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The Mandalorian: The Return

“Mandalorians are stronger together.”

Chapter Twenty-Four

Moff Gideon has sprung his trap again, and he is no longer relying on droids. Separated but determined to survive, Mando and Bo-Katan each find a way to bring the fight back to Gideon. But this time the fight is not just against a powerful enemy, but for a chance to unite and rebuild the Mandalorian culture…

This episode was incredibly effective in bringing together those moments of tension and satisfaction that are the hallmark of Star Wars. Not just action, but emotion and real stakes. This was a fight not just for the survival of our main characters, but for Mandalorian culture and the fate of the galaxy.

First let's talk about Bo-Katan's arc this season. She was at rock bottom when we met her at the beginning of the season. Through her interactions with Mando and Grogu, she developed more compassion and the capacity to see different points of view. She walked in the shoes of a member of the Children of the Watch, even taking the vow and committing to their creed. She reclaimed her title, the Darksaber and her people, brought them together under a common goal, and led them into battle to take back their world. That’s pretty epic if you ask me.

Mando had a similar journey that paralleled Bo’s but sent him on a far more personal path. While it was implied that he has a father’s love for Grogu, it was never said or made official. Throughout this season their relationship has been one of father and son, with the familiar tropes and moments you would expect from that kind of relationship. But it was still affecting when Din Djarin stepped up to declare Grogu as his adopted son, and hearing the name Din Grogu just made me smile from ear to ear.

As far as the episode plot beats go, I really enjoyed watching Mando and Grogu navigating the halls of Gideon’s base, stumbling over secrets that have been lingering since season two. Mainly, what or who was in those tanks, and surprise it wasn’t Snoke; they were clones of Gideon modified so that they could use the Force (shudder). That kind of clone army, combined with that new beskar armor, would be almost unstoppable. With the possible exception of Jedi or Mandalorians, both of which are nearly extinct.

There was a fair bit of world building here too. Establishing the 'Return' of Mandalore is a major decades-long story arc in the Faloni-verse. Combined with what we know about storylines in the future, namely Luke’s eventual fate, and the fact the Republic does last for some time after the events of the Mandalorian, all that is left is how the Imperial remnants create the spark that births the First Order. How that plays out will probably end up as the main narrative for Ahsoka and The Mandalorian season four, but what we got in this episode does give us quite a bit of closure and satisfaction.

Now I would be remiss without talking about the events and action in the episode, from the absolutely brutal combat scenes where Mando just kept pushing forward despite looking like he was about to collapse, to the utterly bonkers moment where all the Mandalorians with jetpacks stormed the Imperial base. I absolutely loved Bo and the Armorer fighting with melee weapons in the air. Then there was the final fight with Gideon which was so physically impactful, with each hit feeling like it could kill. It was desperate and emotional, and worked on so many levels. The fact that Bo threw herself into defending Mando and Grogu really solidified her moral compass. She is in fact a hero, and that is kind of wonderful to see.

Then there were the last moments, with Grogu showing his full power in that gorgeous display with the fire flowing around them. I’m not sure I believe Gideon is dead, but that doesn’t matter right now. All that matters is how much love they all showed one another, and that image of the three of them huddled together as the ship was crashing was indelible, and perhaps a foundation of what we can expect moving forward. Sure, Mando and Grogu are on Nevarro now, but if we don’t get more of the Mandalorian struggle to rebuild and Bo’s journey as their leader next season, I would be deeply surprised.


Mando’s deal with Tavo may be a game changer going forward. If we stay with Mando and Grogu, it sounds like they will be hunting down Imperial remnants, which could be really interesting.

R5 finally had a chance to be a hero in this episode, which is such a lovely thing to see. I have mentioned it before, but this is the same droid that had a bad motivator in A New Hope.

The Darksaber has been kind of a big deal since season one, and to have it destroyed is a major plot development. I don’t know if they will try to repair it, but it’ll be interesting to see the fallout from its destruction. I wonder, since Bo was the last one to wield it, does that mean she is now the final de facto ruler of Mandalore? I hope we find out next season.

I absolutely loved IG11 taking over as the Marshal for Nevarro. It was just a perfect cap to that story arc involving restoring the droid.


Gideon: “My clones were finally going to be perfect. The best parts of me but improved by adding the one thing I never had. I was isolating the potential to wield the Force and incorporating it into an unstoppable army. And you smothered them before they could draw their first breath.”

The Armorer: "Let it be written in Song that Din Djarin is accepting this foundling as his son. You are now Din Grogu, Mandalorian apprentice."
Mandalorians: "This is the way."
Armorer: “You must leave Mandalore and take your apprentice on his journeys, just as your teacher did for you.”
Mando: “This is the Way.”

While perhaps not as great as the second season finale (how can you top the return of Luke Skywalker), this was a satisfying conclusion to the season.

4 out of 4 Incredibly Heroic Moments
Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reviewing, Samantha. This one is very good, as always. I loved this finale, and I’ve been hoping my muse would help me have some intelligent comments to add, but no such luck. She’s pretty silent. But I did love the arc completions, intriguing possibilities, and especially the idyllic last shot of Djarin relaxing on his porch with Grogu playing with frogs. I love happy endings.

    Favorite scene:
    - Grogu saving Mando and Bo Katan with that spectacular force shield. :)

    Wishful thinking:
    - A Djarin/Bo Katan kiss.
    - Another mention of Luke
    - Grogu’s first words

    Maybe next season.


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