‘The Mandalorian’ Chapter 14 Recap: “The Tragedy”

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So, uh… did I miss anything during my week off? Of all the times to decide that my personal vacation time really matters, the live-action debut of Ahsoka Tano was probably a bad time. Last week’s episode of The Mandalorian, a chapter titled “The Jedi,” was quite possibly the most ambitious of the entire series. It was thrilling, it was moving, it was legendary—and I was able to enjoy it after dawn without having to immediately rush into recap mode. Maybe last week was a good week for some me time! I’ll sum up last week with this observation: Ahsoka Tano’s entire reason for not taking on Grogu as a padawan comes down to Anakin Skywalker. She knows firsthand what happens when you rip a Force-sensitive kid away from their guardian, especially if that kid has a nasty temper. Her decision most likely doesn’t have anything to do with Ezra Bridger—although her hunt for Grand Admiral Thrawn definitely does. Moving on!

It’s actually better that I’m back in action this week, because this episode feels bespoke to the 11-year-old Star Wars fan that I basically still am, despite my beard being gray and me having, y’know, a beard. Last week we got the live-action debut of Ahsoka Tano, and this week we got, essentially, the live-action debut of Boba Fett. I live—and I’m getting ahead of myself! I’m too stoked! Also this episode is titled “The Tragedy,” so I’m terrified!

The episode starts with father (Din Djarin) and son (Grogu) at home (the Razor Crest). Din’s trying his hand at training Grogu, using that shiny metal joystick ball that the kid loves so much. I love that while being the lead of the show, Din Djarin is continually the bewildered and/or delighted audience surrogate; he is equally as charmed by Grogu’s excited cooing response to his name as we all are.

They arrive at the planet Tython (which was a medium-sized deal in the old expanded universe) so they can follow Ahsoka’s advice and let Grogu essentially phone home via the Force. They pinpoint the mystical Jedi rock formation immediately, which leads me to believe that GPS in a galaxy far, far away has to be next next next level. When he sees that they can’t park near the main attraction, Mando tells the kid that they’re gonna have to “travel the last stretch with the windows down.”

The Mandalorian Chapter 14 - Mando and Grogu flying
Photo: Disney+

The joy, the wonder—hold onto it Grogu, because it’s not gonna last!

I love the moment after Din sets Grogu down on the Jedi rock. With no idea what to expect or what to do, he starts looking around for the rock’s… controls. I mean, I’d do the same! But his search is disrupted by the arrival of a ship: SLAVE MF’ING I.

The Mandalorian Chapter 14 - Slave I
Photo: Disney+

SLAVE I. SLAVE I. SLAVE I. SLAVE. I. 

Y’all. Y’all need to know how much I loved Boba Fett as a kid. I had a Boba Fett cardboard cutout in my bedroom. The Slave I vehicle released by Kenner in 1996 was a holy grail for me. Seeing its arrival in this episode made me geek the hell out. I know, I know, I know—geeking out about Boba Fett could get my Gay Card revoked. But I have to live my truth: I love this character even though he never did anything beyond look cool in the original trilogy.

Din Djarin knows this ain’t good, but when he turns around to scoop the kid up and blast off, he finds Grogu in what I can only describe as a Force sauna?

The Mandalorian Chapter 14 - Grogu in Force sauna
Photo: Disney+

He’s surrounded by a cylinder of steamy blue Force energy, so, Ahsoka’s vague tip was a good one! The timing is just less than ideal! Djarin heads off to buy Grogu some more spa time, and is quickly pinged (via blaster fire) by Boba Fett.

Yeah. That mystery man we saw at the end of Chapter 9 was Boba Fett, played by Temuera Morrison. I gotta say, just the reveal that Boba tracked Din to Tython is, by itself, the coolest thing Boba Fett has done up to this point—an admittedly low bar to clear! But this initial exchange says so much more about Boba Fett. He wasn’t still on Tatooine five years after Return of the Jedi because he was a loser who couldn’t find where he parked his ship. He was sticking around because he needed to find his armor—his identity.

The Mandalorian Chapter 14 - Boba Fett
Photo: Disney+

A standoff happens, of course: Mando doesn’t want to give up that beskar suit to someone that didn’t take the creed, but Boba isn’t going anywhere without it. And on Boba’s side is a sharpshooter with her sites trained on Grogu. I love Din Djarin’s truly WTF response to hearing Fennec Shand’s (Ming-Na Wen!) voice. Yeah, she was left for dead, but Boba Fett fixed her up with literal abs of steel! They reach a truce: Din Djarin puts down his rocket-launching jetpack and Fennec puts down her rifle. A deal is offered: Djarin gives over the green beskar armor, which Boba reveals was given—not stolen!—to Jango Fett by the Mandalorians, and Boba will ensure the chid’s safety. But, because nothing can go right for the lead of an action/adventure show, another ship touches down… and it’s full of stormtroopers.

Din scrambles to get back to Grogu, making the major mistake of leaving his jetpack behind. In his attempt to pull Grogu out of a trance, Din’s zapped like a fly on a porch on a summer night (have I mentioned I’m from Tennessee?). The troopers, meanwhile, storm the mountain with military precision—but they’re still stormtroopers, so they’re easily picked off by Fennec Shand and Boba Fett.

So, can I just—?

The Mandalorian Chapter 14 - Boba Fett vs stormtroopers
GIF: Disney+

Can I please, personally thank Jon Favreau and Robert Rodriguez for finally giving Boba Fett an episode—a personality!—worthy of the 40 years of adoration we have heaped upon him?? Watching him swing that Tusken gaffi stick, shattering stormtrooper armor into millions of plastic pieces—it was so satisfying. And Morrison’s performance?! The episode never explicitly states it, but you can see Morrison conveying an intense hatred during this melee. After all, these guys were the ones who ultimately replaced the clonetroopers—clones of Boba’s father Jango. Clones like himself. They wear a cheap, derivative knockoff of his own armor. You gotta wonder how long Boba Fett has held that grudge in check, or if his hatred of all things Imperial has grown while he’s operated in the shadows of Tatooine. It’s. Rad. is ultimately what I’m saying. And then Boba sees that the Razor Crest’s door is wide open…

Meanwhile, Fennec Shand! Shand’s a character that’s only been around a year, but even she gets moments in this episode that meet Ming-Na Wen’s general level of awesomeness. She didn’t do much in Season 1’s “The Gunslinger,” but in this episode? Uh, in this episode, she gets to do this—!

The Mandalorian Chapter 14 - Fennec Shand jump
GIF: Disney+

It’s like that Hawkeye moment from Avengers, but with a cool character.

Still, the stormtroopers keep coming and another ship full touches down. Mando wakes up and, still unable to get to Grogu, rushes down to help Fennec fight off the invasion. But the troopers keep piling on, until they’re matched by a one-man army: Boba Fett.

The Mandalorian Chapter 14 - Boba Fett debut
GIF: Disney+

This is… I fully can’t… Boba Fett has knee lasers! I’m stunned, as stunned as Grogu at the end of this episode. I mean, yes, it does make Fett’s downfall at the Pit of Carkoon even more embarrassing. Why did he get swallowed like a chump if literally every inch of his armor is a weapon? But whatever—all of this was worth the wait. We even get to see Boba Fett use his rocket launcher, the action figure choking hazard that became a Star Wars urban legend.

The Mandalorian Chapter 14 - Boba Fett rocket launcher
GIF: Disney+

But, because nothing can go right for the lead of an action/adventure show, a mighty laser blast erupts from the sky and blasts the Razor Crest to ash. It’s done. And y’all just dropped some dollars backing a Razor Crest toy! Of all the revoltin’ developments—!

That laser blast came from Moff Gideon’s Imperial light cruiser. It’s now in position, and it next fires a quartet of menacing dark troopers to snatch up the child now that Grogu’s tuckered out after phoning home. And they get him. Djarin and Fennec can’t reach the summit in time. Boba Fett can’t engage the dark troopers in Slave I without potentially blasting Grogu along with them. He at least sees where they’re heading, thus confirming what Djarin already knew: the Empire is back and Moff Gideon is a dick.

Completely devastated (how does Pedro Pascal emote like that through a suit of armor?!), Din sifts through the ashes of his home. He finds Grogu’s favorite metal ball and the beskar staff he got last week. And then Boba Fett steps up: their deal is not done. Boba got the armor he wanted, now he has to come through on his end of the deal and bring the child to safety. This is the team-up we deserve!

The Mandalorian Chapter 14 - Fennec, Boba, Din
Photo: Disney+

The episode ends with two scenes setting up what’s surely a two-part season finale. The first: Slave I lands on Nevarro so Din can enlist New Republic Marshal Cara Dune to search the databanks for the location of stand-up comedian Bill Burr (a.k.a. ex-Imperial sharpshooter Migs Mayfeld, from Season 1’s prison break episode). Looks like the Mandalorian is assembling some avengers.

The second scene, the final scene, is of Grogu in captivity. He’s tossing around stormtroopers like rag dolls, but he’s easily exhausted (he is so smol!). Gideon taunts Grogu with the darksaber, and then has the tyke stunned so he can be handed over to Dr. Pershing for experiments.

How it started / How it’s going

Grogu flying and Grogu stunned
Photos: Disney+

Lord, this episode. This season. This show. These last two episodes have been among the best television I’ve seen all year, and they weren’t even the season finale. But if there’s one thing The Mandalorian has proven it knows how to do, besides make meme-worthy moments, it’s outdoing itself.

Stream The Mandalorian on Disney+