The following contains major spoilers for the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian.
The final episode of the second season of Disney+'s The Mandalorian gives us a lot to unpack. There's quite a lot that happens, and even more that hints at where the future of this series, and potentially several others, could go. However, if there was one major question that I was struck by while watching the new episode, titled "The Rescue," it has to do with something in Star Wars' past, at least from our perspective. The place that The Mandalorian leaves The Child at the end of that episode potentially teases a pretty horrific fate for everybody's favorite Baby Yoda. The question has to be asked. Does Kylo Ren kill Grogu?
The Star Wars sequel trilogy ultimately gave Kylo Ren a redemptive arc that a lot of fans appreciated (I wasn't one of them for the record). In the end, Kylo Ren remembered that he was Ben Solo and stood by Rey to take down the Emperor. While Ben may have ultimately chosen to do good, that doesn't completely erase the bad he had done in his past, and that includes the destruction of Luke Skywalker's Jedi school, and possibly the death of everybody's favorite little green alien.
Baby Yoda's New Jedi Master
Two episodes before the finale it seemed that little Grogu, before being kidnapped by Moff Gideon, is successfully able to reach out with the Force and make a connection with another Jedi. Who that Jedi might be was a topic of much debate, but in the end, it turned out to be both the most, and the least, obvious choice. Luke Skywalker made his first live-action appearance outside of the films thanks to Mark Hamill and some slightly wonky CGI. He's the most obvious choice in that he's the one Jedi the whole world knows is alive and out there at this point in the Star Wars timeline. At the same time, most people probably didn't expect it to actually be Luke. He was almost too big a name.
And yet, it really was Luke and so now it appears that Luke Skywalker will be the new Jedi Master for little Grogu. The two went off together and while The Mandalorian promised he would see The Child again, at this point it appears the road splits and The Child will go one way and The Mandalorian another. At this point, we don't even know for sure how we're getting more episodes of The Mandalorian. However, we do know how things will turn out for the students of Luke Skywalker. Not well.
We learn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens that Luke opened a training facility following the events of Return of the Jedi, and there he tried to instruct a new generation in the use of the Force. We also learned that ended in fire. Ben Solo turned on Luke, destroyed the school, and, as far as we know, Luke was the only one to survive the onslaught, which then makes one wonder what Grogu's ultimate fate will be.
We know that Grogu is approximately 50-years-old in The Mandalorian, and that he has already received some amount of Jedi training. Considering his maturity level, it seems that, despite his age, he probably would be considered a Youngling. There's no mention of him having had a Master before, so he likely was nobody's Padawan yet.
Considering the limited number of Jedi that exist in the galaxy in this time, things may have worked very differently at Luke Skywalker's school, but prior to the Clone Wars, a young Jedi would spend, on average, a decade training under a Jedi Master as a Padawan before becoming Jedi Knight. There are approximately 18 years between the events we witness in the newest episode of The Mandalorian and the destruction of Luke's school. That may be a little long to believe that Grogu was still a student, but there are still some reasons to believe he could have been there.
To start, given Grogu's development, we don't really know how long he would need to keep training under his master. He's 50-years-old, and while it seems he may not be quite as young as he appears from the outside, it's possible that he simply doesn't mature fast enough to be done with his training in a decade or two.
Secondly, even if Grogu had learned enough from Luke to be a full-fledged Jedi Knight before the events we see in the flashbacks from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it's possible (even likely) that Grogu would have stayed at the school, transitioning from a student to a teacher, to help the new generation that has been brought in. Either way, Grogu would have been there that fateful night, and it would appear that if he was, he died at the hands of Kylo Ren.
While it's possible that Grogu was there the night Kylo Ren was born, it's also certainly possible that he wasn't. Without knowing for sure, anything is possible. Of course, if he wasn't there, then leads to the obvious question of where was he? Did he find Luke after the temple fell? Did he know where Luke was after he went into hiding? Why didn't he come to the aid of the Resistance after the rise of the First Order? When the evidence, such as it is, is put together, Grogu's death certainly isn't the only possibility but it's one that fits the evidence we have.
Does This Change The View On Kylo Ren?
While I didn't love the decision to redeem Ben Solo (mostly because it was just a story we'd seen before) a lot of people wanted to see the son of Han and Leia find his good side again. But if Ben Solo killed the most popular (and merchandisable) Star Wars character in years, does that change things?
The prequel trilogy did something potentially similar. It's one thing to see Darth Vader get redeemed throughout the original trilogy. But that whole arc has to be reconsidered when you see him on the verge of slaughtering children and strangling his wife. The idea that Ren killed Grogu might not change everybody's mind, but it may give more than one person pause. It's one thing to know, in the abstract, that Luke Skywalker's students were all killed, but it's potentially another now that we discover we knew one of them quite well.
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