This Star Wars: The Mandalorian article contains spoilers.
After a year of speculation, Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian, suitably titled “The Jedi,” has finally given fans some of the answers they’ve been searching for. Not only does the episode reveal what fan-favorite hero Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) has been up to since the end of the Rebels animated series but it also gives Baby Yoda/The Child a proper name. Meet Grogu!
The straightforward way “The Jedi” answers so many of our questions is actually a bit shocking. In the Disney era, we’ve all gotten pretty used to toybox mysteries in which answers are only ever alluded to with quick winks and passing references (and this episode certainly has a bit of that), but Ahsoka wastes no time telling Mando what he really wants to know.
We learn from the former Jedi Knight, who can understand the little Yoda, that Grogu is not a clone or a strand-cast but simply a youngling who was training at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant before Order 66. But when the Republic-turned-Empire began hunting down the Jedi during the Purge, someone — presumably a Jedi Knight or Master — hid Grogu to save his life.
Ahsoka also explains why Grogu doesn’t use the Force most of the time, revealing that the youngling learned to conceal his powers in order to remain hidden from the Imperials who would like nothing more than to kill him. It’s no wonder she senses great fear and anger in him. He’s had to hide who he was for most of his life.
The episode doesn’t tell us who actually saved Grogu, what his connection is to Yoda (who is mentioned in “The Jedi”), or what planet he’s actually from, but we do learn where he needs to go next. Although Ahsoka refuses to train him after she senses the strong bond between the child and Mando, she does give the duo all of the information they need for Grogu to make his own choice. She tells Mando to take Grogu to the ancient Jedi Temple on the planet Tython where he’ll be able to decide whether to follow the path of the Jedi or live the life of a Mandalorian.
“If he reaches out through the Force, there’s a chance a Jedi may sense his presence and come searching for him,” Ahsoka says. “Then again, there aren’t many Jedi left.”
Fans’ ears likely perked up at this line of dialogue since we all know of at least one other Jedi operating in the galaxy five years after Return of the Jedi: Luke Skywalker himself. Is the show hinting that Luke will make an appearance on the show to take Grogu in as his student? I wouldn’t bet on that — as cool as it would be to see Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier from the Marvel movies) play a young Luke.
The connection between Mando and Grogu is the emotional core of this show, and it’s unlikely Disney is considering jettisoning what works any time soon. Besides, although we’re at the point in the Star Wars timeline when Luke is likely busy building his own Jedi academy and recruiting padawans, we know how all of his students ended up: either dead at Kylo Ren’s hand or agents of the dark side. Nobody wants that for our little Grogu. I’d wager that the youngling will instead choose the life of a Mandalorian, confirming that the show’s title refers as much to him as it does Din Djarin.
Whatever lies ahead for Grogu, who will likely have to make his choice by season’s end, it’s clear that we’re set to uncover even more mysteries of the Jedi in the process by visiting Tython, a planet that in the old Legends continuity served as the very birthplace of the Order. It’s going to be fascinating to see the planet in live-action. Could Tython be the site of Din’s final duel with Moff Gideon in a few weeks?
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more!