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THE MANDALORIAN 2×08 Review – Star Wars at its best

It’s time to say goodbye to The Mandalorian.

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The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian season two has ended and I’ve been left with a massive hole in my heart that only more Star Wars can fill. I was incredibly hesitant to review this episode for a number of reasons. Much like Ahsoka’s episode, I found it really hard to put my feelings into words without spoiling too much. Additionally, this is an incredibly special episode and I wanted to process it fully. Check out the reactions online, this episode hit a lot of people and I wanted to preserve that feeling.

To me, reviewing this episode almost felt wrong. But we’ve been on a journey together. Starting with Mando’s adventure with Cobb Vanth, we’ve journeyed through the galaxy, through thick and thin to reach this point. I can’t leave it. So this review is going to be slightly different and later on, once spoilers can be discussed, I can branch out.

To put it simply, Chapter 16- The Rescue is Star Wars at its best. People have very conflicting views concerning the current state of the Star Wars universe, and I fall under the percentage that simply loves anything and everything Star Wars. Do I have my problems? of course. But my enjoyment outweighs my criticisms. I love Star Wars too much to fully dwell on the problems, but I can recognize them.

Image via Disney

Fundamentally, this season finale ticks every single box imaginable. It has heart, action, conflict, and suspense. I felt overjoyed, overwhelmed, sad, and exhilarated. To effectively convey all of those feelings in such a short amount of time highlights just how brilliantly constructed this episode was. It was able to juggle all of these emotions while handling the narrative of this episode.

Having said that, the episode in relation to its story is fairly simple. It’s in the title. This episode is a rescue mission and that is exactly what we got. If I were to critique it in any way, it would be that I was hoping for more of a resolution regarding the Empire’s plan. Throughout season two, seeds have been planted that tease what Gideon wanted with The Child. Now, it could be down to us to connect the dots, or it could be something that will be explored later down the line, but I felt that some of the questions raised have been left unanswered. Like I said, this could be completely intentional. However, given how certain plot points became more prevalent this episode, most notably the state of Mandalore, I have a feeling we’ll be moving away from Gideon and honing in on Mandalore and Din’s origin.

In terms of criticisms, that’s all I have. The only other thing I would bring up is that I’m not quite sure whether this episode created a continuity error that relates to Star Wars: Rebels. It jumped out to me at first, but I think it may be one of those things that can easily be explained in the next season. But for now, I’m not entirely sure. It’ll be something I discuss later on, and I’m hoping more research can help explain it. If not, it’s definitely a future plot point that may be pivotal in The Mandalorian season three.

Image via Disney

Right, onto the good stuff.

An episode of The Mandalorian has never made me feel this way before. Like I said before, this finale was able to elicit multiple emotions and it did it effectively. What I also found incredibly impressive is that this episode was not fully centered on Mando. Everyone got involved and it was great to see each character interact with each other. This would be the first time for some of the characters and it was brilliant seeing the dynamics. Some of the got on, but there were also small sparks and some clashes.

For me, what really stood out was how each character had their own style. There are quite a few skirmishes and each fight allowed each character to flourish as individuals. it’s a very minor thing to spot, but I think it shows the depth of each character’s development. These characters are now recognizable. They don’t have to say anything to make a statement. Their fighting styles and movements say a lot about them and that’s fantastic visual storytelling. In addition to that, it was also nice seeing how each style worked in tandem. For example, the grace of Fennic versus the brute strength of Cara Dune. These characters have had their own individual episodes, but seeing them work together was a lot of fun.

The action was spectacular. Simply put. We had a fantastic duel with the Darksaber which was brilliant choreographed, non-stop stormtrooper action, and the tense arrival of the Dark Troopers. While their appearance in season two has been brief, they have been a fantastic edition to the show. Now, they didn’t really do much but they had this really intense presence. The music and the shots just added so much to them. However, I believe they were mostly used as a tool to make the finale even better.

Image via Disney

One of the questions that fans have had ever since Grogu’s abduction was whether the seeing stone summoned a Jedi. Well, we get our answer and it truly was a spectacle. This scene will be talked about for years and I’m so glad that most fans were able to enjoy it without being spoiled. While the arrival of this individual makes absolute sense, I really didn’t think it would happen. It caught many of us off guard and I think that’s why it worked so well. We got to see this character in a way that we’ve never seen before and it really just shocked and amazed me. I won’t lie, I’ve had that scene on repeat all weekend.

This final episode of The Mandalorian was an explosive and action-packed tale that was able to deliver a severe punch to the gut. This is something that Star Wars hasn’t really been able to do effectively. I absolutely love these characters, but from my experience Star Wars is the one thing that has rarely brought me to tears. It definitely has happened, but it isn’t a regular occurrence. They nailed it this time round.

This episode brought us together and as much as I hate to say it, it provided a heartfelt resolution to a story that has been with us since last year. People may moan about it, but it really was a perfect ending for these characters. It was beautifully shot, Pedro Pascal delivered an outstanding performance with very little dialogue, and it was incredibly moving. I didn’t really expect the finale to go in this direction, but I’m very glad that it did.

Now, we have a lot more to look forward to. As one door closes, another one opens. While juggling everything in the episode and essentially preparing us for one of the greatest moments in Star Wars history, we got a glimpse into what season three could revolve around. If they are looking to head into Mandalorian lore, we are in for a treat. It may be hard to say goodbye and honestly, I’m still processing it, but the universe is very large and we may get to explore a very interesting and deep mythology that deserves exploration. The third season of The Mandalorian is going to be an interesting one. Mainly because it’s heading in a brand new direction. Is it risky? of course, but we’re in safe hands.

The future of Star Wars is looking incredibly bright.

What did you think of the Chapter: 16- The Rescue? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

If you’re hungry for more Mando goodness, tune in to the The Mandalorian: Making of Season Two special which premieres Friday 25th December, streaming only on Disney+


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