The Mandalorian: Season 2 “Chapter 16: The Rescue”

Original Air Date: December 18, 2020
Writer: Jon Favreau
Director: Peyton Reed

“Talent without training is nothing.”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Is it shameless fan service? Absolutely. Nevertheless the finale to The Mandalorian Season 2 is simply one of the most fun and exciting adventures in the Star Wars universe since Disney acquired Lucasfilm. My hat is off to Jon Favreau for managing to resurrect this once-beloved franchise. The future of Star Wars is now very much in the capable hands of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.

“The Rescue” begins with Boba Fett’s Slave-1 ship in hot pursuit of an Imperial shuttle carrying Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) –Dr. Pershing is the imperial scientist we first met in the inaugural season while he was apparently conducting blood-related experiments on Grogu. At any rate, the group kidnaps Dr. Pershing and then visits Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) who along with Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado) are conscripted to help in the rescue of Grogu in exchange for the Dark Saber which is currently wielded by Moff Gideon. However, they both despise Boba Fett.

The whole group invades Moff Gideon’s battle cruiser, killing many stormtroopers and even facing off with an impossibly difficult dark trooper, before Din Djarin and his beskar spear battles Moff Gideon and the Dark Saber. In the end, Mando wins but Moff Gideon manages to unleash a pod of dark troopers. The group bands together in the control room with little hope as the dark troopers try to burst their way through the doors.

Just as all hope seems lost, a single X-Wing suddenly lands aboard the cruiser. Din and the others watch in awe as a cloaked Jedi emerges and, one-by-one, begins demolishing the dark troopers using the force and his lightsaber. He cuts through the towering dark troopers like butter and the last standing dark trooper is crushed like aluminum by using the force. Once all the dark troopers have been destroyed, the doors to the control room open and –suddenly giddy Star Wars fans across the world are once again reminded of why they love Star Wars— none other than Luke Skywalker stands before them. This episode offers a CGI-representation, de-aged representation of the same Luke Skywalker we all remember from Return of the Jedi. Cue the nostalgic John William theme and even an appearance from R2-D2. Luke, who was clearly the Jedi Grogu had communicated with on Tython in “The Tragedy,” promises to train Grogu, and Din Djarin slowly removes his helmet for a tearful goodbye to Grogu before Luke whisks Grogu away and the episode ends. Mando’s new adventure seems to imply a joint attempt to reclaim Mandalore with Bo-Katan. Also the fate of Moff Gideon is left in question.

There is also a brief post-credits cut in which Boba Fett and Fennec Shand invade Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine. They kill a now-engorged Bib Fortuna (Jabba’s right hand man from Return of the Jedi, played by Matthew Wood) and claim Jabba’s criminal empire –promising a Boba Fett spin-off series from Disney.

The Mandalorian Trivia:

  • Peyton Reed has also a directed various Marvel films.
  • There are several nods to Terminator 2 in this episode.
  • We learn that Dr. Pershing is a “clone engineer” and we can clearly see his Kamino badge in this episode.
  • Jeremy Bulloch, who originally played Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, had died the previous day. The episode later added a dedication to Bulloch.
  • There are several parallels between Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber battle and Anakin/Darth Vader.
  • Mark Hamill is credited for providing the voice of Luke in this episode.
  • John Williams’ classic “Force theme” from A New Hope is used in this episode.

Return to my survey of The Mandalorian series

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