That’s how you end a series. After 16 episodes of detours, U-turns and build-up, The Mandalorian finally brings everything together for one big satisfying showdown – giving us one ending and a dozen new beginnings in one. Answering plenty of questions about the future of the Star Wars universe (and posing plenty more), this week’s episode also rewrites the legacy of one of pop culture’s biggest heroes. If you haven’t watched it yet (or seen the spoilers), look away now to avoid ruining one of biggest surprises in the galaxy.
It’s fitting that the episode opens with Boba Fett on the day after original Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch sadly passed away – an ongoing testament to just how much of an impact his character has had on Star Wars more than 40 years after he first put the helmet on. Fett (now played by Temera Morrison) has tracked down Imperial scientist Dr Pershing (Omid Abtahi) and he wrings the final bit of info out of him that Mando (Pedro Pascal) needs to locate Baby Yoda.
Stopping off to pick up Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and Koska (Mercedes Varnado), Mando stands alongside Boba, Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Fennec (Ming-Na Wen) to finally confront Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and rescue Baby Yoda before he gets drained of his precious Jedi blood.
The gang trick their way onto Gideon’s star destroyer and start blasting – basing their whole plan around shooting fast enough to get in and out before they have to face the Dark Troopers – unstoppable droid-powered Terminators that are worth at least a hundred stormtroopers each (but who somehow never made it into the new trilogy of films, when The First Order could have really used them…).
Mando punches his way through one of the bots in a great corridor fistfight and finally pushes his way through to Baby Yoda – finding Gideon holding him hostage, and giving us a chance to watch a cracking darksaber vs beskar spear fight. Obviously Mando wins, and obviously he doesn’t kill Gideon, dragging him up to the flight deck for the others to taunt before Gideon’s army of unbeatable dark troopers start pounding on the door.
There’s a lot to take in here. Baby Yoda has already had his blood drained and tested. Mando is now the rightful owner of the darksaber unless Bo-Katan wants to fight him for it. Moff Gideon is unconscious, but still alive. Oh, and Luke Skywalker has just turned up…
Getting one of the best entrances in the Star Wars universe, a mysterious hooded Jedi arrives just in the nick of time (summoned by Baby Yoda on his magic rock, a few episodes ago) and slices his way through an entire army of darktroopers – all played out via grainy black and white security footage. Finally, a door opens, a hood is pulled back, and a childhood-triggering John Williams score is floated in to reveal Luke (Mark Hamill) in more glory than he ever really got in the movies.
Even with a lot of dodgy CGI and ropey lip-syncing (to make Hamill’s face look like it did after Return Of The Jedi), it’s a hell of a moment for fans – and a grandstanding hero’s return for Skywalker’s legacy after his slightly rocky road in the new film trilogy. By the time R2-D2 trundles in it’s hard not to start welling up, but things get even worse when Mando removes his helmet to say a teary goodbye to Baby Yoda. Damn you, Mandalorian.
But even that’s not all. Stick around after the credits for a sting that teases yet another new Star Wars series – The Book Of Boba Fett, set to debut next December. Ending with Boba and Fennec seizing Jabba The Hutt’s gangster empire from Bib Fortuna, it looks like we could be in for a Star Wars Sopranos about a rascally old bounty hunter running a crime syndicate. Happy Christmas from The Mandalorian – the gift that keeps on giving.
- Luke’s CG face seems to be the same age as the one used in the flashback scenes of The Rise Of Skywalker (which poses the question, where was Leia?).
- This is the first episode to end with a different score by Ludwig Göransson – less triumphant, and more suggestive of things to come.
- Luke’s body is credited to English actor Max Lloyd-Jones – the same guy who played Caesar’s chimp son, Blue Eyes, in The War For The Planet Of The Apes.
- Nice to see what happened to Bib Fortuna after Jabba died in Return Of The Jedi – even if he does have a quick exit here.