Can The Mandalorian Survive Without Baby Yoda?

Published on December 10, 2020

A terribly dark question manifested itself in my head after seeing that the latest episode of The Mandalorian was titled, “Chapter 14: The Tragedy. Are they going to actually kill off Baby Yoda?

It would certainly be a Game of Thrones-esque move. Kill off a leading character without completely killing the show. However, Baby Yoda isn’t Ned Stark. The Mandalorian needs Baby Yoda alive, and not just because he’s cute.

The beginning of, “Chapter 14: The Tragedy,” has another adorable father-son bonding moment between Mando and Baby Yoda. Mando is the classic “I’m not your actual dad but I do love you son, although I will never actually tell you this directly,” trope. He continues Ahsoka’s training from the last episode, encouraging Baby Yoda to take his favorite shiny gear knob from Mando with the Force.

Baby Yoda continues to respond positively to Mando calling him by his real name, Grogu. Honestly, I want to respect Baby Yoda’s real name as well, but for the sake of these reviews I’m going to keep calling him Baby Yoda.

Mando realizes that Grogu is incredibly powerful. It’s vital that he continues to get trained by a Jedi. Of course it’s at this point in the episode that things just go from cute to bad to absolutely terrible.

Last episode Ahsoka Tano told Mando to take Baby Yoda to the planet Tython and place Baby Yoda on top of the mountain to reach out to other Jedi through the Force. Mando does just that in, “Chapter 14: The Tragedy.” Grogu goes into a trance, presumably reaching out through the Force

Of course, everyone and their mother decides to attack our favorite father-son duo when Mando can’t just grab Baby Yoda and leave. He’s in a Force-trance so to speak, and Mando simply can’t break through Baby Yoda’s walls and leave the planet for safety.

Baby Yoda Can’t Be Reached Right Now, Please Leave A Message (Source: Disney Plus)

Another fan-favorite decides to return right at this moment. Honestly, I didn’t get the Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) hype from the prequels and the original trilogy, but Fett’s presence in this episode made me think, “Yes, give hims a spin-off after you finish the Ahsoka Tano show.”

Turns out Boba Fett saved another character from season one that was left for dead. Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) was a bounty hunter from season one who is played by the actress that voiced Mulan herself in the Disney classic animated movie. Ming-Na Wen is excellent in this episode, holding her own against the return of Boba Fett.

Just give every cool character their own spin-off please. (Source: Disney Plus)

Remember how Cobb Vanth’s (Timothy Olyphant) armor from season two, episode one had actually been Boba Fett’s armor? Well Boba Fett wants it back, picking the worst time ever to be honest, and he’s willing to threaten Baby Yoda to get it. Keep in mind that Mando has left Baby Yoda up on the top of the mountain alone and defenseless, which will come back to bite Mando later on.

Mando’s awkward interaction with Boba Fett and Fennec Shand is quickly interrupted. Stormtroopers have arrived, intent on capturing Grogu. In the ensuing mayhem Boba Fett steals his armor back from the Razor Crest. It’s a fun treat for Star Wars fans to see Boba Fett back in action in his iconic armor. Morrison absolutely steals the scene, kicking Boba Fett butt and taking Stormtrooper names.

Source: Disney Plus

Meanwhile, Baby Yoda continues to meditate. Mando is unable to reach him.

Things go from bad to worse. Mando’s ship the Razor Crest gets blown to smithereens. His failure to notice the tracking beacon on the ship costs him dearly. Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) orders his new Dark Troopers to kidnap Grogu.

Of course Gideon times this right when Baby Yoda sleepily snaps out of his Force-meditation, leaving the cute green alien completely vulnerable. Mando doesn’t make it up the mountain in time, and Gideon leaves with Baby Yoda in his clutches.

Boba Fett agrees to help Mando get Grogu back. Fett’s part of the deal was to keep him safe and that’s what he’s going to do. Shand is in too. Mando’s got the start of a Get Grogu Back team and I can’t wait to see how they rescue him.

Fett also realized to his horror that the Empire was returning, or striking back if you will, when he saw Gideon’s ship. That’s clearly been Gideon’s plan all along, but will he be able to take more of Grogu’s blood now that he’s been captured?

This show simply wouldn’t survive by killing Baby Yoda off. He is the heart of The Mandalorian, the reason Din Djarin feels like he has a purpose beyond bounty hunting. They still need to find Baby Yoda a Jedi teacher, but the question is, will Baby Yoda be able to let go of his child-like attachment to Din Djarin? Highly unlikely.

This episode is called the tragedy because Djarin is forced to let go of Grogu without his consent. There may be a day when the two do part ways but I could see that happening at the end of the series.

Seriously, watching Grogu completely demolish the Stormtroopers sent to his jail cell was awesome and a bit scary. He uses to Force to throw them about like rag dolls. It seems like it’s going to be impossible to get another blood sample from Baby Yoda, but Gideon figures out Baby Yoda’s weakness.

Gideon realizes that Grogu can’t use the Force for too long without collapsing in exhaustion. Poor Baby Yoda does just that, and Gideon has tiny little shackles placed on Baby Yoda’s wrists. It’s a sad state of affairs where everything seems to be going wrong all at once. Can Mando and company save Baby Yoda before season two ends? There’s only two episodes left and a lot of ground to cover.

But one thing is for certain. Baby Yoda’s gonna make it through. The question is, how?

Katherine Stinson is an award-winning journalist and Staff Reporter at Grit Daily News, where she covers Texas and Southern states' startup and entrepreneurship news. Based in San Antonio, Texas, she also contributes to ScreenRant, Outlander TV News, and San Antonio Magazine.

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