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Chapter 16 fetches an aim to a story–with the help of a’ Star Wars’ legend–while hinting at what’s to come next

Spoiler warning

I’m not sure I can recall a “previously on” segment that flexed as hard as the one before the finale of The Mandalorian Season 2. In a few quick times, Jon Favreau reminded us how many times this second season removed the mic, picked it up, and threw it down again. Bo-Katan. Ahsoka. Boba Fett. Fennec. Dark troopers and Darksabers. The Razor Crest exploding, a Jedi beacon being lit, and Grogu getting captivated.

That sizzle reel established where the story stood, but it also promoted the bar for the finale. So how to up the gambling? Here’s how: Luke Skywalker coming to the rescue. Oh, and R2-D2, too. Not to mention the first time Din and Grogu get to stare into each other’s sees, and a major post-credits announcement. Period 16 of The Mandalorian, “The Rescue, ” packed so much plot and narrative solving into its 47 instants that it could have functioned as a series finale if The Mandalorian’s ongoing success weren’t so central to the future of the franchise.

“The Rescue’’ consumes little time jumping into the action, so neither will we. Section 16, which–like the far less fateful Section 10 — was directed by Peyton Reed( no stranger to CGI de-aging ), starts with Slave I hot on the posterior of a Lamda-class shuttle channel clone designer Dr. Pershing. The data dump Mando and Mayfeld obtained on their sightseeing excursion to Morak last week obviously contained not only Gideon’s whereabouts, but Pershing’s too. Look, if I were Moff Gideon and I knew that my nemeses has only just been raided and destroyed a cornerstone to find out where I’m chilling and then sent me a message to tell me I’m next, I might move abroad and tell my pinnacle scientist to do the same. But I’m sure Gideon is well known he’s doing.

After Fett disables the shuttle with a well-placed ion bolt and Mando and Cara Dune board, a stalemate ensues between Cara and the Imperial pilot, who’s holding Pershing at gunpoint. “I saw your planet destroyed, ” he says. “I was on the Death Star.” If, as the aviator declares, he doesn’t have a death wish, it seems like a strange programme to tell the soldier who’s bracing a grease-gun on him that he cured blow a fuse her planet. But aviators who work for Gideon haven’t had a high survival rate this season. “Which one? ” Cara answers. Sick burn.

A discussion ensues that harkens back to Mayfeld’s monologue last week about how many of the truths we cling todepend immensely on our own point of view. “Do you know how many millions were killed during on those basis? ” the aviator requests. “As the galaxy applauded? ” OK, sidekick. We’ve all find the Clerks “contractors’’ scene, but you’re not going to get us to feel equally bad about the ruin of Alderaan and a planet-exploding superweapon called the “Death Star.” Before we have time to wonder why this former Death Star resident is still alive, he isn’t: Cara head-shots him on behalf of the members of her entirety planet.

( Side mention: While we’re on the subject–again–of who the good and bad guys actually are, how sure are we that those “pirates” Mando and Mayfeld defended off last week were actually plagiarists? Are we just taking the Empire’s word for that? Imperials refer to the Rebels as terrorists and scum, and they assumed that Slave I was full of pirates too. Maybe the “pirates” weren’t trying to steal those rhydonium shippings because they were really freedom fighters who only wanted to stop the Empire from getting its paws on a perilous explosive? Maybe they and Mando were actually on the same side, and “hes killed” them because he fell for Imperial propaganda and stereotypes about pirates and colorful drapes. Food for recall .)

With Pershing in custody, Mando’s next assignment is adding Bo-Katan to his party. This time, he tracks her down easily–no frog family sidequests required–and determines her sitting outside a cantina with chum Koska Reeves.( Some Mandalorian throw representatives seem to be straight-up lying about whether they’ll be back on the demonstrate: First Bill Burr fibs about reprising his appearance, and then Mercedes Varno does the same. You can’t trust actors anymore .) For someone who barely knows Grogu, Bo-Katan seems super disrupt that he’s gone.( Granted, it doesn’t make long to get attached .) “You’ll never find[ Gideon ], ” she says , not knowing that his coordinates are readily available via an unsecured computer.

Mando furnishes Bo-Katan Gideon’s cruiser as the bungles if she’ll help him get his baby back. I’m pretty sure he had her at “Gideon” and “Darksaber, ” but a cruiser that could help her retake Mandalore is a nice incentive extremely. “[ Grogu] is my exclusively priority, ” Mando testifies, though he may change his carol next season. Boba makes a gauche remark about how the Empire turned Mandalore to glass; between Captain Teva asking Cara if she lost anyone on Alderaan and the Alderaan and Mandalore discourse this week, I’m starting to suspect that some of these people paucity tact when talking to traumatized people from destroyed planets. Boba, Bo-Katan, and Koska start squabbling about whether Boba is a Mandalorian, whether he deserves to wear his armor, and whether Jango was his father or his sponsor. Then Boba and Koska wrestle and call it a stretch when the flames from their flamethrowers assemble in midair like Dutch and Dillon’s forearms in Predator. That flake of business behind them, the brand-new crew of six gathers in the shuttle to shoot Pershing for info and flesh a plan of attack.

Speaking of Carl Weathers, Greef Karga is still a no-show despite owing “peoples lives” to Grogu, which be interpreted to mean that the Grogu rescue crew is still ally short of a impressive seven.( Cue the Chris Ryan Greef voice: MANDO! I’M BUSY REVITALIZING NEVARRO RIGHT NOW, BUT LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED ME TO PUSH SOME OF THESE MEETINGS .) Perhaps some other ally will eventually appear? One who might have something to do with that Force signal we find in the “previously on? ” We’re getting ahead of ourselves. First the strike squad has to get to Gideon’s cruiser, where a dark trooper post awaits.

Pershing confirms that these are Phase III obscurity troopers–the nature without shaky human soldiers within the dress. The droids spend so much power that they’re kept in cold storage, which means they take time to boot up. The Rescuers settle on a time-honored tactic for infiltrating Imperial equipment: posing as Imperials in a misappropriate Lamda-class shuttle. The schedule is for Fett to pretend to attack the shuttle, which will broadcast a distress call. When the cruiser clambers its fighters, the shuttle–which won’t be flying casual–will slip through the launch tube, preventing added soldiers from departing and gaining access to the innards of the ship. Then Cara, Koska, Bo-Katan, and Fennec will fight their way to the bridge, disconcerting the defenders while Din chiefs to Grogu’s cell. In theory, he’ll grab the child and be out of there before the dark troopers get their core temperatures up.

Although Cara’s gun jams–which one wouldn’t think would happen so often with weapons that don’t fire physical objects–the plan goes off with exclusively one potentially terrible drawback: a single gloom trooper escapes the storage room before Mando seals the others inside. As they try to punch their way out, the one who got out tries to punch its road into Mando’s brainpan. Personally, I’d intimate only lifting his whole head off his body–aren’t these troopers ought to be strong–but the trooper favors the brute force approach.

Mando’s helmet is too strong for the trooper, but most of Mando’s armory–blaster, flamethrower, whirling birds–is equally inadequate against the droid. Fortunately, the beskar organization Ahsoka generated Din does the trick.

Mando gaps the rest of the dark troopers and kills the stormtroopers stationed outside Grogu’s cell, seeming to relish choking the second one with the staff. My advice: Don’t utter Mando angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. When Mando opens the door, Grogu seems astonishingly unexcited to see him; the little dark-green guy’s been tranquilize. Gideon, who forecasted Din’s destination, is already in the room, brandishing his blade. “All I craved was to study his blood, ” he clarifies. “This child is extremely endowed and has been sanctified with uncommon dimensions that were given the opportunity to accompany order back to the galaxy.” Ah, fiat to the galaxy; where have we heard that before?

Gideon pretends to be touched by the bond between Mando and Grogu, and he offers to hand over the Child if Mando will leave and let Gideon go on his mode. Mando seems to fall for this obvious ruse( and turn his back on Bo-Katan and Mandalore, apparently demonstrating what he said about Grogu being his sunbathe and virtuosoes ), despite having ample evidence that Gideon is a merciless zealot who’ll stop at nothing to get Grogu. Fortunately, Mando’s beskar indemnities him out again when Gideon tries to cut him in half.( “Assume that I know everything, ” Gideon tells Mando, except he doesn’t seem to know that beskar can block the Darksaber–which seems strange, presented its own history of the struggle Mandalorians .) Remember when Mando got his ass knocked by Jawas? At this top, he’s borderline OP. It’s a good thing they didn’t improve the Death Star’s reactor core out of beskar.

Finally, we’ve come to the “iconic battle” that Giancarlo Esposito taunted months ago: Mando and his beskar against Gideon and the Darksaber. After a tumult of reduces, gashes, and blocks, Mando earns the well-choreographed fight and steps Gideon to the bridge, Darksaber in hand.

There, a gratified Gideon divulges why Bo-Katan was so eager to find Gideon herself and seems less than pleased to see Mando confine him captive: Darksaber rules and regulations say that to be the rightful wielder of the blade, one must best its previous owner in engagement.( Which sort of seems like it creates a loophole: No one can take the weapon from you if you refuse to fight .) Mando has already demolished Gideon, which means the Darksaber is his. He’s happy to hand it over, but to claim it properly, Bo-Katan will have to fight him instead. Awkward!

Look, I respect habit. But Mando got over his code and taken away from his helmet last week. Maybe Bo-Katan should consider bending the Darksaber settles merely this once, extremely considering that she’s swung the weapon before. In knowledge, it wouldn’t be the first time: Bo-Katan accepted the saber when Sabine gave it to her in Rebels Season 4.

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