The Mandalorian has never been an intellectual series. It’s an action/adventure quest that is fairly shallow and, you know… that’s okay. It is what it is and it does that very well. Sure, the sidequests are annoying and the show’s inability to go in a straight line irks me, but again… it is what it is. It’s a quest show. I understand that.
That being said, it’s a very good quest show. I may critisize it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love it. This last episode, for example… I loved it. It made me feel emotions. I cried actual human tears.
“The Rescue,” of course, documents the rescue of Grogu from the evil Moff Gideon. As you guessed, the majority of the episode is straight up action and that’s fine because the action is very good. Dark Troopers finally make a live-action appearance and they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. Moff Gideon is, of course, played with all of the giddy badness that Giancarlo Esposito is capable of bringing to the role, and the supporting cast… I just like them. I like the actors, I like the way they act, and I like watching them deal with thing.
Too often overlooked is the stone cold scene from the beginning of the episode, for instance, where Cara Dunne has to listen to an Imperial officer brag about how he was there during the destruction of her homeworld, Alderaan, was such a tense scene, superbly acted with suspense that ratcheted up every second until it exploded. I simply loved it, not only for that scene, but also for the way that The Mandalorian effortlessly takes its small corner of the galaxy and weaves it into the greater narrative of the Star Wars universe.
I also have to applaud the skills of Pedro Pascal who, often hidden behind the helmet (if that’s him at all most of the time), doesn’t get to show off his acting chops that often. His final scene, suffering in silence, as he says goodbye to Grogu was an absolutely incredible display of acting.
I’m sure everyone is expecting me to weigh in on the surprise appearance at the end of the episode and yes, I’m about to talk about cameo to end all cameos… R2D2!
Oh, yes… and Luke Skywalker was there as well.
I understand that some people are complaining about the quality of the CGI but, to be honest, I think this is one of those rare instances when the weight of the moment outweighs the quality of the presentation. Guys… We finally, after 30 years and a movie that promised and yet failed to deliver what we expected, got Jedi Master Luke Skywalker at the height of his power. Such a great sequence and such a great moment.
Not only that, but now there are so many possibilities about where the third season of The Mandalorian might go. It could jettison Grogu all together and focus on Mandalore itself and uniting the Mandalorians, it could delve into Luke’s Jedi academy… the possibilities are endless and will bring me back next year, salavating for more.