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The Mandalorian collides with the broader Star Wars universe in its season 2 finale

The Mandalorian collides with the broader Star Wars universe in its season 2 finale


Episode 8, The Rescue, comes at a cost

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Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

As expected, The Mandalorian’s finale culminated in a dramatic showdown between Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) — aka, Mando — and Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) over the fate of Grogu (née Baby Yoda). But “The Rescue” didn’t just run into the expected complications for an assault on a massive Imperial cruiser: it also ran into the mainstream Star Wars universe in the biggest way yet. 

Warning: Spoilers for the entirety of The Mandalorian season 2 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi follow.

Par for the course for Mando, though, things didn’t go quite as planned. While the armored hero did succeed in saving his adopted son, it came at a bittersweet cost: Grogu’s earlier callout for any other Jedi was answered by none other than Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill, reprising the iconic role through a not entirely convincing CGI de-aging effect). 

The result? The Child is saved, but Luke is taking him away to continue his training in the ways of the Force. After avoiding the larger Star Wars universe for two seasons, The Mandalorian has found itself right in the path of the Skywalker Saga. It’s a move that has big ramifications, for both Mando and the show that bears his name.

Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

After all, Grogu has been practically synonymous with The Mandalorian for the last two years. He’s been the guiding star that Mando has followed, the catalyst for his transformation from a cold bounty hunter who just follows the money to his next job into a loving, caring father figure. Even at the end, Mando finds it hard to let go. “He doesn’t want to go with you!” he tells Luke, before almost tearfully taking off his helmet to say goodbye. 

Where things go next is unclear. The Luke who we meet here is a very different person from the young Jedi who fought with Vader and the Emperor on the Death Star a few years earlier or the grizzled, jaded hermit living in self-imposed exile after his failure to train Ben Solo / Kylo Ren. (Interestingly enough, Ben is about four years old at the time of The Mandalorian — meaning Grogu might be getting a new toddler friend who is also strong with the Force.) 

This is Luke at his prime, back when he still believed in the idea of training a new generation of Jedi. The sequence that sees Luke calmly dismantle a platoon of Dark Troopers (itself almost an inverse of the chilling Vader hallway scene from Rogue One) is a demonstration of the height of Luke’s power here. 

Of course — and, rather concerning where Grogu is concerned — we know that Luke’s efforts are doomed to failure. In just a few short years (a blink of an eye for Grogu, given the comparatively slow aging of his and Yoda’s race), Ben Solo will turn on his master, slaughter the Jedi trainees at Luke’s temple, and be reborn as Kylo Ren at the forefront of the First Order. Hopefully, Grogu won’t be among them when he does.

Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

But that’s all relatively far in the future. For now, The Mandalorian’s second season leaves bigger questions unanswered. Where does Mando go next without his son? Does Din backslide into bounty hunting, scraping out a living now that he no longer has someone to take care of or a grand quest to pursue? Will he be dragged into the contentious world of Mandalorian politics as the current wielder of the Darksaber? And is the show really going to put Grogu — its most popular, most iconic character — on the sidelines?

“I’ll see you again. I promise,” Mando tells Grogu before giving him over to Luke. And with more seasons and spinoffs looking to build out The Mandalorian’s corner of the galaxy in the coming years, it seems likely that this won’t be the last we see of the adorable green child. After all, if there’s one thing that we’ve learned about Mando in the last two seasons, he always keeps his word.