By Owen Quinn author of the Time Warriors and Zombie Blues
To be completely honest I was never a fan of this show until about four weeks ago. It was a sure fire thing that every Monday morning in work my buddy and I would disagree on how good it was. For me the Mandalorian never utilised its full strength and elements of Lucas’ universe. Poor episodes like the one where he defended a village against a chicken walker and the Tremors episode with the Tusken Raiders just frustrated me. Weequay are a species not the name of the bartender I argued and throwing in a cameo from R5D4 was just a crowd pleaser.
My buddy’s blind love for it sent me up the wall. They should be using the elements established previously to build upon and bring new dimensions on what we already know. Well, I think the writers probably heard me because suddenly things did a sharp turn and did exactly what I had been saying all along. It’s ok guys, I forgive you. Any jobs going in your writing staff? You know where to find me.
What a difference. The Empire carrying out genetic experiments to create Force powered beings, Boba Fett more than just a helmet to become a martial arts master, Thrawn, Ashoka, references to Anakin Skywalker turning bad are mere tasters for what was to come in this final episode.
Part of me thought the backstory of having to find the Child’s species was just an excuse to drag it out. However the reveal of a hidden history and that the Child was much older than it appeared only served to whet the appetite.
We seemed to be heading for an Empire Strikes Back season finale. Moff Gideon has the Child and experimenting upon him. The Mandalorian’s ship has been blown to pieces and Thrawn is waiting in the shadows. All seems lost but what an ending.
The assault on Gideon’s ship, stormtroopers falling like skittles, the Return of the Jedi like stealing aboard Gideon’s star destroyer using an Imperial ship and the legion of robotic Dark troopers coming at them like the Borg. We are treated to great fight scenes which are cinematic in nature.
But it is the ending that broke every fan in the world as Luke Skywalker arrives in full Jedi fighting stance to rescue Grogu. These scenes felt like the Darth Vader ones in Rogue One. Luke is now a skilled warrior and teacher far removed from the atrocity we saw in the Disney trilogy. The moment he pulls back that hood left me on the floor just as it did at the end of the Force Awakens. Seeing him in full black Jedi outfit was beautiful just as it did when he entered Jabba’s Palace all those years ago. What a fantastic blast from the past along with old reliable R2D2 at his side. Coupled with the farewell scenes between the now helmetless Mando and Gorgu it brought an emotional impact that is rarely seen in a television show. I had the same reaction at this as I had when I saw Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher together on stage at Star Wars Celebration in London a few years ago. Yep there was tears. It is like not seeing an old friend for many years yet the moment you do, you forgot how much they mean to you. It hits you like a punch in he face.
Now Mandalorian works for me as an intelligent show that uses its source material in a thoughtful way. The post credits scene of Boba Fett taking Jabba’s palace by gunning down Bib Fortuna was just the icing on the cake. I can’t wait to see what happens in season three.