Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Mandalorian - The Rescue

Although Pedro Pascal will return for a Third Season, "The Rescue" is the culmination of The Mandalorian's two-year arc. Since his discovery of Grogu everything has led Mandalorian (Pascal) to this moment. And, once again, the show brings back a number of familiar faces to help Din Djarin in his attempts to rescue Grogu from the clutches of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). With the help of Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen, Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), and Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), Din leads a rescue doomed to failure. Despite the Valkyries at his back, the group is no match for Gideon's Dark Troopers leading to the show's final surprise appearance and farewell to another fan favorite character. Spoilers begin here.

Making use of CGI (as we'd seen before in Rogue One and The Rise of Skywalker) a familiar face on-board an X-Wing arrives to show those of that played Star Wars: Dark Forces that Dark Troopers really aren't that hard to deal with if your are Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Making good use of the ship's video cameras to frame the action, The Mandalorian delivers a Luke Skywalker in his prime who in a matter of minutes proves to be more effective than all of the show's Mandalorians put together. I'm a huge Luke Skywalker fan (he has always been my favorite Star Wars character). It's a great fan moment, as is Din's farewell to Grogu (which of course brings up the rather sore subject of whether Kylo Ren fans will ever forgive him for likely killing the beloved character in his slaughter of the Jedi Temple... or turned him to the Dark Side).

Using CGI Hammill (which works will in a all but a couple of shots) rather than recasting the role with a younger actor all but confirms we won't be seeing as much of Luke compared with Ahsoka (who earned her own spin-off). And, sadly, of all the projects announced, none have to do with the Jedi Order that Luke attempted to rebuild. The biggest question the show will be forced to answer going into next season is if The Mandalorian can sustain it's momentum following the exit of its breakout star. The Darksaber is cool, I guess, but it's no Baby Yoda. As to the remaining threads of the story, Fett and Fennec are off on their own path, our Mandalorian is without a ship or a direction, and he's in possession of an item that may forge him a new destiny (whether he wants it or not) as it appears the next season will take audiences back to Mandalore.

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