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Recap: THE MANDALORIAN S2E8 — “Chapter 16: The Rescue”

Wow, wow, wow. There have been predictions, there have been conspiracies. But here we are, folks. The finale of Season Two of The Mandalorian. First off, for those who don’t enjoy jiving to Ludwig Göransson‘s score at the end of the credits, stick around!! There is a post-credits scene that leaves me with far more questions than answers. But before we talk about that, we need to talk about The Mandalorian Season 2 Finale!

In another fantastic episode directed by Peyton Reed, who also directed “Chapter 10: The Passenger,” we reach the conclusion of Grogu and Din Djarin’s story. Though, as Din said to his adoptive son as he left with Luke Skywalker (!!!), they will meet again. Last episode, we saw Mando reunited with an old pal and finally get the coordinates that will lead him to Moff Gideon. This episode opens with Boba Fett’s ship Slave I chasing Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) in his ship. After docking on the ship, we learn that Dr. Pershing is a clone engineer from the obnoxiously zealous pilot (what is with people being proud of genocide?). With Pershing captured, Mando and Boba find Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks aka Mercedes Varnado). Not sure what happened to Simon Kassianides‘ Axe Woves but I would have loved an Agents of SHIELD reunion between Kassianides and Ming-Na Wen.

Informing Bo that they’re going after Moff Gideon and have his location, a deal is struck. Of course, that doesn’t happen until after a bit of an ego contest. Bo and Koska recognize Boba’s voice and assume he is a clone trooper in a Mandalorian suit. They wouldn’t know about Boba’s unique origins, but it is a nice nod to the fact that both Bo and Koska would recognize a clone trooper’s voice due to their history. But none of that matters to Mando, he is fine with Bo tagging along to reclaim the darksaber if it means that she will be his backup. “Help me rescue the Child and you can have whatever you want. He is my only priority.” Oh Din, I’m going to miss this.

Mandalorian Season 2 finale

Onboard the ship, the team plans their infiltration. Pershing is nice enough to inform us that there’s a small army of 3rd generation dark troopers on board that only need a few minutes to power up. Keeping that in mind, the plan is that Bo-Katan, Koska, Fennec, and Cara head in for the first assult and act as a misdirection for Mando to get the kid. They’ll head to the bridge to retrieve the darksaber in the meanwhile. Bo makes it clear that she wants to take on Moff Gideon, but Cara emphasizes that he should be taken alive because he has valuable intel.

With Boba Fett on their tail in a mock attack, the ship barely makes it into the cruiser’s launch tube before the team starts their assault. Unfortunately for Mando, Gideon is prepared and he has the dark troopers turned on. While Mando makes his way to the brig for Grogu, the four woman assault squad is cleaning up against the stormtrooper forces. As much as I love watching Mando fight with his armor, it’s equally enjoyable to watching this group cut through stormtroopers like they’re nothing.

Before Mando can get to the cargo bay in time, the dark troopers are ready to go. The lead up to this builds the best kind of anticipation. We barely got to see these troopers in action when they took Grogu, but the whole scene oozes ominous doom. Managing to lock out all but one dark trooper, Mando engages in a perilous fight against a singular dark trooper. Say a prayer for that beskar, because it can take a mighty beating. After endless punches to the face, which without the helmet would have surely turned Din Djarin’s face into mush, Mando finally stabs the trooper through the neck and it powers down. Before the relentless forces can break through the door, he slaps open the airlock and bye-bye troopers… for now. Forgot about those thrusters in their feet, didn’t you, Mando?

As Bo, Koska, Fennec, and Cara make it to an empty bridge, Mando arrives at the bridge to find that Gideon is one step ahead. He stands over little Grogu with his darksaber drawn. Despite his alliance with Bo, Mando’s first concern is Grogu and he’s willing to let Gideon go with the darksaber if it means that the little guy is safe. Oh, also there’s another line from Gideon about “bringing order back to the galaxy,” another not so subtle hint to the birth of the First Order. But, of course, nothing is easy. And the moment Mando has his back turned to Gideon, he attacks. Say another prayer for beskar!

Mandalorian Season 2 finale

Mando and Gideon engage in a perilous duel, Mando with his beskar staff and Gideon with the darksaber. Clashes leave the staff glowing red, and Gideon attacks relentlessly. But he’s no match for Mando and soon he is unmanned, the darksaber clattering to the side. But, Gideon knows why Bo-Katan wants the darksaber and he knows that even though he’s lost the weapon, he’s still got the upperhand on Bo. Shackling Gideon, Mando brings him to the bridge, with Grogu in his arms and the darksaber in his hands. What an iconic look.

Seeing the darksaber in his hands and realizing what has happened, Bo-Katan is displeased. As Gideon states, the saber must be taken in combat. It’s the story and that’s what matters. Although, this is a bit of revisionist history, as Bo-Katan got the darksaber handed to her by Sabine Wren in Rebels, so I’m a little confused as to why she can’t take the saber now. Especially since it was a similar situation then, with Maul holding the darksaber and Sabine taking it from him.

Regardless, there’s no time to figure out who has ownership of the saber as the dark troopers are back with a vengeance. I’d really like to take this moment and applaud Giancarlo Esposito for truly relishing his role as Moff Gideon. Never has a character been portrayed so smugly, you can tell Esposito is really having a ball. As the troopers land back on the cruiser, Göransson’s electric score kicks in and dread enters the hearts of our heroes. Mando could barely take on one trooper and now there’s about twenty coming their way. As the troopers start literally punching their way through the door, a single X-Wing pops up on the radar.

Yes, guys, gals, and nonbinary pals, THAT IS THE X-WING. As a mysterious figure steps out, a green light emits from his lightsaber held in a gloved hand. Carving through dark troopers with deadly force and precision, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill under some impressive de-aging technology, to the point where I actually thought it was Sebastian Stan) appears out of nowhere. The seeing stone on Tython worked after all. Despite this good news, Gideon gets a blaster in his hand and shoots Bo and then aims for Grogu, which prompts Mando to dive in front of him. Although this feels insignificant given the Luke reveal that follows quickly after, it’s just another moment of Mando willing to do anything for Grogu. (Also, Gideon, she was wearing armor. Are you kidding me?)

Luke Skywalker

With the word Jedi wiping the smug smile off of Gideon’s face, suddenly there is hope. Mando opens the door and bathed in the smoke of fallen darktroopers, the jedi sheathes his humming green saber and removes his hood to reveal Luke Skywalker! Was I perhaps quietly hoping for Ezra Bridger? Maybe, yes, definitely. But the surprise of Luke appearing on The Mandalorian truly shook me to my core. By the way, what a fantastic fight sequence with Luke against the dark troopers, absolutely mesmerizing.

As Luke reaches out to Grogu, the Child looks up at Din and whines. “He doesn’t want to go with you,” says Mando.

“He wants your permission,” Luke replies. “He is strong with the Force, but talent without training is nothing. I will give my life to protect the Child, but he will not be safe until he masters his abilities.”

Picking up Grogu, Din holds the Child in his hands one last time. “That’s who you belong with. He’s one of your kind. I’ll see you again. I promise.” I am going to die!!! Grogu looks up at Din and reaches out to touch his face, his little claw hand scraping against the beskar of the helmet. And, around this point, is where I started openly weeping. Because, having perhaps come to an understanding with his own creed after his talk with Migs Mayfeld, Din Djarin removes his helmet to reveal Pedro Pascal‘s beautiful, sad face to Grogu for the first time.

Mandalorian Season 2 finaleLooking up at this father figure with curious eyes, Grogu reaches out and touches Mando’s face as Din closes his eyes and smiles. Like I said, not a dry eye in the house. Setting him down, Grogu hugs Mando’s leg, but something else catches his attention. Yes! That is the beeping of our good friend R2-D2! Waddling his way over, Grogu and R2 have a sweet little interaction before Luke picks up Grogu and the two depart. With a tone of finality, we watch as Mando and the Child get one last look at each other — Mando, glassy-eyed — before the door shuts and the episode ends.

But!! Not so fast! After the credits, we’re treated with a familiar sight. Tatooine. Jabba the Hutt’s palace. Bib Fortuna now sits on the throne, but not for long. As long shadows are cast along the entry stairway, we see the silhouette of Fennec Shand. Picking off Bib’s muscle, she frees the Twi’lek slave, as Boba Fett emerges behind her. Bib tries his best to keep himself alive, but Boba quickly ends his life and kicks him out of the seat. Lounging back on the throne, Fennec takes her place behind him and takes swig from a drink triumphantly.

The caption: The Book of Boba Fett, Coming December 2021.

Book of Boba Fett

Well, damn. Luke Skywalker and a Boba Fett show announcement? The Mandalorian Season 2 finale was not playing around! Of course, there are some lingering questions. Is this a spin-off series? Or is Boba Fett taking the place of Din Djarin as the eponymous Mandalorian of the series? With The Mandalorian Season 3 confirmed to come out Christmas next year, it seems unlikely that Disney Plus will run the two shows concurrently. Still, was this our goodbye to the much-beloved Mando? I’m not ready to say goodbye to Din Djarin just yet. What about the darksaber? What about his promise to Grogu? I need answers!

What were your thoughts on The Mandalorian Season 2 finale? What did you think of the big character reveals and that post-credit stinger? Do you think we’ll be seeing familiar faces from Season 1 and Season 2 in Season 3, even with Boba Fett at the center stage? Sound off in the comments below. Until next time, may the Force be with you. I’ll see you again, I promise.

Watch both seasons of The Mandalorian now on Disney+!

The post Recap: THE MANDALORIAN S2E8 — “Chapter 16: The Rescue” appeared first on The Beat.

Wow, wow, wow. There have been predictions, there have been conspiracies. But here we are, folks. The finale of Season Two of The Mandalorian. First off, for those who don’t enjoy jiving to Ludwig Göransson‘s score at the end of the credits, stick around!! There is a post-credits scene that leaves me with far more […]

The post Recap: THE MANDALORIAN S2E8 — “Chapter 16: The Rescue” appeared first on The Beat.

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