It’s all led to this. The final episode of The Mandalorian Season Two is here in ‘Chapter 16: The Rescue’ and director Peyton Reed returns to direct in a show-stopping series finale that finds the Mandalorian,Din Djarin, hunting down Moff Gideon to rescue his son. And this one takes the concept of both Star Wars and television to a whole new level.
Now with a fixed location on Moff Gideon’s Imperial Star Destroyer, the Mandalorian posse’s up with a team of heavy hitters who include Bo-Katan, Koska Reeves, Cara Dune, Fennec Shand and Boba Fett and makes his assault on Moff Gideon in a bid to rescue his beloved Grogu. From its opening moments to its shocking conclusion, ‘The Rescue’ is a straight-up, all-out action ride that genre fans will fall in love with, and this is Star Wars like we’ve always wanted to see it!
Director Peyton Reed returns to direct the series finale after his work on ‘Chapter 10: The Passenger’ and once again proves why he’s one of the biggest talents working in Hollywood today. Striking that perfect balance between action, suspense, drama and sentimentality, Reed’s direction of ‘The Rescue’ is about action as narrative and he structures the episode in such a way that each new moment feeds off the one before it. The story he tells in ‘The Rescue’ is simple and to the point. A child needs to be saved and the Mandalorian and his crew are the one’s to do it. But mixed in amongst so many different characters are new motivations and revelations and each moment of this episode grips you tighter and tighter until the third act’s shocking conclusion.
Reed brings a profound level of professionalism and focus to the events of ‘The Rescue’ and his work on this episode will leave long time Star Wars fans salivating. From pitched space battles that see Boba Fett face down a pair of TIE fighters, to high-speed blaster fights to a mano-o-mano duel between the Mandalorian and a Dark Trooper, ‘The Rescue’ is sure to have audiences on the edge of their seats. The Mandalorian has always made wish-fulfilment a big part of its production, and fans have long had many of their biggest Star Wars wishes come true with this series. ‘The Rescue’ again does this, but also delivers some shocking surprises, and sets the stage for a brand new arc in the coming third season that none of us could see coming.
Once more Pedro Pascal is out front in the vanguard as Din Djarin, and here he’s willing to go to any lengths to rescue his kidnapped son Grogu. For two seasons we’ve seen a deep and loving bond form between these two characters, and we can be certain that Djarin’s character will go to any length to protect Grogu, including sacrificing his own life if it means saving him. This attribute of the Mandalorian’s character is a defining feature of anyone who finds themself as a parent, and Pascal once again does a terrific job in portraying his love for The Child and his resolve to save him.
Facing down against Djarin and his crew is The Mandalorian’s big bad Moff Gideon who for two seasons has been portrayed by all-star performer Giancarlo Esposito. And in ‘The Rescue’, Esposito goes full dark side. Where the Mandalorian will do anything to protect Grogu, Esposito’s Moff Gideon will do everything in his power to take from The Child, and he’s not going to let his prize go without a serious fight. Esposito’s nature as a performer keeps you off guard the whole time while watching ‘The Rescue’, and as we’ve come to learn from his body of work we never know what he’s going to do next. This level of caginess and menace really builds up the tension and results in a pitched battle between good and evil.
In terms of its spectacle, ‘The Rescue’ absolutely delivers on the action front and this is Star Wars just the way we love it. Alongside its pitched space battles and blaster fights, there are two standout moments that absolutely cement the episode’s blockbuster thrills. The first is an intense brawl between the Mandalorian and a Dark Trooper which exemplifies the base battle between man and machine. And Reed delivers some chilling suspense as the Mandalorian is beaten to within an inch of his life in this intense fight. The second is the mano-o-mano duel which pits Djarin’s Beskar against Gideon’s Dark Saber, and if you through lightsaber duels where fun, just wait till you see this! Sparks fly in this pitched battle between good and evil, and Reed certainly has his audience hooked.
In discussing ‘The Rescue’ we cannot move past the shocking moments of the episode’s third act and the return of a legendary Jedi master. This is the moment that made the entire episode for me, and it’s the meeting of the old Star Wars and the new one in The Mandalorian that connects not only to the sense of lineage in this franchise but also the diverse themes and narrative elements that George Lucas first conceived of more than 40 years ago. This part of ‘The Rescue’ absolutely takes your breath away as an audience member, and will raise your sense of excitement to a whole new level. Plus make sure you watch for the season’s post-credit sequence….because this moment sets up an exciting future series that is going to be nothing short of badass.
But it is ultimately ‘The Rescue’s’ concluding moments that truly bring this episode together with a great sense of love and sentimentality. The relationship formed between the Mandalorian and Grogu has been one of immense love and devotion since the very start, and all of that is visited here in the episode’s final moments. This moment is exceptionally touching and you’re sure to have tears welling up in your eyes as the Mandalorian shares a deep and profound moment of love with his son. While the presence of intense space battles and blaster fights are always fun to watch, it’s the connection between this father and son that has made this series so extraordinary and these closing moments of the series finale are in keeping with every reason why we love Star Wars.
The season two finale of The Mandalorian ‘Chapter 16: The Rescue’ is nothing short of exceptional and sets the stage for an exciting third season, whose narrative direction is anyone’s guess now. Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni and Peyton Reed knocked it out of the park with this one, and this galaxy far, far away is about to get very exciting.
The Mandalorian streams every Friday on Disney+
Image: Walt Disney Pictures