*** SPOILERS AHEAD: If you haven’t watched the most recent episodes of The Mandalorian Season 2, look away now***
So here we are at the end of season two, with The Mandalorian having been largely successful in its second season efforts. The show has managed to raise the stakes while not losing the episodic nature that makes it so appealing in a world full of HBO-style, 10 hour inter-weaving narratives.
One question remains: will we get our boy back?!? Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) has Grogu captive on board his Imperial Cruiser, and it’s time for The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) to break him out, in an episode appropriately titled The Rescue. He’s already enlisted the help of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), Cara Dune (Gina Carano), and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), but there’s more to come.
The episode opens with a bang as the crew attack and board a transporter containing Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi). They kidnap the doctor, then enlist Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado), agreeing that Bo-Katan gets to capture Gideon and retrieve his Darksaber, which is the symbolic sign of rule in their home planet of Mandalor.
If you’ve been following the show, you would have more or less guessed that this would be the shape of the finale. However, the beauty is in the little moments showrunner Jon Favreau and episode director Peyton Reed pepper in. Seeing Mando and Boba side-by-side is great to see, and little exchanges, such as an Imperial Officer goading Cara Dune about the destruction of Alderon are small references to the Original Trilogy for fans to delight in.
As the crew fake a distress signal to board Gideon’s ship, you can’t help but get a wave of nostalgia. The show achieves something that few of the prequel or sequel films truly managed – feeling like an authentic part of the first three movies. While there are small gripes about The Mandalorian (as there are with any show), there’s no denying what Favreau and his collaborators have achieved.
Once on-board the cruiser, it’s a tale of two journeys – Bo-Katan, Dune, Shand and Reeves shoot their way through the ship to get to the bridge, enabling Mando to sneak through to Grogu (Fett is waiting on his ship). The former gives us a sequence where a group of very cool characters team up and blast anything that moves, like a shortened action movie. Mando’s path puts him face to face with the Dark Troopers – android Stormtrooper we’ve seen briefly before. They are presented as terrifying Terminators, with glowing red eyes and almost-indestructible armour. Mando takes care of one before ejecting the rest out of an airlock. It’s dealt with quite quickly, although this won’t be the last time we see them.
He finally gets to Grogu’s cell, where Gideon is waiting with a Saber to The Child’s neck. After pretending to hand him over, Gideon attacks and we get a Darksaber Vs. Beskar Staff duel (the only thing a Darksaber can’t cut through is Beskar, as we’re told in a very convenient line earlier in the episode).
After seven episodes of glaring, Esposito is superb here. A classic Star Wars villain, he chillingly tells Mando “assume that I know everything” as he always seems to be one step ahead. Sometimes you just need a villain to be a villain, and the Breaking Bad star does this so well, conveying the calm obsession of a fanatic.
Mando wins, and takes Gideon and The Saber to Bo-Katan and the rest on the bridge of the ship. Two problems arise – the first being that, according to Mandalorian tradition, Bo-Katan can’t simply take the Darksaber. Mando is technically the leader of his planet until she beats him in battle. Awkward.
But there’s no time to negotiate, as a ship full of Dark Troopers makes their way to the cruise. Gideon uses the distraction to grab a blaster and shoot Bo-Katan. Having struggled against one Dark Trooper, a whole army seems like certain death, until a familiar X-Wing arrives shortly after, and swipes a green Lightsaber through the lot of them.
The build up is excruciating, as we see the familiar cloak and think “is it? Is it?” As the doors part on the bridge, it’s revealed to be none other than Luke Skywalker himself, having answered Grogu’s call and come for him. Granted, it’s a smooth-faced CGI Luke, which will no doubt upset some, but it’s impressive enough for the few shots we see of him.
Now, the moment we thought would take five seasons has come in two. It’s time to say goodbye. Grogu doesn’t want to go, clinging to the leg of Mando before he takes off his helmet, and says goodbye. You’re crying. We’re crying. Everyone in a galaxy far, far away is crying at a moment that is given the space it deserves. Grogu eventually agrees to leave with Luke, and we abruptly cut to credits.
There are so many questions left unanswered. Is Bo-Katan alive? Is Mando now king of his people? What happens to Moff Gideon? What on Earth does Mando do now? Do we care as much without cute little Grogu at stake? Are we even getting a third season with so many spin-offs? It’s a major resolution and a cliff hanger all at once, but we’re left bawling our eyes out and hungry for more, which is all you could ask for. Despite the main reason most of us watched seems to have left, the show has left enough open for us to come back.
However, that’s not all. A post-credit sequence sees us in Jabba’s Palace, with former aide Bib Fortuna running things. In walks Fennec Shand and then Boba Fett, who shoots Fortuna and takes his throne. It’s revealed to be the set up for another spin-off, The Book of Boba Fett, coming December 2021.
There may be a point where Disney give us too much Star Wars too quickly, just as they did with the films. With so many series coming spanning so many timelines, you can’t help but think that new Star Wars content every single week might begin to grate. However, so far so good. The forthcoming shows look promising, as does the future of The Mandalorian, providing they remember that short episodic adventures are still The Way.
The Mandalorian Seasons 1 and 2 are available in their entirety on Disney+