‘The Mandalorian’ season 2: Explaining its bizarre ending
The Mandalorian concluded its second season in dramatic fashion. The season finale had everything a Star Wars fan could hope for: comedy, action, and a shocking cameo from a beloved character. The dust is still settling on the finale, and what it means for the rest of the show moving forward, but we thought it’d be a good time to delve into The Mandalorian and discuss some of the show’s more bizarre choices.
Be warned, this post contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2!
The season finale, titled “The Rescue”, has a lot of ground to cover. The episode follows Mando (Pedro Pascal) and his cohorts as they battle Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and attempt to free the adorable baby Yoda known as Grogu. Mando’s rescue plan is to break onto Moff’s imperial cruiser and shoot his way out, and it actually works for a bit, as he takes Moff captive and makes off with the hallowed Darksaber.
In classic Star Wars fashion, the escape plan falls apart. Mando, his team, and Moff are surrounded by robotic and seemingly indestructible Dark Troopers. It looks to be the end of the line. Then, something very surprising happens. A rogue Jedi shows up in an X-wing and proceeds to take out the troopers, thus saving the day. But who is this rogue Jedi? None other than Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
Luke’s appearance is completely unexpected, and kind of unprecedented. Sure, The Mandalorian has dropped in surprise cameos before, but never a character of Luke Skywalker’s magnitude. His role as a Deus ex Machina feels exciting and somewhat underwhelming at the same time. On one hand, it’s great to see Luke in his prime, crippling the remains of the Empire and sporting his signature green lightsaber.
On the other hand, Luke’s appearance distracts from the characters and the plot that’s been developed over the course of the show’s two seasons. The relationship between Mando and Grogu is what has drawn viewers in, and given the mixed response to films like The Last Jedi (2017) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019), the refusal to lean on the past was a refreshing change of pace.
Luke’s cameo hinders this change, even if only slightly.
Luke agrees to look after Grogu, who is revealed to have previously trained as a Jedi, and the two escape to safety. Mando, reeling from the loss of his childlike companion, moves on with the Darksaber at his side.
He was previously told that should he survive his mission to protect Grogu, he should join the efforts to return Mandalorians to their home planet. Whether fans get to see this story thread materialize or are simply meant to assume it remains to be seen.
The most unexpected part of the finale may be just how complete it feels. Mando’s story has been told, and the post-credits scene suggests that the upcoming season 3 will focus on Boba Fett instead of the Mandalorian we’ve come to know and love. It’s still unclear whether Mando will be relegated to a smaller role or excised from the show completely, but the credits suggest that we’ve reached the end of his journey. At least, for now.
That being said, there are still plenty of unresolved arcs that could resurface in future seasons or spinoffs. Moff survived his battle against Mando, and Giancarlo Esposito already teased the character’s return during a Screen Rant interview. Mando’s team members are also active, and some have already been confirmed to star in upcoming Star Wars spinoffs.
The future (or the past, if we’re to go by the “long time ago” card) looks brighter than ever, even if we don’t know where it will take us.
The Mandalorian seasons 1-2 are currently streaming on Disney+.