The following article contains spoilers for Chapter 16: The Rescue.
At the start of The Mandalorian‘s second season, I wasn’t too sure that it was going in a good direction. It seemed like we got one truly terrific episode with a great storyline, incredible character development, and the usual Star Wars chaos, and then the next was a filler episode that didn’t do much to progress the general plot forward.
The first episode of the new season was great but then episode two was a little bit lacking. Three was amazing and four was not the best. However, starting with the fifth episode all the way to “Chapter 16: The Rescue”, each episode has been truly phenomenal in ways that are genuinely difficult to put into words. Not only do I now think that season two of Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian is far better than the first, but I also think that this is some of the finest television I have seen in years. On top of all of that, this is some of the best Star Wars content ever produced, and that includes the movies.
Who would have thought that a spin-off show following a Mandalorian and a young child could be even better than some of the main films? I certainly didn’t. But it is, and it’s thanks to extremely outstanding writing, development, and character beats that are so earned. Last week’s episode “The Believer” left us with one doozy of a cliffhanger. Din Djarin aka the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) transmits an eerie message to the villainous Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) who has taken Grogu captive and is experimenting on him, stating that Grogu means more to him “than you will ever know”. All we see after this is a worried-looking Gideon, as he prepares for the Mandalorian’s impending attack.
The season two finale, “The Rescue” is absolutely marvelous and is quite easily the best Star Wars related content we have received in years. It’s one of the longest episodes of the season, clocking in at forty-seven minutes, and yet after the episode was over, I wanted it to be another forty-seven minutes longer because it was so incredible. This finale wastes no time at all getting right into the meat of the scenario – it begins with the Mandalorian recruiting Bo Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) to come help him rescue Grogu from the clutches of Gideon.
Just a few minutes later, we get an amazing aerial combat sequence and after this, the Mandalorian and his allies land inside Gideon’s ship, but there are some problems that occur. They take care of the Stormtroopers inside with ease, but Gideon soon releases Dark Troopers to get rid of the titular character, but that doesn’t go as Gideon had expected. Soon enough, Din Djarin finds Gideon holding the Darksaber pressed up against Grogu’s neck, and what follows is a pulse-poundingly intense fight scene.
This episode is absolutely chalked full of action sequences that are so impressive and also manage to progress the story forward in brilliant ways. But the biggest and most incredible thing that “The Rescue” does happens within its final moments. Just as the Mandalorian and his crew are about to be overwhelmed by an army of Dark Troopers, somebody else lands in Gideon’s ship and offers help with getting rid of the Troopers. We see a hooded figure emerge, and a second or so later, a green lightsaber is activated and we watch as the mysterious entity melts through the Troopers with his blade with immense skill and ease.
During this entire sequence, I had a feeling I knew who it was. I hoped I was right, and sure enough, I was – Luke Skywalker himself makes an emotionally powerful and riveting appearance during the final moments of “The Rescue”. When I finally realized that’s who it was and I saw the iconic lightsaber accompanied with the face, I began to cry. Full on tears were going down my cheeks because of just how perfect everything was handled here. Luke was the Jedi that Grogu was making contact with all the way back in “Chapter 14: The Tragedy”, and it all makes sense.
The ending of this scene is so emotional that I cried twice. Once when Luke appeared, and twice when the Mandalorian knew he had to hand over Grogu to Luke so he could be properly trained and taken care of. In a shocking moment, Din takes off his helmet, showing Grogu his true face, and all we see after this is a teary-eyed Din looking on as Grogu is about to leave him behind and go off with his new trainer.
It’s genuinely some of the best television I’ve seen in years. And if you thought things couldn’t possibly get any more phenomenal, “The Rescue” concludes with an after-credits sequence which confirms that there will be a new series titled The Book of Boba Fett coming out in December 2021.
I just want to end this piece by stating that the last five years of Star Wars content was content that I loved every part of. There hasn’t been a single piece of Star Wars-related media in the last five years that I disliked. However, that is not the case for a lot of the fans. A large portion of the fanbase doesn’t like the sequel trilogy whatsoever, and as a result, there has been an overwhelming amount of discourse in the fanbase for years now. But with The Mandalorian‘s terrific second season and with the wide variety of upcoming Star Wars content we are about to receive such as The Book of Boba Fett and the Ahsoka spin-off series, it looks as though there is finally going to be a consensus within the community again – Star Wars is magical.
Series: The Mandalorian
Directed by: Peyton Reed