It’s been about a full 24 hours since I finished the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I expected the finale to be a lot of things. Mainly cool as all hell. I didn’t expect it to be emotionally devastating and I damn sure didn’t expect it to do that either.
Now, for those who haven’t watched The Mandalorian season 2 dip now or forever hold your peace.
So now that it’s just us real niggas in the building, HOLY FUCK WHAT?!
LUKE?! LUKE SKYWALKER?!
THE HERO OF THE NEW REPUBLIC?! THE NEW HOPE HIMSELF IS IN THE BUILDING?!
Sorry, I just needed to get that out the way and I’m pretty certain you did, too.
The final 10 minutes of The Mandalorian season 2 is hands down some of the best Star Wars ever produced in any medium. While season 1 was a fun romp through the galaxy, season 2 has felt like the series’s true ambitions being realized.
It’s no secret that series creator Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni are big fans of the Star Wars Extended Universe. Growing up, the EU books and video games were the primary way I engaged with the Star Wars universe. What made them cool was that they showcased different sides of the galaxy far, far away while still technically being considered canon.
High key, those stories are a large part of why I wanted to write in the first place.
When Disney announced that they were going to be making a sequel trilogy, they also announced that the Extended Universe was no longer canon. The Mandalorian season 2 has basically felt like Favreau and co. going “Uh, yes the fuck it is.”
I had the sneaking suspicion this was the case when Ahsoka Tano (portrayed excellently by Rosario Dawson) showed up midseason and name dropped Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Now I’ve got a deadline, and I can easily go for hours on this shit, so if you don’t know who Thrawn is, he was the big bad of the post-Empire galaxy in the old canon. If you’re desperate for a Star Wars fix read Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. It was more or less considered among fans as the original sequel trilogy before, you know, that happened.
Anyway, in that moment we had a character from the animated series name dropping one of the most legendary characters who hasn’t been seen in live-action Star Wars. I thought that was going to be the big moment of the season, to be honest. I was satisfied with that little piece of integration, too.
I didn’t think they were gonna have Luke Skywalker roll up in an X-Wing, body an entire battalion of Imperial droids, and then interact with the main cast. As a lifelong fan of this shit, I was in stunned silence. Luke Skywalker, the Mandalorian, Bo-Katan, and the fucking darksaber were in the same room together.
My fanboy joy was through the roof. “They did it! They went full EU! It’s all connected!” I was yelling to myself.
Then the other shoe dropped.
I honestly thought the series finale of the show was going to be the Mandalorian eventually finding Kyle Katarn or someone to take Baby Yoda and train him. Never for the life of me did I think it was going to happen in season 2, or that Luke goddamn Skywalker of all people would be the one to take him.
When the Mandalorian removed his helmet to reassure Baby Yoda that he was going to be OK, that this wasn’t goodbye. Y’all. Let’s just say I’m happy I live on my own now because that cry was ugly.
In one moment, the show managed to bridge all the worlds of the Star Wars universe together and it did so in one of the most moving moments of the whole franchise. We knew this was the ultimate end to Mando and Baby Yoda’s journey together, they told us that already. Despite knowing that, it still hurt like a bitch.
I was worried about the future of Star Wars following The Rise of Skywalker. I honestly thought the franchise was afraid to try new, cool things after the divided reaction of The Last Jedi. The Mandalorian season 2 single-handedly restored my faith and I am genuinely excited about Star Wars again.
I don’t know where Mando goes from here. I can’t attempt to fathom a guess. I do know that wherever he goes, I will be sure to follow. This is the way, baby. This is the way.