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The Mandalorian - The Tragedy - Review: Riddled with Plot Convenience

6 Dec 2020

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Warning: The following review contains major spoilers for The Mandalorian, “The Tragedy”.

The journey to the planet Tython is quick. There's no ship-bashing or space-spiders or frog eggs. Things go relatively smoothly, which is why my anxiety spiked. Nothing goes well for long.

As they approach the planet, Din Djarin tests Grogu's name and powers a few times. Grogu proves the be the absolute cutest with his joy and innocence. Mando explains to him that his Force powers are impressive, but too powerful for him to train. They need a Jedi, and it needs to be Grogu's choice.

Now, this episode was pretty solid. It had some amazing fight scenes, nail-biting moments, and brought a few filler episodes from Season 1 together.

The main issue that arises is how conveniently everything happens. It was the perfect order of things for the episode to end the way it did.

The first offense was mild; understandable. Mando scans the area and determines that he will have to land the ship away from their destination and use the jetpack for the rest. At first, I thought it was just because they wanted to get a shot of Grogu flying with the jetpack. In the end, it was the first step toward a more sinister outcome.

They reach the seeing stone (in record time with the jetpack, take note!) and Grogu is placed in the middle. For a few minutes, nothing seems to be happening in regards to the rock and Grogu. While Mando is investigating, he spots a ship in the distance. Immediately, Din is suspicious and tells Grogu that they need to leave.

(Side note: Wasn't the whole point of this to summon people? Shouldn't he be expecting a ship or two?)

The second plot convenience offense was also relatively mild. The Child suddenly is surrounded by an impenetrable force field that prevents Mando from retrieving him. It crossed my mind that it was convenient, but not so much in a movie-sin way. It was a build to conflict, forcing Mando to stand guard and defend him.

Leaving Grogu to do his thing, the Mandalorian goes down the hill to meet with the people who exited the new ship. He meets Boba Fett, who demands his armor back. Din, misunderstanding, vehemently denies the request. Boba Fett clarifies that he does not mean the one that the Mandalorian is wearing, but the one in the ship that he was given by Cobb Vanth on Tatooine earlier this season. The armor belonged to his father — Jango Fett — and now to him. He goes as far to threaten the Child if Mando does not give him the armor. That's when it's revealed that Fennec Shand is still alive, and she never misses. (Impenetrable shield, anyone?)

And then comes the third plot convenience offense.

Boba Fett asks Din to take off his jetpack.

The unnaturalness of this line was honestly so jarring. It immediately stuck out to me as odd. The Mandalorian is armed every-which-way and Boba Fett is only concerned about the jetpack. The way the line was written was also a bit strange — it really felt as if the script had originally said "blaster" and they later realized they needed to get rid of the jetpack for the fight to come. I think overall, asking Mando to take off his jetpack would be a reasonable request with a few dialogue tweaks, but as is, it felt stale.

Nonetheless, Din agrees to put down the jetpack. The group puts down their weapons simultaneously. Fennec explains that Boba Fett saved her on Tatooine when Mando assumed she was dead. Boba Fett claims that sometimes fate steps in to save them.

The Mandalorian still refuses to give Boba Fett the armor, stating it goes against the Mandalorian Creed. But Boba Fett makes a compelling deal — he will guarantee the safety of Grogu if his armor is returned to him. But before Mando can accept or decline the offer, another ship arrives and they begin to prepare for battle.

And no, the Mandalorian does not pick up the jetpack that's right at his feet. Why, Mando? Why? This is the final plot convenience offense, but it is the heftier one.

Din runs up the hills to grab Grogu (which would've been so much faster if he just grabbed the damn jetpack), but finds that he's still stuck in that forcefield. He tries his best to get through it, but is thrown back forcefully and knocked unconscious by the landing.

Boba Fett and Fennec attack the stormtroopers, depleting their numbers quickly. Here, we get to see the side of Boba Fett we never really got in the Star Wars movies. His fighting is epic and powerful. He takes down all the stormtroopers with ease, whacking them one by one. It's hard to imagine the power he would have with his armor when this is the damage he does with a simple staff.

After quite a bit of fighting, Boba Fett notices he has an opening to reach Razor Crest — the Mandalorian's ship. He can go get his armor himself.

Another ship arrives with more stormtroopers. Din, now conscious again, tries to grab Grogu, but is not successful. He promises that he will keep Grogu safe, and then leaves to join the fight. It's immediately after Mando leaves that the Child is released from the forcefield. It's heartbreaking and nail-biting all the same. It didn't give off the same vibe as a plot convenience, but showed why Mando would've probably had better luck defending Grogu while keeping him in eyesight.

As Fennec is overrun by stormtroopers, Mando saves her with the whistling birds. He tells her to save herself, but she says that she is fulfilling her end of the deal. As they fight, Boba Fett makes his epic appearance with his armor, showing how powerful of a fighter he could be. He displays more skill than Mando, even. His fighting style scares the stormtroopers and they immediately retreat, only for Boba Fett to take down two ships with one blast. (Though, he does claim he was aiming for the other one.)

Right as we are ready to relax — the battle is won, the Child is safe — laser shines from the sky and blows up Razor Crest.

It is a quick mourning before Din realizes that the Imperial Troops are still after Grogu. Once again, Din pays no mind to his jetpack as he runs full speed up the hill to reach the Child.

It's Moff Gideon who is launching the attack, and he's got Dark troopers!

The race to Grogu is intense and anxiety-inducing. For a while, I thought that there was no way they'd succeed. Din and Fennec would get there in time. And then I began to realize that we knew nothing about the next two episodes. Anything could happen.

In the end, the Dark troopers won the race. They snatched Grogu as Mando watched helplessly, probably kicking himself about the damn jetpack. Seriously. Why didn't he pick up the jetpack? I'm tempted to make a list of events that could've been helped by the jetpack.

Poor Grogu is screaming as he's flown up to the Imperial ship. Boba Fett follows and for a brief moment, I hoped that there was still a victory to be won. Din ensures that Boba Fett does not strike down the Dark troopers, not wanting Grogu to get hurt in the crossfire. Instead, Boba Fett follows hopelessly, and sees that the Imperial forces are back. The group is in shock as the ship jumps into hyperspace.

Goodbye, Grogu.

You could've been saved by a jetpack. Just saying.

Din gets a chance to mourn Razor Crest at the end of the episode. He pulls out the joystick ball that Grogu loves so much and pockets it, showing that he still has hope in saving the Child. He also finds the beskar staff that Ahsoka Tano gave him last episode.

Boba Fett proves that the armor is his, though Mando does not seem to want to argue the subject anymore. He quickly agrees that the armor is his. He begins to wrap up their deal, but Boba Fett amends that the deal was to ensure that the Child would be safe. As Grogu was taken by Moff Gideon, he is not safe.

Together, they travel to Nevarro to begin building their strike team. He finds Cara Dune, who is now a Marshal of the New Republic. He asks if she could help him find Migs Mayfeld from Season 1, revealing that he plans to break him out of prison to help him save the Child.

Well, I suppose that tells us the plot for the next episode!

As a final scene to the episode, we see Grogu using the Force to mess with the stormtroopers in his cell, but unfortunately, he is not strong enough to continue. Moff Gideon seems to know Grogu's limits, waiting it out until the Child nearly passes out from exhaustion. It pleases Moff Gideon a little too much. He displays the Darksaber, which seems to intrigue Grogu, but Moff Gideon quickly turns it off. A stormtrooper stuns Grogu and he is left in the cell with shackles.

Overall, the episode was good. It was action-packed and entertaining. There was no room to be bored! It's simply unfortunate that there were a few lazy plot conveniences that could've been easily remedied to feel more natural. I do hope it doesn't become a pattern with The Mandalorian.

What did you think of the episode? Could anything else have been saved with the jetpack? How will the team-up next episode go? Will Din Djarin save Grogu in the end? Leave a comment below!

The Mandalorian releases new episodes on Disney+ every Friday. Be sure to catch my reviews the following Sunday!