Main cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Temuera Morrison (Boba Fett), Ming-Na Wen (Fennec Shand), Gina Carano (Cara Dune), Katee Sackhoff (Bo-Katan Kruze), Mercedes Varnado (Koska Reeves), Omid Abtahi (Dr Pershing), and Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon)
Director: Peyton Reed
I am kind of expecting it, as the second season of The Mandalorian is steeped in fanservice and nods to a whole series of lore and canon, most of which had been excised by Kathleen Kennedy’s Lucasfilms maybe because that idiot doesn’t even know those books exist, but I still squeal and jump in giddy joy when that scene happens. I was indifferent when Darth Vader showed up in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but here, I scream happily when I see… ahem, I guess I shouldn’t spoil things even if that scene had been plastered all over the Web and given away when one looks at the cast listing.
Wait, there are other things that happened in this episode? Oh yes, now that they know where to find Moff Gideon, Mandy, Cara, Boba Fett, and Shand are all ready to go. Bo-Katan Kruze, sensing an opportunity to steal the ship and her stolen weapon as part of her effort to retake her home planet of Mandalore, tags along and brings Koska along. So yes, the whole gang is ready, so let’s bring out the confetti and do the woo-hoo.
Oh yeah, the enemies are Stormtroopers and trash can droids, so it’s just a matter of watching a bowling ball mow down the white helmeted-pins, but still, we all have to make do with what we have. God, seriously, can we have better villains in the next season? Please retire these Imperial imbeciles, as they are a disgrace and they make our main characters look bad. These guys need worthy villains to kick asses, and this show isn’t doing them any favors by throwing low-tier mooks at them. Once again, Moff Gideon rises to the occasion to deliver even villainous cool and menace to make up for the idiocy of his men, and I can only wonder—again—why he even settled by joining what is clearly the short bus brigade of the villain parade.
Normally, I’m not for deus-ex-machina kind of endings, but baby, that guy is the deus where I am concerned so I can only squee in joy.
Yes, yes, maybe in the next season Mandy will end up in a tangle for the retaking and rulership of Mandalore, and after this episode, I find myself eagerly waiting to see what will happen. Maybe without the crutch that is Grogu, Mandy can finally shine in his own right. Maybe, maybe… but oh, let me watch that grand scene again just to clutch my hands in happiness and tear up at the bittersweet ending. Yeah, I tear up… all three times as I rewatch the last few minutes of this show.
I know, I have said that this season is half-full of fillers, and I still stand by what I said. The last few episodes and this one demonstrate how great The Mandalorian can be, though, if there had been a tight focus and direction to keep me looking forward to each upcoming episode.
More importantly, as a jaded Star Wars fan, I can only thank the Force and whatever for this show. It hasn’t been easy keeping the love alive, as the years go by and the quality of the products diminish considerably, but the blatant fanservice in this show reminds me of why I fell in love with the setting and the characters. For the first time in a long while, I visit Wookieepedia, to reread what I thought I remember and to read up on what I missed out on, and re-experiencing this probably absurd joy of being immersed in that world again. I feel young again, no, I feel like that young dolt again, that one that watched the original trilogy and thought these movies were the coolest thing I had ever seen back in those days.
So, thank you Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, thank you Pedro Pascal and everyone else that made this show what it is, and I’ll be along for the next season. Hopefully, you guys will join me too.
Oh, and yes, The Book of Boba Fett. You know I’ll be watching too. Damn it, I get reeled in so easily!