December really has become Star Wars month hasn’t it? Even without a big blockbuster movie in theatres, fans are still getting their yearly dose of Star Wars in the form of ‘The Mandalorian’. While the show has delighted fans since it’s debut, the level of satisfaction felt by the fans hasn’t been on such a level since Rogue One back in 2016. Disney Plus is very quickly starting to blur the line between television and cinema and seeing it happen right in front of our eyes is incredibly exciting. That being said, the season finale of The Mandalorian was a mixed bag for me, in fact this entire second season has been and before you go ballistic, just hear me out.
Without a doubt, this was a fantastic episode, Peyton Reed surprised the hell out of me with his direction. This was a consistently thrilling episode which had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. Even with the problems I do have with it, you cannot deny, it’s a great episode. However being a huge Mando fan, this episode rubbed me the wrong way. Whether you enjoyed this season or not, you cannot deny that Mando has been sidelined. This entire season has belonged to the cameos. It feels to me that this show saw an opportunity to include several beloved Star Wars characters and have them branch out onto their spin-off shows. Mando was rarely ever the focus of an episode this season and seeing the ending to this finale really hurt. Before I dive in, I’m gonna split this review up into different sections so if you want to skip ahead, you can!
Despite me having a ton of problems with the final few minutes of this episode, it is a very well-made episode. I loved this episode so much up until those damn final few minutes. The pacing was great, there was never a dull moment, there was something constantly happening and yet it never felt too busy. I loved how we got to see the way TIE-Fighters were deployed, it’s honestly shocking that we’ve never seen it before. I love the overall intensity of this episode, there was a constant sense of danger looming around these characters. At one point I genuinely thought Moff Gideon was going to slice off Grogu’s hands with the Darksaber, I was that invested. I absolutely loved and adored the incredibly badass team of women that took over the ship. Cara Dune was badass as usual, I’ve come to really enjoy her character, she’s definitely a favourite! Bo-Katan and Koska were amazing, I can’t wait till I see them in The Clone Wars. Fenneck also had her moment and it looks she’s going to have plenty more as she will not only star alongside Boba Fett next season but she’s been confirmed for The Bad Batch which is so exciting!
The action sequences overall were engaging and thrilling, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Luke’s Rogue One moment was incredible and iconic, I loved how he used the force in this scene. In the original trilogy he mostly used it to get his lightsaber back so I’m glad he learned a couple moves since then. The score by Ludwig Göransson was particularly powerful during the final moments of the episode, it hightened the already emotional moment. Peyton Reed really impressed me, I would’ve never thought that he would pull of such an episode but I gotta say, I have hope for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania now.
Seeing Luke Skywalker take Grogu away and seeing Din in tears at the end is really a symbol for what Star Wars has become as a franchise. This is a galaxy full of possibilities and new characters to explore and yet we are still focusing on the same damn characters for decades at this point. To me; Luke, Ashoka and Boba Fett came into the picture to use the newfound trust between the franchise and the fans and to have a second chance at redemption. They came onto this show only to take it apart. Who knows when we will ever see Grogu and Din separately or apart? It is actually frustrating the more I think about it. Why would they sabotage such a wonderful duo and such a successful show? I honestly feel a bit used as a fan that they would give such exciting new Star Wars content only for it to turn into a ‘character of the week’ type of show and then break it apart. Just like many other fans, I am invested in Din’s character, he is one of my favourite Star Wars characters ever! I want to see more of him and the fact that Disney Plus has now broken that bond with a hiatus that not even they know the length of, it’s just very disappointing.
It doesn’t need to be said that the entire build-up to the revelation that Luke fucking Skywalker has returned to the scene was epic as hell. It is so bizarre to me however that they would dare to mess with this character again after the mess that was the sequel trilogy. Is this really the show to do that? Will we ever see Luke again? It just doesn’t make sense to me. His involvement automatically intertwines with Grogu’s relevance in the sequel trilogy. Does Grogu die at the hand of Ben Solo? Will the next we see Grogu and Din be set in the sequel trilogy timeline? They just complicated a simple story for no reason at all. Why couldn’t Ezra from Star Wars: Rebels be the Jedi Grogu called so that at the end, he along with Din and Bo-Katan could take back Mandalore and that would be the next season? Why does this franchise have such a strong urge to live in the past? This show was doing perfectly fine with barely any connection to the movies. Yes, of course seeing Luke and R2-D2 was amazing and jaw-dropping and it made me squeal with excitement but at what cost?
Last week I had the exact same problem with how little we spent with the new characters this show has given us. Who is Moff Gideon? Do we really know anything about him? How are we in the second season and yet he is still an underdeveloped cartoon of a villain. Giancarlo Esposito does such a wonderful job with this character and he became such a fan favourite that it boggles my mind as to how he still feels like a ‘Saturday Morning Cartoon’ villain as the Americans would say. He does pose a believable threat and this episode makes it clear that he is only at the level that he is because of the manipulation of power that he wields. How the hell he got that darksaber is just mind-boggling to me. No offence to Mando but I feel like if he could take him on and win then I see no problem as to why Bo-Katan couldn’t do the same. Of course we are now steering the villain position over to Thrawn whenever that happens. All of the stuff that this season has teased won’t see the light of day till at least 2022 which is just bizarre to me. We are again throwing away a new character in favour of a familiar one. It’s basically a lesser version of how Snoke was taken out and replaced by The Emperor.
The Book of Boba Fett
Not even the end-credit sequence was saved for Din, I was so disappointed to learn that Boba Fett is taking over the show for it’s third season. Do we really need a Boba Fett centric season? Is he really that important to the story that he requires an entire season? The fact that they used the word book to me implies a full season. I can’t really judge the season so I will give it a fair chance but I am genuinely curious whether fans want this or an actual third season to The Mandalorian following Din.
Overall if you liked this episode like many fans have, I am happy for you. After all this is entirely my opinion. If this step in the franchise is working for you I am happy and quite honestly envious. I know that this wasn’t the popular opinion so I hope that we keep it civil in the comments if you have something to say. Until God knows when, this is the way!