WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Chapter 16 of The Mandalorian. Please turn back if you have not watched the episode yet.
Today's episode of the Disney+ Original Series The Mandalorian marked the end of the second season and we now must begin the very long road until next Christmas and Season 3.
That said, this episode (titled "The Rescue") was packed with action, emotion, and even a few surprises. Additionally, this episode was directed by Ant-Man and Ant-Man & The Wasp director, Peyton Reed.
The episode begins in the middle of a dogfight between the Slave I and an Imperial shuttle. Although shuttles are not equipped with any weapons systems, this scene reminded me of how much I enjoy a good dogfight set in space.
Din and the crew are tailing Dr. Pershing, the man responsible for conducting experiments on Grogu and extracting his blood. The Slave I finally subdues the shuttle by firing an ion cannon and shutting down their electronics.
After boarding, Din and Cara Dune have a good ole' fashioned Mexican standoff with the Imperial officers who are now threatening Dr. Pershing's life. This scene was a great way to further develop Cara's character, which has happened a few times this season - most likely setting the backdrop for the Rangers of the New Republic series that Disney recently announced.
After blasting the guard holding Dr. Pershing in the face, Cara and Din leave the shuttle. The crew's next stop is to find Bo Katan and Koska Reeves (played by Sasha Banks). In this scene, Din convinces Bo Katan to help him track Moff Gideon and save Grogu, in exchange for the Dark Saber.
This scene marks the first official meeting of Bo Katan and Boba Fett, even though she notes "I have heard your voice thousands of times before," referencing the fact that he is a clone. For fans of the animated Clone Wars series, this was a fun easter egg. Everyone's favorite bounty hunter and Koska get into some fisticuffs before Bo Katan diffuses the situation and agrees to help.
We return to the Slave I where the crew discuss how to infiltrate Moff Gideon's ship. Dr. Pershing offers some vital information about the location of the robotic Deathtroopers that first appeared in Chapter 15. This moment felt a bit odd to me; I'm not sure if he feared for his life or if he decided the experiments being conducted were wrong and he wanted redemption. Either way, it was a pivotal moment to move the plot forward.
In classic Return of the Jedi fashion, the crew uses the stolen Imperial shuttle to board Moff Gideon's light cruiser under the guise of Boba Fett attacking them. Once they are safely on board, Boba jumps into hyperspace and doesn't return until later. Our team wastes no time dispatching of all the Stormtroopers in the TIE hangar and making their way toward the bridge. Meanwhile, Din sneaks in the shadows to deactivate the Deathtroopers.
The next few scenes were packed with a lot of action, so allow me to be brief: Din duels with a Deathtrooper (alliteration intended). The fight was epic and had a lot of fun moments including Din almost getting his face caved in and the Deathtrooper's decapitation via beskar staff. Din forces the rest of the Deathtroopers out of the airlock before rushing off to save The Child.
Moff Gideon is waiting and tricks Din into thinking he will make it out alive before attacking the Mandalorian with the Dark Saber. Din bests him and brings him to the bridge, where we learn that Bo Katan must win back the saber through combat, due to her creed. She does not willingly take it and it now belongs to Din, which will most likely be the major plot point of the upcoming season.
The Deathtroopers return from their spacewalk and begin an assault on the bridge, where Moff Gideon tells our team that they won't make it out alive. Soon after, an X-Wing arrives and a sarcastic Cara Dune mentions "Great, we're saved."
Enter Luke freaking Skywalker! A digitally de-aged Mark Hamill showed up in full Return of the Jedi costume at the climax of the episode to save our crew from the onslaught of Deathtroopers. In the spirit of full disclosure, I was a little disappointed we didn't see Ezra Bridger answer Grogu's call, but I am sure we will see his return in the Ahsoka series coming to Disney+ in 2022.
Luke cuts through the robotic Deathtroopers in a way that reminded me of Anakin cutting down droids in... well, any of the prequel movies. We even got a fun clip of him force-crushing one of the troopers, which I felt was very Vader-esque.
After exchanging a few words with Din and convincing him that he would give his life for The Child if necessary, Grogu and Din finally say goodbye. This scene would have been emotional enough, had Din not broken his rule once again and removed his helmet to look directly into Grogu's eyes (I'm not crying, you're crying...).
As Grogu walks over to Luke, we hear a familiar beeping sound and our good buddy R2-D2 shows up. He and Grogu have an adorable interaction before Luke picks up The Child and the three of them exit Moff Gideon's light cruiser and the credits roll.
Full disclosure: I exited the episode before making it to the post-credit scene. A friend of mine asked what I thought, and I had to go back and watch it. Quick summary below.
We return to Tattooine and pan out on Jabba's Palace. Bib Fortuna, slightly heavier than we last saw him, is sitting on the throne being pampered. Next to him sits a Twi'lek dancing girl (hi, Rachel!) when shots can be heard coming from the entrance. Moments later, Fennec Shane enters with Boba Fett closely behind. Fennec dispatches of the guards quickly enough and shoots the chains holding the Twi'lek, freeing her.
After Bib tries to engratiate himself with the bounty hunter, he receive a blaster bolt to the face. Boba slowly approaches the throne, pushes Bib's body off and sits down, with Fennec taking her seat at his right hand.
Following the post-credit scene, we get a tease of "The Book of Boba Fett" coming in 2021. My theory is that Season 3 of The Mandalorian will focus solely on developing the character of Boba, which fans of his will appreciate.
Then in the fall of 2022, we will see Rangers of the New Republic, Ahsoka, and Season 4 of The Mandalorian all taking place either concurrently to "The Book of Boba Fett" or slightly before/after. Thanks to Kathleen Kennedy's Lucasfilm presentation, we know that these three shows will most likely culminate in some sort of epic crossover event, which I think may happen in the Spring/Summer of 2023.
So what did you think? Were you happy with the return of Luke Skywalker? Do you want a Boba Fett focused season? Did you notice Din's haircut? Let me know in the comments!
On the bright side, there are only a few weeks left until the premiere of WandaVision...