TL;DR – It does what a season finale has to do, and broke my heart a little along the way
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene
The Mandalorian: The Rescue Review –
In today’s episode, Season Two draws to a close as we find ourselves on the cusp of a great battle. This has been an exciting season with highs and lows as we have deepened both the story and the mythos of the universe of this time. In this review, we will first cover the final episode and then take some time to explore the season as a whole.
So to set the scene, ever since The Tragedy, Mando (Pedro Pascal) has had one thing on his mind, to get Grogu back. To do this, he had to raise allies, get information about locations, and basically prepare to go to war with the Imperial Remnant. Well, he has done all that and now it is time to bring a world of hate to those who would take Grogu away from him. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole as well as the season, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
This episode has been the culmination of not just this season but Season One as well. Because what I didn’t expect going into it was that this was going to be the end of Baby Yoda/The Child/Grogu’s story. I thought they would swoop in, maybe lose some people along the way and at the very end reunite a father with their child. However, most of that does not come to pass, and despite that or most likely because of that, it still hits those emotional moments, maybe even more so.
Besides some setup, to get everyone into position and to pick up Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado), our team make their way to Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) Light Cruiser. It is this attack that we spend the vast majority of our time as things go progressively well and then bad again. As a distraction for Mando, Bo-Kantan, Koska, Carasynthia Dune (Gina Carano), and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) make a surgical strike through the centre of the cruiser. I did quite like this section because every character got a moment to shine. There were also all the little touches like how everyone’s blaster sounds a little bit different and how everyone has their own strengths that played into the attack.
For Mando, he gets his butt kicked by just one of the Dark Soldiers before a neck stab saved the day but when he arrived Gideon was not on the bridge but standing over Grogu with the Darksaber at the ready. This fight is the start of the tension that would remain for the rest of the episode. It is here where we get the first of several betrayals by Gideon and become very glad that you can’t just stab through beskar or this would have been a short episode. But just when everything feels safe, the Dark Troopers return, because a little hard vacuum is not going to stop them. Everything about this scene built and built and had me on the edge of my seat. This tension was added to by Ludwig Göransson’s score where he moves away from assorted woodwind instruments and more to electronica.
All of this climaxes when a single X-Wing arrives, and we get to see a single Jedi carve their way through the horde outside the door with a green lightsaber. Which, okay let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first, while it was great to see Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill/ Max Lloyd Jones) back, the de-aging tech is still not where it needs to be. It felt on-par with Rogue One, which given the TV budget seems about right. Though talking about Rogue One, they did do a similar thing with Luke that Vader got in the hallway in that film.
Thankfully, Luke was not at the emotional core of that final scene, or that could have derailed the entire closing moments. Instead, it was a heartfelt moment between Mando and Grogu, a father and his child. Here Mando realised that Grogu was better with the Jedi than with him because only they could train him. But it was a tough goodbye and so well acted that I think this is the first time I have cried in a Star Wars property since … well since the before mentioned Rogue One … there are a lot of comparisons with that film this week.
So with that in mind, how did the season work as a whole? Overall, I would say it worked well. One of the significant issues from the first season was just how inconsistent it was with incredible highs but also some frustrating lows. Now while there were still a couple of episodes that felt inconsequential this season, like the crash landing on the ice planet in The Passenger, they were still always visually interesting or had small character moments that made them shine.
From a story perspective, this season, we dived into the lore of Star Wars much further than we had done before. I should say from the start, that I have not watched The Clone Wars or Rebels series. So none of those ‘wow’ moments really landed for me in the way it did for those who had watched all those other seasons. I would not say it reached the point of being frustrating for me, but I know it did for some people.
The big question I have is where we go from here. The story between Mando and The Child made up the core narrative and also emotional through-line for the entire series up until this point. So I am not sure how the series will go without that foundational relationship. I had a feeling for how the climax ended that next season might focus on the re-taking of Mandalore. However, the post-credit scene sees Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec arrive at Jabba the Hutt’s old palace on Tatooine and killing Bib Fortuna (Matthew Wood) to take it for themselves. It is here where we see that the new season will be titled ‘The Book of Boba Fett’. Well part of me is disappointed that we are going back to Tatooine again, but I have to admit the premise does hold my interest.
In the end, do we recommend The Rescue and Season Two? Yes, absolutely. When The Mandalorian is at its best, it is frankly the best that Star Wars has been in a while. Heck even when it is not landing, it is still engaging, and that is a lot better than a lot of other things I have watched in the past.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Mandalorian
Directed by – Peyton Reed
Written by – Jon Favreau
Created by – Jon Favreau
Based On – Star Wars by George Lucas
Production/Distribution Companies – Lucasfilm, Golem Creations & Disney+
Starring – Pedro Pascal with Omid Abtahi, Temuera Morrison, Gina Carano, Mercedes Varnado, Katee Sackhoff, Ming-Na Wen, Katy O’Brian, Giancarlo Esposito, Matthew Wood Max Lloyd Jones & Mark Hamill