The Mandalorian on Disney Plus is over for the season and I really don’t want to say goodbye. Of course, I had to stay up and watch the episode right when it released, even though it was late at night. This is the way to properly watch a Mandalorian episode. The finale was absolute perfection and I couldn’t have asked for more.
This is a review of Episode 8 of The Mandalorian, so there will be major spoilers for the finale, including the ending.
From Cute Baby Yoda Moments to Heartbreaking Goodbyes, I Loved Every Minute of the Finale
Episode 8 was the perfect sendoff for the first season of The Mandalorian. It had humor, tension, and plenty of Baby Yoda moments that will give us a lot of new memes. They set up the premise for Season 2, concluded the major storylines, and left with a cliffhanger that fans will be talking about for weeks to come.
From the first scene, the episode was perfection. (And yes, I’m using the word “perfect” a lot because I can’t think of a better word to describe the finale.) We watched two Stormtroopers discussing Moff Gideon and hearing from their perspective just how dark of a leader he is. (He killed someone just for interrupting him!) I got rightfully angry when the Stormtrooper dared to hit Baby Yoda multiple times. I laughed when they couldn’t get a shot right and just as I had hoped, IG-11 came to the rescue. It was a beautiful scene.
When everything seemed lost for Mando, Cara Dune, and Greef Carga, IG-11 came in to the rescue, giving them a shot at surviving. The fight scenes were perfection (there’s that word again), complete with a new weapon that was very intimidating. We also got some adorable Baby Yoda scenes.
The episode revealed more background on Moff Gideon and Mando’s origins. Mando was a foundling, saved by the Mandalorians when his village was destroyed by the Empire’s droids. The Mandalorians aren’t a race, but a group who choose to follow a creed, and Mando is determined to follow that even if it would cost his life. He’d rather die than stop being a Mandalorian. That is some serious dedication.
And now he’s bringing that same level of dedication and honor to protecting Baby Yoda. The Child couldn’t have asked for a better protector.
In the middle of all of this, we got to see Baby Yoda display amazing control of The Force when he stopped an explosion from killing them all. That’s some crazy skill from a little kid who’s just 50 years old.
Mando almost died because Moff Gideon apparently has weapons that can pierce Beskar. :( But IG-11 was able to save him. Shortly after, though, we learned that many other Mandalorians could not be saved.
But we finally got to see Mando’s face. And learn his name: Din Djarin according to closed captions (or Dyn Jarren, depending on which spelling you believe.) Pedro Pascal actually said his character’s name a couple months ago, but now it’s official. This photo was shared on an excited Reddit discussion thread about it:
It’s amazing to think about Mando’s character growth this season. He didn’t trust droids, but he did trust Kuill and his ability to reprogram a droid. And in the end, he trusted a droid to remove his helmet and heal him, while not revealing his identity. That’s major character growth.
The episode also revealed that despite how well we all know the Jedis, they are not as well known to everyone else. Remember, this takes place after the Death Star was destroyed. And yet, even Mando doesn’t know about the Jedis. The Armorer clued him in about them, but I was surprised that more wasn’t known about The Force and how it works.
Mando Is Baby Yoda’s Dad Now
Now Mando has been instructed that he will either raise Baby Yoda (and eventually train him) until The Child comes to age or he will find Baby Yoda’s homeworld. In case you’re wondering, we’ve never seen Yoda’s homeworld in the Star Wars canon. In fact, Yoda’s species doesn’t even have a name. So Star Wars is about to explore new content that the universe has never discussed before. I can’t wait. (In case you want to learn more about how closely guarded Yoda’s species has been, check out my story about it here.)
In the next scenes, IG-11 sacrificed himself so he could fulfill his role as Baby Yoda’s protector, allowing Mando, Cara Dune, and Greef Carga to escape with the baby. The only way to do that was if IG-11 self-destructed, taking out the Stormtroopers with him. The scene with him and Mando was so touching. Mando always hated droids, but IG-11 was different. And he was sad to say goodbye.
They took out the last enemy, Moff Gideon, when Mando was able to activate his jetpack. This was a moment that longtime Star Wars (and Boba Fett fans) have been waiting on. He can’t control the jetpack perfectly yet, because he has to train with it before it will learn to correctly respond to him. But he did a pretty good job. (And MANY thanks to the readers who pointed out that I had written Star Trek earlier. I need to add a Picard facepalm and an apology for that. Thank you for caring enough to let me know and being so kind about it!)
In the end, there was a touching scene where Mando buries Kuill, confirming that fans’ favorite “I have spoken” character is indeed dead. The creator and his creation both died. :( And there was a really touching scene where The Child is now wearing a Mandalorian necklace.
That brought tears to my eyes, oh my gosh.
Not to mention this scene. He loves his “dad” Mando so much.
But let’s not forget that closing scene. Moff Gideon steps out of his crashed ship with a weapon that looks a lot like a light saber. Is he a Jedi? A Sith? Turns out, he’s wielding a Darksaber, which is an ancient Jedi weapon created by the first Mandalorian inducted into the Jedi Order.
But how did he get it? His having this weapon doesn’t bode well for the last person who wielded it, who was Bo-Katan Kryze. And it brings up a lot of questions about just why it is that Moff Gideon wants Baby Yoda.
And we never did find out who the mysterious figure in Episode 5 was — the one who found Fennec Shand. That person’s boots don’t match Gideon’s, so some fans are still holding out hope that it was Boba Fett.
These are all questions for Season 2. I have spoken.