The Mandalorian: Chapter 13

Project Stardust has decided to come together and do a weekly roundtable among Anna, Lauren and Meaghan. Every week we are going to talk about things we liked about each episode, and a question we have. These discussions will have spoilers, so read on if you are all caught up!

Things We Loved

The Return of Ahsoka Tano

Lauren: I think we all know who we came to see, and the rest was just bonus. I’m not super hyped about her montrals, but everything else was wonderful. I actually did cry a bit when I first saw her on screen, wielding her lightsabers. I loved her outfit. I loved the makeup and how there was a slight pearlescence to the white markings. I loved the physicality that Rosario brought to the role in all of her fight scenes. There was a lot to love and a lot to break the heart. You can see how the fall of Anakin is still a source of pain for her. But even so, she is still the hero we deserve. Through it all, she feels a strong sense of responsibility to protect and serve others and lets that drive her. 

Meaghan: I’m going to put this in the “like” column because overall I’m always happy about Ahsoka content… but I’m very conflicted about this incarnation of her character. Starting with what I liked, the fight scenes were wonderful. Beautifully choreographed and executed. They FELT like watching Ahsoka fight in the animated series. Very well done. The costume, makeup and special effects were stunning. I’m not even going to nitpick about the head tails being shorter than they should be. She looked good! I loved that she could communicate with Grogu and we got some great exposition from that. I even liked that she refuses to train Grogu and sets Din out on another quest to find more Jedi to train Grogu. I liked so much about this episode that it’s incredibly frustrating that my enjoyment was severely tempered by one thing… casting. Of all the casting rumors circling this season, this was the one that I wished the hardest was untrue. The second I saw Rosario Dawson on my screen my heart sank. There are going to be (and I’m sure already are) tons of think-pieces about this casting, so I’m not going to go on about it, but I’m intensely disappointed that they hired an actor who is actively being sued for a transphobic assault. I tried not to let it affect my enjoyment of this episode but in the end, it did. I wanted to love Ahsoka in live action but instead, I had a negative reaction every time I saw her. I’d love more Ahsoka content, but I don’t want this version. Maybe subsequent viewings will improve my opinion but I need to give it a bit before I try again.

Anna: I was also concerned about this casting. I did a little research and was pleased to see that most of the charges in the lawsuit were dropped by the complainant. I am trying to think about innocent until proven guilty and that Rosario Dawson has done significant work with the LBGTQIA+ community and won awards for that work. I also really do not want to see my friends in the LBGTQIA+ community to be hurt emotionally by something that they love. It was hard, as it was when we had to watch Gina onscreen a few weeks ago. That being said, I was able to enjoy watching Ahsoka in live action. I loved everything that Rosario brought to the role in her movements, fighting and general physicality. I was, much like Meaghan and Lauren, so pleased that she could communicate with Grogu and set Din on the path to find a Jedi to train Grogu. 

The Guest Stars

Anna: I was just so in love with the look of this episode and the guest stars we had this week. This is the first episode that I watched twice back to back. I just had to because I felt like I needed to see it again right away to take everything in. I’m a HUGE Michael Biehn fan, so it was great to see him in another of my favorite fandoms. Also, holy cow, Magistrate/possible Nightsister Morgan Elsbeth, played by stuntwoman/Martial Artist Diana Lee Inosanto. She was great. That battle between the Magistrate and Ahsoka was FIRE. I loved it. 

Lauren: This episode was gorgeous. The composition of each backdrop to the action was *chef’s kiss*. Obviously, it was an homage to the samurai films which influence much of Star Wars. I’ve always liked that we’re shown the concept art for each episode during the credits, but this set was far and away my favorite. Like… give me all of these as prints please! The fight scene with Ahsoka and Morgan was incredible. I had to go look up everything about Diana Lee Inosanto afterwards. Her father is Dan Inosanto who is a martial arts expert who trained with Bruce Lee at one point. So, between martial arts experience and being a stuntwoman, Inosanto brought a lot to the table in this episode. I’m a fan of bringing trained fighters into Star Wars as necessary, especially when it comes to women in the galaxy because I just like seeing strong, competent women on screen. Stardusters also figured out that she’s possibly a Night Sister? Which just…makes me love her even more. I hope she’s okay!!!

Meaghan: Holy heck. It isn’t ever said in the episode, but Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth definitely seems Nightsister-y to me (and to many others if my Twitter feed is accurate). I mean… even the name is SUPER witchy. I need to know more about her. Since every time a new character is introduced there seem to be rumors of a spin-off, can I request an Elsbeth/Thrawn series? We never see how things end between her and Ahsoka, so I’m hoping that she survived so we get more of her somewhere down the line. Also, shoutout to Michael Biehn for being a great henchman.

 The Child Has a Name

Meaghan: We finally get some background on the Child! Took me a minute to come to terms with the name Grogu but I’m all about it now. I will die for Grogu. I also love the sounds he makes when Din says his name. Why is he so cute? We also learned that he began his training at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and somehow survived Order 66. I’m looking forward to finding out who saved him and what happened to him between then and Din finding him. This episode gave us a whole new set of questions about Grogu and I’m very much looking forward to getting more answers as he and Din search for other Jedi and delve into Grogu’s past and powers more.

Lauren: Yes. There was more shadow than light which mirrors what we’re told about Baby Grogu from Ahsoka. I’m sticking by Dark Baby Grogu theory here. (Grogu? Grogu!) Ahsoka senses his fear and how that manifests with his Force abilities. 

Anna: For sure. I’ve mentioned before how much his powers and how he uses them concerns me. I’m really interested to see how it goes now that Din has been set on a new path to find a teacher for Grogu. I really enjoyed all of the Ahsoka/Grogu interactions and seeing them communicate through The Force. 

We Have Questions

We all have essentially the same questions, and that’s Thrawn, Ezra, Sabine, and where this episode falls in the timeline compared to the end of Rebels.

Meaghan: Thrawn? Where’s Thrawn? Is Ezra with him? Was this just an elaborate way to force Disney to let Dave make his Ahsoka/Sabine galactic road trip to find Ezra series? Will Grogu find a Jedi to teach him? Who will it be? Wouldn’t it be cool if Quinlan Vos showed up? Where is this season going?? They keep introducing legacy characters and new mysteries and plot points and I have absolutely no idea where all of this is heading but I’m very much going to stick around for the ride.

Anna: If Quinlan Vos shows up, I will actually clutch my Starbird necklace, get the vapors and swoon. No joke. And yes. THRAWN OMMFG THRAWN. I think I read something saying that this falls before the end of Rebels, and of course, I now cannot find that reference. (Ed Note: from the Vanity Fair article, link here) Is Ezra going to answer the call of Grogu? Are we going to see Thrawn this season? Will we see Sabine? I think they are being really smart here bringing in so many different parts of Star Wars. 

Lauren: Where’s Ezra? Now we know that Ahsoka is looking for Grand Admiral Thrawn. Is looking for Thrawn the key to finding Ezra? Is Ezra already found, perhaps dead, and now there is a score to settle (unlikely)? I’m glad I had the foresight to finish up the last season of Rebels I hadn’t finished watching before this. It really helped ground me. I wonder how casual fans experience the show because I feel like the more you know about the extended parts of the universe, the more intriguing all of these new tidbits are. Episodes 6 and 8 are the only two for which we don’t know the director. One of those spots belongs to Robert Rodriguez (which I’m excited for), but if the other one possibly belongs to Filoni…maybe that’s our Ezra Lives episode that we all know in our hearts that we want.

Thanks for joining us and we’ll see you next week!!