This review contains spoilers for The Mandalorian episode “The Tragedy”
“The Tragedy” proved me wrong. I am so incredibly happy to be wrong. I’m wrong in so many different ways, and I am relishing it.
I’ve said on my podcast and on other shows before the reason I feared Boba Fett in this show. I never wanted The Mandalorian to be “The Boba Fett Show.” I’ve never been a fan even though I understood why people liked him. I’ve rationalized why he’s a good choice as a potential foil for Din, but I was still wary of him being here.
“The Tragedy” erased every single fear. As Boba spoke to Din about his father, Jango, I saw that child in Clone Wars confiding in Hondo Ohnaka in “Lethal Trackdown.” I heard Hondo’s words to Boba saying, “It’s the honorable thing to do. It’s what your father would have wanted.” And here all these years later, seeing Boba talk to Din about his father’s honor and armor, how Jango fought in the Mandalorian Civil Wars, and hearing the pride and pain portrayed beautifully by Temuera Morrison, everything snapped together in place for me. For the first time ever, I got Boba Fett. I understood him. I felt him on a level I never understood before. All thanks to “The Tragedy.”
While having a wide connecting canon can be problematic at times, I do feel it worked here. This is now Boba back to basics. He could have been that child in Clone Wars saying he shouldn’t care about anyone, because he had no one left. He could have been that villainous bounty hunter only caring about himself. But he’s grown, he’s changed, and he found his honor once more.
Alex Damon pointed out in his review on Star Wars Explained that this Boba does not line up with the Boba from the recent comics. But he also noted that we don’t know his story from the last five years. That sarlacc pit probably changed him. He knew Cobb Vanth had the armor, but he hadn’t claimed it before now. The last five years have defined him in a new way that we haven’t seen yet.
And for the first time ever, I am excited to say that I want to see what happens next with Boba Fett.
Having Boba felt right too. Everyone paired with Din this season has aided him on his journey. But where Bo-Katan broke down Din’s barriers by shattering his views with a new truth, Boba was a different kind of Mandalorian. He had a kinsman bond with Din. Din and Jango were foundlings, and Boba inherited that from his father. They’re not the bloodline Mandalorians like Bo-Katan or Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels. The Fetts and Din fight for their identity. I wonder with the new information that Jango fought in the Mandalorian Civil Wars if he fought to be recognized by his people just to be seen as one of them. It’s clear he lost that fight as Prime Minister Almec refused to recognize him as a Mandalorian in Clone Wars. Now Boba is here with Din to continue to prove why they are more than enough to be considered Mandos.
So much of this show is about finding identity. While I was happy to be wrong about my fears of Boba being here, I’m happy to be right that he was used so well.
I’m also so happy to see Fennec back. I honestly thought she was gone for good. So many people thought it was such a waste to off Ming-Na Wen’s character last season. It left a bad taste in their mouths, mine included. So it was such a surprise that moment to hear Ming-Na’s voice, see her beautiful self, how powerful and regal she was as she slayed stormtroopers, and was a complete badass from beginning to end. Now, let’s find out more about her going forward. She’s cool looking. She’s awesome. But we still know basically nothing about her as a person. Let’s keep Fennec and delve into her more going forward.
But this story is about Din and Grogu. This season has been such a great character study for Din. We’ve had other characters to highlight various parts of his character. Last week, Din finally got a huge missing piece learning Grogu’s name. He has been challenged over and over again to get to these moments in “The Tragedy.”
Between his conviction challenged about his creed and his new bonding with Grogu, the opening scene of them together is even more important. Pedro Pascal absolutely killed it acting in those scenes. He’s angry. His voice is cracking. And as he speaks to Grugu about returning him to his kind, it’s clear that Din is trying to convince himself. Ahsoka confirmed last week that Grogu has made his choice. The Child is attached to who he sees as his father. It’s Din who is struggling to accept that.
Accepting Grogu and taking him in would go against his creed and the mission given to him. Bo-Katan cracked Din’s shell, but Grogu is the one who smashed his way through Din’s indoctrinated upbringings. This is why Din was testing Grogu at the beginning of the episode. He was looking for a reason to not complete his mission. He’s not ready to face his own past which is why he wanted the excuse if Grogu couldn’t use his powers. He’s proud his kid is special, but he fears what the fallout of that means. Not the fallout from the Empire’s remnants hunting them. Din can fight; that’s not the issue. It’s the fallout of having to face himself.
In fact, Din painfully tells Boba that the Child is gone. Again, it’s him trying to follow his creed he was raised in. But Boba, like every character this season, is there to remind Din to go after Grogu. Not only is it honorable, but it’s also out of caring. Din loves Grogu. It’s time for him to own it. It’s like the old saying of “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” Grogu being taken is the last piece Din needed to realize what the Child means to the Mando.
Those Imperials won’t know what will hit them when Mandalorian Daddy Unleashed comes for them.
This is also why the destruction of the Razor Crest was such an important moment in “The Tragedy.” The series has been pulling back the layers of Din as a person. But he has been trying to put his ship back together all season. The ship is a symbol of Din desperately trying to keep his old life. He’s trying to hold onto his old ways. The Razor Crest was a relic ship, a product of an era that doesn’t exist anymore just like how Din’s group of Mandalorians are dying out. It’s destruction closed it’s story on the past. It represents a point of no return. There is no more going back. It’s get Grogu or bust. No more code or creeds. It’s now about reuniting Din and Grogu together for their future.
It also allows the two characters a fresh start. Because when Din gets Grogu back, because Disney certainly won’t let their little cash cow puppet go so easily, the duo will have to start over. Their home is gone. But now, they can choose a new ship together. It can be one that symbolizes their new beginning going forward. A ship that will be perfect for their little Clan of Two.
I squealed seeing the blue butterflies in “The Tragedy.” It has been so interesting the last few years to see butterflies become another symbol of the Force. While butterflies date back as early as the Clone Wars, their significance tied to the Force has been evolving recently in the franchise. I believe it was the Darth Vader comic run by Charles Soule that introduced butterflies as messengers of the Light Side of the Force. I could be wrong about Soule’s run being the first, because, for once, Wookieepedia was very unhelpful by lumping regular and Force butterflies all together. Anyway, the butterflies tried reaching out to Vader to connect with Anakin inside of him. Since then, we’ve seen butterflies show up more and more around Force beings or Jedi locations. And in a non-canon appearance, the Star Wars Roll Out shorts connected the blue butterflies with Ben Solo. It’s the reason why you might see Ben Solo fans have butterflies in their Twitter handles. I’ve enjoyed seeing animals tie into the Force in recent canon. It looks like the butterflies get to join the ranks of Loth-Wolves and Convorees.
And finally, Mayfeld is coming back! Believe it or not, Mayfeld is actually one of my favorite characters in The Mandalorian. I love bad guys. And Mayfeld in my absolute favorite kind of Imperial:
He is the catty human embodiment of the golden “You Tried” sticker that sucks so hard that he fails spectacularly at life.
I love that he sucks. The moment he whined, “I wasn’t a stormtrooper, you wise ass!” it was when I fell in love with him. He was going to be one THOSE Imperials like Krennic and Konstantine who would slither and whine their way to the top and then fail in the most gloriously satisfying way possible. Bring on Mayfeld! I’m so ready for him.
Here are some random things to round out The Tragedy:
-The power of a name. The entire time Grogu is on the Seeing Stone, Din never says his name. He says “kid” but not Grogu. I honestly think he would have broken through the Force Field if he said Grogu’s name.
-I liked this new side of Gideon. It was delightfully evil. As mentioned, anyone who knows me knows I love villains. I’m still working out my feelings on Gideon, but his taunting Grogu with that evil smirk was an interesting new take on the character. There’s definitely a history with Gideon and Grogu that I’m excited to explore.
-I adored how they filmed Boba like a horror movie villain as he decimated stormtroopers. Robert Rodriguez did an excellent job directing this week.
-Din calling Ahsoka a nice lady is the kind of dad energy I appreciate.
-I felt bad for laughing, because it’s a horrible scene. But Grogu in the little binders reminded me of the tiny handcuff scene from Gravity Falls when the villain Gideon was arrested. Darn you Alex Hirsch for ruining super serious Star Wars moments for me!
“The Tragedy” was an excellent episode, one that took me by surprise for so many different reasons. The character work, story, and teases all came together in a perfect little package. Now it’s set up for a finale that’s sure to blow us away. I’m ready for it.
Please check out the Trans Rights are Human Rights: This is the Way fundraiser. They are trying to reach a new goal of $20,000 by December 20th. Created by Maggie Lovitt of Your Money Geek along with Candace from The Geeky Waffle podcast and Eric from The Living Force Podcast, the Trans Rights are Human Rights: This is the Way fundraiser was made in response to the transphobic rhetoric being shared by one of The Mandalorian’s main castmates. Not only is there a Go Fund Me account, but there is also a Teepublic store with items created by Maggie, Candace, and Bryan from Pink Milk where proceeds go to the Transgender Law Center. If you can, please consider donating to their Go Fund Me page or purchasing from the Teepublic store. If you can’t donate, please share the fundraiser with others who can.
Trans Rights are Human Rights. This is the Way.
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