The Mandalorian: Season 2 Episode 8 Review - The Rescue Spoiler Review

We got the biggest cameo yet in The Mandalorian, and man is it going to be a long 12 months waiting for season three to start.  In my episode seven review (The Mandalorian: Season 2 Episode 7 Review - The Believer Spoiler Review) I did not even for a second anticipate seeing Luke Skywalker appear in the season finale.  I thought based on Grogu meditating that he did connect with a Jedi and that Jedi would appear in the finale, but out of all the Jedi I thought it could be Luke Skywalker was at the bottom of the list.  I am happy to be wrong in those case, I loved Luke's story in Episode VIII (Why The Last Jedi is the Best Star Wars Films) and filling in his story between Episodes VI and VII was something I was hoping to see explored.  I do not think we will get a detailed exploration of what Luke was up to, but I do think some of those blank spots will be filled in.  This episode was a great finale because it might not have a life-or-death cliff-hanger, but it does have a cliff-hanger where we really have no clue what happens in season three.  I have already seen some interesting ideas; The Book of Boba Fett is season three and Mando will no longer be the central character or that Mando will join forces will Bo-Katan to take back Mandalore.  I have no clue since we know season three will start airing Christmas 2021 and The Book of Boba Fett will air in December 2021 it could be that season three of The Mandalorian will be a Boba Fett centric show.  Jon Favreau came up with the idea for the show a long time ago, and that show had Boba Fett as the star.  Now Jon Favreau has confirmed that The Book of Boba Fett is a Mandalorian spin-off show and thus next December we will be treated to two Star Wars shows.  I am excited we are finally starting to an MCU-like world in Star Wars, apparently all the new Star Wars shows will be leading to a big crossover event (Star Wars Avengers).  


 I hope the fans that hated The Last Jedi are happy now seeing Luke Skywalker "ignite the green", though likely they are not since I don't think anything will make them happy.  Seeing Luke destroy the Dark Troopers with ease (considering we saw Mando struggle with taking out a Dark Trooper) shows how powerful Luke has become in the five years since Return of the Jedi.  Seeing Luke is finally filling out some of Luke's history between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.  What we know is he was hunting for Jedi and Sith artifacts (Battlefront II) by raiding the Emperors vaults and that he eventually started his own Jedi temple and then lost it when Ben Solo turned to the darkside.  There are a lot of potentially exciting adventures to tell with Luke during that time.  I know fans want those stories and I am sure Disney has plans for that at some point, it might be a show, book or even a comic book.  The one part of the episode that disappointed me was that they did now cast Sebastian Stan as Luke, they instead used a digitally de-aged Mark Hamill and Mark Hamill also lent his voice to the episode.  The reason I had hoped that they would have used Sebastian Stan (or another actor) was because I hoped to see another appearance by Luke during this time and the digital version is a lot more expensive and thus will likely not be used.  The ForceCenter podcast brought up the idea of at some point seeing Luke cross paths with Ahsoka and they have a conversation about Anakin Skywalker.  Luke would learn more about his father before he turned and Ahsoka would learn how her former master redeemed himself.   I would watch an entire episode with no action just Ahsoka and Luke talking, I doubt we will get an episode like that, but I hope we will.  Luke's history is something that needs more exploring and him appearing in the finale and taking Grogu on as an apprentice only will make fans want more.  


The episode starts with Slave 1 chasing an Imperial shuttle and eventually disabling the shuttle.  The shuttle had Dr. Pershing onboard, after a struggle with one of the pilots who is an ardent support of The Empire our heroes take the ship.  Dr. Pershing explains that the Dark Troopers are robots and are quite formidable.  Mando and Boba Fett locate Bo-Katan and Koska Reeves and tell them they know where to find Moff Gideon.  The team is now set, the plan being to pretend to be an Empire shuttle under attack and crash land on the Imperial Destroyer.  While Cara Dune, Fennec Shand, Koska Reeves and Bo-Katan shoot their way to the bridge Mando sneaks his way to where the Dark Troopers are being stored.  Mando needs to prevent the Dark Troopers from activating and he manages to do so by venting them to space (I had a feeling we would see them again since I knew they fly).  Mando did have to fight one and it was very formidable but he Mando was able to use the beskar spear to destroy it.  Bo-Katan makes it to the bridge only to discover that Moff Gideon is not there, the fight to get to the bridge showed how dangerous Cara Dune, Koska Reeves, Fennac Shand and Bo-Katan are.  Mando makes it to the holding cell containing Grogu and finds Moff Gideon holding the Darksaber to Grogu's head.  Gideon offers Mando to take Grogu and leave, Mando accepts and when his back is turned Gideon attacks using the Darksaber.  Mando is forced to use the beskar spear to fight off Gideon and is eventually able to defeat Gideon and take the Darksaber.  Mando brings Gideon, Grogu and the Darksaber to the bridge where Gideon reveals that the ruler of Mandalore is the holder of the Darksaber.  Gideon encourages Bo-Katan to take it from Mando and when Mando offers it to Bo-Katan she refuses because she can only possess it after winning it in combat.  The bridge is tense, and it gets tenser as the Dark Troopers make their way back about the destroyer.  Our heroes trapped on the bridge against a squadron of Dark Troopers has them scared until a single x-wing enters the destroyer and Bo-Katan watches on the security camera feed as the pilot exits the ship and immediately starts taking down the Dark Troopers with a lightsaber.  The Jedi that Grogu contacted has arrived and easily defeats the Dark Troopers showing off his strength in the force as he makes his way to the bridge.  Mando opens the bridge to let him in and the Jedi is revealed to be Luke Skywalker, he has come to collect Grogu and train him in the force.  Luke informs Mando that Grogu wants Mando's permission to leave with Luke.  Mando collects Grogu and gives his blessing while also saying he will see him again, Grogu touches Mando's helmet and Mando removes his helmet in front of everyone so that Grogu can finally see his face.  Grogu now touches Mando's face and Mando places Grogu down who immediately hugs his leg and then makes his way to Luke.  R2D2 has arrived and has an interaction with Grogu.  Luke, R2D2 and Grogu leave our heroes (Mando with tears in his eyes) as the episode ends.  After the credits, there is a scene where we see Jabba the Hutt's palace on Tatooine under attack and we see Bib Fortuna (Jabba's former servant) now in charge.  Fennec enters the rooms after killing all the guards and Boba Fett follows her, Boba shoots Bib Fortuna and sits on the throne with a title card revealing The Book of Boba Fett starts December 2021.  


This was a great end to a great season; the episode ended the story arc of Mando looking for the Jedi to give Grogu a home with his people.  I hope it is not the last time we see Grogu and Mando together, I am worried they will not be together for all or most of season three.  A change to the main thrust of the story for season three will likely be a good thing, though we have no clue what to expect.  The episode featured some great action throughout and will likely the most-watched episode of the series to date.  There is no sweeter moment in the show so far than Mando and Grogu saying goodbye, Mando removing his helmet in front of people, Grogu touching his face and then hugging Mando's leg.  Mando removing his helmet in front of people has been something they have been teasing since season one and for it to be Grogu who is the one he removes it for was beautiful.  Since season one the show has been setting the stage for the bond between Mando and Grogu as father and son.  Mando was saved and adopted by the Mandalorians and so was Grogu, Grogu's journey is like the one Mando was on.  I do hope we see Grogu in season three, but I can understand that the show might need to focus on Mando and his allies for a bit.  There are a lot of hanging threads heading into next season like saving Mandalore, to the Darksaber, how did Bo-Katan lose the Darksaber, Mando's history, Moff Gideon's plans and what the New Republic is doing.  With a big crossover event between all the Mandalorian spin-off series coming I wonder if we are heading to a reveal that Thrawn is behind the Empire's resurgence.  I am so curious why they chose to go with a digitally de-aged Mark Hamill and not recast the role of Luke, if they cast another actor it would give them more room with Luke going forward.  I think my frustration is knowing that we might not see Luke again and if we do it will be in another cameo.  If we don't see Luke then we will likely not see Grogu and that just makes me sad.  No matter how I feel about the Luke Skywalker situation I loved this episode it contained such great action and heart.  I am excited to see what they do with season three and next December can't come soon enough.  

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