‘Redemption’ opens not on our heroes, but with the two scout troopers, we saw kill Kuiil making small talk amongst themselves. The two are awaiting their orders just outside the city, discussing the reputation of Moff Gideon and one trooper anxious to see Yiddle. Finding excuses from giving the creature water to making sure it’s not dead to take a glimpse.
Their small talk and target practice are cut short when the reprogrammed IG-11 comes to save the galaxies cutest baby. Making quick work of these incompetent troopers and making his way to the city with Yiddle in hand.
Meanwhile, the Mandalorian, Cara, and Greef find themselves pinned in the cantina by Gideon and a battalion of storm and death troopers, the group desperate to escape. Gideon without his prize offers an olive branch. Revealing the name of the Mandalorian, what planet Cara was from, and what Greef did before he lead the guild. Giving the group of bounty hunters until sundown to surrender and make a deal.
Uneasy about the deal, they look to the sewers to meet with the Mandalorians Covert to help with safe passage to the Razor Crest. Before they can move along any further, IG-11 with Yiddle blast his way through the city. Killing stormtroopers left and right and providing the group with a chance to fight their way out.
Mando, Cara, Greef, and IG take down as many troopers as they can. With Mando taking a turret off its stand and taking down a lot of his enemies only stopped by Gideon. Who gravely injures Mando with a well-placed blaster shot.
Regrouping in the cantina, Mando orders the rest of them to leave without him and tells Cara to take care of Yiddle. Before they can make their next move, a flame trooper starts burning the cantina down and as it looks like they may die, Yiddle raises his hand. Using the Force to stop the fire from reaching them, and blasting the trooper out of the building.
Bewildered, Cara and Greef make their way into the sewers and IG-11 stays behind with Mando to help heal his wounds. When IG tries to take off his helmet, Mando points his blaster at the droid and says that no “living thing” has seen his face since he was a kid. Since IG isn’t a living thing, he takes the helmet off, revealing the Mandalorian’s face, and healing his wound. Surprise! It’s Pedro Pascal under there.
Reunited with the others, Mando makes his way to the Mandalorian Covert, only to find that a pile of armor. Killed by the Imperial remnant. Only one person remains, the Armorer.
Instructing them to leave she imparts sage wisdom to Mando. Giving him his signet and telling him to find Yiddle’s people and return him to them as well as giving Mando a jetpack. She shows them the way to escape and as they do, she takes out a group of stormtroopers.
The gang makes their way to the lava river to escape, but the light at the end of the tunnel is filled with stormtroopers. In a final act of bravery, IG-11 sacrifices himself, and self destructs and takes out the troopers blocking their way.
There’s no time to mourn because Gideon appears in his Tie Fighter, ready to kill and just barely missing a final blow to the group. Armed with his new jetpack, Mando takes to the sky and grapples his way to the Moff’s ship. The Mandalorian is thrown around the exterior of the ship, but finally plants two explosives and takes it down.
Victorious and square with the Guild, the Mandalorian takes Yiddle to find his home, as Cara stays on Navarro as muscle for Greef.
The final shot of the season takes us to the wreckage of Moff Gideon’s Tie Fighter, already being salvaged by Jawas. A black blade suddenly cuts from inside the ship and Gideon emerges from the wreckage with the Darksaber in hand.
The past seven weeks have been a whirlwind of new Star Wars stories from just about every medium imaginable. Books, comics, video games, TV shows, and of course movies. Take a moment folks and just take it all in. This is a golden age of great Star Wars content and it’s gone by too quickly.
I say all that because it felt like yesterday we were eagerly anticipating the premiere of The Mandalorian and just like that, its finale is here. This is it, and what a way to end a terrific first season.
From moment one I knew we were in for a treat because I could feel the direction of Taika Waititi. Waititi has become one of my favorite filmmakers in the past few years. Giving us Thor: Ragnarok, What We Do in The Shadows, and my favorite film of this year, JoJo Rabbit. He has a distinctive style and energy that I felt throughout the episode.
It’s not just his knack for excellent action, which there is plenty of, it’s the little interactions. Like the entire opening sequence between the scout troopers who captured Yiddle. It’s a surprisingly funny moment in a serious episode and it somehow works well. Complete with yet another example that stormtroopers are terrible shots and the troopers getting what they deserve for hitting Yiddle. He brought his trademark humor to Star Wars and it fits seamlessly into the show.
Speaking of those troopers, The Mandalorian has done a fantastic job of using well-known comedians in fun roles. In this week's episode we get the voice of SNL alum Jason Sudeikis as one of the troopers, but looking back at the season, we’ve had a murderer’s row of talent. Horatio Sanz, Bill Burr, Amy Sedaris, and Richard Ayoade. I love all of their work and while their style might not scream Star Wars, I’m glad they’re involved in the universe.
After a whole season spent on whether or not they would show the full backstory of the Mandalorian, they let it all hang out. Revealing his name and who exactly saved him once his parents had died, and it’s big deal for Clone Wars fans.
Death Watch saved Din Djarin.
We’ve seen characters introduced in animation find their way into live-action before, but it always feels special when it happens. Seeing the familiar symbol of Death Watch on the armor of Din’s saviors brought a big ole smile to my face. If you’re an animation fan there has been a lot to chew on this season, and we’ll most certainly have more in seasons to come.
Speaking of backstories, every time I learn something new about Cara, I love her even more. I assumed that Cara hated the Empire for a reason and I loved how easy she was to convince to fight them. When Gideon revealed that she was from Alderaan it made that reason crystal clear in an instant. She’s making the Empire pay for destroying her home. It’s such an easy motivating factor to sympathize with and makes her character so much interesting than she was before. We have yet another badass lady from Alderaan that knows how to kick ass and take names. Cara has been such a surprise this season and I can’t wait to see more of her in Season 2.
While we didn’t get much more about Greef’s backstory, it does offer some questions into his character. A disgraced magistrate who now runs a bounty hunting guild, there has to be more to his story right? What planet was he disgraced from and will it come back to haunt him soon? There’s so much good pay-off and set up that gets me even more excited for what's to come.
I’m a sucker for the Force in Star Wars and I love anything Jedi related we get in the series. Seeing how strong Yiddle is in the Force by throwing back the fire at the Flame Trooper shows off just how powerful he is.
I’m not sure if this is intentional, but for whatever reason, it reminded me of Kanan when he died on Lothal. I know it’s in a different context, but the visual seemed very similar to me. Everyone about to be engulfed in fire, until a force user pushed the flame back. If it is, what a great callback for Filoni to pay homage to his previous series. Yiddle is the gift that keeps on giving.
Like Cara Dune, the Armorer gets more interesting and badass every time I see her. She’s Jedi-like in her devotion to her people and spiritual guidance to Mando. She’s unlike any Mandalorian we’ve seen before in canon and it shows that they’re more than just warriors. Plus she does have one of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen in Star Wars. My god I had no idea I wanted to see a Mandalorian priestess use a hammer to crush a stormtrooper, but here we are!
I was very impressed with Moff Gideon’s introduction last week and Giancarlo Esposito once again killed it. He’s equal parts calm, cool, and collected, as well as ferocious and freighting. He’s an excellent villain and while he doesn’t get to do much, it’s his story possibilities for season two that get me excited. I’m just glad they didn't pull a Marvel and kill their best villains off too quickly. That final shot shows he has an important part to play.
So let’s talk about that last shot. A Death Watch reveal would have been enough for me, but they end with one of the most consequential weapons in Star Wars. The Darksaber. The last time we saw it canonically was in Rebels when it was wielded by Bo Katan. Now that Gideon has the saber does that mean she’s dead? Is Gideon a Mandalorian in the vein of Gar Saxon? Is this how you bring in a live-action Bo Katan played by Katie Sackhoff?
I think many expected some kind of Boba Fett tease after “The Gunslinger” showed off that mysterious figure at the end, but this is better. While I would love to see if Boba survived, the Darksaber has far greater repercussions for Mandalorians than Boba does. Whoever has the Darksaber is fit to be the leader of the Mandalorians, so this means so much more.
I honestly can’t think of anything more exciting to get me excited for season 2 than the inclusion of the darksaber.
“Redemption” was a terrific walkthrough of everything I love about this series so far. There’s incredibly fun and epic action mixed with heart and humor. As well as humongous ramifications for the Mandalorian people and it concluded the season in the best way imaginable. Factor in the interesting backstories of all of our characters and nods to the greater canon, this is nothing short than the best episode of the series so far.
Now we wait. Fall 2020 can’t come soon enough.
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