The Mandalorian concluded its eight-episode second season with one of the best hours of television in years and I have many thoughts.
I have thoughts and there are no shortage of them. But before I get to them, I am going to insert a photo from the episode. But of course, you would not be reading this if you didn’t already watch the episode. If you’re coming from Twitter, I’m sorry that they include photos from the body as the main image.
The cold-open included yet another casting connection between The Mandalorian and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But while that’s all fun and all, this isn’t why you’re here. No, you’re here because of what happens during the end of the episode.
Given her previous encounter with clones and how they turned on the Jedi–not to mention Mandalore–I was curious to see how Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackoff) reacted to Boba Fett’s (Temeura Morrison) presence. It went more or less as one could imagine although one of the Nite Owls, Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado) went on the attack. They haven’t had great experiences with clones under the Empire’s rule so it’s perfectly understandable.
Once everyone got on board with the plan and Dr. Pershing explaining where things are on Moff Gideon’s light cruiser, the action shifts. Boba Fett escapes to hyperspace while the plan is in motion to rescue Grogu. Not only do they have to take care of stormtroopers but the main problem will be the dark troopers. They are an all-droid third generation model. We never got to see dark troopers in action during the original trilogy but they aren’t defeated so easy.
While Din Djarin has his hands full with a single dark trooper, everyone else makes their way to the bridge. What they don’t know is that Moff Gideon has made his way to Grogu’s holding cell with the Darksaber. Din manages to defeat him, which is both good and bad. It’s good for the team here but bad for Bo-Katan as she wanted to be Mandalore’s new leader. With everyone now located in the bridge, a single X-wing arrives at the right time. You see, the dark troopers made their way back to the ship after Din depressurized their holding bay.
Let’s talk about that X-wing. They attempt to communicate and there is no response. What we initially see of the action is through the video screen. All we know at first is that there’s a single Jedi. And then Peyton Reed’s direction takes us straight to the action. Green lightsaber and a gloved hand–five years post-Return of the Jedi. It can only mean one thing: Luke Skywalker! I’m not a fan of the de-aging CGI as much as the next person but the scene doesn’t work without Luke Skywalker. I love that Luke now has his hallway moment much like Anakin Skywalker did in Rogue One and Darth Maul during the final episodes of The Clone Wars. We never got to see Luke at this level of power in the films.
Much like Luke, R2-D2 also makes an appearance. Whether R2 is familiar with Grogu from the Clone Wars days is another story. What I certainly know is that R2 has some history with the species from when Luke and R2 had their first interaction with Yoda.
Ahsoka Tano sent Din to the location of an old Jedi Temple to reach out to remaining Jedi through the Force. We knew it could mean one of two people: Ezra Bridger or Luke Skywalker. Knowing that Ahsoka hasn’t found Thrawn, it can be safe to assume she hasn’t located Ezra either. Lucasfilm just announced their new slate of series so maybe there is hope after all. I trust Dave Filoni and his vision. He doesn’t intentionally give us A without also giving us B. Any Skywalker appearances going forward need to be limited in nature. Could there be a future Luke series? Maybe. But for some of us, it’s hard to imagine Mark Hamill not playing Luke Skywalker in live-action.
Seeing Luke is only the half of it! Following the credits is a teaser for the Book of Boba Fett. This series is set for December 2021. My guess is that it will follow season 3 of The Mandalorian, which will likely see Din joining forces with Bo-Katan and the Nite Owls. When I saw Bib Fortuna in the credits, I thought something was up because I didn’t remember seeing him in the bar earlier. But once the post-credits scene started, Jabba’s Palace comes on screen.
I stayed up until launch on Friday but as you can imagine, it took a while to fall asleep. Later on in the day, I watched the episode again. If you ask me, this was the best hour of TV since Mad Men aired “The Suitcase” in 2010.