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'The Mandalorian' 2.08 Review: The Rescue

It's time for 'The Mandalorian' Season 2 finale!

Mando (Pedro Pascal) issues a threat.
(Image: © Disney +)

Our Verdict

A strong finale that stumbles into an inescapable shadow at the end.

For

  • ✨Beskar vs. Darksaber battle.
  • ✨The Dark Troopers are appropriately terrifying.
  • ✨Mando's heart grew three sizes this day!
  • ✨It is very cool to see [redacted] in action.
  • ✨The score slaps.

Against

  • ✨[Redacted's] presence is awesome! It is also not to the show's benefit at all.
  • ✨Some of the CG is, um... lacking.

This post contains spoilers for The Mandalorian.
Check out our last review here

The Mandalorian’s Season 2 finale takes a little bit of suspension of disbelief, given “The Believer” closed out with Mando (Pedro Pascal) issuing a threat to Moff Giddeon (Giancarlo Esposito) that he was coming for him. All the same, we still kick things off with a fun enough rallying of the troops and a good ol’ fashioned space battle. Accompanying all of that is one hell of a score worthy of a finale in the Star Wars universe. 

On the way to rescue The Child, Mando finds himself face to face with one of the Dark Troopers. Boy howdy, those tanks might look a little silly, but they will ruin your day. We’re given appropriate reason to be stressed out by their presence early on when Mando finds himself in a one-on-one. Things will get more dicey with the droids later on, but first Mando has to take on Moff Giddeon in a Beskar vs. Darksaber duel to save the kid.

Their fight is solid enough, albeit a little short. But the brevity is to lead to one of the most profound points of the finale: “The Darksaber doesn’t have power. The story does.” By besting Moff Giddeon, Mando is now the rightful owner of the Darksaber. All he wants to do is hand things off to Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), but she refuses to accept it on the grounds that it would make her the false Queen of Mandalore. Strange totem-worship from a woman who has shifted past her belief in the old ways, but I guess we needed something to tie Mando back to Mandalore after the last moments of the episode.

After believing they have the day won, the Dark Troopers who were recently sucked out of the airlock return to the ship for a party. Mando got whooped around the hallway by one. He and his friends have no chance against a small army. Thankfully, the kid called for backup right before he got kidnapped by the very Troopers looking to end their lives.

The buildup is solid enough: an X-Wing docks the ship, with no answer to attempts at communicate. As it lands, Grogu’s ears perk up and we have our confirmation that we’re about to see a Jedi. The question of whether or not it’s Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) is answered the moment we see that the mystery Jedi is wielding only one lightsaber. We can’t see what color it is on the monitor, but a few minutes later will reveal that it’s green. And thus we have our confirmation:

The Skywalker Saga refuses to let Star Wars out of its shadow.

Let’s be clear: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) vs an army of Dark Troopers is a sweet sequence to watch. The battle rocked. The score rocked. Seeing Luke even rocked! But for the love of god why is it you. Why are you the one that has to be here? The introduction of The Mandalorian (and all of these other highly exciting new shows) felt like we were finally seeing the cinematic universe expand past the saga of the Skywalkers. Seeing Luke might have been neat, but it also feels like a tremendous step back for the series.

It’s not surprising that they’re actually following through with Grogu going off to Jedi school, but in this specific case it feels like the fanservice ignores actual benefit to the series. Luke Skywalker will dominate the conversation over the weekend as people see the episode rather than conversations about the series itself. That attention hog! As for how he looked? Well… it was actually pretty solid from far away! Those close-ups were yikesville, but that’s what you get when you futz around with de-aging technology.

As they part ways, a de-helmeted Mando insists that the two will see each other again. Will they? Seems like it would be difficult to connect those dots in a way that keeps Grogu part of The Mandalorian. Which is the breaks for the series, because this is the Baby Yoda show. Like it or not, a decent number of fans aren’t going to be enthusiastic about continuing this narrative without the Space Dad and Baby Yoda pairing. And we’re most certainly not going to see frequent use of whoever was walking around wearing Luke Skywalker’s face 

“The Rescue” is filled to the brim with cool moments. Regrettably, some of those cool moments kind of pull away from why The Mandalorian is a neat show. We see some strong set-ups for Season 3 (coming your way next December, maybe) with Bo-Katan and Mando having to suss out whatever’s going on with the Darksaber, but it’s kind of difficult to look past the Luke Skywalker of it all.

There is, however, a lil end credits scene you'll want to stick around for. (Stick around for the credits anyway lots of people worked really hard!) You really don't want to irk Fennec (Ming Na Wen). And Boba Fett, I guess. But mostly Fennec. The final scene presents the idea that the next chapter we see in December may not be of The Mandalorian at all. Instead, we may be seeing more of Boba Fett by... way? Of The Mandalorian? We're not sure! Look for more confirmation on that later, but we most certainly won't be seeing a Mando series and a Boba Fett series run in competition with one another.