1990s. One of the most brilliant, ruthless strategists in the Galactic Empire, the blue-skinned Thrawn also became one of the saga’s most popular villains introduced outside of the film franchise thanks to a long list of appearances in Star Wars comics, novels, and spinoff projects.
Decades after his debut, Thrawn was brought into the Star Wars Rebels animated series, and became one of the show’s key villains throughout the rest of its run, culminating in a final battle with Jedi apprentice Ezra Bridger that left both characters’ fates uncertain. The conclusion of the Rebels series had Tano setting out in search of Bridger, so Thrawn’s existence could mean that both characters’ live-action debuts are slated for The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian has featured plenty of familiar faces making their debuts in the Star Wars universe, and a few more joined that list in episode 5.
The mercenary Lang is played by actor Michael Biehn, who has played featured roles in some of the sci-fi genre’s most iconic films. Biehn portrayed time-traveling soldier Kyle Reese in 1984’s The Terminator and then reunited with director James Cameron to play Cpl. Dwayne Hicks in the 1986 film Aliens.
The cruel magistrate Morgan Elsbeth was portrayed by Diana Lee Inosanto, an accomplished martial artist, actress, and writer who was named Black Belt Magazine‘s Woman of the Year in 2009. Not only does Inosanto have a long resume of work in martial arts projects, but iconic martial artist Bruce Lee is her godfather.
On to Tython
It’s a relatively recent addition to the official Star Wars universe, but the planet Tython has quickly established itself as an important place in Jedi lore.
Located in the largely unexplored core of the galaxy, Tython was first introduced to the canonical Star Wars universe in the final issue of the Doctor Aphra comic book series, published in 2019. The planet is rumored to be home to one of the first — if not the very first — Jedi temple ever created. Little is known about the planet or its role in the Jedi Order, but The Mandalorian now seems primed to shed some light on the mysterious location in the near future.
Disney’s The Mandalorian is available to stream on Disney+, with new episodes premiering each Friday on the streaming service.
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