It has been merely hours since the second season of The Mandalorian ended, a season that built upon the brilliance of the first in every single way. I’m yet to give the season as a whole a full review as I need to talk about spoilers… and there are so many mindblowing moments to get to. Before we get to that incredible finale (and crazy after-credits scene) let’s touch on some earlier surprises from the season. Oh, and yes, spoilers ahead!
SPOILERS for the entirety of The Mandalorian season 2 to follow
Chapter 9: The Marshal
The season opens with a spectacular episode that sets the season up to be a big one. Mando (Pedro Pascal) and The Child are on the hunt for another Mandalorian, on Tatooine nonetheless. This first episode is everything it needed to be to boost excitement for the season. It’s packed full of action and full of awesome moments such as the first live-action appearance of a Krayt Dragon… well, once that’s alive. There’s another cameo from R5-D4 and the first appearance of Cobb Vanth, played expertly by Timothy Olyphant. We get some awesome shots of Boba Fett’s armour in action before we actually get a shot of Boba Fett himself, played by Temuera Morrison of course. This episode blew me out of the water… but little did I know there’d be bigger things to come.
Chapter 11: The Heiress
After a brief detour in chapter 10, Mando finds himself on another new planet, delivering a mother and her babies. After a brief back-stabbing interaction with some Quarrens, Mando is rescued by one very familiar looking suit of Mandalorian armour. It’s instantly recognisable as the armour of Bo Katan, a character who has appeared throughout Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, the two animated brainchilds of the all-knowing Dave Filoni. This live-action debut of Bo Katan, played by Katee Sackhoff (who previously voiced the character) s handled in the most awesome way possible. She’s a total boss who kicks ass this entire episode. It’s basically her episode. Her appearance is already an awesome one, but it’s made even more amazing when she drops the fact that she’s after the Darksaber… or shall I say… HER Darksaber. Last we saw, she had the Darksaber at the end of Rebels – and now it has somehow fallen into the hands of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). Not only do we get this moment, but she also name-drops Ahsoka Tano and where to find her. This moment blew my mind and make me even more pumped to see what’s next.
Chapter 12: The Siege
Chapter 12 isn’t the biggest episode of the season in terms of revelations, but it should be highlighted for how it is a perfect Star Wars episode. It has absolutely everything including story, mystery, danger, land battles, sky battles, character reunions – it’s the complete package. The scene where scout troopers race down the side of the canyon in pursuit of Mando and his crew is just glorious. This episode also lays the groundwork for Moff Gideon’s plans with The Child. He requires the blood of The Child for some sort of cloning project that seems to be a precursor to the eventual cloning of Emperor Palpatine. In this one eerie scene, there is more setup for Palpatine’s return than in the entire sequel trilogy.
Chapter 13: The Jedi
This is the big one. Written and directed by Dave Filoni, we all knew this was the episode we would finally get to see Ahsoka Tano. To my surprise… she shows up within seconds of the episode starting. Fair to say I completely lost my mind throughout this entire episode. Ahsoka wrecking shop with her white lightsabers, like a shadow weaving through the woods, making quick work of everyone she encounters is the perfect way to introduce her. Shortly after, we see the appearance of Morai (otherwise known as the owl that follows Ahsoka) in a split-second scene right before Mando and Ahsoka have their little scrap. This is the moment where we see how pure Beskar steel can withstand the blow of a lightsaber. The cinematography throughout this sequence, and the episode as a whole is absolutely beautiful. Everything is designed to give off the look and feel of a traditional samurai film and it’s executed to perfection.
Not only does this episode bring Ahsoka, it also brings information on Grogu! Yes. Grogu is revealed to be The Child’s name. Not only that, but he was raised in the Jedi temple on Coruscant, where someone saved him shortly before the execution of Order 66 could wipe him out. All of this information is awesome, especially since we previously knew nothing about him. That detail of someone rescuing him is no doubt going to come back at some point. After a reference to Yoda, a reference to Anakin, a Loath Cat cameo and an awesome Beskar vs Lightsaber showdown there is yet another surprise. Ahsoka name-drops Grand Admiral Thrawn!!! The infamous villain from old Star Wars Legends who made his first canonical appearance in Star Wars: Rebels. The implications of this name-drop are huge. Not only does it show Ahsoka is still looking for Thrawn and Ezra, but that we are almost certainly going to see them in Ahsoka’s recently announced Disney+ series. Dave Filoni knocks this episode out of the park and has successfully bought his Rebels crew into live action in phenomenal fashion. But, lets also highlight how Rosario Dawson incredibly picks up the mantle of Ahsoka and absolutely slays. She embodies the character so perfectly, you won’t even notice the actress change.
Chapter 14: The Tragedy
Just when you think “there’s been three massive episodes in a row, so surely this one is going to be a slower one”… Robert Rodriguez says nope and directs the hell out of another insane episode. As Mando and Grogu arrive on Tython, Slave I flies in and it turns out the one and only Boba Fett has been tracking Mando this whole time. Temuera Morrison gets some great, intimidating lines in – making it known that he’s just there for his armour and he’s bought Fennec Shand (Ming Na Wen) along with him, whom he saved from certain death. Firstly, we get to see Boba decimating stormtroopers, destroying their armour with his giant stick. This is the first time we actually get to see the brutality of Boba Fett.
Then, that action is elevated when Boba finally gets his armour back and he pulls out all the insane tricks and knee rockets to wipe out every last stormtrooper. This moment was a long time coming and it was exhilarating to see the character in all his ass-kicking glory. Where we do get some absolutely awesome scenes with Boba Fett in this episode, there are also some pretty heartbreaking moments. First, the Razorcrest gets blown to dust, with only Grogu’s little ball and the Beskar spear surviving. Then, the Dark Troopers get deployed, taking Grogu and escaping back to Gideon’s cruiser. This is a pivotal moment that no-one wanted to happen, but everyone knew was inevitable. There is a silver lining though, Boba Fett announces he’s going to tag along with Mando until Grogu is returned.
Chapter 16: The Rescue (FINALE)
Just when you think the season can’t get any better than The Jedi, we arrive at what is a finale of epic scale. Everything, and I mean everything, in this episode is mindblowingly stellar. My head is still reeling after the complete awesomeness contained within this episode. It opens with a purely awesome and intense sequence which sees Mando and the crew in Slave I tracking down and capturing Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi). The score throughout this entire sequence is absolutely riveting, setting the tone for this finale immensely well.
We then see Mando collecting the final piece of the puzzle for his raid of Moff Gideon’s ship – Bo Katan and Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado). Bo Katan is after her Darksaber, so she agrees to join Mando on his raid, but not before the awesome moment she recognises Boba Fett’s voice as one of the clones. This moment is small but it’s truly incredible to see everything tie together so smoothly. The raid on Gideon’s cruiser begins, and it’s a damn intense stealth-like mission that had my heart pumping the entire time. As Mando makes his way to Grogu, one of the Dark Troopers escapes the hold and we get a glimpse of their destructive abilities. In a brutal fight where Mando is getting pummelled, none of Mando’s gadgets even leave a scratch until he decides to use his Beskar spear to wipe it out. Obviously he can’t take out all of them, so he sends them out the airlock… but they’ll be back.
Finally, we get the Gideon and Mando showdown – Darksaber vs Beskar. The fight is awesome but doesn’t last long as Mando wins and takes Gideon to Bo Katan. It’s soon learnt that since Mando is the one who took down Gideon, he has the right to the throne of Mandalore and not Bo Katan – which surely leaves her furious. This has been her goal for years and now Mando has seemingly ruined it. Will we get a showdown between the two of them? Only time will tell.
This is where the moment comes. A single X-wing appears out of nowhere and board the ship. At this point it’s insanely obvious who is piloting that ship… Luke Skywalker. It becomes even more obvious when a hooded figure with a black glove and green lightsaber begins tearing through every single dark trooper like they’re butter. Finally, after an intense sequence where get to see the true power of Luke Skywaker in his prime for the first time, he reveals himself. Now, I will say the CGI and de-ageing tech on Luke isn’t amazing. It’s good, but it’s clearly a little off. You can recognise instantly that it’s a computer-generated face. Anyway, it’s fucken Luke Skywalker, so who cares?!?! This moment is one of the greatest moments to ever come out of Star Wars, it’s possibly up there with the return of Vader in Rogue One. This is the Luke that everyone wanted to see in the sequel trilogy, but the one we unfortunately never got.
Luke makes it known that in order for Grogu to make the most of his powers, he must go with him to train. This is where we get the emotional tear-jerking moment of Mando saying goodbye to Grogu, or rather, a father saying goodbye to his son. Mando removes his helmet (for the second time this season), and we see just how much this farewell hurts him. After a brief appearance from R2-D2, Grogu leaves with Luke and we cut to black.
Ending breakdown – Where to next?
Firstly, let’s touch on Luke Skywalker who is played by Mark Hamill in this episode. Many thought we’d see Sebastian Stan take the mantle of a young Luke Skywalker, something I’d have liked to see. It seems they instead opted to de-age Mark Hamill and apply the face and an altered voice to a younger stand-in – similar to how they approached the appearance of Moff Tarkin and Leia in Rogue One. It’s a decision that I think is fine as it’s a very short scene, and it takes absolutely nothing away from the awesome moment, but it one that will spark some debate amongst fans for sure.
Now the question remains… where to from here? This series has been all about the relationship between Mando and Grogu, but now Grogu is off doing his own thing. How will the series change now that it seems Mando and Bo Katan’s journeys are bound together as he’s the rightful owner of the Darksaber? Will they fight for the throne of Mandalore? Will we get a time jump? Will we even see Grogu at all next season? I think there’s a very good chance that Grogu is absent from the entirety of season 3 and we focus more on Bo Katan and reclaiming Mandalore – let’s remember that we need a new villain as Gideon is alive but apprehended. You may be wondering… why haven’t I mentioned what might happen with Boba Fett? Well… behold…
The Book of Boba Fett (Post Credits Scene)
In a surprise post-credits scene, we return to the twin suns of Tatooine and Jabba’s Palace for a trip down memory lane – where we see that the one and only Bib Fortuna has taken command of the palace since Jabba’s death. It seems he’s also put on some of Jabba’s weight. Suddenly, Boba Fett and Fennec walk in, killing everyone in the room. Fortuna recognises Boba and is obviously very surprised and pleased to see him. Boba, on the other hand, couldn’t give a shit – so he kills Fortuna and takes the throne of Jabba’s Palace with Fennec by his side. Following a cut to black, we get the reveal of The Book of Boba Fett, what is presumably a series centred around Boba Fett and his newfound place at the head of Tatooine’s criminal underworld. The once bounty hunter has received a large promotion. It’s revealed to be premiering in December 2021, which is exactly when season 3 of The Mandalorian is scheduled to air. Will they air at the same time? Is it even a series? Perhaps it’s a movie, or maybe even a book. We’ll have to wait and see.
Well, after that phenomenal ending, The Mandalorian cemented itself as one of the greatest things to happen to Star Wars since the original trilogy. It’s a step up from the first season in every single way, and the way it connects seamlessly to the narratives of Star Wars: Rebels is like a dream come true. I cannot wait to see where things go from here, both in The Mandalorian and all three of the spinoff shows that have been formed with Cara Dune, Ahsoka and Boba Fett.