The Mandalorian: Season Two, Episode Eight (Finale) Review


Photo by Luis J. from Pexels

Everybody’s favorite droid made an extra-special cameo in the season two finale of The Mandalorian.

The odds were against “The Rescue” from the start. After a rather rocky beginning, season two really picked up, and the previous three episodes were some of the show’s best. As the season finale, “The Rescue” had to wrap up virtually every story thread from the past seven episodes, provide a satisfying ending, hold its own against the incredible season one finale, and leave the appropriate number of cliffhangers to keep audiences invested until the third season. This was certainly a lot for Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau to pull off. But were they able to do it? Yes, they were. Kind of. Star Wars has always had a hard time with endings; Return of the Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker are both easily the worst movies of their respective trilogies, and many episodes of The Mandalorian do not have a definitive final scene. As just another episode of season two, “The Return” is a fantastic addition to the show. But as the season finale, it is not as successful.

The first half of the episode is near flawless. We start with Mando and company hijacking an imperial ship that is holding Dr. Pershing. They use him to find out exactly where Moff Gideon is keeping Baby Grogu in an incredibly tense scene, and now armed with this information Mando goes after the final necessary piece of the rescue mission: Bo-Katan. Mando lands back on the oceanic planet from “The Heiress” to ask Bo-Katan and her other Mandalorian friend for help. After a brief fight with Boba Fett, they’re on their way to Gideon’s Star Destroyer. They arrive, and we get about 8 minutes of intensely awesome action sequences. There’s Cara Dune whacking stormtroopers in the face, Mando squaring off with a dark trooper, and some fun callbacks to the Death Star escape of A New Hope. It all comes to a head with Mando facing off against Moff Gideon himself. This is the first time we get to see the Darksaber in action, and it’s as awesome looking as I could’ve imagined (it’s also nice to see Mando putting the Magistrate’s spear to good use).

Mando defeats Gideon and takes him back to the rest of the group, and this is where the episode starts to fall apart a little bit. Mando has the Darksaber from his defeat of Gideon in battle, but when he goes to give it back to Bo-Katan, she does not accept. This is because the Darksaber must apparently be “won” in battle, meaning that the only way Bo-Katan can get this weapon back is by defeating Mando. And just as it looks like we’re about to get a battle between two of the show’s coolest characters, some dark troopers show up. The dark troopers now approach the doors of the control room, ready to attack. But suddenly, a mysterious, cloaked Jedi shows up and kills all of them easily. So… I guess that’s all for the dark troopers.

The Jedi is, surprisingly, Luke Skywalker. Its been a popular fan theory online that Luke would make an appearance, but I never really thought that the show would actually do it. Unfortunately, they CGI-d him, so he kind of looks like a character from a video game cutscene, but I understand that there were no other options. With as few words as possible, he says that Grogu needs to come with him for training purposes. We get a teary goodbye between Mando and Grogu, with Mando even taking off his mask. Luke picks up Grogu, the two exit, and we see Mando tearfully watch as his best friend in the galaxy leaves for training.

And then the episode ended. Just like that.

Up until this moment, I was loving everything the episode was doing. The Luke cameo was incredible, the teased fight between Mando and Bo-Katan looked to be very exciting, and the goodbye scene was genuinely heartbreaking. But there were still way too many plotlines hanging in the air for a satisfying, cohesive ending. We get no conclusion on the Darksaber storyline, Moff Gideon’s capture, or if Mando is keeping off his helmet for good now. And as for the dark troopers, if their entire story was building up to them just getting mowed down by Luke Skywalker, that’s pretty anticlimactic. It’s really unfortunate that this episode ended in such a poor way, because I absolutely loved everything before it. If this episode was part one of a two-part finale, it would be an easy five stars. But on its own, it just isn’t as great as it could have been.

As for season two as a whole, I liked it– a lot, in fact. I still probably prefer season one and its more small-scale approach to the story, but I believe that this season is still a worthy addition to the tale of The Mandalorian. What I find so strange about season two is the drastic changes in quality between episodes. Season one was pretty even; at its best, it was great, and at its worst, it was still pretty good. Season two was the complete opposite. At its best, it was Star Wars at its best, and at its worst, it was Grogu eating the fish lady’s eggs for laughs. It keeps the season from feeling as cohesive as its predecessor, but the good most certainly outweighs the bad here. I do worry about this ending, though. Considering that the final moments of “The Rescue” featured Luke walking away with Grogu, it’s easy to fear that Grogu may not come back for season three. After all, his storyline feels nicely wrapped up, and I don’t think CGI Luke is going to be a recurring character. But then again, about 70% of this show’s popularity stems from this tiny puppet, so I highly doubt Disney is giving him the boot after only the second season. He’s just too adorable to say goodbye to.

Final Grade:

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

4 out of 5 Stars

Season Grade:

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

4 out of 5 Stars


  • I thought the Boba Fett tease at the end was stupid. There were so, so, so many other things that could have filled an end-credits scene for this episode, but instead we got an ad for another tv show so Disney can have more money.
  • Looking back on my old reviews, I think I was just a little bit too harsh on “The Marshall.” After some rewatches and seeing how the full season actually plays out, I’d probably bump it up to four stars. As for “The Passenger,” that episode did not get better with time. It now stands out as easily the worst episode of the show at this point.
  • One of my absolute favorite moments of this episode and possibly the season was watching Cara Dune, Bo-Katan, her Mandalorian friend and Fennec take down a squad of stormtroopers. Star Wars is slowly becoming one of the most gender-balanced franchises out there right now, and seeing these four great characters destroy some stormtroopers was really awesome. I also liked how subtle it was, compared to that awkward moment in Avengers: Endgame that tried the same thing but failed miserably.
  • I also liked how after seeing Luke land on the star destroyer, Moff Gideon tried to take himself out. Both in and out of the Star Wars universe, Luke Skywalker is a force to be reckoned with.
  • I recently re-watched the first season of The Mandalorian, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that we’re in a golden age of Star Wars content. In the past three years, we’ve had this show, the awesome final season of The Clone Wars, and The Last Jedi, which I happened to love. And sure, Disney kind of dropped the ball with The Rise of Skywalker, but it’s still a whole lot better than any of the prequels. I can’t wait to watch the 5,000 new shows Disney+ has lined up for Star Wars.