This review contains spoilers.
The Mandalorian – Season 2, Episode 8, Chapter 16: The Rescue
Moth Gideon is still in possession of Grogu, but Mando and his crew are coming… It is time for The Mandalorian Season 2 finale!
Before I go any further, I just want to pass on my sympathies to the friends and family of Jeremy Bulloch, the original Boba Fett, who sadly passed away yesterday. I think it is fitting that a show that has reignited his iconic character, despite himself not being in the role, should become one of Disney’s most valuable shows. His legacy and Boba Fett shall live on. Rest in peace, sir.
Last week, the episode ended with Mando informing Moth Gideon that he was coming for Grogu and for the first time we saw a hint of doubt on Gideon’s face. I have been playing out so many different endings in my head all week, and I can honestly say I still don’t know how they are going to end this episode. I’ve gone from a Jedi helping out to a failed rescue, resulting in Grogu’s death… My gut feeling is that the season will end on an ‘Empire’ note, with Grogu still in enemy hands, with Season 3 focusing on a larger rescue. But if you have been reading these reviews, you know that most of my predictions do not come to fruition. But I’m not alone in this, this show is incredibly hard to predict. Just when you think an episode is going to go one way, it pulls the rug from underneath you. I love this and this is why it is such a compelling weekly show.
So, here we go. Its 7:58am (GMT) and the episode is about to drop. See you on the other side!
Slave 1 is in hot pursuit of a Lambda-class shuttle containing Dr Pershing, which soon is floating aimlessly in space after Boba uses an ion cannon to disable the ship. One pilot pleads for his life, but the other shoots him for cowardice. The pilot is holding Pershing hostage as Mando and Cara assess the situation. It turns out that this pilot was on the Death Star and saw Alderaan explode. He goads Cara, who without batting an eye shoots him directly in the face. Brutal! They are not messing around, they want Grogu back! Mando looks at Cara as she walks off – what an opening!
Bo-Katan and Korska are in a cantina and are approached by Boba and Mando. Mando asks for their help, but Bo is apprehensive. The pair also do not approve of Boba’s presence, much to Boba’s delight. Mando offers Gideon’s cruiser as payment for helping them to retrieve Grogu. It is clear that Bo and Boba are going to clash. She makes a few jibes about hearing his voice “thousands of times” and that he is a disgrace to the armour. It was a really intense, yet delightful scene. Once again, Bo-Katan urges Mando to join her in the quest to retake Mandalore… this has to be where we are heading towards in future seasons! Bo-Katan talks through the plan to retake the ship, but Pershing tells them they won’t get passed the Dark Troopers, which are confirmed as third generation. Mando says that he is going alone to rescue Grogu, with the rest of the crew causing a distraction. What could go wrong?
The Lambda-class shuttle and Slave 1 head through light speed, I can’t believe they are pulling a Return of the Jedi with the shuttle! Slave 1 ‘fires’ at the shuttle, and the plan is in motion! Gideon sends out TIEs to intercept Slave 1. The shuttle makes an emergency landing in the landing bay. Slave 1 takes out a TIE before heading into light speed.
On board Gideon’s ship, the crew start to take out the troopers and Gideon responds by activating the Dark Troopers. There is a lot more of them this time around! The all-female decoy-crew continue to make their way through the ship, taking out wave after wave of Stormtroopers – all too easy?
On the bridge, Korska manages to disable the weapons system, they now have control of the ship’s navigation and weapons. But for how long?
Mando arrives at the Dark Trooper holding bay, but before he can close the door, one breaks through, and begins to punch the hell out of Mando’s helmet. He throws everything he has at the droid but it just won’t go down! That is until he pulls out the Beskar spear! That was a lot of work to take out ONE Dark Trooper, they are really selling these guys as a formidable foe. Before the rest can break through the door, Mando activates the airlock, blasting them the squad into space. I don’t think that will be the last we see of them!
As Mando approaches the holding cells, he arrives to find Grogu in shackles with Gideon holding him hostage with the Dark Saber. Gideon explains about the Darksaber and why Bo-Katan wants it. Mando isn’t interested, he only wants Grogu. Gideon states that he has already got what he needed, Grogu’s blood, and that he is free to take him so long as he allows Gideon to go their separate ways. As Mando approaches, Gideon ignites the Darksaber and attacks! The pair duel in the hallway, with Mando’s armour taking the brunt of the first wave of Gideon’s attacks. Mando manages to pull out the Beskar spear and begins to go on the offence, but Gideon has been well trained and continues to put Mando on the back foot. After more intense counters, Mando disarms Gideon knocking him to the floor.
On the bridge, Bo-Katan looks out the viewing port, before Mando enters holding Moth Gideon hostage with the Darksaber in one hand and Grogu in the other. To most this would feel like a victory! But for those who us who know about the Darksaber, we know what is about to happen… Mando offers the Darksaber to Bo-Katan but she stands there, silent. Gideon informs Mando that he cannot give it away, it can only be won in combat! Before they can figure out their next move, alarms begin to ring and Fennec informs the crew that the ray shields are down and that they have been boarded! – I knew those Dark Troopers would be back! They begin to punch their way through the blast doors, but just as they are about to burst through, the proximity alarm sounds once again… an X-Wing enters the docking bay. Grogu, who was looking exhausted opens his eyes wide, wider than we’ve seen them in a long time. Can he sense who the pilot is? (At this point I had a major case of goose bumps – I had a hunch at who was about to appear).
A robed figure walks through the hallway, and as they approached the first wave of Dark Troopers, they ignite a green lightsaber… IT HAS TO BE LUKE!!! The Jedi cuts through the Dark Troopers as if they were nothing, even force crushing one beyond all recognition. Grogu and the rest watch the events unfold on the monitors in astonishment. The Jedi arrives at the bridge and Mando demands that they let them in. Mando opens the doors and the Jedi enters, removing their hood to reveal Luke Skywalker (well, sort of), with his post-Return of the Jedi aesthetic. He has come for Grogu, and while Mando is once again reluctant, Luke informs him that Grogu does indeed want to go with him, but only with Mando’s permission. Holding and looking directly at Grogu, Grogu reaches out to touch Mando’s helmet, which Mando removes, to reveal his face to all to see. With tears in his eyes the pair connect on such an intense and emotional level. Grogu strokes Mando’s face in a loving embrace. The pair say their goodbyes, before R2-D2 interrupts, bowing to Grogu and beeping in delight (I want a Grogu and R2 animated spin-off show right now!!). Luke nods to Mando, before picking up Grogu (man the music is killing me at this point). “May the force be with you”, Luke proclaims and he leaves with Grogu looking back at Mando and his friends. – Mando continues to tear up, and by this point I am in floods of tears too! The elevator door closes and we cut to black…
But we are not done yet! We get a post-credits scene!
The two suns begin to set on Tatooine, to the backdrop of Jabba the Hutt’s palace. Inside the palace, two Gamorrean guards patrol the hallways, before revealing, a now much larger, Bib Fortuna sat on the throne. Blaster fire is heard on the steps to the throne room, an obvious nod to Return of the Jedi. Fennec enters killing the remaining guards and frees the chained up female Twi’lek. Boba enters the room, much to Bib’s surprise, and before he can ask any more questions, Boba shoots Bib dead and knocks his body off the throne. Boba sits down on the throne (like a BOSS), with Fennec on the arm drinking heroically, the camera pans out… what a stunning visual! We cut to black once more and are hit with the title card – “The Book of Boba Fett – Coming December 2021” – WHAT THE HELL??!! Yes, please!!
And with that, Season 2 of The Mandalorian comes to a close.
I mean, where do I even being to start breaking any of this down? I could talk for days about so many things that they would need their own articles! But I will try to take a minute, clear my mind of questions, and try to briefly summarise this final episode.
Ok, so Luke Skywalker… when I saw that X-Wing I knew it had to be Luke! I had goose bumps all over and my jaw genuinely dropped. As soon as the green lightsaber hit, and given the time frame, I knew it had to be ‘Return’ Luke, and it was. My heart was pounding and my head was racing with questions and trying to figure out what was going to happen, it was almost overwhelming. When he removed his hood to reveal his face, you could see Mark Hamill in there, and it was. They de-aged Hamill and he provided the voice, with Max Lloyd-Jones as the body double. Look, the technology is what it is and I think it looked fine. I wasn’t taken out of the moment at all, I bought into the scene completely. It was a great moment. We also got to see Luke at height of his powers and in his prime! I think fans should be left feeling very satisfied.
As for Grogu leaving? This was hard hit to take, but dare I say it, one that I think the show can cope with? Grogu does limit what you can do and I think it had met its natural ending. Even if it is only a temporary one. I am sure that this will not be the last we see of him, the Disney merchandising team will not allow it! As for the moment itself? Grogu seeing Mando’s face for the first time, it was truly a powerful and emotional moment. The music was perfect, invoking a wave of emotions to compliment and elevate what we were seeing. I’m going to miss him, I really am, but at the same time this isn’t the ‘Baby Yoda Show’, and while of course their connection was a big part of the show’s fabric, the show can naturally evolve from this as the focus shifts into new beginnings which, as I’ve said previously, is likely to feature heavily on the restoration of Mandalore.
While this episode was outstanding from start to finish, and aside from the two things I’ve made above, my biggest take from the finale was the all-female assault team! I absolutely loved this! They moved through Gideon’s ship with devastating force, and I think even without Luke’s help, they might have given the Dark Troopers a good run for their money! The Mandalorian has very strong female characters, and the show has also benefited from also having female directors driving the episodes. For far too long, Star Wars has been a stale male playground, but we are seeing more and more that the Force is female and I am all on board for this! I want to see more of this crew next season that much is certain!
So what about the post-credits stinger? Well I’m very excited, I know that much! As for what it means? I’m not sure! Is this a new show all together? Is The Mandalorian taking a break and next year we get this instead? Is this going to be a comic or animated series? I guess only time will tell – probably not long after posting this, thus totally making this segment null and void! Whatever happens, there is a huge hype behind this already and I cannot wait to see what they announce.
And finally, as a finale in general, I think it capped off a stunning season perfectly. It had action, huge moments, twists and turns and one hell of an emotional ending! If anyone comes away from this feeling short changed, then I don’t know what to say! It was a fantastic way to end an outstanding season of episodic television.
Now that it’s all over, we can take time to reflect and re-watch so many amazing new Star Wars moments. The one thing I do ask is please, at least for this weekend, don’t spoil things for others. Do not rob anyone of the moments of joy that we witnessed in this episode.
I may come back with a follow-up article about theories for Season 3, so please keep an eye out on Twitter! But until then, may the Force be with you… always!
What are your thoughts about the final episode of The Mandalorian Season 2? Let us know in the comments below! After all, this is the way…