THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
Chapter 20 – “The Foundling”
Din Djarin has officially been redeemed and accepted back into The Tribe, a faction of The Children of the Watch. In her attempt to save Din, Bo-Katan Kryze has accidentally found herself redeemed as well. The Tribe is happy to welcome her into their fold. Fate seems to have Bo-Katan on a new course she never imagined for herself.
In Chapter 19, the story took a major detour to Coruscant. We learned about the New Republic’s Amnesty Program for reformed Imperials. Dr. Penn Pershing and Elia Kane, former members of Moff Gideon’s crew, started what seemed a genuine friendship. Tides quickly turned against Dr. Pershing when Elia Kane, who encouraged him to pursue his forbidden cloning research, then turned him into the New Republic. She’s acting as a triple agent to keep his research an Imperial secret. The question still remains as to why? What project is she protecting? What does this have to do with the Mandalorians?
My top three picks for noteworthy highlights of Chapter 20:
#3 Ahmed Best, Yousa A Bombad Jedi
Ahmed Best returns to Star Wars! Ahmed was originally cast in the Prequels as Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar has gotten a lot of flak over the years as one of the most annoying Star Wars characters ever introduced to the Star Wars universe. George Lucas originally intended Jar Jar to appeal to youths, to keep the films light-hearted and family-friendly.
Love him or hate him, Jar Jar has divided fans and has been a focal point for complaints about the Prequels. I mean, it was Jar Jar who suggested giving “immediately emergency powers” to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. He was partially responsible for the power granted to Palpatine, who then became Emperor.
Ahmed has been the target of online bullying for playing the role of Jar Jar. He’s an actor who took a role in a universally known franchise. If you got the chance to be in a Star Wars project, you’d most likely accept regardless of your scripted role too.
Well, Ahmed is back! This time he is cast as the Jedi Master, Kelleran Beq. Kelleran Beq is the Jedi who is responsible for saving Grogu from the Jedi Temple when it was besieged by the clone troopers during Order 66. Wielding two lightsabers, green and blue, Kelleran Beq expertly fends off the clone troopers as he guides Grogu to a speeder.
An intense speeder chase through Coruscant’s traffic later, Kelleran reaches a landing platform with sympathetic Royal Naboo Security Forces guarding a fueled H-type Nubian yacht. Naboo certainly knows how to do starships.
Kelleran Beq and Grogu make their escape from Coruscant! Grogu recalls his escape in a flashback as he meditates while watching the Armorer craft his next piece of armor. It highlights that Grogu has experienced action and uncertainty in his short 50 years of life.
I loved that Ahmed got to shine as an actor and was a creative partner in developing this character. He was given an honorable role in an important event within the Star Wars universe. I hope we get to see more of him as Kelleran Beq. Where is he taking Grogu? Hopefully, we will find out soon.
#2 Bo-Katan Becomes the War Party Leader
The Mandalorians are sparring on the beach, facing off for practice duels. Even Grogu has his first match against Paz’s foundling. The Mandalorians get attacked by a flying raptor. Paz Vizsla’s foundling gets captured, and the raptor carries the youth off to its nest. Many are quick to pursue the raptor with their jet packs. The raptor’s lair is out of range for pursuit with jet packs, and they get left behind.
Bo-Katan is quick thinking and realizes this might be a long pursuit. She jumps in her ship and follows the beast. She’s able to scout out its nest and the precarious situation any of its prey may be in. The nest has a great vantage point, and rescue is going to be incredibly challenging.
She doesn’t try to be the hero but retreats to the hideout with the vital information, and a rescue team is assembled. Bo-Katan takes the lead. The Mandalorians make quite the crew, and they head out once again in pursuit. They make camp at the base of the stone spire where the giant nest is located.
I loved it when the Mandalorians settled in to eat dinner that Bo-Katan quietly asked Din, “How do you eat with other people around?” “You don’t. When you get your food, you go off to find a place where you can take off your helmet,” Din explains. Paz Vizsla says Bo-Katan gets the honor of staying next to the fire for her meal because she is the leader of the war party.
Bo-Katan seems hesitant to remove her helmet. She genuinely seems worried about violating any of the Tribe’s rules. She seems to be making the adjustment to living by “the Way” wonderfully.
In the morning, Bo-Katan reminds the war party, “Our best bet is stealth.” The Mandalorians start scaling the stone spire to reach the nest. It takes them some time in their ascent due to the caution of remaining quiet.
They reach the top. The nest is HUGE! Paz goes charging in, attempting to look through the mess of brambles and dried giant sticks. His presence alerts the baby raptors, alerting the parent raptor. The big raptor returns and vomits Paz’s son up but gets startled. It grabs Paz and the foundling, taking flight.
The gig is up. Now the Mandalorians can use their jet packs. A chaotic aerial pursuit begins. The Mandalorian war party shows their battle prowess as choreographed metal futuristic knights battle a giant raptor dragon in a galaxy far, far away. Paz and the foundling are rescued, and Paz is clearly thankful for the help.
The raptor takes a fall into the waters below and gets eaten by one of the giant crocodile beasts seen earlier in this season. The Mandalorians don’t leave the raptors young to fend for themselves but adopt them as monster pets. Perhaps the Mandalorians will tame them and keep them as battle mounts.
The war party returns with the rescued foundling. The Tribe is celebratory in seeing their success. Showing their happiness, they clink their vambraces together.
“Bo-Katan Kryze, you have honored your House and all of Mand’alor. You have done the highest honor of the Creed. Saving a foundling,” the Armorer commends.
“This is the Way,” Bo-Katan replies.
“You’re in need of a repair. Come with me.”
#1 The Mythosaur Is Bo-Katan’s Spirit Animal
The Armorer starts repairing Bo-Katan’s armor. She asks about her preferred signet, assuming she will want the Nite Owl. Bo-Katan hesitates and looks at the Mythosaur skull emblem hanging on the far wall.
“Would it be acceptable to wear one pauldron of the Nite Owl and another with the Mythosaur?”
“The Mythosaur belongs to all Mandalorians. It is always acceptable to wear.”
“I would like that.”
As the Armorer places her new pauldron, Bo-Katan asks, “What would you say if I told you I saw one?” “When you choose to walk the Way of the Mand’alor, you will see many things,” the Armorer thinks Bo-Katan has had a vision. Bo-Katan insists it was real.
Bo-Katan seems to have been deeply moved by what she saw in the Living Waters having a close call with the legendary beast. She is tentatively making changes in her own life and accepting the Ways of Old. Her armor now bears two signets, one reflecting her past and the other aspiring to her future.
There was a lot of Mandalorian action in this chapter! I loved seeing the Tribe spar on the beach in all their different armor. Grogu got to have his first sparring match against Paz Vizsla’s youngling, who ended up being captured by a giant raptor. Bo-Katan rallied a war party and took the lead in calling the shots, proving what a great leader she is. Grogu had a flashback about when he was rescued from the Jedi Temple during Order 66. Bo-Katan and Grogu both got some armor upgrades and wisdom bestowed upon them from the Armorer.
It was a short yet eventful chapter. Is it just me, or is Bo-Katan outshining Din Djarin in his own show? It is called The Mandalorian, so I guess that could mean any Mandalorian, right?
What were your favorite parts of Chapter 20? Let me know in the comments!