‘The Mandalorian’ Reminds You Where Its Heart Is in the Season 2 Finale — REVIEW
The Mandalorian hasn’t really had a bad episode this season. While there were a couple of episodes last season that sort of slowed the momentum down, this season really soared when it came to moving the story along with each passing chapter. And the finale was no exception.
In fact, this finale was certainly one of the best The Mandalorian episodes yet, if not the best. And might some of the most high-energy and fun moments in Star Wars media to date as well. Sure, there were some cameos from earlier episodes and even way earlier Episodes, but the heart of this show really shown through at the end. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Season 2 finale].
All the Mandalorians meet up for an unlikely — yet necessary — team-up
Going into this finale, fans already know that Mando has a team that consists of one New Republic Sherif (of sorts), Cara Dune. He also had Boba Fett on his side along with assassin and expert sniper Fennec Shand. But, to really make sure he’s going to get Moff Gideon right where he needs him, Din Djarin enlists the help of Bo-Katan and Koska Reeves.
It makes sense that things are heated between Boba Fett and Bo-Katan. While Mando and Bo-Katan were also a bit icy with one another, Boba Fett is a clone. And while Bo-Katan wasn’t necessarily on the Separatists’ side, she did live through the Clone Wars. And having a foundling as the genetic makeup for the Clone army isn’t really something she’d be all that fond of. Also, she just doesn’t like the idea of Boba Fett in Mandalorian armor. Which also might just be her superiority complex coming through. Not that she’s entitled to a small one; but still, it all makes sense why they have a massive throwdown in the cantina.
It is quite cool to see Mandalorians vs. Mandalorians. Because, foundling or of Mandalore, the fighting skill is unmatched. But it’s also quite touching that, like everyone Mando tells this to, Bo-Katan becomes deadly serious when she learns Grogu was taken. And by Moff Gideon, no less.
Din is in full dad mode; he makes it known to everyone that Grogu is his one and only priority. So that means he’s willing to make any deal. Including to help Bo-Katan take back Mandalore when this is all said and done. He has no stake in the matter, and it’s apparently useless at this point. But it’s quite the fun foreshadowing when he makes the deal to save the child.
Everything that happens from the moment they enter the ship onward is top-notch ‘Star Wars’
From the moment our crew steps foot on Moff Gideon’s ship, it’s some cool stuff. From Cara, Fennec, Bo-Katan, and Koska’s team annihilating Stormtroopers on the bridge, to Mando being quick with some Dark troopers, it was on-the-edge-of-your-seat TV. Especially when Mando only just defeated them. This is a shame because the Dark troopers are too cool for their own good. Even if they are Empire. Sorry, those are just the facts.
Moff Gideon can see the writing on the wall and heads to Grogu’s cell before Bo-Katan can get to him in the control room. He tries to “reason” with Din Djarin. And nearly does, because he’s very convincing. Who doesn’t want order back to the galaxy, right? Although, when the Empire speaks of it, it typically isn’t “order,” so much as “fascism.”
And Giancarlo Esposito’s charismatically devious acting just flows through him, the viewer also believes him for a split second too. Until he’s pulling out the Darksaber on Din Djarin. Yet another duel breaks out, and Mando finally gets to use that spear. It’s a close one, and it’s clear that Moff Gideon knows a thing or two about fighting. But Mando defeats him, but spares his life, interestingly.
But right when you might think it’s all good because Mando has the baby and Bo-Katan can have what she wants back, there are apparently a whole set of rules. Din just made things a tad more complicated for himself, because the Darksaber is supposed to win in battle, as opposed to yield, even though that’s not how Bo-Katan received the Darksaber in the past. Questions for a future Mandalorian, we suppose.
New and old ‘Star Wars’ unite in the final moments of ‘The Mandalorian’ and shows, yet again, what this show can do
Regardless, no one has time to stew on that dilemma too long, because the Dark troopers that Din flung into space before are back and they are ready to kill something. Everyone in the control room is gearing up for the worst. They’re hunkering down to take a real beating. And it would be a lot more terrifying if Ludwig Göransson’s composition for the Dark trooper’s didn’t go so hard. It still is a tense moment, but the dubstep adds a real nice flare.
Anyway, an aircraft comes flying in. And for fans of the original trilogy, they’d be able to recognize that X-Wing fighter anywhere. But if the aircraft didn’t tip you off, then the gloved hand might have. No? Then the green lightsaber definitely did.
In that hallway, beating all those Dark troopers is none other than Luke Skywalker. He works through the hallway with ease and finesse, and (again) the scoring here is incredible. Luke’s cloaked figure alone would be enough to induce some chill-inducing suspense and action. But the music is the cherry on top.
Gideon is beside himself with fear when Bo-Katan mentions that it’s a Jedi coming through, and Grogu is glued to the security monitor showing what’s going on. Din Djarin is alarmed at first. But when it clicks what’s happening, he’s actually just more resigned and his despair at losing Baby Yoda is felt through the helmet.
Pedro Pascal is the hero of the episode. Because of course he is
And this is where the episode thrives. Because even though Luke’s CGI appearance is a great link to the original Star Wars trilogy, it’s Pascal’s acting that reminds viewers where the heart of the show lies.
Grogu, of course, is a star, but Pascal’s able to convey a lot through the helmet, but then is able to take it off for the second time this season. And the acting he does? And the connection he has with this little animatronic? It’s heartwarming beyond belief.
Again, Pascal is a pretty physical and expressive actor. But Din is such a reserved character and doesn’t call for that type of performance. However, Pascal gives a great showing. There’s a lot of fanfare because of Luke and the Dark troopers, the Darksaber, and more in the last 15 minutes of the episode.
But Grogu’s little hand on Din’s face helps audiences not lose focus on who and what The Mandalorian is actually about. And that’s what leaves fans a sopping mess in the end. Even though Luke heads off to train Grogu, and R2-D2 will be the best nanny ever, there’s a promise that Din will get to see him again. With the hopeful music at the end — and hope being Star Wars‘ MO — that’s all fans can hold out for.