'The Mandalorian' Finale: 'May the Force Be With You' (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 8 finale, “The Rescue.”]
If you had your heart ripped out by Season 2's “The Tragedy,” you’ll want to watch “The Rescue” with some comfort food on hand — and maybe have an episode of your favorite comedy set up to play afterward.
With that said, this finale is the show’s best episode to date. Written by Jon Favreau, it sees Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and the rest of his team face off against Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) to get Grogu — or, if you’re Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), the darksaber — back. Here’s how it all goes down.
We’re Coming for You, Gideon
Mando and friends catch up to Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi), who’s on an Imperial shuttle. They take the ship, sparing Pershing (and killing the two pilots). They then stop on a different world to pick up Bo-Katan and Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado, aka Sasha Banks), the latter of whom gets into a fight with Boba (Temuera Morrison) — they say he isn’t Mandalorian, and it appears Bo doesn’t have much respect for him or his father. But nonetheless, they agree to help as long as Din allows them to keep Gideon’s ship, and the darksaber.
They come up with a plan. Boba stays behind on Slave 1 to battle the TIE fighters outside Gideon’s ship and then jump away with Pershing, while Din, Bo, Cara, Fennec (Ming-Na Wen), and Koska fly inside on the Imperial cruiser. The latter four battle with the Storm Troopers and fight their way to the brig as a distraction, while Mando heads to save Grogu. The group doesn’t encounter much resistance — nothing they can’t handle, anyway.
The Importance of Helmets
Poor Din, on the other hand, runs directly into the Dark Troopers, who’ve just been “activated.” He manages to get the doors closed before the whole squadron escapes, but he can’t stop one incredibly determined mechanical soldier who slips out. That turns into the toughest fight we’ve seen Mando endure on the show so far; his flamethrower and whistling birds have no effect on the Trooper, which keeps punching him in the head (good thing Mando, unlike Oberyn, has a beskar helmet). Eventually, Mando’s beskar spear takes him down, and the rest of the Dark Troopers are sucked into space through an open blast door.
The rest of the group fights their way to the bridge, where they don’t find Gideon…because he’s in the brig, with Grogu. At first, Gideon says he’s gotten what he needs from Grogu — his blood —and he claims Mando can take the Child and go. That, of course, was a lie. He fights Din, darksaber to beskar spear, and Din wins; he takes the darksaber and lets Gideon live, as his prisoner. The day is saved, right?
Not exactly. He takes Gideon to the bridge, where things get a little chaotic. Turns out, the darksaber, the only reason Bo was on this mission in the first place, can only be won through single combat — meaning that if she wants to be more than a “pretender to the throne,” as Gideon calls her, she’d have to battle Din (yikes). She seems to be mulling it over, but then the platoon of Dark Troopers flies back; the empty void of space had no effect on them.
The Dark Troopers arrive at the bridge, and the fact that the team closed the blast doors doesn’t seem to mean much; they’re going to punch their way through the steel, and likely every single person on the bridge, save for Gideon and the Child. But then, surprisingly, a savior appears: a jedi with a green lightsaber. They fight their way through the Dark Troopers like they’re regular 'ol Storm Troopers with no aim, and, despite the rest of the team’s urging not to, Din opens the doors to allow the jedi inside.
It’s Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). LUKE! SKYWALKER! And he looks much as he did in Return of the Jedi.
We Will See Each Other Again
Din knows it’s time for Grogu to go; as Luke says, “He’ll never be safe until he learns to master his abilities.” He removes his helmet to allow Grogu to see his face, and Grogu reaches out and touches his cheek. Mando promises he will see Grogu again.
When Mando sets the little green guy on the ground, he gives his papa a “hug” the way he did in the Season 1 finale. Then R2-D2 appears (yay!), and Grogu seems to be a fan of the droid (I mean, who isn't?). He walks over to Luke and R2, and Luke picks him up. "May the Force be with you," Luke says. They make their way back to the elevator to the bridge, where Din, sans helmet and plus darksaber, watches the doors close.
As if that wasn't enough, a post-credits scene reveals Boba and Fennec blasting their way into, and taking over, Jabba's Palace, which was being run by Bib Fortuna. Boba takes Jabba's throne while Fennec sits on the side, drink in hand. The Book of Boba Fett — yes, we're getting a Boba Fett spinoff — will be released in December 2021!
- Man, in its last two weeks, 2020 took the cute Grogu-and-Din bonding from us, too?! This year. Ugh. Bring on 2021.
- I had chills seeing Luke again. I was expecting Ezra Bridger or Cal Kestis, so this was a surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one. “May the Force be with you,” indeed.
- That said, man, I’m worried about Grogu. We know how Luke’s Jedi Training Academy goes, or rather, goes bad. Hopefully Grogu gets out before Ben Solo turns to the Dark Side.
- Is Bo going to kill Din? Din definitely doesn’t want to be Mandalore, but after this episode, I don’t doubt that Bo would kill him for the darksaber if she had to.
- This makes me wonder what format Season 2 will take. Din's whole quest up until this point has been getting Grogu back to his kind, and he's succeeded, so...what now? I think a reckoning with the Armorer and the rest of his clan is coming next season for sure, but it's harder to say what Din's purpose will be.
- Rating: 5/5. This episode deserves 10/5, but 5/5 is as high as I can go.
The Mandalorian, Returns 2021, Disney+