Review | The Mandalorian: Chapter 16 “The Rescue”
Carl unpacks The Mandalorian‘s action-packed season 2 finale – complete with spoilers!!
OH MY GOD! Where do I start?
Jon Favreau, I could worship you AND kill you at this moment in time! I could worship you for writing what has got to be one of the best, if not THE best episode of ‘The Mandalorian‘ there’s ever been. I could kill you because I’m an emotional wreck! You got hold of my emotions, twisted them up violently, and then brought me to tears! And then had me cheering and screaming with joy! Let’s not beat around the bush here, this season finale to ‘The Mandalorian‘ had everything that a fan of the show and a ‘Star Wars‘ fan could have hoped for. And just when you thought it was done for another year, the biggest secret that Disney and Lucasfilm have held back and managed to keep very, very quiet is dropped. And sent excitement levels into complete overdrive. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
The episode opens as normal, with a recap of previous events before the episode starts in earnest. We pick up with Slave-1 chasing after an Imperial Shuttle, shooting at it in an attempt to make it stop. The shuttle holds two Imperial pilots alongside Dr. Pershing. After firing an ION burst into the shuttle’s engines, forcing it to stop, Boba Fett orders the shuttle to prepare itself for boarding, flying his ship rather closely in front of the shuttle’s front window, leaving the occupants in no doubt that he wouldn’t hesitate to fire his weapons and destroy the ship if he wanted to. Din and Cara Dune board the shuttle and the reason for them being there is revealed. Moff Gideon has Grogu and they need Pershing to tell them where he is. After one of the pilots is executed by the other, for daring to surrender to Din and Cara and hand over the Doctor, the pilot taunts Cara about the destruction of Alderaan, her homeworld and the reason she has a tear tattoo under her eye, while holding a pistol to Pershing’s head, threatening to kill him. After a back and forth and an almost unbearable amount of taunting of Cara, she finally shows her ruthless side and coldly shoots the pilot in the face in one of the most violent acts seen in the show to date.
We next follow Slave-1 as it lands on what is assumed to be Trask where both Din and Boba enter a cantina to find Bo-Katan and Koska Reeves. After some insult throwing between Katan, Reeves, and Fett regarding Mandalore which leads to a brief skirmish between Fett and Koska, Din reveals that Grogu has been taken by Gideon, that he knows where his ship is and needs their help. Katan realizes that this could be her chance to finally get her hands on the Darksaber agrees to help on the condition that she alone confronts Gideon and takes him into custody. Din agrees and the plan is set.
Everyone apart from Fett will be aboard the stolen Imperial shuttle as it makes its approach towards Gideon’s ship while Fett on Slave-1 will follow them, firing his weapons at the shuttle, giving the impression that he is attacking the ship and its occupants. The plan works well until Gideon orders TIE fighters to launch and intercept Slave-1. Despite being told not to board Gideon’s ship until the TIE fighters have been launched and the way is clear, Bo-Katan steers the shuttle directly into Gideon’s ship, blocking the way and preventing any more TIE fighters from being launched.
Fett easily destroys the two that did manage to launch before he and Slave-1 escape into Hyperspace. Now onboard Gideon’s ship, everyone apart from Din leaves the shuttle, attacking Stormtroopers and Imperial officers as a distraction for Din to stop the release of the Dark Troopers while the others make their way to the bridge to capture Gideon himself.
Din almost makes it before the Darktroopers become active but falls just short. Despite using Pershing’s code cylinder and closing the doors on the troopers, one manages to get out, attacking Din while the others try and escape to attack Din. The Dark Trooper is more than a match for Din, all his weapons useless against the droid soldier until Din uses his Beskar spear to stop and destroy the droid. Just as the other troopers are about to escape, Din opens the airlock and jettison them out into space. Bo-Katan and the others make it to the bridge and take it but are stunned to find Gideon is not there.
Din arrives at the cell where Grogu is being held only to find Gideon waiting for him, the Darksaber ignited and ready to strike the child down. Din informs Gideon that he doesn’t want him, all he wants is The Child. Gideon, after taunting Din with the fact he isn’t on the bridge and informs him that Bo-Katan wants the Darksaber for herself, apparently agrees to Din leaving peacefully with Grogu. Of course, it’s all a ruse. As soon as Din’s back is turned, Gideon strikes with the Darksaber but is stunned to find that the only thing the blade won’t cut through is solid Beskar, giving Din an advantage as the pair fight, Darksaber against Beskar spear. Din gains the upper hand, defeats Gideon, and takes him prisoner, returning him to the bridge and Bo-Katan.
But he doesn’t realize what he has done. The Mandalorian code dictates that to claim the Darksaber, he has to defeat the one who wields it. By defeating Gideon, he now has the power in his own hands, meaning Bo-Katan has to defeat Din in combat to claim the Saber despite Din offering to yield without a fight and his attempts to simply hand Katan the saber, something she cannot do. Suddenly an alarm goes off and it is discovered that the Darktroopers, using the thrusters in their boots are returning to the ship, all of them, ready to engage our heroes in a fight to the death.
They manage to close the doors to the bridge, leaving the troopers outside where they commence starting pounding on the doors to get in. Gideon, although shackled manages to find a discarded blaster, grabbing it and shooting Koska before Cara smashes him in the face with her blaster rifle. Koska isn’t injured and all of our heroes face the doors as they start to buckle. But then, a lone X-Wing fighter flies past the bridge window, much to the shock of them all. Watching the monitors, they see a lone figure stalk through the ship, destroying the troopers with swings of a Green Lightsaber. The figure is dressed in black, with one hand enclosed in a black glove while the other is bare.
Din and the others watch as the figure moves swiftly towards the bridge, destroying the remaining troopers with their Lightsaber and by using the force to crush them. As the last one falls, Din orders the bridge doors to be open, allowing the figure to enter. The figure enters the bridge and pulls back his hood, exposing his features. IT’S LUKE SKYWALKER!!! The Jedi Master has made a very special guest appearance, to answer Grogu’s call through the force. His mission? To take Grogu and to train him in the Jedi arts. Din refuses at first, saying the child doesn’t want to go with Luke. But Luke calmly tells him that Grogu, seeing Din as a father figure, is waiting for Din to permit him to go with Luke.
Din picks Grogu up and tells him he can go, saying he will see him again. Grogu reaches up and touches Din’s helmeted face. Din knows what he wants him to do and slowly removes his helmet, showing Grogu his face for the first time, allowing Grogu to touch his face in a touching goodbye. Lowering Grogu back to the floor, Grogu looks up at Din before a familiar set of beeps and whistles gets his attention. Of course, R2-D2 has made an appearance too. Grogu smiles, looks back up at Din before walking over to Luke, who picks him up, ready to take him away for training. After telling Din he will take care of him, Luke, R2, and Grogu move to the elevator to take them back to the X-Wing. Just as the doors start to close, Grogu and Din look at each other in a silent goodbye. The lift doors close and we focus back onto Din’s face where we see he is crying, like a father saying goodbye to a son. And the screen fades to black, the end credits play against a black screen with a moving new arrangement of the main theme as we say goodbye to season 2.
But wait! What’s this? We are on another planet. A planet full of sand. We move with the camera as we come across a rather familiar set of buildings. It’s Jabba’s Palace! We are on Tatooine! What are we doing here? We enter into Jabba’s throne room and discover Bib Fortuna, now older and fatter sitting on his old master’s throne, lording over the occupants in his presence. Suddenly, one of the occupants on the stairs into the room is shot and killed. Walking down the stairs, it is discovered to be Fennec Shand who is the intruder. Quickly, she kills every other occupant in the room except for Fortuna and a chained slave girl, who Fennec frees. Following her down the stairs is Boba Fett. Fortuna sees the bounty hunter, feigning relief that Boba is still alive. Boba calmly kills Fortuna, walking over and sitting down in the chair, claiming the throne for himself.
We fade to black again and are then given the biggest surprise of them all. It wasn’t announced at the Disney Investor event last week and was kept extremely secret. We all wondered why the rumor wasn’t substantiated. Now we know. Coming December 2021.
THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT.
Ok, I’ll admit it now. I cried. Seeing Din finally show his real emotions regarding Grogu and watching his heartbreak as Grogu went off with Luke Skywalker to discover his destiny, with tears in his eyes, got to me! With what the episode delivered to us with this epic season finale, we got what can only be described as a ‘Star Wars‘ fan’s dream. Sadness as Grogu went to begin his training. Din’s sadness as his little friend (adopted son) went on his way. Classic action scenes. A fair amount of violence that was unexpected. Boba Fett getting his own series next year. And of course, Luke F’ing Skywalker! Mark Hamill is a master of keeping secrets and he managed to keep this massive one quiet once again. Ok, so the CGI for his face, similar to Carrie Fisher‘s in ‘Rogue One‘ did leave a lot to be desired but with Hamill once more bringing Luke to life and the guest appearance of R2-D2 as well, it was the perfect end to an almost perfect season. Ming-Na Wen, Katee Sackhoff, Mercedes Varnado, and Giancarlo Esposito are completely brilliant and act their hearts out once again and deserve all the credit going for what they have brought to the episode.
Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett needs no further praise, he is sheer perfection. He has brought back the classic character and has blown the minds of all the fans. Alongside Rosario Dawson and her debut as the live-action Ahsoka Tano, Morrison has cemented his place in the annuls of ‘Star Wars‘ history. Gina Carano as Cara Dune is a vital component in the show and here, she shows Cara’s emotional side at the start of the episode. Gina Carano MUST return in the next season and beyond, she deserves it and the show needs her character.
But make no mistake, Pedro Pascal IS The Mandalorian and he IS the show. I was a fan of his before and I’m an even bigger fan of his now. His emotions throughout the season have brought even the hardened fans to tears. His acting prowess in this season’s finale is exemplary. He gives the kind of performance that deserves an acting nod at the very least at the Emmys next year. Peyton Reed directs this closing episode and he delivers in spades.
The action is fast and flowing, the emotional content hits home and the entire episode is a joy to watch and rewatch. It is almost completely perfect in every way. He deserves huge credit for what he has achieved with this episode and I’m hoping that he returns, like Carl Weathers, Bryce Dallas Howard, and the other directors of this season to direct not only more episodes of any ‘Star Wars‘ series that are incoming as well as a ‘Star Wars‘ feature film somewhere down the line.
But the biggest credit of them all has to go to Jon Favreau. Once again, he writes this episode, and once again, he nails it 100%. He’s not content just writing the episodes, he has immersed himself in the history and the characters of the ‘Star Wars‘ universe and pulled out not only fan-favorite characters to return and to live on but he has created a world where we are taken on a journey of fun, frolics, excitement, and high emotion. He has written almost every episode of this season and his quality, love, devotion and sheer class has shone through. I said a while back that both he and Dave Filoni deserve to be handed the keys to the ‘Star Wars‘ kingdom and to mold it for the future. I stand by that statement.
Favreau has delivered something this season that has not only taken the franchise forward but has cemented its future for years to come. And for that, we as the fans owe him a huge debt of gratitude. We now must wait an entire twelve months for any further adventures of The Mandalorian and that is killing me along with the rest of the fans. After this exemplary second season, the future it has set up and the knowledge of what is to come, the wait is going to be torture. But it is sure going to be worth it.
The Mandalorian is streaming exclusively on Disney+ NOW!
Carl Roberts is the News Editor for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!