Why THE MANDALORIAN’s Treatment of Creatures Could Mean a Big Moment for Grogu
“Chapter 20” of The Mandalorian featured the show’s latest confrontation with a colossal creature. This time it was an aerial showdown with a wyvern-esque animal who liked feeding its baby chicks Foundlings. That winged leviathan ultimately met its demise inside the mouth of a giant space alligator, which the Watch covert fought in the show’s season three premiere. And that flashy sequence was strangely similar to The Mandalorian‘s season two showdown with a Krayt dragon. With so many sentient enemies in the galaxy far, far away, why does the Disney+ series keep having elaborate encounters with gigantic wildlife. Even when they’ve started to feel tedious? Those never-ending battles might all be building to a monumental moment someday, when a little green Mandalorian truly walks the Way of the first Mand’alor and tames a mythosaur.
The Mandalorian‘s first two seasons had some epic fights with huge animals. But those clashes started to feel especially repetitive after a bunch of Mandalorians grappled with an enormous space gator in season three’s opening scene. And if it didn’t feel trite then, it certainly did when a totally different beast attacked the exact same spot in “The Foundling.” Ragnar Vizsla’s capture led to another mass Mando melee and another dead monster.
Why so much critter combat? There are really only two possibilities. The first is simply that showrunner Jon Favreau loves them. We can see why he might. They certainly seem fun to write and bring to life from a creative standpoint. And from a storytelling one they give characters a chance to show off both their heroism and their fighting skills, both of which are especially important to Mandalorians. Those brave warriors work best in clans, and taking down a massive, deadly animal together shows they won’t back down from any challenge.
But we’ve now seen them do that enough times we don’t need to see it ever again. Din Djarin, Bo-Katan, and every other Mandalorian will fight a literal dragon to save a single kid. We get it, “This is the Way.” We know because we’ve just travelled that way many times now. Too many. Surely the smart people behind The Mandalorian, a wildly popular and critically acclaimed show, know that, too. So since we don’t think they’re lazy or stupid, that means they keep including these scenes for a reason. And season three might have revealed what that reason is.
The only Mandalorian who has not immediately resorted to violence against gigantic creatures is Grogu. (He’s not as kind to small seafood like squid and frog eggs.) He used the Force to stop a Mudhorn in season one. Grogu also used the Force to stop the rancor during its rampage in The Book of Boba Fett season one finale. That encounter between beast and baby ended with them peacefully napping together. Don’t sleep on what those acts seem to be setting up.
It might not seem very Mandalorian-like to tame rather than kill, but that’s exactly why Grogu might be special. Mandalore’s founder, the first Mand’alor, is said to have tamed the famed mythosaur tens of thousands of years ago. The tales also say the Mand’alor and other Mandalorians rode upon the animals’ enormous backs. It’s a legend their descendants still speak of. Now we know at least part of those legends are true. Mythosaurs are anything but a myth. One still resides beneath the Mines of Mandalore in the Living Waters.
The Armorer said the creature’s return would mark a new day for Mandalore and its people. Now that day might be arriving. But if the ancient tales are all true, one among them will need to tame the mythosaur. Will it be the Mandalorians who fight every colossus they meet? Or will it be the child who tames them? It’s clear through these never-ending wildlife wars who the show is positioning to do just that every time other Mandalorians take down a space kaiju. But there are other reasons to think Grogu will tame the mythosaur, too.
Star Wars has a long a tradition of Jedi using the Force to either subdue or make a meaningful connections with animals. That’s how Anakin helped escape the arena on Geonosis. Ezra Bridger’s bond with the mystical purrgil—who just so happened to appear flying at hyperspeed alongside Grogu in The Mandalorian‘s season three premiere!—also helped save his home planet of Lothal. And Rey used the Force to heal a scared, injured vexis in The Rise of Skywalker.
And besides their founder—who possibly also used the Force to tame his planet’s famous giant— Mandalorians revere another legendary ancestor they named Mand’alor, Tarre Vizsla. He is the only known Mandalorian to also be a Jedi, just like Grogu is now. He also created the Darksaber, a weapon Mandalorians believe gives its owner the right to rule. Grogu doesn’t possess the Darksaber, his dad rightfully does. (We think.) But that little green child might not need it anyway. He might do something far more impressive and tame the mythosaur.
If he does it will stand in stark contrast to how his fellow Mandalorians treat Star Wars biggest animals. Will all those previous battles with monsters make his taming of the mythosaur even more meaningful? We hope so. Otherwise, The Mandalorian killed off a whole lot of other creatures for no good reason.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.