The season finale is here and what a season that was. The Mandalorian is the first-ever live-action Star Wars T.V show and the team nailed it. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni did an incredible job with the show and the list of directors who all rotated directing episodes each had spectacular strengths and showed their talent. The show was an overall success with the conclusion to the season-ending very emotionally.
This episode had its highs and lows. There were scenes where I was cracking up and others I was holding back the tears. Waititi, who is the voice of IG-11, took us on a roller coaster of emotion for this episode and proved himself as a successful Star Wars director.
The Scout Troopers
The last episode ending with a pair of scout troopers shooting and killing Kuiil just before he could get to the ship. They picked up the baby and were off to turn him into Moff. Chapter 8 picks up with them riding just out of town waiting to be cleared by the check-point, but the drama Moff has caused is causing a delay on their part. This is a cool scene, we get to see some troopers interacting with each other and see them as just some dudes doing their job.
It gives us one of the most human moments that we’ve seen yet with stormtroopers. They’re just a couple of guys doing their jobs, clearly afraid of their boss, who are just as curious as the rest of the galaxy to see what Gideon is desperately after. The best part about this scene was when they couldn’t hit the target on the ground. That scene was so classic and just shows how bad of aim these guys have.
I was hoping at some point the child would force choke one of the troopers because they kept hitting him, but IG-11 interrupts and under his new programming takes control of the situation and gets the child back… After he destroys one of the speeders with the scout troopers face. IG-11 hops on the other one and he speeds off to find Mando and protect the child.
Back to Moff Gideon
The crew is pinned by Gideon, his death troopers, and a company of stormtroopers. Mando uses his rad visor to look for a vent and a way out of the cantina. The guild used to hide down in the sewers, so maybe they’ll offer some support. After-all, they hate the Empire as much as the next guy, so it seems like a no-brainer.
Gideon calls them all out and identifies everyone in the Cantina. Cara is the ex-shock trooper from Alderaan. It makes perfect sense why she hates the Empire so much, they blew up her home. Gideon finally names Mando, it’s Din Djarin, a name he hasn’t heard in a long time. Through that, Mando can identify who this man is and they are well aware of his reputation in the Empire and all his war crimes.
Gideon brings in an E-Web heavy repeating blaster cannon and they know that they don’t stand a chance against that gun. Gideon reminds Cara of the damage it’s done to her troops during the war and Mando of “The Night of A Thousand Tears” where they wiped out the Mandalorians in the purge with ships equipped with a similar weapon, except this one is upgraded. It is the same one that they used in Episode V when trying to gun down the Millenium Falcon trying to leave the base on Hoth.
With everyone aware of the damage it’ll do, Gideon offers a solution, if they come out and surrender they’ll be spared. But who trusts the Empire? Or what’s left of it. We finally get to see the entire flashback to his childhood, too. He gets stowed away by his parents while under attack from the droids. He is saved by a Mandalorian guild and that is how he became what he is today.
At least IG is still alive and comin’ in hot. With the hijacked speeder bike he darts into the town and blasts just about every stormtrooper he sees. Causing a huge distraction, the crew can make their move and fight off the troopers outside.
The fight is epic, Mando walks out with reflecting the shots with his armor and goes on a rampage killing death troopers and showing off his skills as a fighter. The crew is fighting them off and they work well together, everything seems like it might work out, especially when Mando grabs that E-Web and lays into the stormtroopers even more. Until Gideon ruins it and almost kills Mando by shooting the power generator and causing an explosion.
Cara saves Mando and drags him back into the Cantina for cover. She’s a good soldier and we see even more of their relationship here. She cares for him and it’s important to find someone you can trust in a position like Mando’s. Hopefully, they will stay in contact with each other.
Gideon destroyed his weapon and now he decides to “burn them out.” We get to see an incinerator trooper come in and his appearance is cool. His weapon and armor are great to see, its far different than the First Order ones we see. He burns down the door and finds the crew, but before he can fry them all, the child displays a force power that is incredible. He stops the fireball in its tracks and sends it right back at the trooper. Master Yoda would be very proud.
IG-11 was able to use one of his attachments to get the vent open and get them into the sewers. Mando, who is badly injured and bleeding from the head, tells them to move on and save the child. Reluctantly, they go with IG-11 staying back to tend to him, after all, he is a nurse droid now. IG is a robot and so he can save Mando by taking off the helmet and letting his bacta spray heal him, as he says, it’ll only take a few hours for Mando to be back to normal.
IG-11’s new function is beginning to turn Mando away form disliking the droids as much as he did. His dedication to the child’s life, as well as Mando’s, is showing him that there is a different side to him. He’s shown a soft spot for the child and now he’s beginning to show a soft spot for IG-11, the stone-cold killer is still human and very emotional.
Mando finds the tracks to get to the guild and he walks into something tragic, it is a pile of the guild members’ armor. They exposed themselves and the Empire found them. Some escaped, but the majority fell to the Empire. The guild leader was still there and explained what happened. Mando offered her a ride out of there, but she refused so she can recover all of the armor and the valuable beskar.
You can see how emotional Mando got when seeing the armor, the guild saved him and it cost them their lives. The leader of the clan lays down to Mandalorian law and names Mando as the caretaker of the child, he is now a foundling and he must return him to his parents because he is too weak. This will be interesting to see Mando go on this journey through the galaxy trying to find the child’s home. I wonder if he even does or if he is something like Anakin and a product of the force and has no real homeworld. Will Mando just end up training this young sorcerer?
She gives him a signet, the Mudhorn and Mando is now a clan of two with the child. The Creed calls for it and this is the way. The leader teaches him about the Mandalorian’s old nemesis, the Jedi and their sorcery-like powers. This reiterates how well the Empire was able to cover up the Jedi and their ancient religion. The galaxy seems to almost have forgotten about them entirely. He’s skeptical about having to return him to some sorcerer warriors, but this is the way.
Another gift for his journey is the Rising Phoenix, he finally gets his hands on a jetpack. Sadly, it may have been taken off one of the other Mandalorians, but at least it’ll be put to good use now.
IG-11 protects them from stormtroopers coming into a scout and they need to hightail it out before more comes. They find the underground river of lava and hop on a boat to float out. Cara shoots it to release it and they’re heading down the river. The astromech droid on it awakens and oh, man that droid was huge. I did not expect to see it stand up with legs like that.
Mando’s Connection to IG-11
As they’re floating out of the river of lava a battalion of stormtroopers is waiting for them at the mouth of the tunnel. Mando’s visor can show them, even though the walls. IG-11 offers an escape, he will self destruct and blow the stormtroopers up like that. This is where we see Mando become emotional for his life. IG even calls him out, as a nursing droid, he can analyze his voice for emotion and can see his sadness. Mando offers any other solution than to sacrifice IG-11, but it seems that it is the only way.
Mando’s hatred for droids is fading as he grows an attachment to IG-11. The newly reprogrammed droid that is now a nursing droid has proven that it can be reprogrammed and trusted. This is also the last bit of Kuiil that he has left. Kuiil was an incredible friend to Mando on his journey and this is the last bit of him that remains. He may be attached to him for that reason, too. If anything it only strengthens it.
IG-11 steps out of the boat to walk through the lava and self destruct, taking out all the stormtroopers waiting. It seems like they’re in the clear, but it’s never that easy. Gideon comes flying in blasting away in his TIE Fighter. Mando puts his jetpack to use and latches onto Gideon’s ship.
Mando eventually can blow it up with one of his charges and this whole scene was able to show how brilliant a fighter Mando is. He is a quick thinker and springs into action just as fast. This display of talent was able to save them and the child from being shot.
Nevarro, a Peaceful Planet Washed of Scum and Villainy
After Mando takes out the TIE, he and Cara go their separate ways. She stays back on Nevarro with Karga and joins the bounty hunters guild. They offer sanctuary for Mando as soon as his job is finished, too. I’m sure we will see plenty more of each character, she has proven herself as a fighter and Karga a friend. Mando has some allies there and that will be good to remember.
Before the chapter ends, Gideon escapes from his crashed TIE fighter with the help of a dark saber, something he probably got from the Purge of Mandalore. A useful tool in fighting Jedi and a symbol of strength in Mandalorian culture, I am sure Mando will want to get that back.
I have spoken
The first season of The Mandalorian was incredible and I must say that I am as excited for the next season as I was for the first to release. The conclusion was incredible and hinted at us finally discovering the identity of Yoda’s species. Do you think Mando will eventually train the child to fight or will he find his home? Can this reunion of the child with his family, or maybe some surviving Jedi build a bond between the Mandalorians and the Jedi? They do have a common enemy.
The season finale was action-packed and had a lot going on. A lot of our questions were answered while leaving us with a few more. We finally got to see him take his helmet off, we learn (vaguely) about the “Night of A Thousand Tears,” and who Gideon was. But, what happened to Shand? Will the misfits get out of jail and get revenge on Mando? Find out next season…
Thank you for reading and may the force be with you!
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