The Mandalorian season finale recap: Mando comes to the rescue
Staging Grogu's rescue attempt, Mando gets more than he expected when he comes up against Moff Gideon and meets another legendary Star Wars character.
During the excellent second season of The Mandalorian, Mando has traveled the galaxy trying to find the right person to train his tiny green son, meeting Mandalorians, powerful Jedi, famous bounty hunters and even an adorable frog family along the way. He’s learned that his way isn’t the only Mandalorian one and that there were certain lines worth crossing for the ones he loved. And as he comes to the end of his quest, he learns most importantly that he needs to sacrifice his own wants for the needs of the one he values most even if that breaks his heart. On top of all that, we also get an appearance by a certain famous actor who isn’t quite done with his legendary character yet and a coda showing that the book of Boba Fett has a few more chapters in it.
This jam-packed episode begins with Boba Fett chasing an Imperial Lambda shuttle containing Dr. Pershing through space. Boba hits it with an ion cannon and Mando soon boards it asking the doctor if Grogu is still alive. Pershing seems more than ready to spill the beans — which aggravates the pilot of his ship, who holds a gun to his head to get him to stop talking. Cara joins the altercation and while the co-pilot seems willing to negotiate, he gets killed by the pilot for his eagerness.
The pilot mentions that since the clone engineer Pershing is a top tier target of the New Republic, Cara will wish she never left Alderaan if she kills him. He himself seems to have a death wish since he goads Cara by saying he saw her planet destroyed by the Death Star. He mentions how many were killed when both Death Stars were destroyed and that destroying Alderaan was a small price the pay to rid the galaxy of terrorism. She kills him and as Pershing screams in fear and relief to be alive, Mando turns to look at Cara as she walks away.
Mando realizes that in order to storm Moff Gideon’s ship he’s going to need help, though unfortunately when he brings Boba Fett to help recruit Bo-Katan Kryze and Koska Reeves at a cantina, the bounty hunter’s presence aggravates them more than it helps. What ensues is a fascinating look at how Boba fits into the culture of the Mandalorians and it’s that basically save for the armor, he doesn’t.
Both Bo-Katan and Koska take their verbal shots at Boba and he responds in kind, displaying he doesn’t care at all about Mandalore’s future even though Bo-Katan cares about little else. She insults him as not being a real Mandalorian, just a clone whose voice she’s heard a thousand times before. When he threatens that his voice might be the last she hears, Koska jumps to Bo-Katan’s defense and demonstrating Sasha Banks’ skill at a throwdown, she and Boba fight until Bo-Katan tells them that if that they had shown half this spine before, they wouldn’t have lost their planet.
Since Moff Gideon has the Darksaber and Mando has the coordinates to his ship, Bo-Katan agrees to help rescue Grogu as long as she gets Gideon’s cruiser to retake Mandalore. If Mando finishes his quest with the child, she asks him to join their efforts and he agrees. She requests the Darksaber as well, which we helpfully find out cannot cut through pure beskar. She’s going to kill the Moff and take what is rightfully hers. With the Darksaber restored to her, Mandalore will finally be in reach. Mando doesn’t really care about anything but Grogu so he tells her to take whatever she wants, he just wants the child.
Back on the ship, Bo-Katan runs down the plan of attack for the assembled team and Pershing, who is being strangely helpful, notes there is a garrison of dark troopers on the cruiser and that they are droids, not humans in suits. Dumping helpful exposition about the troopers, the doctor mentions they are held in cold storage since they draw too much power to be kept at the ready and it will take them a few minutes to boot up. He also notes that Grogu is being held in the brig under armed guard.
Bo-Katan decides that they will use the Imperial Lambda shuttle to issue a distress call. Then she, Koska, Fennec, and Cara will neutralize the launch bay and clear the decks as Mando slips in behind them to rescue Grogu. Since the holding bay with the troopers is on the way to the brig, Mando will use the doctor’s code cylinder to seal it off, preventing the troopers from joining the fight. They agree to meet at the bridge after all of this is through.
As they travel through hyperspace, Bo-Katan warns them that Moff Gideon is hers but Cara, who is technically an official part of the New Republic, notes that the Moff has a lot of information as an ex-ISB and that she needs him alive. Bo-Katan doesn’t really care if he lives or dies (really?) as long as he surrenders to her.
And where is Boba in all of this? He’s going to pretend to attack the Lambda shuttle from his own ship so that their distress call looks believable and that the shuttle can emergency dock on the cruiser to start their attack. Things don’t go according to plan though when Moff Gideon orders TIE fighters to be launched out of the tube Bo-Katan was planning to land in and block. She still tries to go with the original plan but they are denied permission and told to stay clear of the launch tube by the Imperial officers. She doesn’t and crash lands in the tube. Boba takes off and takes out the two TIE fighters that have managed to launch before taking off into space. If that seems like not much Boba Fett for the season finale, just wait. He’s got something big coming at the end.
On the cruiser, Bo-Katan launches her attack with Fennec, Cara and Koska quickly taking out the troopers in the bay. Gideon activates the dark troopers and they start powering up as Mando starts making his way into the cruiser. As Bo-Katan and her band of lethal ladies take out the various squads of storm troopers that they find, each member of the strike team gets to display their prowess, mowing down everything in their path.
Mando makes it to the dark troopers a little too late (you had two jobs, Mando!) and one of them escapes the holding bay doors. He suffers a beatdown that would have crushed his skull save for the strength of his helmet but one imagines he’s still going to have quite a sore neck the next morning. Using his flame thrower to loosen the droid’s grip, he notices the rest of the troopers pounding on the door, cracks showing in the glass. Almost every weapon he tries on the trooper fails until he jams his beskar spear into its neck, knocking its head off. He makes it to the door and sends all the troopers out the other end of the launch bay into deep space. (But since they are droids, that doesn’t really mean we’ve seen the last of them, right?)
After a small hiccup when Cara’s gun jams, they storm the bridge and disable the weapons system but Gideon is nowhere to be found. Mando soon finds him when he makes his way to Grogu and sees the Moff holding the lit Darksaber above the child’s head. As Grogu sadly shows his daddy his shackles, Gideon tells Mando to drop the blaster and kick it over to him. Mando demands the kid and Gideon say nope, he’s fine where he is and threatenly sweeps the Darksaber above Grogu’s head.
Gideon notes that the saber used to belong to Bo-Katan and that he knows Mando has been traveling with her. He knows everything such as the fact that his whistling stars have already launched. Mando wants to know where this villain monologue is going and Gideon kindly tells him exactly what Bo-Katan and her group of what he terms murderous savages has accomplished by now but what Bo-Katan really wants is the Darksaber because whoever wields it has the right to lay claim to the Mandalorian throne. Mando doesn’t care about that, he just wants his child.
In a surprise, Gideon extinguishes the saber and tells Mando to take the child since he has already got what he wanted from him. He wanted Grogu to study his blood since he believes the gifted child has the rare properties that have the potential to bring order back to the galaxy. Mando can take the child and they will go their separate ways
Mando’s suspicious and he’s right to be because when he goes to pick up Grogu, Gideon relights the saber and attacks him from behind. Mando’s beskar deflects the blows as we heard it would but Gideon forces him out into the hall. Mando draws his beskar spear in defence which glows red but does not break when it comes in contact with the saber. After an impressive battle between the two, Mando disarms Gideon but spares his life, a fact that the Moff finds interesting. Mando brings a shackled Gideon to the bridge along with Grogu and the lit Darksaber.
Bo-Katan doesn’t look too happy to see Mando holding the saber and Gideon smiles because he knows why. Since Mando won the saber from Gideon, it’s now his with all that entails including the throne of Mandalore. Mando tries to give it to Bo-Katan but Gideon notes that it must be won in battle. Mando tries to just yield it to her but Gideon, who’s truly enjoying himself, notes that the saber doesn’t have power, the story behind it does and without winning it truly, Bo-Katan would just be a pretender to the throne. Bo-Katan, who has been silent in all this, notes Gideon is right, and Mando, who doesn’t care about being the ruler of Mandalore at all, urges her to just take it.
While they debate this, the ship’s alarm sounds because the dark troopers have made it back to the ship. Gideon goads them about how well they will do against a platoon since Mando had a hard time with one of them. Cara shoves Gideon down to the floor but doesn’t notice she put him right next to an abandoned blaster. Mando puts Grogu in a safe place as they seal the blast doors. As the team prepares for their inevitable battle and the troopers start pounding on the door, Gideon continues to monologue (Giancarlo Esposito looks like he’s having a ball throughout this entire episode) that only he and the child will survive this. Doom seems inevitable until the ship’s alarm sounds again and we see a lone X-wing fly past.
While one X-wing alone wouldn’t be much help, Grogu senses that whoever is piloting it is strong with the Force and has caused the pounding on the doors to stop. A hooded, black-clad figure makes it through the hallways and takes out the droids easily with a lightsaber. As we see a familiar green blade slash through the droids and ponder whether Lucasfilm has convinced Mark Hamill to go through some deaging CGI, it’s obvious that whoever this hooded figure is, they are a very powerful Jedi.
As the team is distracted by the Jedi’s theatrics, Gideon starts shooting and as he tries to kill Grogu, Mando jumps in front of him and deflects the shot. Gideon tries to commit suicide but Cara knocks the blaster out of his hands and knocks him out. The Jedi makes it up to the bridge’s level and takes out the remaining droids with ease, crushing the last with Force power alone. Grogu looks at Mando and he picks him up and asks them to open the doors. Fennec thinks he’s crazy but Mando does it himself. The doors open and it is indeed Luke effing Skywalker! Frankly, the deaging CGI doesn’t look amazing (and they did indeed have Mark Hamill return for this) but since Luke is one of the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy at this point, it really makes sense that he would appear in the story at some point and it would be weird to have anyone but Hamill play him.
He holds out his hand to Grogu bidding the little one to come and Grogu looks up at his dad with a question in his big sad eyes. Mando tells Luke that Grogu doesn’t want to go with him and Luke says that he wants Mando’s permission. Luke tells him that he’s strong with the Force but talent without training is nothing. He swears he will give his life to protect Grogu but he won’t be safe until he masters his abilities (Let’s just hope that Grogu wasn’t at Luke’s temple all those years later when it gets destroyed).
Mando picks up Grogu and tells him to go with Luke since he’s one of his kind. He vows to see him again. After he promises, Grogu reaches out to touch his helmet and Mando takes it off so his child can see his face for the first time. Grogu touches his face and Mando closes his eyes to feel it as the room gets awfully dusty. His eyes glistening, Mando tells Grogu it’s time to go and not to be afraid. He puts Grogu on the ground but the little one holds on to his boot like all children who don’t want to leave their parents.
While we reach for the tissues, R2-D2 rolls up and as children have for decades, Grogu takes an immediate liking to the droid. Watching this natural bonding, Luke and Mando nod to each other and Grogu holds his arms up to Luke who lifts him up and bids goodbye to Mando with a “May the Force be with you.” Luke leaves as Mando and the rest of the team look on.
Luke takes Grogu away, but he glances back at his dad and Mando frankly looks like his heart is breaking. Knowing this is best for his son, Mando nods to reassure him and the elevator closes and with that, Mando’s part in Grogu’s story for now.
As we question what The Mandalorian is without the character formerly known as Baby Yoda, after the credits roll, we return to Tatooine and Jabba the Hutt’s former palace, which is now being ruled by Bib Fortuna (Matthew Wood). Echoing the beginning of Return of the Jedi, shots are fired and a body rolls down the staircase. As Bib says something that definitely sounds like the infamous "Maclunkey" from the latest edition of A New Hope, Fennec comes in and kills everyone save Bib and the chained Twi-lek, who she frees with one shot. Boba Fett follows her down the stairs and we realize that he’s getting revenge for his time in the sarlacc pit. As Bib Fortuna scrambles to apologize, Boba kills him and shoves him off Jabba’s throne. Taking it for himself, we’ll soon find out what happens when The Book of Boba Fett airs in December 2021. See you then!
The live-action Star Wars series follows a lone Mandalorian gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.