After many quests and detours, we’re finally here, at the season two finale of The Mandalorian. And what an episode it was. Just like Robert Rodriguez’s entry this season, the season finale, titled The Rescue, is action-heavy and full of unexpected surprises. Directed by Peyton Reed, who directed the second episode of this season, and written by Jon Favreau, this episode brings Mando and his squad of former, Mandalorians, bounty hunters and a rebel shock-trooper together for one last assault on Moff Gideon in an attempt to rescue Grogu from the clutches of Moff Gideon.
Instead of recapping the plot, let me just say, right out of the gate, that this is without a doubt the best episode of The Mandalorian and one of the finest Star Wars stories to date. Everything from the wonderfully staged action set pieces, to Bo-Katan and Reeves casting doubt on if Fett is actually Mandalorian, to the intensity of Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon wielding the Darksaber over Grogu’s head, to him baiting Bo-Katan and Din over who is the rightful custodian of the Darksaber. Gideon revealed he already extracted the child’s blood and hinted towards a new order on the horizon, setting forth in motion the events to bring Palpatine and/or Snoke to life many years later. The duel between Din and Gideon was particularly entertaining as well.
I particularly liked the animation style of the Dark Troopers that Gideon unleashed, it reminded me a lot of the T-800s in their skeletal form from the Terminator franchise. When Din defeated one and threw the rest of the platoon into space, I thought it was a bit anti-climactic to have them go out so easily. But these troopers aren’t sentient, they’re droids. They just launched their jetpacks and flew back to the base, accompanied by what sounded like dubstep, courtesy of composer Ludwig Göransson, who has been really on point this season. Things were looking pretty grim for our heroes, who would certainly be no match for that many Dark Troopers. Then it happened.
A sole X-wing showed up. As soon as it happened, I got chills. I knew right away what was going to happen but didn’t think it would happen. A cloaked figure, brandishing a green lightsaber, absolutely wipes the floor with the entire platoon of Dark Troopers. He’s hooded, but we know who it is and eagled eyed fans will no doubt catch the leather glove holding the silver hilt. Let’s just say it’s a good thing Boba Fett split from the squad early on in the episode as things could’ve gotten awkward. It’s Luke Skywalker, answering the call from episode 6. Luke is once again played by Mark Hamill using Disney’s de-ageing technology from the Marvel films. The tech still has some uncanny valley effects, but seeing younger Luke will certainly bring joy to millions of fans.
Luke proceeds to mop the floor of the Dark Troopers, inspiring hope to both fans and Team Mando. The scene reminded me a bit of the Hallway Scene in Rogue One, and kudos to the stunt double for making the Dark Troopers appear as dangerous as B1 Battle Droids, the choreography was so engaging. Luke urges Grogu to come with him for training at his Jedi Temple, to which Din states that Grogu doesn’t want to. Luke, being wise, powerful, compassionate, and hopeful (everything original trilogy fans want from their Luke), reveals that Grogu is simply looking for permission to leave. And after a tearful goodbye, where Din finally reveals his face to his adopted space child, he parts ways with him, fulfilling his mission from season one. It was a touching, heartfelt moment, showcasing that Din has changed so much since the very first episode and has come to love the little guy as his own son and put that love above the religion that raised him. He’s willing to take his helmet off in a room that consists of a friend, an ally, an enemy, some potential enemies and a total stranger. Din is gutted, as are we all, but he knows that going with Luke is the right thing to do. I do hope we find out what happens to Grogu when Ben burns the Temple down soon though, as that plot point is definitely on my mind. Oh, and R2 showed up to say hello as well, which may have seemed like fan service, but totally make sense since he would’ve been in the X-wing.
Yeah, this very much felt like a series finale. Grogu is, seemingly, gone from the show, at least for a while, but there are still loose threads in the air. Moff Gideon is still alive and I’m curious to see how and if he’ll return. He’s not a threat anymore but the fact that he was spared will surely mean something. The outcome of who shall bear the Darksaber to rule Mandalore is also left unresolved, which will presumably be what fills the plot in the next two seasons, assuming Esposito was right in saying that there are at least two more seasons on the way. Din was able to disarm the Darksaber from Gideon, as opposed to Bo-Katan, creating a power struggle that’s yet to play out. Allies will now possibly be enemies. That said, it will be interesting to see how the future of this series plays out now that the heart and soul of it has seemingly left the property for good. Perhaps he’ll guest spot if Mando goes and visits from time to time, but I don’t expect him to be in every episode going forward. This really was farewell. The Mandalorian was confirmed to return to Disney+ December 2021 at the Investors Day event, but before we cut to black, there was yet another surprise.
In a post-credit scene (a first for Star Wars), we got a scene with Fennec and Boba Fett, who returns to Tatooine to assassinate Bib Fortuna and claim Jabba’s old throne. Sitting there, ruler of the underworld with Fennec at this side, we get the reveal that The Book of Boba Fett will be coming to Disney+ in December 2021. There’s no word as to show the showrunner is at this point and the whole identity of this show is in question. Will this be season 3 of The Mandalorian or is this a new show that will run around the same time as season 3? It’s too early to say and honestly, it could go either way. The Mandalorian has used chapters to designate each episode and now we’re getting a new book about another Mandalorian. Just like the show Vikings, The Mandalorian can encompass a wide range of possibilities. Regardless, it looks like Deadline was right about there being a Fett mini-series in the works, something that Disney naturally didn’t want to spoil at their Investors Day. My guess is that this will be something like 4-6 episodes and serve as an appetizer for the return of Din, but again, that’s just a guess.
I hope it’s celebrations all around at Lucasfilm, as they’ve created a piece of entertainment that will be long remembered. The Mandalorian Chapter 16: The Rescue is the best episode of the show so far and one of the best pieces of Star Wars content to date. Time to watch it again.