Be one with The Force, Star Wars fans. A new episode of The Mandalorian has arrived on Disney+. Episode 6 of the second season of The Mandalorian finds bounty hunter Din Djarin forging ahead in his quest to find sanctuary for his adorable traveling partner, Baby Yoda, and sees the return of several popular characters from earlier Star Wars stories.
Titled The Tragedy, the sixth episode of season 2 is directed by acclaimed Sin City and El Mariachi filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. The episode has Djarin and the newly named Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) arrive on the remote planet Tython in order to connect the Force-wielding infant with other Jedi. They’re interrupted by the arrival of some familiar (to Star Wars fans, at least) characters looking to acquire something from Djarin, but they soon find themselves allied against a common enemy. 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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Instead of meandering on side missions, Din Djarin and Grogu follow a direct path to the planet Tython and its Jedi temple, only to be interrupted by the arrival of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) in the iconic Slave I — the ship used by both Boba and his father, Jango Fett. Fett wants his armor back from Djarin, who took it from Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) on Tattooine during The Mandalorian season 2 premiere. After haggling a bit over the Mandalorian code and Fett’s right to own the armor, the trio watch another ship arrive on the planet’s surface — one filled with Imperial stormtroopers.
Putting their differences aside, Djarin, Fett, and Shand fight off the stormtroopers, protecting Grogu as he puts out a call to any remaining Jedi. Fett recovers his armor shortly before his spacecraft, Razor Crest, is destroyed by an Imperial cruiser. The ship’s commander, Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), dispatches a quartet of ominous, android Dark Troopers from the cruiser to snatch Grogu. Their mission is a success, and with Grogu now a prisoner aboard Gideon’s ship, Djarin sets out to put together a team to rescue him — a team that includes Fett, Shand, and another familiar face: Migs Mayfeld, the ex-Imperial sharpshooter played by Bill Burr in the series’ first season.
More so than any episode of The Mandalorian so far, The Tragedy is jam-packed with familiar characters, concepts, and yes, ships, from both recent Star Wars stories and the saga’s deep history. Along with returning season 1 characters Fennec Shand and Migs Mayfeld, the glimpse of Boba Fett we got in the season 2 premiere paved the way for a full-on return to form — and armor — for the iconic bounty hunter in the latest episode.
The return of Fett’s famous ship, Slave I, was another element of fan service worth celebrating in The Tragedy, as the ship’s last appearance on-screen in the Star Wars timeline was in 1980’s Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, when Fett used it to transport Han Solo’s frozen body to Jabba the Hutt. Although the ship featured prominently in young Fett’s adventures during the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series (set between Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), it has only been referenced in off-screen spinoff and tie-in projects unfolding in the time after the events of The Empire Strikes Back.
On the Imperial side, the return of Moff Gideon and his weapon, The Darksaber, was almost overshadowed by the first on-screen actions of the Dark Troopers. First appearing in the 1995 video game Star Wars: Dark Forces (set around the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope), these powerful androids were created to be the next stage of Imperial soldiers — equipped with powerful weaponry, nearly invulnerable, and absolutely obedient. Despite the power they wield, Dark Troopers didn’t appear in any of the Star Wars films despite having a presence in several spinoff stories and video games set during that same period in the saga’s timeline, and mentions of them dwindle after the events of The Empire Strikes Back.
As with many elements we’ve seen so far in The Mandalorian, it appears that Moff Gideon has surrounded himself with quite a few artifacts of the Empire’s past.
Season 2 has featured plenty of big moments with popular characters from Star Wars lore, but there have also been a few noteworthy cameos by background creatures that are generating buzz in fan circles.
During Episode 5, The Jedi, an owl-like creature known as a convor can be seen in the outskirts of the city that Djarin and Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) free from Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto). The convor has deep ties to Star Wars lore, and a convor named Morai played a particularly important role in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels animated series, watching over Ahsoka during many of the defining moments of her life.
In Episode 6, Grogu is briefly seen playing with a blue butterfly before he enters a meditative state at Tython’s Jedi temple. The blue butterfly is another symbolic creature in Star Wars lore, although less officially so than the convor. After a recent episode of the kid-friendly cartoon Star Wars Roll Out featured a young Ben Solo (aka Kylo Ren, portrayed by Adam Driver in the sequel trilogy) becoming fascinated with blue butterflies, hardcore franchise fans began associating blue butterflies — and the role of resurrection in a butterfly’s life cycle — with the damaged character’s own arc spanning a dark life, then redemption, and death. Fan-made images of blue butterflies and Ben Solo abound in Star Wars fan communities, so the appearance of a blue butterfly in The Mandalorian has fans buzzing about what it could mean — if anything — for the saga.
With so many characters already resurrected for The Mandalorian, anything is possible at this point.
Disney’s The Mandalorian is available to stream on Disney+, with new episodes premiering each Friday on the streaming service.
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