The Mandalorian

"Chapter 16: The Rescue"

4 stars

Air date: 12/18/2020
Written by Jon Favreau
Directed by Peyton Reed

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Well, that was pretty awesome.

"The Rescue" completes an arc of The Mandalorian so definitively and satisfyingly that it could simultaneously serve as a series finale and a backdoor pilot for multiple spinoff series. It may do the second of those things, but since it won't be doing the first, that means a third season of this series will have to include a fair amount of reinvention by giving Din Djarin a new purpose.

Season two of The Mandalorian slowly but surely charted the course of this series from a frontier space western to the driving force behind the future of the entire Star Wars franchise. Disney is going all-in on Star Wars streaming shows on Disney+ (with the announcement of nearly a dozen Star Wars streaming projects in the coming years), and The Mandalorian this season has steadily been building a launchpad for several of those projects. (A great post-credits tag at the end of this episode shows Boba Fett and Fennec Shand storming the palace formerly known as Jabba's, shooting all the guards and its recognizable girth-expanded owner, then Boba sitting in the boss' chair, with a title card promising us The Book of Boba Fett in December 2021.)

But I'm getting ahead of myself, because "The Rescue" first ties up many of the pieces that have been set up for us this season (while leaving open a number of others), and does so in a genuinely thrilling and suspenseful action-packed manner.

Like every episode in this series, the storytelling is lean, simple, straightforward, and efficient: We have a daring plan to get onto Gideon's ship, and our heroes must get to the bridge and take it over while Djarin must get to the brig to rescue Grogu. Mando first recruits the help of Mandalorians Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado). Along with Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), we have a Dirty Half-Dozen with a righteous cause.

There are complications, of course. Yes, taking out a battalion of stormtroopers is as all-too-easy as usual. (These guys are underskilled and underequipped; my wife asked what good their armor is if it doesn't stop them from getting shot. The answer, of course, is that they're stormtroopers; their purpose is to be mowed down.) But Gideon has the dark troopers, who are kind of like ultra-advanced, superior ED-209s: implacable, evil-looking, and very strong and well armored. Mando goes up against one of them and his hands very full. And Gideon has dozens of them. (Even flushing them all into space doesn't stop them, as they use their thrusters to simply reboard the ship.)

We have a showdown between Gideon, with the Darksaber, and Mando, with his beskar staff. Mando wins, but in a way that adds a new wrinkle to things and works as Gideon's unintended Plan B: Mando has defeated the man who wielded the Darksaber — but that's exactly what Bo-Katan had come here to do. With Mando having defeated Gideon, Bo-Katan now has to defeat Mando in order to claim the Darksaber for herself in her mission to retake Mandalore. (That's not dealt with here, but is clearly grist for season three.)

I was surprised how much suspense this episode was actually able to build. Although logic dictates the title character can't die, we now have a larger group of people beyond the title character to worry about. Ultimately, everyone ends up on the bridge trapped as the dark troopers close in. The dark troopers' near-indestructibility and the way they're prepared to keep pounding the door with their steel fists until it finally caves in had me wondering just how our heroes were going to escape their inescapable box.

Answer: Grogu's call is answered with the arrival of a lone X-wing fighter, and a black-robed Jedi wielding a green lightsaber, who slices through the dark troopers in a badass force-of-nature sequence reminiscent of Vader's unstoppable assault at the end of Rogue One. It reminds you just what the Jedi are capable of when they want something. Given the timeframe, this Jedi could only logically and sensibly be Luke Skywalker, but the willingness of the writers to Go There allow the dots to be connected and explicitly bridge the original trilogy to this show, which will presumably bridge it to the sequel trilogy.

The CGI version of Luke — Mark Hamill's young face plastered onto an apparent stand-in's body — is excessively wooden and unemotional (if it were a real performance, I would call it a bad one that would be right at home in the prequel trilogy), but the illusion is good enough to sell the idea here and satisfyingly deliver the fan service. (And, hey, look: R2!) More importantly, this fulfills Mando's mission to find a Jedi who can adopt Grogu.

That's right — Baby Yoda is going away with Luke. Kudos to the writers for not drawing this arc out any longer and following the story to its logical conclusion. You'd have to have a heart of stone not to get the feels for Djarin removing his helmet to let Grogu see his face for the first time, in order to say goodbye.

So in this episode, they set up the next chapter in the Darksaber saga, rescue Grogu, defeat Moff Gideon (who remains alive and available for season three), set up Boba and Fennec for their reign on Tatooine, and say goodbye to Grogu by handing him off to the most central figure in the history of Star Wars. And they do all the fun sci-fi action this show usually does. That's a lot of stuff, all in 45 minutes.

The Mandalorian started as one man on the frontier, doing obscure western things. That quickly expanded this season. With the exception of perhaps "The Passenger," very little plot this season went to waste and most of it came together in this episode.

When The Mandalorian premiered I wasn't sure if it could escape the feeling of "it's just TV" while playing second fiddle to whatever the film franchise was doing. Now I see that not only can this production stand up to the standards of feature films, but the scope of its storytelling can deliver that sense of epic space opera as well. And with more hours. A real coup would be if this series could go back to doing its own thing on its own terms next season, now that it has paved the way for all the things that are coming in the Extended Disney+ Universe. As fun as this show can be doing big Star Wars stuff, it still has the ability to do its own thing next season — maybe even more so, if that's what it wants to do.

Previous episode: Chapter 15: The Believer

◄ Season Index

67 comments on this post

Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 3:12am (UTC -6)
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 4:01am (UTC -6)

That was not at all what I expected.

Damn. And that stinger.
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 4:20am (UTC -6)
At the risk of opening a Pandora's box, I wish the newest era of Star Trek shows was anywhere near as satisfying as this one series from the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian can be a bit rote at times, but it has certainly provided multiple awe-inspiring episodes, this one included. Wow. Love this series.
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 5:39am (UTC -6)

Disney just nailed it with the Mandalorian. Heck, it even made me curious to check out the new Marvel shows, even though I don't really care about superhero movies.

But yeah, while new Trek fails time after time (for me), at least we have some good options. Mandalorian may be over for now, but season 5 of The Expanse just dropped on Prime Video.
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 7:23am (UTC -6)
I can see the reaction now.

A lot of fans - Hell yeah, that hallways scene was better than all three sequels combined! And OK, the CGI was a bit dodgy but we can let that slide.

Some fans - God dammit, why must they continue to bring in old characters instead of letting this show stand free of all that baggage?

Other fans - How DARE they split apart Mando and Grogu?!! I'm canceling my Disney+ subscription and burning all my Star Wars stuff. Also, I though Spock was permanently dead after Star Trek II and all those Marvel heroes were coming back after Infinity War.
Kyle A
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 8:39am (UTC -6)

These guys really know what they are doing. And if this is a sign of how Disney now understands what the fandom wants, then we are in for the golden age of Star Wars.

And I also agree with the others, too bad the modern Star Treks can't follow these footsteps.

And when the X-wing arrived, I felt like a little kid again.
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 9:41am (UTC -6)
omg. i am speechless.

more than i could ever hope for.

5 stars (out of 4).

may the force be with you.
Dave in MN
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 11:13am (UTC -6)
I'm not the huge Star Wars fan, but that shocking reveal even got to me. I think my mouth hung open for the last three minutes. Wow!

The only gripe I have is Gudeon should have activated the Dark Troopers the second their ship appeared (or just blew it up with his ship's weapons).

Other than that, this was perfect escapism. I wasn't critiquing, I was swept away by the narrative.

This is ⭐⭐⭐⭐without a doubt. Best Star Wars since the original trilogy!
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 12:06pm (UTC -6)
Luke wrecking house at the end was everything I'd hoped for since picking up 'Heir to the Empire' at 10 years old. People may say he overshadows everything, but he's Luke Skywalker---how can he not? They went with CGI instead of a recast, which means Luke won't be back or at least verrrry rarely.

That's good for the show, but sad for Skywalker fans. If only F & F could just call do-over on the last trilogy and do their own thing post-Jedi with the entire galaxy a clean slate across multiple shows and movies. Imagine Luke having a convo with Ahsoka? Imagine Luke not meeting such a depressing end as decades in exile followed by a Force hologram death?

A guy can dream. But, onto Mandalore and whatever Boba is up to.
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 12:23pm (UTC -6)
I guess nobody is ever really gone... thanks deep fake.

It is a good action show, nothing special plotwise but well made.
The Expanse is a better as show on almost ever level, though. Admittedly, the Mandalorian has the superior cast. Fake and real ones...

I shiver thinking what the Jedi scene will mean for future shows. Probably unavoidable.
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 2:39pm (UTC -6)

I see them as two different types of show. The Expanse is what Discovery wishes it was. Mandalorian is just a blast, fun like the original trilogy was.
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 2:58pm (UTC -6)

Absolutely, it is an enjoyable show and how cute is baby yoda. I sadly find the action scenes a little lacking because enemies always die by the hundreds but our heroes always survive. In the original trilogy when action happened then some people actually died.
Latex Zebra
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 3:06pm (UTC -6)
That was an amazing end to a really good second season. Agree that story wise it's not really breaking any new ground but it just moves along, very little fat on any episode and they are a breeze to watch.
That end credits scene was a doozy as well.
Latex Zebra
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 3:12pm (UTC -6)
Oh and Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, they get Star Wars. Disney, give them whatever they want. They need to be helming this ship from now on.
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 4:29pm (UTC -6)
Well, this episode was a little disappointing and awesome at the same time.

I COMPLETLY had the timeline all fraked up (had to throw that in there for Katee :-) ) I thought we were after 'The Rise of Skywalker'. HAHA... then a young Luke shows up. Seriously, how good was that deep fake?!? I was impressed.

Other than the dangerous approach into Giddeon's ship, did anyone ever think our "girls" were in any danger? Good lord, how many Storm Troopers can get killed in one episode without anyone shooting them getting at least grazed? I know Storm Troopers have a history of being stupid and horrible shots, but man. Taking the ship was too easy IMO.

I expected Boba to handle some of those spaced Dark Troopers. I was disappointed he wasn't more involved in this episode.

I wish Boba would have planted Mercedes on her ass. What was all that attitude about?

Now, that all aside, I wasn't expecting Grogu to get rescued. I thought the valiant attempt was going to be made and they would have failed, giving us something to look forward to next season. Now I don't know what direction they are going. Are we going to see them take back Mandalor?

The Moff/Mando fight was pretty darn good. Dark saber against Mando's armor and staff was pretty intense. The Mando/Dark Trooper fight was also awesome.

I knew when the X-Wing showed up it was a Jedi, but I had no idea it was going to be Luke!! Love how he mowed down the Dark Troopers... that was pretty kick ass. Love Moff's facial expression when he figured out it was a Jedi.

REALLY sad to see Grogu go here, I mean really... certainly glad he's with Luke for training. A sad goodbye for all us Mando fans for sure.

One loose hanging thread.... doe Mando still possess the Dark Saber? After Moff told Mando how Bo-Katan had to win it in battle, they just kind of dropped it.

This series has been just awesome. Many, many high points. Only one episode this season did I grade low (Yoda speak there :-) ) ... pretty impressive. I'm not going to give this one 4 stars, but 'The Jedi' was 30 minutes of the best TV/Star Wars I've seen in 30+ years.

Discovery needs more character-growth type episodes like the recent Georgiou 2-parter to come close to the levels this little series has achieved. And to think Mando's episodes on average are only about 30 minutes each.

I'm only going 3 stars here because of the seemingly effortless target practice it took to take Gideon's ship.

I hope 'The Mandalorian' can keep it up now that "the kid" is not in the picture anymore.

I would have no issue going back and binging this entire series over the weekend.

Nice to see Boba Fett is getting his own series.

Glad Cara Dune is getting hers too.

The bar has been set high, it's not going to be easy to match 'The Mandalorian'.
Dave in MN
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 5:00pm (UTC -6)
@ Yanks

I never even really considered the gender of the characters until you mentioned "our girls".

It's amazing how good writing and casting can erase pre-conceived notions as to "the why" of how a story is being told.

I have to echo everyone else's lament that Trek (unlike Filoni and Favrea) can't figure out how to honor what came before and build on it.

There are simply too many cooks in the kitchen over at CBS and, as long as this dozens-of-producers paradigm remains, they'll be beholden to mystery boxes, soapboxing and subverting/remaking the things that made Trek great (since they don't understand how to use these tropes).

I'd say it's too bad Seth MacFarlane didn't get control of Trek back in the day, but I like The Orville too much to wish it never existed.
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 5:01pm (UTC -6)
My one word review: Unbelievable!
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 5:20pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN

"@ Yanks

I never even really considered the gender of the characters until you mentioned "our girls"."

Haha, it dawned on me when Boba Fett took off and I saw Mando lurking behind.
Dave in MN
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 5:27pm (UTC -6)
@ Yanks

Kind of amazing we've gone a whole season (and a couple hundred comments) without even one gripe about social justice pandering.

If that doesn't speak to the quality of this show, nothing does.
Dave in MN
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
Also, I forget that Favreau co-created The Orville and directed the first episode.

I think he deserves a lot of credit!
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 6:51pm (UTC -6)
Wow! Such an intense ending, though it raises some important questions.

Ahsoka seemed to suggest that Grogu could turn to the dark side and it would be better if her were not trained. "There is much fear in him" similar to Yoda's comment about Anakin in Phantom Menace, and she says it's better if Grogu's abilities waned over time. But Luke takes Grogu without hesitation, and I wonder if just means Grogu should have been with Luke all along, or if Luke is making an error by deciding to train Grogu.

Also, the sequel trilogy seems to say that Luke's trainees were killed by Kylo Ren, so Grogu going with Luke is actually not a good sign. Does this mean Grogu is off the show? Or will he come back somehow? I feel like Disney has made so much money off of Baby Yoda dolls, that's it's hard for me to believe that Grogu is off the show.

Going into the season 2 finale, considering Ahsoka's statements and Grogu's absence from the sequel trilogy, I thought they were setting it up to have Grogu not be trained, and instead be raised as a Mandalorian, just as the main character was rescued as a child and raised to follow "the way." Also, this season they've gone out of their way to have Grogu not be completely good, such as with egg eating, cookie stealing, force choking etc., so if he just goes on his merry way and becomes a Jedi, that seems too easy.

Very cool episode though. When that X-wing flew in, I knew things were about to get real. Fan service at its best. People just love seeing R2-D2 beep, even though it's unclear whether R2-D2 had an prior connection to Grogu.

When the dark troopers were blown out into space with the push of a button I said out loud "that's convenient" so I was glad when they came back to raise the stakes. Though I agree, why doesn't the empire rely on them more, instead of stormtroopers who can't hit anything or the incompetent droid army of the prequels.

Like others, I wish Boba Fett had more to do, but apparently he is getting his own show??? Seems odd to have two shows running simultaneously that both involve Mandalorian bounty hunters, but what do I know? I worry Disney will react to the success and acclaim of The Mandalorian by churning out a ton of shows that are of lower quality.

But this episode was so enchanting. Can't wait until Season 3. Hope to see more of "Kara Thrace" Bo Katan.
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 11:03pm (UTC -6)
Was that Like Skywalker ?
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 12:04am (UTC -6)
Overall good.

But if you had an eye for detail, you were not surprised it was Luke because you could see the black mechanical hand waving the light saber! And the green saber to boot.
But yea I agree with others that all of our heroes are pretty much invincible. That however is made up by extraordinary fidelity to Star Wars cannon, atmosphere, music, “feel”. Good character development and many characters pull at your heart. Guest stars are excellent with Bill Barr, Tim olyphant, that blue alien, Rosario Dawson, Titus (criminally underused in that ep). Sure I’m missing someone.
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 3:14am (UTC -6)
Yes that was Like Skywalker. The deep fake brother of Luke Skywalker.

I find it a little disappointing that they are amping up the fan service. Boba Fett is back, the room from Jabba the Hut is back, Luke is back, R2D2 is back. I get why they do it. It's basically the same scene we had with Darth Vader slicing up 50 people at the end of one of the newer movies. So guys can shout:"Fuck yeah!! Totally awesome, bro!"

So the new republic is the one that gets destroyed by the planet cannon. The Mandalorian is a prequel to the new trilogy. I guess so they can bring back all the deep fakes. No one is ever really gone.
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 8:10am (UTC -6)

Are you sure it wasn't Luuke?
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 8:24am (UTC -6)
Whatever his name, he is living in the Uncanny valley.
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 10:51am (UTC -6)
An invincible set of heroes. Never any tension. Not a single moment when the heroes seem to be in any danger. Completely ineffectual enemy soldiers who may as well not be in the scenes when they are dispatched with zero difficulty.

Even worse, the buildup of Gideon as a formidable schemer always one stop ahead of the good guys falls flat as he is easily dispatched by Mando with little difficulty. He’ll, Mando had a harder time with a single dark trooper than he did with Gideon. Gideon, who got the drop on Mando and used that moment to swing his lightsaber at Mando’s in Hindi me armor plates rather than one of the many many gaps in his armor where he could’ve killed him easily.

I found the season frustrating as a thinly-veiled vehicle for setting up other Disney series cash-ins, but worse than that, there was action without tension. At no point this entire season did it ever feel like Mando was in danger, except when he was locked in that ship’s hold with the water filling up. Other than that, uninteresting action scenes, with nothing as fun to watch as the Jawa Sandcrawler scene from the first season.

The first season was a project that Favreau and others got an apprehensive green light to make, letting it likely be closer to what the showrunners wanted to do with it. Then it was wildly successful, and Disney made no attempt to hide its very obvious meddling.

No, seeing Luke show up isn’t enough to trick my nostalgia lizard brain into thinking it was good as it apparently has so many.
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 11:08am (UTC -6)
@ Mal

Is it nostalgia to write an ending that feels like a deletedc arc from the original trilogy?

Everything about the closing few minutes struck me as genuine real filmmaking with something universal to say about the human condition and the capacity for goodness. I found it incredibly effective.
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 11:23am (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN, I don't who that is who used my name to comment at 10:51am (UTC -6), but it isn't me.

I love @Jammer's site, but this is one of those well-understood drawbacks to the open format. Believe it or not, in the decade-plus that comments have been open here, only one other time has anyone used my name. So I'm not complaining.

Just asking nicely for that handsome fellow (with very good taste in screen names ;) to please select a different one. I would consider it a kindness.

FWIW @Dave in MN, I agree with you completely.
Dave in MN
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 1:33pm (UTC -6)
@ Mal

OK, that explains things! (That reaction seemed out of character for you.)
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 2:35pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN

You know me too well LOL!
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 5:35pm (UTC -6)
I don't know how anyone can say this episode had no tension. Mando was always portrayed as a powerful warrior and yet the dark troopers posed a threat we hadn't seen yet. I found their threat extremely effective. It doesn't matter that no one died. As I recall, quite a few characters died in the sequel movies, and yet the battles came across as uninvolving video game sequences, with a lot of things flying around.
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
@ Dave in MN

"I have to echo everyone else's lament that Trek (unlike Filoni and Favreau) can't figure out how to honor what came before and build on it."

1000x THIS.
I remember thinking "I never ever thought I'd despise a Trek show." I remember also thinking "I never ever thought I'd despise a SW flick." (While there is more than one guilty example, this is primarily directed at TROS)

Thank fuckin CHRIST for Filoni and Favreau. Nailing it with every round in the chamber.
Nique Dunk
Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 7:48pm (UTC -6)
On the other Mal's side for this episode, and I have similar thoughts for the last 3 episodes in total. How many extended fight scenes can I watch knowing ahead of time that no scary enemy can get past the hero's armor and that he and his chums will never get hurt, or pretend to get hurt and get up and take on a figging army again and destroy them?

Not many.

After the hundred storm troopers of the most incomptent kind tried to take Mando and chums out for 15 minutes of senseless shooting, and missing from close range, and another episode following that of obviously predictable fights, I finally found myself fast forwarding through some of the fights in the ship in this finale Because what apparently counts in this show's last few episodes is how they end. Those have been the only worthy moments.

The finale starts with a useless, insult-and-attack bonanza featuring Mando's sidekicks before joining him, (OMG who knew, sigh) and continued with yet another round ef endless fights in a ship (does it even matter where)

The last fight is dross mimicked as climax, how many times should Moff Gideon strike Mando with his "luminous and most powerful sword" before Mando even slows down a bit? Sorry Moffy, never enough. Mando topples him like he had never even been tickled.

Thankfully the last 5 minutes distracted from that monotony. Nice "WOW" trick with Luke, but that is all. It can't magically "poof" the the rest of the ordinary episode away.

I can't be more disappointed. I loved the first 5 episodes but the season fizzled out like balloon.
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 12:00am (UTC -6)
“I wish Boba would have planted Mercedes on her ass. What was all that attitude about?”

So once Boba began speaking, she knew he was a clone, albeit not in the same vein as the rest of the clone army. And since Jango was not technically a true Mandalorian, he was apparently held in pretty low regard by Mandalorians, and I assume his clones would be regarded as even poorer copies of a pretender.

I really enjoyed this episode. And yes, storm troopers did what storm troopers do, namely get shot in the face and scream, but that’s literally been all of Star Wars. You can’t blame them for staying true to form. I give this 4/4 stars, but I do feel bringing in Luke was maybe a mistake. I enjoyed this taking place outside of the Skywalker saga, and to have him brought in as Jedi Ex Machina seems like a genie you can’t put back in the bottle. But I can’t say this enough: just masterful. Respecting all the source material, representation in a way that doesn’t beat you over the head, great characters... heroes, anti-heroes, villains.
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 2:57am (UTC -6)
DISNEY needs to give Jon Favreau a blank check and ask him to take over the head of their Star Wars TV and Movie division and fill in the amount he wants to get paid. He has proven himself and has brought Star Wars back from a very muddy spot, Ill never meet the man but I want to thank him for giving us back our Star Wars. After a difficult two decades since the Prequel Trilogy started I feel like I can connect with Star Wars again. Its really is cool.

Season 2 of Mando is masterful stuff. I don't care about the nitpicks. Although the amount of storm troopers they wiped out with ease made the taking of the ship not as high stakes as it should have been. I know, that is how storm troopers are but they should have cut the numbers down and not made it so flagrant.

Their casting of women was exceptional and for the most part gender wasn't even noticed which makes it even more masterful . Everyone was on equal footing and there was never any pandering to either make the men incompetent to the women or for the women to seem inferior.

Hell of a post credits scene. I almost got up and left the room as its usually just the music and the artwork ,and this surprises me. Massive fan service!
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 3:00am (UTC -6)

It would be really hard to keep a Luke appearance out of this series. He is alive in this time frame and rebuilding the order and Mando is carrying someone from the same species as Yoda. I can understand some people thinking they should have kept him out, but I don't see how you could considering what we know in canon. It would get glaring at some point as to "where the F is Luke to help them with something"
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 1:52pm (UTC -6)
@dave "DISNEY needs to give Jon Favreau a blank check and ask him to take over the head of their Star Wars TV and Movie division and fill in the amount he wants to get paid. He has proven himself and has brought Star Wars back from a very muddy spot, Ill never meet the man but I want to thank him for giving us back our Star Wars. After a difficult two decades since the Prequel Trilogy started I feel like I can connect with Star Wars again. Its really is cool."

This is spot on and I agree 100%. The recent movies were less than desirable to me other than the last half of Rouge 1. The Mandalorian has given me faith again in Star Wars and let's hope it continues.
Pebbles Dod
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 6:03pm (UTC -6)
Squarely in the camp of the few let down by the ending. For me personally, it’s also why I could never get into the Star Wars franchise as much as several of my friends did. Too much laser use, too many fights with white-armored and black-armored army always getting knocked by a hero named Luke, Han Solo, Rei or another, or in this case, the Mandalorian. Yet, I really thought it would be different with this series because it started out so well. The first season had a couple of intriguing characters, and this season was promising early. Somewhere along the season, for me once the fifth episode ended, it slipped away and turned into the same ole battles and fights, with hardly any plot. I second the commenter above who saw no tension. I didn't either late in the season. Where is the tension when each pocket of fighting yields the expected ones as winners no matter how long those scenes drag, and boy they drag.
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 6:13pm (UTC -6)
@Pebbles Dod
"Where is the tension when each pocket of fighting yields the expected ones as winners no matter how long those scenes drag, and boy they drag. "

So in the episode "The Tragedy", you expected the bad guys to take off with the baby? Because that's what they were fighting for, which means they were the winners.
Pebbles Dod
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 7:25pm (UTC -6)
Something was bound to go wrong since there was still an episode left. But even if I did not, I completely expected the hundreds of storm troopers in that episode to take hundreds of shots and miss their targets hundreds of times from a few feet (eyeroll) and then jump out in front of their enemies so they can get zapped, and watch that pattern repeated over and over again for 20 minutes in the middle of the episode. Yayyy!
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 8:47pm (UTC -6)
Probably was the same Mal in the past as me. Been visiting Jammer's site for about ten years, since I read along eps as I did a BSG watchthrough. Mostly lurk and very rarely comment.

Glad many enjoyed this. Someone above described it as a masterpiece, but that can only conceivably be possible in my mind if someone has been thirsty for the post-RotJ Star Wars that they conceived in their heads, or was formed from SW books in the 90s. Same crowd that was mad that the interesting turn Luke took in TLJ (a movie I think is trash, but I actually quite like the Luke take) simply because it didn't fit expectations.

I mean...this season had an ep with a character from Clone Wars. Then two eps later, had Ahsoka--also from Clone Wars. The ep immediately following that had Boba Fett in it. Then the final ep has the crescendo of fanservice character inserts in the form of a badass Luke Skywalker meant to mirror the Darth Vader fanservice scene at the end of Rogue One.

I think if the fight choreo was more interesting I'd potentially have found this season more entertaining, but TV fight scenes these days just feels like filler between plot beats--almost obligatory. My favorite ep of the series is still the ep from the first season on the prison ship, because it treated Mando like the invincible, scary predator that he is and showed him to us from the perspective of a bunch of normies.

I realize I'm in the minority here, but The Mandalorian worked best for me when I thought it was part of a small, contained story making the rest of the galaxy feel larger and more full, and would ultimately be totally inconsequential to the stories from the movies and other material. For it to tie in so blatantly to the larger plot--and for the ineffectual villain (Giancarlo Esposito ended up being totally wasted in the role) to outright look at the camera and say that what he's done will help bring the rise of the First Order--undermined the sense of larger scale for me.

As a result, it feels once again like Star Wars is such a tiny world...and that there really just are no new ideas for what to do with it.
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 9:31pm (UTC -6)

I think your point about how season 1 took small stories set in the Star Wars universe as better and preferable is well taken. Now that season 2 has tied in both the original trilogy, Clone Wars series, and linked to the sequel trilogy, Mando is now becoming a pivotal character to the entire Star Wars timeline. Or at least that is the path I’m predicting. This places too much pressure on the long term plot now (prediction), when this series best worked on simple plots done right with exquisite detail and canon fidelity. A build to a more “galactic” plot I think raises the risk of trying for too much.

That being said, it is surprising that one of the most popular if not the most popular characters has left, and any return of baby Yoda would have to be bend over backward writing into the plot. Again, long term serial storytelling is not this series forte; the episodic nature is the key. I think more innovation in episodic storytelling a la ST TNG or original Star Trek is the best path forward.
Mon, Dec 21, 2020, 8:39am (UTC -6)
I am surprised the CGI face morphing has not become indistinguishable from real face yet, four years after Rogue One. But it will, it will. I predict eventually there will be never ending series of Star Wars shows involving original characters from all the movies indistinguishable from real actors. Maybe we'll all watch them in our retirement homes. If the Star Wars fans are too old and it isn't worth doing by the time it becomes possible, may be it will happen with Harry Potter.
Albert Walding
Mon, Dec 21, 2020, 10:37am (UTC -6)
While enough has already been said about how ridiculously easy it has become to blast your way past stormtroopers (Mando had more problems with a bunch of Jawas in season 1) I would like to draw attention to a little detail that hasn’t been mentioned yet: at one point Cara and Fennec are caught of guard on a catwalk when six stormtrooper come up from behind and could shoot them in the back. But what do they do instead? Shout „Freeze! Drop your weapons.“ They might have wanted to add „You are under arrest for crimes against the empire“ but of course then they get killed.
The important point here is that despite being on the receiving end of a one-sided slaughters the stormtroopers are still trying to take prisoners. The other side does not, the entire bridge crew gets slaughtered. Yes, they all die with weapons in their hands, but Bo Katan does not even try to take a prisoner to ask where Gideon is. Who are good guys/girls here? In a way this reaffirms the theme from last episode – if it weren’t for that one officer telling us that the Empire is really evil it would be hard to spot the difference.
Mon, Dec 21, 2020, 11:02am (UTC -6)
@Albert Walding

Ahh, but isn't it interesting that at the very beginning of this episode that the Imperial shuttle pilot, the one that shot his co-pilot, stated that millions of people died on the Death Star(s), and that it was correct, for lack of a better word, for the terrorists to die on Alderaan? Someone can maybe recheck this scene and verbiage, but I recall this Imperial thinking the Empire was righteous, which could extend to many Imperials' thinking of their acts against the Rebellion.
Tue, Dec 22, 2020, 5:55pm (UTC -6)
Why are people saying the new Star treks arent as good as this? People don't think Discovery is good..?? Picard I get why...But what is it about Mandalorian people think is better than Trek like Discovery?
Wed, Dec 23, 2020, 6:44pm (UTC -6)
@Leif: 'Why are people saying the new Star treks arent as good as this? People don't think Discovery is good..?? '

To be blunt, people just are not happy with anything when it comes to new Star Trek. Instead of just not watching they watch then complain about how horrible it is, yet continue to watch and continue to complain. I just don't understand it myself and shows evolve and always will. Enjoy it or don't watch. Life it too short to spend an hour on something that makes you angry.
Dave in MN
Wed, Dec 23, 2020, 7:49pm (UTC -6)
I didn't realize commenters were obligated to either give good reviews or keep silent.
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 2:22am (UTC -6)
Review now posted.
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 3:46am (UTC -6)
@Leif, Mark

In short, from my perspective, The Mandalorian feels at home in the Star Wars universe and it delivers in much the same way the original trilogy of movies did, as a space western that pits hero(es) against villain(s). It may be a shallow formula, but it's one that works, for me.

Star Trek: Discovery, alternatively, and again, from my perspective, has felt largely out of place from its universe. This may be, in part, because of a fairly radical aesthetic redesign (e.g., ships that seem out of place with their time, given what was previously presented in universe; and new alien makeups without any real explanation). It may also be because the thoughtfulness engendered by past series has generally not been seen: rarely has Discovery provided an examination of the human spirit, or morality, ethics, and values. Moreover, and given the turnover of the writing staffs in the first two seasons of the series, it should not be surprising that some, including myself, might find the season-long arcs have been disjointed and ineffective.

I continue to watch not because I want to harp on or hate Discovery, but because I love Star Trek and want to love every of its newest iterations. I might compare it to being a fan of a sports team: you may be disappointed by how your team performs in any given season, and even hate at it times, but you stick around, hoping they can achieve something far more. Maybe modern Trek won't ever offer the same depth it previously did and it just is what it is now. Should that be the case, however, Star Wars offers a far better space opera/western. I've just always thought of Star Trek as offering something more.
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 9:35am (UTC -6)
I see so many glowing comments/reviews/ratings about “The Mandalorian” — certainly seems to be kicking DSC’s sorry butt. I’ve never been a big Star Wars fan. I’ve actually only seen the 3 original movies. My question is: Does one have to have seen all the Star Wars movies to be able to follow / understand / have the background needed to appreciate “The Mandalorian”?
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 9:56am (UTC -6)
@Rahul "Does one have to have seen all the Star Wars movies to be able to follow / understand / have the background needed to appreciate “The Mandalorian”?"

In my opinion, no. The series, for one, is set before the newest trilogy, so the events of the latter don't really affect the narrative. There are elements from multiple animated series that make their way into the show, but you can still enjoy The Mandalorian without having seen anything beyond the original trilogy. I'm loathe to raise anyone's expectations regarding most anything so I'll just say that I think most anyone who enjoyed the original trilogy of movies would enjoy The Mandalorian.
Dave in MN
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 1:47pm (UTC -6)
@ Rahul

I've never really followed Star Wars other than watching the original movies when I was a kid and seeing the prequels in the theaters. I had only a few questions while watching this and the SW fans here were very helpful.

Well worth watching!
Dave in MN
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 2:08pm (UTC -6)
In the interest of fairness, I did try to watch the sequel trilogy but the dumb plotting prevented me from finishing any of them. Case in point: Leia Poppins

There's none of that sequel cringe in the Mandalorian.
The Chronek
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 2:27pm (UTC -6)
I loved this episode. And the build up to finally reveal Luke Skywalker was pitch perfect. I didn't know I wanted or needed that emotionally, to see Luke again. Not gonna lie, I teared up seeing him. I didn't feel like it was solely for nostalgia, either. Post-ROTJ, there aren't many Jedis left. Who better than Luke to come to the rescue and train Grogu?

Mandalorian is the best Star Wars since Empire.
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 4:45pm (UTC -6)
@ Dave in MN

Thanks for the responses. I think it would bother me if there was some basic background I didn't have for MAND. And I don't know the SW-verse nearly as well as I know the Trek-verse. Like with PIC, not remembering some details from "Nemesis" bothered me but ultimately wasn't a killer for watching PIC S1.

But given the tremendously positive feedback MAND seems to be getting, it's probably worth taking the leap.
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 5:44pm (UTC -6)
I’m almost certain Baby Yoda will return in Season 3, because it’s either that or having the implication that Kylo Ren killed him before TFA.
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 9:04pm (UTC -6)
Considering there's about 20 (?) years before Ben's insurrection, there's any number of ways they could explain what happened to Grogu. It doesn't necessarily have to be addressed by The Mandalorian again at all.
Dave in MN
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 10:19pm (UTC -6)

Jammer is exactly correct. 👍

Ben Solo is only 4 years old during the time The Mandalorian takes place.

Also, there's some chatter that the entire sequel trilogy may end up being retconned by Disney as an alternate universe. Tone will tell.
Dave in MN
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 10:20pm (UTC -6)
*Time will tell.

Sorry, my auto-correct has it's own agenda.
Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 4:35am (UTC -6)
God. Damn. I'm more of a Star Trek fan, but The Mandalorian is 1000% times more satisfying than Discovery or Picard. It's just... really, really good. Merry Christmas.
The Chronek
Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 5:01pm (UTC -6)
I know The Mandalorian also ties in a lot of stuff from what was once the Star Wars expanded universe. I'm only a little familiar with that stuff, and I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not religiously knowing the SWEU. Admittedly, the Thrawn reference was really cool in The Jedi.
Richard Webb
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 3:47am (UTC -6)
It boggles my mind that Jammer is not reviewing The Expanse.
Jason R.
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 6:15pm (UTC -6)
This finale, while not perfect, packs more punch, gives us better spectacle, and carries more dramatic weight than all of the sequels put together. Good god, so Disney knows how to make a good Star Wars story after all! Imagine that: action that has tension and gravity, flowing from logical ideas and not arbitrary spectacle; a strong story with real world building in every scene that actually respects its characters; a well earned emotional payoff flowing naturally from *gasp* actual character development and growth; even a bad-ass fan servicing cameo that is perfectly set up and executed for maximum wow factor but is held back until the right moment.

What the Mandalorian got that the sequels completely missed is that we want to spend time in the Star Wars universe, to feel like it is a real place with real worlds and aliens and characters; that not everything has to be about the fate of the galaxy; that lightsabers should be used sparingly; that sometimes smaller stories are the best and to tell a big story well you do have to start small! (Or small-er at least)

From now on, I am going to file away the entire sequel trilogy into some non canon box, say along with that Jedi Academy novel series. As far as I am concerned, the Mandalorian is the sequel to the Star Wars trilogy, its proper successor. To hell with Mary Sue Ray and good-for-nothing Finn and the whole lot of them. To hell with gigantic fleets of 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 death star destroyers and bullshit casino planets and plot breaking light speed jumps through enemy capital ships and all of that tedious, unearned, vapid FX vomit spectacle.

As I see it there are two paths forward for me to enjoy Star Wars: something in that 20 something year gap before the sequels or more prequels. But the second Rey and her merry band so much as get a whisper I am bailing.
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 10:00am (UTC -6)
Wow! Well, I am more Star Trek then Star Wars but Mandlorian was the biggest surprise since very long time in the Sci-Fi genre. As an extra you got back to Bonanza and Sergio Leone, Akira Kurozawa etc.

Very much stand-alone episodes. There was ono or two that did not really convince me but they where still not too bad. Ok, the episode context was never to complicated and not nested. Therefor sufficent short. Females in many important roles. I suppose Grogu is away as a main character. Partly good as hawing him around would have been tedious. On the other side he really made a cute contrast making it lighter and more humourful.

Amazing that an interaction between a more or less nontalking puppet and a man with very few words and a small metal dust bin on his head could be so interesting and full of context.

It really lightened my Corona Winter.
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
I just came to say, Jammer, I'm so happy you are doing Mandelorian reviews. You're my favorite Trek reviewer out there. Whenever I am doing Trek rewatches, which is embarrassingly often, I always read your reviews as I go.

Thanks for all you do buddy. 😃

Submit a comment

I agree to the terms of use

◄ Season Index

▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2021 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. Terms of use.