Dave Filoni is, essentially, George Lucas’ padawan learner when it comes to making Star Wars. Yet, where Lucas seemed determined not to give the fans exactly what they wanted, Filoni seems committed to doing just that. In The Mandalorian season 2 finale, Filoni, Jon Favreau, and director Peyton Reed, deliver something that fans have been waiting to see since the credits rolled on Return of the Jedi. They also made storytelling decisions that all-but blow up the series as fans have come to know it. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess. In short, the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian gave fans what they wanted, a surprise that’s obvious in retrospect, and a decision that’s sure to set Star Wars discourse ablaze until the season 3 premiere.
Without yet getting into spoilers, much of this episode is what fans expected. Titled “The Rescue,” much of the episode is straight-up violent conflict. If I had any criticism for this episode, it would be that there weren’t enough quiet moments with the characters. There are a lot of pivotal moments in characters’ journeys at play in this episode. And beyond mere reaction, we don’t get much of a sense about how anyone other than Din Djarin feels through it all.
Because it’s Star Wars, this finale will likely be divisive. Up until the season 2 finale, The Mandalorian has been largely immune to Star Wars Discourse™. Sure, there’s been some minor controversy over Grogu’s eating habits or Bo-Katan’s armor. Yet, the events of this episode tie into the larger Star Wars stories in big ways. There are direct references to all three trilogies and animated series.
Okay, spoilers to follow.