In “The Mandalorian” season 2 finale recap, Mando finds some friends to help him launch an assault on Moff Gideon’s cruiser in a rescue attempt to save Grogu…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
If one thing has been made abundantly clear now that two seasons of “The Mandalorian” are completed, it’s that Jon Favreau should be put in charge of the entire “Star Wars” universe moving forward.
The first ever live-action “Star Wars” series has not only met expectations but far exceeded them not only by introducing new characters and mythology into the universe but also connecting the dots to past and future stories so vibrant that the recent trilogy of films now pale in comparison.
The season 2 finale of “The Mandalorian” was as epic as any “Star Wars” movie in recent memory with all of the elements of peril, struggle and eventually hope that you could ever want in a single episode of television.
Nothing was bigger than the closing moments of the episode when Grogu’s call through the Force was answered by a Jedi but not just any Jedi — Master Luke Skywalker.
How Favreau and his team managed to keep Mark Hamill’s appearance a secret might be one of the greatest mysteries in film or television history but there’s no possible way “Star Wars” fans weren’t brought to their feet or perhaps rolled a few tears when Luke’s green lightsaber lit up before tearing through Moff Gideon’s sinister Dark Troopers as he sought to save the Child.
More on that later but before we get to the recap, make sure you’ve watched beyond the credits because there is a post-scene in “The Mandalorian” finale that sets up yet another new series inside the “Star Wars” universe as “The Book of Boba Fett” is now set to debut in 2021.
With that said, let’s get to the recap for “The Mandalorian” season 2 finale titled “Chapter 16: The Rescue”…
The Force Awakens
When the episode begins, Slave I is chasing after an Imperial transport vehicle carrying Dr. Pershing — the scientist tasked with retrieving Grogu’s blood for his cloning experiments. It doesn’t take long for Boba Fett to disarm the ship, which then allows Mando and Cara Dune to board the vessel.
Inside, Dr. Pershing seems more than willing to give up information until one of the pilots puts a gun to his head and threatens to kill him while showing his true loyalty to the Empire. He makes the mistake of taunting Cara Dune when talking about her home planet of Alderaan and how he was on the Death Star the day everyone she’s ever known or loved perished in an instance. The officer barely has a chance to say much more before Cara blasts him directly between the eyes.
Before questioning Dr. Pershing, Mando and Boba Fett travel to a different planet to secure some backup for this very dangerous mission.
After arriving, Mando is reunited with his fellow Mandalorians, Bo-Katan of Clan Kryze and her ally Koska Reeves. Of course seeing Boba Fett strut into the bar wearing his Mandalorian armor doesn’t sit too well with the actual Mandalorians and it doesn’t take long before Koska is remarking how she’s heard his voice a thousand times over and remarking how his “father” was really just another clone.
The volatile confrontation soon turns into a battle but Mando and Bo-Katan put a stop to it before things turn bloody.
At first, Bo-Katan isn’t interested in helping Mando until she learns that he’s going to retrieve Grogu from Moff Gideon. Of course, Bo-Katan has been searching for Moff Gideon after he took the Darksaber from her, at some point in time in the past, and she needs that weapon in order to take back the throne on Mandalore.
Bo-Katan agrees to help so long as afterwards Mando will assist her in the efforts to restore Mandalore to its full glory. He quickly replies that he’ll do anything so long as the Child is safe.
Back on the ship, Dr. Perishing willingly gives up the location of the Child on board Moff Gideon’s Imperial Light Cruiser while also informing his captors that they will face a new kind of opposition if they manage to get on board. Moff Gideon has employed a platoon of Dark Troopers — the weaponized droids that took Grogu a couple of episodes back.
These Dark Troopers no longer require humans to run them but rather they are completely mechanized now while answering to just one person — Moff Gideon. Luckily, the Dark Troopers require a few minutes to power up and Bo-Katan believes she has a plan to neutralize them before the droid army can be deployed.
The strategy requires the landing party to board the Imperial transport ship and after exiting hyperspace, it will appear that the Slave I has them under attack. As Boba Fett gives chase with his blasters, just missing with each and every shot, the ship will hopefully gain clearance to board the Imperial Light Cruiser.
Of course, Moff Gideon is no fool so rather than just inviting the ship on board, he dispatches the TIE fighters to deal with Slave I. As that battle ensues, Bo-Katan leads the transport vehicle to the docking bay without permission and crash lands inside while Boba Fett dispatches the TIE Fighters before jumping back into hyperspace to speed away from the Imperial Cruiser.
After boarding the Imperial ship, Bo-Katan, Koska Reeves, Cara Dune and Fennec Shand lead an attack to eventually make it to the bridge to capture or kill Moff Gideon. Meanwhile, the second part of her plan involves Mando making his way to the prison cells without being detected so he can rescue Grogu.
In response, Moff Gideon orders the Dark Troopers activated as he prepares for the inevitable attack.
The fearsome foursome of Bo-Katan, Koska Reeves, Cara Dune and Fennec Shand essentially obliterates the hapless Stormtroopers dispatched to stop them. The team makes their way through the ship, killing every Stormtrooper along the way — some by blaster and others in hand-to-hand combat. Even when Cara’s blaster rifle jams, she makes due by turning the weapon into a club as she beats down a couple of Stormtroopers.
Eventually they make their way to the bridge and kill the rest of the Imperial flight crew but Moff Gideon is nowhere to be found.
Meanwhile, Mando stealthily makes his way through the ship without anyone seeing or hearing him move closer and closer to the prison section.
Unfortunately as he ducks and dodges the Stormtroopers, his journey takes too long and just before he reaches the prison cells, he comes face to face with the Dark Troopers that have just been powered up. Mando quickly attempts to close the doors on the droid killing machines but one still manages to slip through as he opens a gateway to the outside that pulls the rest of the Dark Troopers into deep space.
The Dark Trooper is every bit as ferocious as advertised as it pummels Mando before eventually trapping him against the wall and literally attempting to punch through his helmet. Thankfully, Beskar is nearly indestructible and it protects Mando long enough for him to set fire to the Dark Trooper and then finally killing it with his Beskar spear.
From there, Mando reunites with Grogu but that’s where he finds Moff Gideon waiting for him with the Darksaber drawn, hanging just over the Child’s head.
Moff Gideon offers Mando an exchange — he’s already retrieved enough blood from Grogu to conduct his cloning experiments. He explains that what lives inside this child could be exactly what is needed to restore order to the galaxy. This all but confirms that Moff Gideon is part of the team attempting to resurrect Emperor Palpatine, which eventually leads to the creation of Supreme Leader Snoke as well.
Moff Gideon tells Mando he can have the Child so long as he can escape. Mando agrees but it takes about two seconds for Moff Gideon to betray that deal as he attempts to strike down the Mandalorian.
Once again the Beskar armor rescues Mando from certain death and he then engages in a battle with Moff Gideon. It’s tense for a few moments but Mando is eventually able to use his Beskar staff to disarm Moff Gideon of the Darksaber and put him under arrest.
He takes the Imperial loyalist to the bridge along with Grogu and the Darksaber before meeting up with Bo-Katan and the rest of the team.
On the bridge, Mando is thankful that Grogu is safe and sound and he’s ready to turn the Darksaber over to Bo-Katan but it turns out Moff Gideon will have the last laugh after all.
He smiles at Bo-Katan and asks her to kill Mando now because he knows her true loyalty in this battle.
It seems the Darksaber is passed along by one warrior disarming or killing another to take it from them in battle. That means for the Darksaber to truly pass ownership along to Bo-Katan she needs to defeat Mando in battle.
He attempts to just hand over the weapon and even tries just yielding to her but Bo-Katan knows that’s not how this works and without the Darksaber she can’t reclaim the Mandalorian throne. But Bo-Katan and Mando’s problems are put on hold when the Imperial Light Cruiser is boarded by the Dark Troopers, who have returned to the ship in order to rescue Moff Gideon or at the very least, kill all of the intruders.
Mando closes the blast doors but the Dark Troopers quickly make their way to the bridge where they begin pounding on the enforced steel and it’s only a matter of time before they get through.
That’s when another ship arrives at the Imperial Light Cruiser — this time it’s a lone X-wing boarding the ship.
As soon as the ship lands, the Dark Troopers stop pounding on the doors while turning their attention to the new threat that has just arrived. Through security cameras, Mando, Bo-Katan and the rest of the team witness the arrival of a Jedi knight, who begins cutting through the Dark Troopers with a lightsaber.
On the bridge, Moff Gideon is able to take advantage of the distraction as he grabs a blaster and attempts to kill the Child but Mando dives in front of him to absorb the shots. Cara Dune then subdues Moff Gideon before he can turn the blaster on himself. She fully intends on questioning and convicting Moff Gideon for his many, many crimes.
As for the hooded Jedi, he is a force of nature just obliterating the droid army, using the Force to crush or otherwise send them flying or slicing through them with a green-bladed lightsaber. Eventually, the mysterious Jedi gets to the bridge, where he cuts down the last of the Dark Troopers.
At the security camera, Grogu reaches out and that let’s Mando know this is someone he can trust.
He orders the blast doors to be opened and from the smoke and flames emerges the Jedi knight answering Grogu’s call for help.
The hood is removed and Luke Skywalker is revealed.
Yes, Mark Hamill — digitally restored to look like the Luke Skywalker five years after the events in “Return of the Jedi” — showed up on “The Mandalorian”!
Luke is ready to meet the powerful young creature who looks just like his former Master Yoda. He promises to protect Grogu with his very life but tells Mando that without mastering his powers, the child will never be truly safe.
“He is strong with the Force. But talent without training is nothing.”
~ Luke Skywalker
Luke then tells Mando that he sees the bond he’s formed with the Child and he will need to give Grogu permission to leave with him. Mando picks up Grogu and spends a last moment with him — and as a sign of the bond they’ve formed, he removes his helmet so the child can finally see his face for the first time.
Mando is nearly in tears as he sets Grogu down on the ground as Luke is then joined by his old friend R2-D2, who also makes a surprise appearance. Grogu takes a good look at R2-D2 and the Jedi Master there to save him and teach him as he reaches out for Luke’s hand.
Luke picks up the Child and they leave together as Mando says goodbye while promising that he’ll see Grogu again one day. Luke, Grogu and R2-D2 return to the X-wing while Mando is left in the Imperial Light Cruiser as he bids farewell.
This sets up a very interesting third season of “The Mandalorian” as Mando now possesses the Darksaber and he’s promised Bo-Katan that he will help her restore order to Mandalore. It remains to be seen how this delicate partnership will work, especially considering Mando is the true owner of the symbol needed to sit on the Mandalorian throne.
But the episode wasn’t over just yet…
In a post-credit scene we return to Tatooine and the palace that once belonged to Jabba the Hutt.
It seems in the wake of his death during “Return of the Jedi,” his former underling Bib Fortuna has taken over as the new crime lord. But soon the palace is attacked and the Gamorrean guards are easily dispatched by Fennec Shand. After she gets rid of the guards and frees one of Bib Fortuna’s slaves, Boba Fett finally returns to the room where he once stood after delivering Han Solo — encased in carbonite — to the vile gangster.
Bib Fortuna is very surprised to see Boba Fett alive after he was left for dead in the Pit of Carkoon. Rather than hear excuses, Boba Fett just blasts Bib Fortuna and he falls dead to the floor.
Boba Fett then takes his place on Jabba’s throne while Fennec Shand grabs a drink and sits to his right. A moment later, the scene fades to black and a new title card is revealed…
“The Book of Boba Fett” — a new “Star Wars” spinoff series coming to Disney+ in December 2021.
It’s not clear if this will be an event series or an ongoing series but “The Book of Boba Fett” joins a growing lineup of “Star Wars” live action series including “The Mandalorian” as well as “Ahsoka,” which will feature the return of Ahsoka Tano and “Rangers of the New Republic,” which takes place in the same timeline.
As for “The Mandalorian” — the third season is expected to debut on Disney+ in late 2021 as well.