The Mandalorian S3E4: The Foundling
The Foundling reveals Grogu's Order 66 savior at the "Best" time.
In the 20th episode of "The Mandalorian," we finally get to see who it was that saved Grogu from the Jedi Temple during Order 66. I've spent many hours thinking of who it could be and spent equal amounts of time debating my friends on the merits of my theories. And now that we finally get to see who served as Grogu’s savior, they couldn't have made a better choice.
"The Foundling," the fourth episode of this season, sees Grogu and Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) easing into their new roles as the episode opens with Mandalorians training with weapons and in hand-to-hand combat. It's an excellent opener that features Grogu's first Mandalorian challenge; Mando (Pedro Pascal) having a proud dad moment and a fellow youngling being stolen away by the raptor. As the Mandalorians pursue the raptor, their jetpacks run out of fuel and we then get a beautiful shot of Bo-Katan's ship, "The Gauntlet," in pursuit riding headlong into the setting sun.
Bo-Katan finds the beast's lair and is then chosen to lead the hunting party, along with Paz Vizsla's (Tait Fletcher) Shriek-hawk team, to hunt down the beast and return the foundling who was taken. Grogu is too young to join the hunt and stays behind for a life lesson from The Armorer (Emily Swallow). It's during this time that Grogu begins having flashbacks to Order 66 and we finally get to see who smuggled the young Jedi from the temple during the events of "Revenge of the Sith."
The Jedi Temple is in flames, Jedi are doing everything they can to keep Grogu safe as Clone Troopers draw closer and then one of them says, "Get him to Kelleran," and my heart stopped. I listened carefully and there it was again – the name of Jedi Master Kelleran Beq.
For the casual fan, the name Kelleran Beq probably means little, but I found my eyes begin to fill with tears at the mention of his name. The Jedi Master was introduced in the Youtube game series "Jedi Temple Challenge" and portrayed by actor Ahmed Best. Best was the man behind Jar Jar Binks in the prequel series and was one of many prequel actors who found themselves receiving backlash that was so hateful. For Best, it caused him to suffer severe mental health issues almost leading the actor to take his own life.
Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, who co-wrote the episode, could have easily slid Best in the background of a scene like George Lucas did in "Attack of the Clones," let fans have a geeky moment and move on with the story. But because they understand the universe and that true Star Wars fans take care of each other, they let Best take center stage and become one of the most pivotal players in the story of Grogu and I love them for it.
Kelleran is able to get Grogu to safety aboard a Nubian Yacht, which I found an exciting choice and opens up many possibilities. We also get to see some V-Wings in pursuit of the yacht, which is another nice prequel touch.
The episode closes with the hunting party finding the foundling and then battling the raptor. The scene is so much fun, with Mandalorians swarming around the beast to save the youngling and Paz Vizsla. There's so much fun action my 8-year-old immediately made me rewind it so we could watch it again.
Once back at the camp, The Armorer notices that Bo-Katan has lost a pauldron during battle and offers to replace it. However, instead of replacing it with an image of the Nite Owl, she opts to don two different pauldrons – one with the signet of Nite Owl and the signet of Mythosaur.
"The Foundling" yet again proves "The Mandalorian" franchise is in good hands with Favreau and Filoni. They're able to strike a perfect balance of new storytelling while honoring the past that made Star Wars what it is. Carl Weather, who plays Greef Karga in the series, was the episode's director and did a great job.
I love the show keeping the storytelling simple and pure. It's not rushed to get you to the next cool action sequence or cameo, it slowly unfolds and I'm so glad Disney doesn't episode dump everything all at once and gives fans a chance to watch, contemplate and look forward to the next week's episode.
"The Foundling" is a feel-good episode bookended by two exciting action sequences. It also features the gratifying moment when Grogu’s savior during Order 66 is revealed, which is sure to evoke happiness in the hearts of most Star Wars enthusiasts.