This Is The Way: The Mandalorian - S02 E08 - The Rescue - Reviewed

image courtesy Disney/Lucasfilm

The second season of The Mandalorian drew to a close this week with the 8th episode, The Rescue. After an adventurous 7 chapters, this year's run arrives at a stunning close with a pivotal moment in the series that sees the amplified and obvious fan service come to a full head as the legacy of the original trilogy is brought into focus. Where many fans might be disappointed in the direction they took, many more will be happy to see one of the central characters of George Lucas' original vision show up for a monumental close to another excellent season of The Mandalorian

Setting itself apart from the first season and perhaps one of the biggest gripes this year has been the consistent introduction of cameos or past characters to help carry what some would call short sighted storytelling. In this realm, the show became quite repetitive and has drawn the ire of some of their viewership. Yet, there really is no making everyone happy. There is a fine line between keeping viewers content and also keeping die hard Star Wars fans placated by delivering what J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson attempted under the watch of Kathleen Kennedy. Sometimes it does feel like Favreau and Filoni are giving us the greatest fan film ever made. But at most we can see the heart and soul they've put into reinvigorating the brand, on the smaller screen at that. Despite some of the complaints leveled at the series, it really is the best Star Wars since 1983's Return of the Jedi

Taking place just six years after the events on the moon of Endor, the show has done a lot at bringing focus back to the hero's journey. Din Djarin is a bounty hunter at his core, but they've made long strides to make him endearing as he was given the task of protecting the little 'baby Yoda', Grogu.
The Rescue shows his entire Beskar concealed heart, his full physical prowess, and dedication to maintaining the creed. When tasked with fighting one of his own, he abides by number four: No Mandalorian shall slay another hunter. Where some might comment that the show has no character development, he's come quite far as a person in sixteen short episodes. He's gone from bad ass bounty hunter to loving father figure and vanquisher of evil in the two seasons we've had so far. At it's core, the redemption arc of the Lucas and sequel trilogies is still there scratching at the surface. And honestly, it feels right. 

Where they go now remains to be seen. With a major story behind them and closure for much of the first two seasons, it will be interesting to see where they go now. Perhaps the third entry will break away a bit more as so much time was spent on re-introductions this time around. I believe that the team up of writers, directors, and producers at Lucasfilm know exactly where they're going with this and have further established the galaxy far, far away and have done quite a bit of world building that pushes the boundaries of where our heroes and villains might head next. 

The Mandalorian season two on Disney+ really is what we asked for from the sequel trilogy. It expands on the existing franchise as it gives us new adventures with a hero we love, charismatic villains we despise and plenty of fresh adventures in the Star Wars universe. Perhaps next season will feature more on our central character now that we've been reintroduced to so many fan favorites and have established that they're all out there doing their best to overthrow the remnants of the Empire as the First Order begins to rise. The dots are beginning to connect. And it's good.