Just a heads up before I get going: while I normally try to avoid spoilers out of respect to anyone who hasn’t seen or played the thing I’m talking about, this week I’m diving in. It’s impossible to talk about this episode without discussing the sheer insanity of the third act, so you’ve been warned: spoilers ahead!
This season of The Mandalorian has been some of the best Star Wars… well, ever, frankly! A cavalcade of fascinating characters, tense action, and exciting continuity links have all led to this: our hero must gather a band of allies and lead a daring mission to rescue Grogu from the clutches of Moff Gideon (a role Giancarlo Esposito is perfect for, by the way).
The opening act is great fun, with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison, and as an aside, boy is it exciting to type the name ‘Boba Fett’ when discussing some contemporary Star Wars) going to Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan for help. It’s very interesting to see three different people with such different takes on Mandalorian culture interact: Bo-Katan’s pride in her heritage puts her at odds with Boba’s more-or-less incidental proximity to the culture, while Din’s skewed understanding of Mandalorian customs puts him somewhere between the two.
Moving on to the second act, we get some of the finest action the series has delivered to date, which is really saying something for a show with fight choreography as good as this one. All of our heroes shine, from the Mandalorian soldiers to Republic trooper Cara Dune (Gina Carano) to mercenary Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). Even as the main group is tearing its way through stormtroopers, a sense of drama and tension is maintained by showing Din’s close-call fight with a deadly Dark Trooper.
All that’s fine. Great, really! But things don’t get serious until Din finds Gideon guarding Grogu.
The initial standoff is a nail-biter, but things seem to resolve well enough when Gideon deactivates his deadly Darksaber and tells Din he may take Grogu back so long as the two of them (that is, Din and Gideon) go their separate ways and don’t interfere in each other’s business again. On the one hand, Gideon is not a man I’d be quick to trust, but on the other hand, he seems fairly practical and calculating--I can see why Din believes him. And then Gideon strikes.
I’ll be honest: for a second there, I genuinely though Din might die. I thought, “Oh man, is the show going to switch focus to Bo-Katan or Boba Fett now?” But no, it’s nothing quite so extreme, of course. Instead, the duel ends with Din Djarin unwittingly become the new Mandalorian sovereign by claiming the Darksaber. I absolutely can’t wait to see how he handles this!
That twist alone would’ve been enough to end the season on a high note, but it doesn’t stop there. The reveal that the Jedi who arrives to train Grogu is none other than Luke Skywalker absolutely floored me. I knew it was a theory, but I thought there was no way they’d actually do it. Obviously, I was wrong! I didn’t even know how to react to this reveal at first--surely Luke won’t become a recurring fixture of the series, so is our time with Grogu really up? Wait, don’t a bunch of Luke’s trainees get killed by Kylo Ren?! But that’s far enough in the future that Grogu probably won’t still be with him. My head was spinning. But after sitting with it a few hours, I’ve decided that actually? It’s rad. It’s incredibly rad.
What a way to end a season! Except wait--even that’s not really the end, as we get a post-credit scene with Boba Fett apparently taking over Jabba’s old palace. Not sure where that’s going, but I’m eager to find out!
I can’t think of a better way the show could have capped off this season. Season three can’t come fast enough!
More articles and reviews by Ethan McIntyre can be found at rollwithit.blog.