Not spoiling the final chapter of this season will be a task that only a Jedi Knight can handle. I must accomplish this test, for there is no try. It’s no secret that this would be the rescue mission chapter; it’s titled “The Rescue,” so there you go. The chapter’s big spoiler moment was one I lamented against before seeing it with my very eyes. Upon its completion, I shed a tear. To my amazement, I didn’t have a spice dream; they made the thing I thought I’d hate, love. When the finale wraps, whether you’re a Star Wars fan or a casual watcher, it will be difficult not to be emotional upon its end. Sentimentality is present, but not hokey; an enormous gamble is made. Will it pay off in the long run? We’ll find out next year; in the meantime, consider this cynical Star Wars fanatic satisfied.
Executive Producers Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau know what they’re doing. The length of each episode always bugged me. After tonight’s sit, it makes sense. They know when not to overstay a character’s welcome or usage. The respect they have for their fans is evident where they know how to bring in popular elements without adhering to petty fan service. When a plot thread or character is left hanging, it will return later, far after the thought has gone through the viewer’s mind.
Questions are left unanswered. That ugly 46 minute time marc will paint skepticism among its watchers. The chapter doesn’t wrap on a victorious crescendo tagged with a surprise cliffhanger cameo. What it does finalize itself on is a solemn note that doesn’t pull any punches. At least, in my opinion. Many may feel differently. Those unanswered queries are set for future seasons we see now for reasons that aren’t a lazy substitute for lousy writing. Favreau is rolling the dice on this one big time; I applaud him for the daring move.
Four Imperial installations have been breached in “The Mandalorian” this season. The exception to this case is we saw this infiltration happening two chapters ago. When first broken into concerns of “too much action, not enough drama” raced my mind. Here’s more shootout, one more hero moment, all the works we’ve seen throughout season 2. The homages this season covered classic cinema from “Wages of Fear” to Akira Kurosawa samurai films. This week’s final tribute. “The Terminator.” Undoubtedly not as classy as the other two but oh so sweet in its context. The Dark Troopers didn’t disappoint as a looming threat. Their capacity to kill is reminiscent of Arnold’s T-800 model as Mando is mercilessly pounded in the face, hardly making it out alive against one of them. When confronting Moff Gideon for the big showdown, the chapter doesn’t drag along in an extended duel that stretches to eternity but a battle of the wits.
The malicious intent in abducting Grogu is further sealed, clearing some burning questions from the sequel trilogy. Everything in this episode is heading towards the events of its final five minutes. Why chapter 14 was titled “the tragedy” takes on a whole other meaning, depending on who you ask. Where we go from here is a road laid out, so nonbelievers don’t jump off the train. The only gripe I can have with this episode is based on something technical opposing the narrative. Still, I can’t further disclose it, much like virtually everything else in my review.
My hope is these mysteries laid bare post season 2 are explored on “The Mandalorian,” not elsewhere. Answering everything via the army of 10 new Star Wars shows would be condescending to the audience. The entire reason the sequel trilogy didn’t work was due to its hasty reveals and inquiries left amongst other material because the writers didn’t have the time or creativity to reveal it themselves. For now, complaints about filler might fizzle away a bit after tonight. I’d even welcome it a little; I’m shocked to say. Enough guessing games, watch the episode for yourself, then tell me if I’m right or wrong. But please, stick around after the credits for a Marvel(Esque) reveal, which has me giddy and concerned.