REVIEW: ‘The Mandalorian,’ Season 2 Episode 6 – “The Tragedy”

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REVIEW: 'The Mandalorian,' Season 2 Episode 6 - "The Tragedy"

The latest episode of The Mandalorian, “The Tragedy,” fundamentally ups the stakes for our titular hero. Following the events of “The Jedi,” Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) takes the Child to the planet Tython so that he can reach out to other Jedi. However, he soon runs into bounty hunter Boba Fett (Temura Morrison) and sharpshooter Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) as well as Imperial forces led by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito).

“The Tragedy” is directed by Robert Rodriguez, who is a perfect fit for the Star Wars universe. Rodriguez has a wide and varied career, directing blockbuster spectacles such as Alita: Battle Angel and low-budget action-packed films including El Mariachi. Here he finds a balance between the two: Scenes such as Djarin soaring through the air and holding the child give off the same sense of joy one might see viewing the Millenium Falcon soaring through the sky, while a gunfight between bounty hunters and stormtroopers makes use of handheld cameras to sell the impact of every casualty.

The episode also reintroduces Boba Fett to the Star Wars universe, years after he supposedly met his end in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Fett has always been a character I’ve never connected with, as his reputation of “The Most Dangerous Man In The Galaxy” seemed to be nothing but talk. (It didn’t help that he basically got his bacon handed to him by a farm boy and a blind man in Return of the Jedi.) The old Expanded Universe tried to correct this but wound up pushing Fett’s skills into ridiculous territory as he was able to defeat skilled Jedi Knights with ease. Rodriguez and series creator Jon Favreau, who penned this week’s episode, find the perfect balance: Fett is a little older and scarred from his years on Tattoine, but years of surviving on a desert planet have made him a fearsome fighter. Favreau also ties Fett and his father Jango to the Mandalorian culture in a neat way, which is fitting since Fett is the character that served as the inspiration for the Mandalorian race.

The episode also sees the return of Wen as Fennec Shand, which I genuinely enjoyed. Most fans cried foul when she appeared to die at the end of “The Gunslinger,” so it was great to see her working with Fett and showcase her gun skills. I wouldn’t mind if Shand and Fett had a larger role in Season 3 of The Mandalorian, as they serve as perfect foils to Cara Dune and Greef Karga. While “The Siege” showcased that Karga and Dune were trying to go legit, Djarin might need allies who operate on the seedier side of the galaxy in the future.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the episode comes toward the end, where Gideon completely upends Djarin’s life. Gideon, much like Grand Admiral Thrawn from Star Wars Rebels, is a cunning villain who will use any advantage to secure his goals. Esposito brings his trademark charming menace to Gideon, and once again proves that he’s not your Dad’s Imperial officer by unleashing a terrifying new form of Stormtrooper.

“The Tragedy” is a game-changer for The Mandalorian, upping the stakes for its protagonist and finally letting a fan-favorite Star Wars character earn his reputation. With only two more episodes left in Season 2, the stage is set for Djarin and Gideon to have an epic confrontation.

The Mandalorian Season 2 will air new episodes Friday on Disney+.

The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 6-"The Tragedy"

TL;DR

“The Tragedy” is a game-changer for The Mandalorian, upping the stakes for its protagonist and finally letting a fan-favorite Star Wars character earn his reputation. With only two more episodes left in Season 2, the stage is set for Djarin and Gideon to have an epic confrontation.