The Mandalorian: Chapter 16: The Rescue
December 18, 2020 5:01 AM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The Mandalorian and his allies attempt a dangerous rescue mission.
posted by EndsOfInvention (198 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
The uncanny valley returns! D:
posted by confluency at 5:08 AM on December 18, 2020 [10 favorites]


I wish Disney+ showed the episode titles because I'm pretty sure I just got a big spoiler while googling "mandalorian chapter 16" to find the title.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:10 AM on December 18, 2020


The fan service is strong with this one. But I'm here for it anyway!
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 5:13 AM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


Note, there's something after the credits.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:36 AM on December 18, 2020 [18 favorites]


I’m a conflicted mix of excited and resentful. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes, but...dang it, I miss the episodic Lone Wolf And Cub In Space show from season one.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:06 AM on December 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


Not really crazy about this episode, mostly because there seemed like a lot of filler with the various battles. How many ominous shots of the Dark Troopers did we really need? They stole the most precious and beautiful baby in the galaxy, we know they're evil, even if they're only droids.

The X-Wing and Luke was half surprising, in that they actually went there and did it, wasn't expecting they go there. And of course, my first question were was Grogu in the newer films?! Not even a mention?!

And is this it for Mando? Is the series over?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:10 AM on December 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I enjoyed this but I also ... I liked that The Mandalorian that felt very separate from the main Star Wars storyline and then ... it just became more and more about the main Star Wars storyline. But there were so many good moments in this episode. I just wish they had gone in another direction. There are so many other stories to tell!

I sincerely doubt that Disney/Lucasfilm would give up such a huge merchandising opportunity as Grogu, but if this is it for the adventures of Din and Grogu, I don't know how interested I'm in what comes next.
posted by edencosmic at 6:11 AM on December 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


Trivia:
- Gideon's Dark Trooper droids are 3rd generation - in the new canon, the first two generations were human. In Legends they were always droids.

Thoughts:
- The music in this show continues to be top notch. The Dark Trooper's electronic soundtrack was amazing.
- Interesting that the show subtlely removed the male Mandalorian (Axe Woves) from Bo-Katan's group, and then had Fett act as a distraction to leave an all-female party assaulting the cruiser's bridge.
- While we've had a lot of battledroids in Star Wars before, the Dark Troopers have a real Terminator vibe unlike the pratfalling Trade Federation droids - to the point they almost looked stop-motion animated at points.
- Grogu reached out to touch Din's face in the same way my 7mo baby does to me.
- And yeah, the uncanny valley is back. I'd say Tarkin in Rogue One was a lot better (maybe their budget was better). Luke's mouth didn't seem to move naturally. The other problem with Luke taking Grogu is that it raises the question: does Grogu get killed by the Knights of Ren??
- Watch out for the post-credits epilogue/reveal!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:50 AM on December 18, 2020 [12 favorites]


And yeah, the uncanny valley is back. I'd say Tarkin in Rogue One was a lot better

Interesting. I had the opposite reaction. I found Tarkin and Leia really distracting in Rogue One. I never bought them as real. But Luke here seemed fine to me.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:56 AM on December 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


And is this it for Mando? Is the series over?

Looks like Season 3 was confirmed on the recent investor's call (along with two upcoming spinoff series from the same team).
posted by DiscountDeity at 7:14 AM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


Ok, so Mando will be back, I'm guessing we'll be seeing more of Mandlore and the dark sabre.

Kind of funny that has Mando lets some of his black and white thinking fall away, he encounters another strain of it with the Dark Sabre.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:30 AM on December 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


A fun wrap-up to a fun season. Giancarlo Esposito so good, all the time -- I'd welcome a Moff Gideon spinoff.
posted by Zonker at 7:42 AM on December 18, 2020 [9 favorites]


And is this it for Mando? Is the series over?

As DiscountDeity says, there's definitely going to be a season 3 of a show called The Mandalorian. What we don't know right now is what form that show will take and if OUR Mandalorian will be the focus. It's not clear if Book Of Boba Fett is a separate show, a spinoff movie, or just the theme of the next season.

My money is on the latter, and I'd imagine our Mando would have some sort of role in it. He still has dangling plot threads, like his possession of the Darksaber, and it was already announced that he has a role to play in the spinoffs. And I seriously can't imagine that this is really the last time we'll see Grogu. (But then again, Disney has done a truly remarkable job in doing the opposite of what most people think they should do with Star Wars...)

I imagine some of this will get cleared up very soon, if not today. Dave Filoni's pretty active on Twitter, and I'm sure he'll clarify soon what Book Of Boba Fett actually is.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:35 AM on December 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


Given the episodes have been Chapters, it could well be that "The Book of Boba Fett" is the overall title for Season 3
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:44 AM on December 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty surprised that they went for it, but I was mostly happy with Luke showing up. He looked good when he was holding still and like a creepy mask when he spoke. It would have been nice to have an actor give a more human performance for him but the tech has come a long way since Tron Legacy.

Seeing Luke take Grogu is less of a happy ending when you remember in ten years or so he tries to kill his star pupil, his new jedi school is destroyed, and he goes into self-imposed exile. So much for devoting his life to taking care of Grogu. Maybe he was offscreen being pals with the porgs while Rey was around. Anyway, I find it unlikely that this is the last we ever see of Grogu, which means it may not be the last we see of Luke as well. Hopefully he does more than stand woodenly in one spot next time.

Why did Bo-Katan stand around on the bridge? As soon as it was secured she should have made a beeline for the only other likely place for Gideon to be, Grogu's cell. Mando inadvertently winning the Darksaber is a fun wrinkle. He absolutely does not want to be the Mand'alor, but can't give up the title without being defeated. He and Bo-Katan ought to just work out a way to duke it out that doesn't end up with one of them dead. Obviously it doesn't have to be a fight to the death if Moff Gideon is still alive.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:14 AM on December 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


First, FU random person on Reddit who spoiled this for me, just to make a bad joke. You couldn't wait even 24 hours?

Second, I now understand the creative choice to have Mando take off his helmet last episode even less!! This is the emotional peak I wanted when he, at long last, removes the helmet without caring who sees him. Why on earth cheapen that by having him doing for nothing more than a face scan last episode?!?!
posted by Frayed Knot at 9:15 AM on December 18, 2020 [24 favorites]


Oh man, I loved this so much. Fully agree on the terminator vibes -- this even felt more oppressive and suspenseful than all but the original Terminator movie.

I _LOVED_ that we got the black and white look at the arriving Jedi. The XWing was a good clue, but oh man, the first look at that green saber (and the robotic gloved hand!) just hit me in the feels. Not to mention Luke getting an amazing version of the Vader hallway scene in Rogue One.

Given the move towards a crossover event... That has to be moving towards a formal Thrawn introduction/showdown, right?
posted by bfranklin at 10:05 AM on December 18, 2020 [10 favorites]


As much as I've nitpicked earlier episodes, this one really smacked the nostalgia button for me. CGI Luke was a little off, but overall I enjoyed it. I didn't think they were going to go there, but I love that they did. Can't wait to watch it again this evening with my son.
posted by Fleebnork at 10:28 AM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


I'll also say CGI Luke felt like his face was in 480p while the rest of him was crisp HD. I liked the effect.
posted by bfranklin at 10:31 AM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


I loved the interaction between Bo and Boba. The rescue itself was fine, but not that outstanding. But I loved the Luke reveal: first the x-wing, then the green lightsaber, then the gloved hand. The CGI didn’t bother me nearly as much as CGI Leia. But, I have to admit I really started cheering for R2.

Might have got a bit dusty when Din pulled up his mask for Baby Yoda.

One thing I don’t understand: didn’t Sabine give the darksabre to Bo Katan in Rebels? Why the sudden weird rules?
posted by synecdoche at 1:53 PM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


Nooo!!!! The Mandalorian is its own thing. No Luke. No R2. No Boba, even.

Freaking Jar Jar is next. I just know it.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 2:02 PM on December 18, 2020 [12 favorites]


I admit I'm disappointed it was Luke. There could be so many lost Jedi around! This is a much bigger universe than Disney appears willing to acknowledge.

And yeah, if Luke takes Grogu, does Grogu get murdered by Kylo Ren in a decade or so? What the hell.

I really really want an acknowledgement from the showrunners that the Jedi are kind of fucked up, and that there are different ways to train people in the Force, that allows them to have human relationships.
posted by suelac at 2:08 PM on December 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


Grogu only goes with Luke because he recognizes Artoo. So that means that Artoo met Grogu, while also keeping Grogu’s existence a secret from Anakin. Which is par for the course for Artoo, but I wonder what the story is behind that.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 2:13 PM on December 18, 2020 [15 favorites]


Yeah, in a discussion with a friend, I realized why the Luke thing doesn't work. So much of The Mandalorian has been separate from the Skywalker saga. If you got a reference, that was fun, but the show didn't really depend on knowing what this or that thing was to work. The Mandalorian was telling a small story in a big galaxy and that felt freeing to me.

I know virtually everyone watching this show has seen Star Wars, but the Luke moment only works if you know who Luke is and are excited to see him show up. I don't mind some fan service, but this is all that felt like. And it also places The Mandalorian as just another side story in the Skywalker saga and I'm sick of everything coming back to this one family. Tell some other stories!
posted by edencosmic at 2:23 PM on December 18, 2020 [21 favorites]


I like old broken down luke in the sequel trilogy, but I think it was a mistake to have him be the only guy who ran the new Jedi academy. I think a better story for him between the two trilogies is he joined up with other surviving Jedi to build a new Jedi order, freaked out about Ben Solo, and put himself into exile. The Jedi Order lives on without him, even with an attack by the Knights of Ren. The sequel trilogy calls Luke the Last Jedi, which is straight up not true. Other Jedi outside of the Skywalkers exist! Maybe some of them don't call themselves Jedi anymore, but they're still force-users with lightsabers and that's really all that matters.

I think Luke showing up is the most and least interesting choice they could have made. Most interesting in that yeah they really went there, but least in that it makes the galaxy a smaller place again. It could have been another Jedi, someone we've never met, who mentions that there's a new Jedi Academy being built by Luke Skywalker and Grogu has a place there. Star Wars deserves to exist outside of the Skywalker Saga.

And yes, Sabine just straight up gave Bo-Katan the darksaber. It's just a symbol, you guys, and symbols have as much relevance as you give them. I think after the Great Purge if a Mandalorian shows up with the Darksaber the clans are going to rally around them regardless. "I took this imperial cruiser and I won back the Darksaber" should be plenty good enough without quibbling over which mandalorian did what, especially given that Din Djarin has no interest in ruling anything. The only fun thing I could see is Bo-Katan deciding she needs to force Din into the role of leader of the Mandalorians.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:30 PM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


Looks like R2-D2 and Grogu are going to be friends. At least we don’t have to worry about Grogu eating R2.
posted by mundo at 2:48 PM on December 18, 2020 [7 favorites]


Which is par for the course for Artoo, but I wonder what the story is behind that.

Its right before your eyes. The most obvious way to bring balance to the universe is to have three legs. Artoo is the one that was prophesised.
posted by biffa at 2:57 PM on December 18, 2020 [10 favorites]


In my mind R2-D2 represents an idealized version of what Artificial Intelligence could bring: a loyal robot with a funny personality. In reality Dark Troopers (and only Dark Troopers) is probably where we are headed.
posted by mundo at 2:58 PM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


The Dark Troopers are downright menacing! What are they made of (and why can their own [light saber-deflected] blasters overcome their armour but no one else's)?

Couldn't they be deactivated from the bridge? They're just droids.

The Dark Saber thing needing to be "won" is kind of dumb.

CG Luke looks really bad, especially after we get to see Pedro Pascale face-act.
posted by porpoise at 3:08 PM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


I did find the powering up the dark troopers a bit unconvincing. You keep them at zero as they draw too much power, then just when you might need them most, (e.g. in a fight, when your ship has its greatest power demand, craning Tie fighters, firing turbo lasers etc) you suddenly fast charge them?
posted by biffa at 3:23 PM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


It would have been more fun if it was Leia.

It does leave a big ol loose end...we assume Grogu's fate isn't to get merc'd by Kylo and his Proud Boys, so in the next 10 years, he has to end up elsewhere. Maybe Asohka; maybe with Ezra; maybe he finds his Planet of Yodas.
posted by emjaybee at 3:25 PM on December 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


The Imperial engineers were in top form when they designed the light cruiser. They remembered to have a room with a floor made of trooper-permeable force field, still completely subject to artificial gravity.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 3:50 PM on December 18, 2020 [15 favorites]


I'm hoping the next season is Grogu realizing being trained by Luke sucks and finding a way to go back to Din.

I know that's not going to happen but I would watch that show.
posted by edencosmic at 4:03 PM on December 18, 2020 [12 favorites]


As soon as I saw the X-Wing, I figured it was Luke. (Ok, ok, my very first thought was Paul Sun-Hyung Lee.) Still, they done got me. I could even look past the uncanniness. I'm surprised that they didn't bring in Sebastian Stan, though, to go ahead and start with a recasting on a solid footing (me and the rest of the internet, it looks like). Maybe for the Rogue Squadron series?

I've always said that breaking from the rebellion and Skywalkers is what makes the Mandalorian so great, but in small doses like this, it totally works.

Looks like The Book of Boba Fett is a separate series. Works for me, and I think there's enough material to sustain Mandalorian post-Grogu. Time jump + reunion isn't out of the question either.
posted by supercres at 4:04 PM on December 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


It would have been more fun if it was Leia.

Harder to get Carrie Fisher in to do motion capture and voice acting. And we’ve already seen (twice) what happens when (a) her voice comes out of a waxy CGI rendering and (b) what happens when you give a prominent (or in her case, top-billed) role to a bunch of deleted scenes from a previous movie.

But on to this episode: A tiny little meter in my brain began seeing its needle gradually creep up from zero as soon as they read another ship arriving, made a bigger jump when it was revealed as an X-wing, and climbed again with the green lightsaber reveal and the right hand on a black glove. I bought it.

There will be a point when CGI reconstruction of a previously seen and familiar character will be seamless and convincing. We are maybe 80% of the way there. In Rogue One, we were somewhere around the two-thirds mark.

What others see as Luke being wooden, I am prepared to more generously attribute to a Jedi master in his prime being calm and serene. Luke standing and talking quietly a dozen years ABY was much more believable than, say, Han Solo doing the rescuing would have been.

Yes, fan service galore, but after two full seasons a one-scene cameo from a major character is not a dealbreaker. Would that Detective Munch was less profligate on his appearances.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:06 PM on December 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


Please enjoy this hysterically funny epistolaryish follow-up.
posted by nonasuch at 4:47 PM on December 18, 2020 [17 favorites]


I'm hoping the next season is Grogu realizing being trained by Luke sucks and finding a way to go back to Din.

I know that's not going to happen but I would watch that show.


I actually kinda think that's what's going to happen, or something like it. Grogu is a money printing machine so I don't see them writing him out, and I don't see them leaning on heavy cgi Lukeface all season. Plus it's kind of a bummer to think Grogu gets Ren'd. Somehow he'll be back.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:00 PM on December 18, 2020 [10 favorites]


I love that the Darktroopers are all clunky 70s Cylons in a show with Katee Sackhoff
posted by jason_steakums at 5:09 PM on December 18, 2020 [46 favorites]


Something about the resolution/cliffhanger (Din inadvertently winding up with a rulership he does not want through combat) juxtaposed with the post-credits scene (Boba Fett sprawled in a throne, pondering his own hollow victory) puts me in mind of The Chronicles of Riddick.

Incidentally, Jeremy Bulloch, the original guy behind the Fett mask, passed on yesterday. There’s probably something profound about a mysterious fan favourite character who brought some cool mystery to the original franchise getting his own focus announced 24 hours after the original actor dies.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:14 PM on December 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


Though it was cool to realize it was Luke in bits and pieces, I was sad that they were not rescued by Space Appa, and I hope Grogu peaces out of Jedi Training to continute adventuring with The Mandalorian.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:44 PM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


So the thing this show absolutely nailed this season was reveals. Boba Fett's armour, before Boba Fett, episodes before he's even named. Bo Katan's owl helmet before her face reveal. Ahsoka's name before she arrives. Luke's X-Wing, his cape, his green saber, his gloved hand, before the face reveal. Astonishing stuff.
posted by crossoverman at 6:05 PM on December 18, 2020 [16 favorites]


Over in the ST:TNG threads, we've talked about how TV in the 1980s still hadn't shifted much to story-arc-driven serial drama, and how, even with Picard being Borg'd into Locutus, there was still the (almost 100%) likelihood that the Enterprise would rescue Picard and save the day as always. I highly suspect that Season 3 of this show will be about how Din and Grogu get reunited and save the day from some new existential threat, because this show is built like those older shows. Mostly I am just unhappy to have to wait a full freakin' year to get there.

I felt like the Dark Troopers were just Cybermen knock-offs, complete with the boot-stomping marching. You knew they were going to be handily defeated, no real threat.

Didn't mind the fake Luke, but I was hoping it would be Ahsoka just to tie up that thread. Plus I heard a rumor that the female comm officer on Gideon's ship might be Sabine Wren under deep cover, and THAT would have made a great wrap up to get her and Ahsoka teamed back up to launch that series.
posted by briank at 6:14 PM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


So the thing this show absolutely nailed this season was reveals. Boba Fett's armour, before Boba Fett, episodes before he's even named.

And after the first shot of Temuera Morrison on Tattooine you still were left wondering if it was a fakeout because there were canonically endless hordes of people with that exact face in this universe!
posted by jason_steakums at 6:30 PM on December 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


Boba Fett is not one for pleasantries.

First he interrupts a Mandalorian’s lunch and then brawls with them.

Then he doesn’t even thank Luke for being saved from all those Dark Troopers. You’d think he’d at least acknowledge the Jedi whose brother-in-law he hauled away in carbonite.

Finally he shoots an old acquaintance in the neck without even so much as a hello.


BTW R2D2 may be the only cost effective childcare for a species that still needs a babysitter at 50 years old.
posted by mundo at 6:47 PM on December 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


I got definite “Conan wearing his crown on a troubled brow” vibes from Fett on the throne. If we can’t ever get the proper old Conan story, I’d settle for one with Boba Fett.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:49 PM on December 18, 2020 [11 favorites]


(I realize Boba Fett wasn’t there when Luke arrived. My mistake, but could you imagine the awkwardness if he was?)
posted by mundo at 7:12 PM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


Bo Katan was perfectly fine with having Sabine Wren give her the Dark Sabre in Rebels. Why is it such a problem for her here? I do like the dilemma that sets up for Mando, though.
posted by unicorn chaser at 7:35 PM on December 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


Wowwww. I did not thing they were going to bring Luke in.
posted by medusa at 7:38 PM on December 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


The way Boba just split after completing the ruse that got the shuttle aboard was a bit weird too. Would have been nice if he was hanging around close enough to have noticed and blasted the darktoopers when they got ejected.

I like how they neatly avoid having to show how Slave 1 and an imperial shuttle dock in deep space. What happened to imperial scientist man? He just sorta vanished after he gave his advice on the infiltration mission. I guess he was on ice in Boba's hold and got turned over to the new republic along with Moff Gideon.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:58 PM on December 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


I liked this as the conclusion to the show, and will personally consider it the end of the Mandalorian's story even though I will probably watch subsequent seasons. It's useful in shows to both see something as the end, and to continue watching later, so that you can get that satisfaction of a narrative completed without trying to pretend the rest doesn't exist. Westworld, Legion, Lost -- all great one-season narratives, of which I watched increasing decrepit later seasons without spoiling the stand-alone completeness of those solo stories. This one is nice because it managed to last two proper chapters, and as an ending, I really appreciated handing off the child to another man, as well as the classic Star Wars son-is-now-father reversal. Mando standing bereft, seconds away from being blasted in the back of the head, is how a desolate western about learning to be a father should end.
posted by chortly at 8:05 PM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


I liked the Luke reveal, but it would have been a little cooler, a little more mysterious, if three ships had landed, and three jedi took out the Dark Troopers. Team Mando could have had dialog like "Jedi? I thought they were all gone? " nd Grogu looking at all on the screens and know he's not alone.

Then all three could have explained things with less CGI Luke - "We heard you in the Force" "There aren't many left" and then Luke could give his "He wants permission" speech.

This way we know there's more than Skywalker and it's clear that rebuilding the Jedi has been in progress for awhile, and opens the door for Grogu going off with someone other than Luke.
posted by jazon at 8:15 PM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


Huh. Fun episode, kind of weird where it lands. Enjoyed getting there.

Except.. what was with Hipster Mengele there, Dr. Pershing? Why did he tell them about the Darktroopers? What'd they do with him while they were busy attacking the light cruiser?

So the reason that reanimated Luke works is that Mark Hamill is alive. Reanimated Leia and Reanimated Tarkin are creepy because the actors are dead. We know there's no real Carrie Fisher or Peter Cushing behind them doing mocap, much less voice acting. I found Reanimated Leia's performance borderline offensive, TBH, given what an amazing human Carrie Fisher was. But I assume Hamill is acting this and getting paid and I'm OK with it.

The Darktrooper music was amazing. Also totally out of place in a Star Wars score. It was the techno / industrial stuff from Terminator sort of warped into Star Wars, but nothing like a Wagner knockoff. I liked the music but it seemed out of place.

I kind of hope the next season is without Grogu. I'm sorry, but Force Baby just can't do anything but look cute, eat fetuses, and occasionally Force-push something by accident. Bring on a season of Boba Fett centered adventures. Or a season of Mandalore rebuilding, although that sounds too much like a Clone War sequel.

9 new Star Wars TV shows have been announced, none titled Book of Boba Fett. Also 6+ movies. Be afraid. Some of this stuff's going to be terrible.
posted by Nelson at 8:22 PM on December 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


My mistake; it's not clear from the press whether Book of Boba Fett is season 3 of the Mandalorian or a new show.
posted by Nelson at 8:29 PM on December 18, 2020


Things I noted/enjoyed:
1. Nice rocket-assisted tornado DDT from Sasha Banks
2. Why are they storing their dark troopers in a room with a door to space? Then again, maybe it’s easier to load and unload that way, and we already knew they could fly in space.
3. The dark saber is like the elder wand? OK, maybe I didn’t like this, specifically, but OK if that’s what we’re doing
4. CGI Luke still has his hair from 1983.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:32 PM on December 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


I enjoyed that one of the Imperials called out the Rebellion for killing everybody on board the Death Star(s).
posted by whir at 8:38 PM on December 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


Millions of people on the Deaths Star seems like a lot.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:39 PM on December 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


Djarin taking off his helmet was a bit of a call-back to Vader doing the same at the end of ROTJ, yes?

Did Luke somehow know that the raid was happening, and jumped in at the end to help? Or did he just happen to arrive when they did - and, if they hadn't been there, he'd have dispatched the cruiser himself? Anyway, it was very chivalrous of the dark troopers to wait their turns to engage him individually.

It was mildly painful to watch the protagonists stand around on the bridge doing everything but executing Gideon. Yes, double the price from the New Republic, but when the dark troopers are punching the door down perhaps that's not really the time to be thinking like a bounty hunter.

Were the results of the blood research already transmitted to the Empire? It would seem sensible, but not very Star Wars (especially considering Rogue One).
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 8:41 PM on December 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


I don't really remember too much about the nonsensical explanations for Palpatine's return, but does grogu's blood have something to do with it?

Luke's return is a really weird surprise, because it's only surprising to the extent that the audience didn't think that the producers would mingle that pre-existing IP strand with this new strand. Like, from a narrative point of view, it would have been really, really weird if anyone but Luke had shown up after grogu used the Jedi temple paging system. Luke is alive and known to have been putting together a jedi school at the very moment this is all happening. Such a weird way to play with audience's expectations.
posted by skewed at 9:18 PM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


but executing Gideon

He has a lot of highly useful information.

Gideon did try to kill himself - to avoid torture or to avoid betraying his network/ boss(?), I couldn't tell. Also indirectly trying to "suicide by cop" before being stopped; but why then stop Dunn from shooting him?

Also, for a "climactic" battle involving the dark saber, Gideon isn't all that great of a fighter. More of a talker/ bullshitter/ boss than a swordsman, certainly.

YES! richochet and Ghidorah, total Conan/ Riddick feel for Fett. I especially liked how Fennec's body language shows that she's his lieutenant - but only for so long as it suits her. There's loyalty, but she's still her own woman.
posted by porpoise at 9:21 PM on December 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


I liked this episode. There's a lot about this series I haven't loved, and to an extent I'm kinda hatewatching it at this point, but this was a very fun heist/rescue episode and a nice resolution for the season.

I was underwhelmed by the post-credits scene, on the other hand. Boba Fett, after everything he's been through and the numerous events of galactic importance that he's influenced, decides to put his talents to use to become...petty king of the local trash heap. On Tattooine, as if we haven't seen enough of that place. And I'm supposed to want to watch a show about this?
> Over in the ST:TNG threads
I also had the ST:TNG Fanfare threads in mind while watching this episode, although for a different reason. The Dark Troopers as presented in this episode—frightening, cold but clever, merciless in the pursuit of their mission, and physically almost unstoppable—reminded me of the discussion of the Borg in the "Best of Both Worlds" rewatch thread. Like, the Dark Troopers could almost be an origin story for a Star Wars version of the Borg; the Empire screws up and unshackles them, and they become a self-replicating, uncontrollable force, pursuing inscrutable goals. I really don't think that's where the show is going with them; it was just a thought that struck me while watching them.
> we assume Grogu's fate isn't to get merc'd by Kylo and his Proud Boys, so in the next 10 years, he has to end up elsewhere.
Luke sends him back in time to fulfill his destiny and become Yoda, obviously. [taps forehead]
posted by Syllepsis at 9:23 PM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


Bib Fortuna, it might suck that you got shot, but be thankful your story ended up with a whole lot less brain-in-a-jar body horror and ancient monastic orders who were apparently living in Jabba's basement this whole time than it did in the old canon.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:26 PM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


I guess I'll be that person... thank god for this!!! And f***********************k the sequels (all of them, but especially f****k Ryan Johnson) this is the Luke Skywalker I wanted back! Hello old friend! Got excited at the x-wing but lost it at the green lightsaber. Your face might look weird, but it's you underneath the CGI, unlike in those other movies.


At the same time, it tore me apart, the bond between baby yoda & Mando is strong and I'm probably projecting the feelings I have for my own kid (heh sorry Luke, but even though you mean a lot to me you're not having my kid....) but it destroyed me to see baby yoda go & Mando split.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 10:08 PM on December 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


Bo Katan was perfectly fine with having Sabine Wren give her the Dark Sabre in Rebels.

Yes! For those who haven't seen Rebels, Sabine wins the Darksaber off of [memfault, some dude working for the Empire] and then hands it off to Bo-Katan because Bo-Katan is the heir of the last Duchess of Mandalore. There is no question at that point about how Bo-Katan has to defeat Sabine to legitimately hold the Darksaber: Bo-Katan takes it willingly, and Sabine goes back to the Rebels to fight the Empire.

So what changed here?
posted by suelac at 10:32 PM on December 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


The Dubstep Troopers were neat. But it seems like a more efficient way for them to use their strength to open blast doors would be prying rather than punching, but I guess then you wouldn’t get the ominous battering ram effect from the other side.
posted by good in a vacuum at 10:32 PM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]


I enjoyed it, good to see Luke again. Would have liked to see more surprises though. I've never got into the Clone Wars or the Expanded Universe, so when they hinted heavily that "a Jedi" would turn up last time, as far as I knew he was the only possible candidate.

Was definitely satisfying to see Luke kicking the mechanical asses of the Dark Troopers though.

Also as someone pointed out in social media, could have done with a Watsonian explanation of why Din Djarin has to just hand over Grogu rather that going along with Luke as a temporary or permanent babysitter/bodyguard. Din Djarin doesn't seem to have much else to do, and if Luke's going keep wandering off on missions while running a Jedi school, might be handy to have a Mandalorian security guard around.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:33 PM on December 18, 2020 [3 favorites]


I hope Grogu peaces out of Jedi Training to continue adventuring with The Mandalorian.

I mean, you wouldn't even need that much beskar for his armor.
posted by pykrete jungle at 10:46 PM on December 18, 2020 [24 favorites]


So the reason that reanimated Luke works is that Mark Hamill is alive. Reanimated Leia and Reanimated Tarkin are creepy because the actors are dead.

You may be confusing two things here: waxworks Leia from Rogue One was played, or perhaps “played” by Ingvild Deila in a motion capture role, with a digital young Carrie Fisher overlaid on her. There seems to be conflicting reports as to whether her one word of dialogue was a bit of archived audio or whether Fisher recorded a single word for the film, but she was alive then (she died a week or so after it was released.)

In the final Abrams movie, there is no digital trickery to speak of involved in her presence, but she was deceased before filming began. As I understand it, deleted scenes from The Force Awakenswere scavenged for what could be repurposed to the new movie. Things like backgrounds were changed but so far as I know, the performance we see onscreen is the one Fisher have, albeit in a different movie. (Note: the same trick was done about 35 years earlier with outtakes of the deceased Peter Sellers used to create a new Pink Panther movie. It was... not notably successful then, either.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:57 PM on December 18, 2020 [2 favorites]


Another great season, can't wait for the next. Enjoyed the fan service but am ready for a Din unconnected to the fate of the galaxy. Was kind of hoping no Jedis turned up at all. I love this show, and I love the simplicity of it's central proposition: "What if Star Wars, but about a really good dad?"
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:10 PM on December 18, 2020 [8 favorites]


Also, in the after-credits scene, who are they posing for? Unless they're waiting to intimidate someone coming in just behind them, how long are they going to sit there facing the same direction?

"Um, should I put on some music, or something?"

"Nah, I'm good."

"Want some of this drink?"

"No, just sitting for a bit."

"Suit yourself."

"I will."

"See what I did there?"

"Why don't you see if there's any more rancors in that pit?"
posted by pykrete jungle at 11:25 PM on December 18, 2020 [15 favorites]


I turned to my husband watching this episode and said "it is fucking me UP seeing Starbuck being menaced by these toasters!!" We were wondering if it was on purpose to make the dark troopers so evocative of cylons in this episode.

I'm on the record a few threads back as being pretty well convinced the jedi who'd eventually show up would be Luke. I'm annoyed it was uncanny deepfake Luke but also sort of relieved, since I doubt they'd deepfake him if they intended him to be a recurring character making more than token appearances. I don't believe we've seen the last of Grogu and I'm curious what happens to separate him from Luke's terrible Jedi school. If I were a betting woman, I'd bet that Mando gets into some sort of mortal trouble, Grogu has visions about it from the Force and ends up figuring out a way to get back to his proper dad. A sort of "Anakin actually gets to save his mother" situation. And I bet Artoo helps him leave. I'm envisioning the shot of Grogu's little body in the pilot's seat of Luke's x-wing right now and the later shot of Luke, from behind, greeting his empty x-wing as it returns with Artoo docked as the astromech all "who, me? I was under duress!" in binary.

I thought the slam of the elevator as Luke left with Grogu was intentional. Imperial elevators don't typically close with such... drama. But I'm trying to figure out what it means. Maybe just "the Jedi are not a great group to entrust with your beloved son"?

I cried and cried at the end. Poor Mando and poor wee Grogu. They are going to miss one another so much.
posted by potrzebie at 11:39 PM on December 18, 2020 [6 favorites]


I turned to my husband watching this episode and said "it is fucking me UP seeing Starbuck being menaced by these toasters!!" We were wondering if it was on purpose to make the dark troopers so evocative of cylons in this episode.

I feel like the folks making the Mandalorian put a ton of thought into most of the images they invoke, so yes. See also: the skid landing up the wrong way on a launch tube, extremely Starbuck.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:44 PM on December 18, 2020 [14 favorites]


Oh and also Luke showing up and being extremely scary and singlehandedly fucking up a ton of droids was both very "Anakin in Clone Wars" and very "Darth Vader at the end of Rogue One" so...cooool...
posted by potrzebie at 11:50 PM on December 18, 2020 [5 favorites]


Since you turn on the dark troopers from the bridge why couldn't the good guys just turn them off again once they got there?
posted by small_ruminant at 12:35 AM on December 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


So after Luke fell to the dark side at the end of Empire Strikes Back, he took the quick path to power and slaughtered a party barge full of gigging musicians, innocent civilians, and slaves. Then he followed up by poisoning Yoda to death. I thought maybe he was redeemed when Vader saved him at the end of Return of the Jedi, but this scary rescue scene definitely puts a big question mark on the whole "Luke as good guy" narrative.
posted by surlyben at 12:53 AM on December 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


Ok c'mon Luke doesn't canonically poison Yoda to death. He canonically annoys Yoda to death. Let's be fair.
posted by potrzebie at 1:03 AM on December 19, 2020 [11 favorites]


If you like. I'm just saying you could transplant Yoda's death scene into Kind Hearts and Coronets and it wouldn't be too out of place.
posted by surlyben at 1:22 AM on December 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


Moff Gideon seemed really worried that it was A Jedi to the point that he nearly committed suicide, but then Luke literally paid him no mind. Which Jedi did Gideon think it was?
posted by sleeping bear at 1:56 AM on December 19, 2020 [5 favorites]


I love that the Darktroopers are all clunky 70s Cylons

Maximilian from The Black Hole.
posted by The Tensor at 2:17 AM on December 19, 2020 [14 favorites]


I cried and cried at the end. Poor Mando and poor wee Grogu.

Same here. Felt blue for a while afterwards, too. I hope they are reunited. Holding out for it.
posted by unicorn chaser at 2:48 AM on December 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


An image I had while the dark toopers were battering the door was that it would have been cool and actually a little more menacing if they weren't unaffected by the process - we could have seen the first pair banging on the door until their hands break, then swapping out for the next pair in line. Sell the "relentless" a little harder by dialing down the "indestructible" a notch.

Luke was fine, although his appearance didn't excite me, but I was baffled by the inclusion of R2D2 in the final scene. He should have stayed in the car. Not happy about Grogu leaving. It's true that he's a maguffin more than a character, but the emotional core of the show is in Din's evolving relationship to Grogu. I'll be very disappointed if season 3 turns out to be primarily about Boba Fett instead.

Also, why can't a clone be a proper Manalorian? Would they reject a foundling who happened to be a clone? That wouldn't really seem to fit with what we've seen.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:55 AM on December 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


Also, why can't a clone be a proper Manalorian? Would they reject a foundling who happened to be a clone?

I'm not sure if Bo Katan knew that Boba Fett was Boba Fett, or if she thought he was just some random clone who happened to appropriate Mandalorian armour—hence the comment about having heard that voice a thousand times.

I don't know if it would be common knowledge or not that Boba was a clone or not. She's clearly accepting of Din as a foundling being a Mandalorian.

But I'm just speculating.
posted by synecdoche at 4:52 AM on December 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


The big question is how did the door to the bridge slide open after being dented by the Dark Troopers? There isn't much clearance in the pockets.
posted by autopilot at 5:17 AM on December 19, 2020 [28 favorites]


I enjoyed that one of the Imperials called out the Rebellion for killing everybody on board the Death Star(s).

Between this episode and the last one, I really think it's just a matter of time until they bring up the independent contractors on the second Death Star.

Also, I expect that Grogu and Din will be back together sooner rather than later, but I may be even more excited for the Fennec & Fett show next year.
posted by Zonker at 5:43 AM on December 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


He never even introduces himself. If you didn't know who Luke Skywalker was this episode does little to inform you. The show is big on economy of storytelling but in an actual scenario I'd expect there to be a lot more discussion: Who Luke is, where he's taking Grogu, what's going to happen to Moff Gideon, who gets to keep the imperial cruiser, etc. Luke isn't just A Jedi, he's one very closely aligned to the New Republic and he'd probably be quite interested in what the hell just happened.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:17 AM on December 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


Did you expect him to say, "I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you"?

I for one, was extremely relieved that Luke showed up, because my worry as the scene was playing out was that we were getting a lot of suspense-building cuts of the group, Gideon, and the dark troopers. Then Gideon said that thing about when it's over the only people alive would be him and the child, and I felt like for sure they were about to cut to black with a "to be continued" caption. Because it totally could have gone that way.

Then when a single X-wing showed up, and Gina Carano said the quip about "one X-wing, big whup" it seemed inevitable that its occupant would be Luke, but I was still surprised they went for it.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:39 AM on December 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


I also have to say: I just rewatched the bit with Luke's arrival and I really enjoyed the journey that Moff Gideon's face takes from smug superiority as the Dark Troopers bang on the door, to bewilderment when they stop, to "OH NOOOOOOO" when they realize it's a Jedi.
posted by synecdoche at 6:47 AM on December 19, 2020 [9 favorites]


Millions of people on the Deaths Star seems like a lot.

Wookiepedia lists the first Death Star as having ~1.1 million personnel on board.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:27 AM on December 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


Luke was fine, although his appearance didn't excite me, but I was baffled by the inclusion of R2D2 in the final scene. He should have stayed in the car.

R2 showing up is definitely fan service but R2 does at least have a potential connection to Grogu — who knows what that beeping was all about, could have been droid-speak for, “Sorry my old master slaughtered all of your youngling friends, but this guy is cool.”

That said I’m head-canoning an alternate scene where the Ghost comes to the rescue and Chopper murders a platoon of Darktroopers.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:31 AM on December 19, 2020 [5 favorites]


Could R2 have been involved in smuggling Grogu out of Coruscant in the first place? Ahsoka practically lampshaded the blank spot of how Grogu survived the fall of the Republic.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:17 AM on December 19, 2020 [9 favorites]


So, Din’s armor is capable of deflecting Dark Trooper bolts AND he’s holding a sword capable of cutting through anything that’s not pure beskin steel AND the Dark Troopers aren’t made of beskin... I’m a little confused as to why the answer was “seal the blast doors” and not “Din, go kick their asses”.
posted by hanov3r at 9:03 AM on December 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


Each of those million people on the first Death Star is in some direct way responsible for the deaths of over a thousand people *apiece,* so, you know, not gonna cry too hard over that. When you work on a warship, you're gonna get shot at, because you are in fact a cog in a genocidal machine. This isn't taking a keyboard gig on a party barge with a local crime boss.
posted by pykrete jungle at 9:10 AM on December 19, 2020 [13 favorites]


We’ll have the Child back with Mando inside of three episodes, along with the reveal that Skywalkers are an egg-laying species.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:23 AM on December 19, 2020 [21 favorites]


Did you expect him to say, "I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you"?

I was making this joke even before the X-wing showed up, that Luke would save the day. Then a guy in robes shows up. Then he has a green lightsaber. Nah, couldn’t be. Wait, is one hand gloved? No way they would do it...
posted by Servo5678 at 10:00 AM on December 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


I’m suddenly seeing a funny parallel between the Empire’s “The human inside was the final weakness to be solved” approach to galactic conquest, and Disney’s “The aging human actors were the final weakness to be solved” approach to milking characters forever.
posted by Syllepsis at 10:24 AM on December 19, 2020 [30 favorites]


I realize Boba Fett wasn’t there when Luke arrived. My mistake, but could you imagine the awkwardness if he was?

“Oi! You’re the ocker who put a dent in my jet pack!”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:49 AM on December 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


I got thoughts.

1.) Can we just hand all of Star Wars over to Jon Favreau already, because clearly the man knows what he is doing far better than J.J. Abrams?

2.) Din Djarin needs to get some kind of endorsement deal for beskar, because a robot fist that could punch through blast doors didn't even dent his helmet.

3.) The fight scene between Din and Moff Gideon (Mrs. Example and I have been calling him "Darth Pollos") was ten times better than anything in the prequels, because it looked like two people actually trying to kill each other.

4.) Much like with IG-series droids and AT-STs, this show did a fantastic job of showing how utterly fucking terrifying going up against an actual Jedi should be in this universe.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:56 AM on December 19, 2020 [25 favorites]


this show did a fantastic job of showing how utterly fucking terrifying going up against an actual Jedi should be in this universe.

This reminded me of how they introduced Ahsoka in this season--also as a horror movie killer. Luke's entrance paralleling Vader at the end of Rogue One is showing a different kind of inveitable doom--the methodical progression of a Jason or Michael Myers, as opposed to the slash from the darkness that Ahsoka brought.

I really liked how deliberate his moves were--it's both a nice reference to the sort of smooth competence from certain samurai portrayals, and meshes a little with the calm energy that Alec Guinness used for Obi Wan's movement; for a lot of that sequence, I forgot what the timeline was and was expecting today's Mark Hamill to emerge from the hood.
posted by pykrete jungle at 11:26 AM on December 19, 2020 [13 favorites]


I really liked how deliberate his moves were--it's both a nice reference to the sort of smooth competence from certain samurai portrayals, and meshes a little with the calm energy that Alec Guinness used for Obi Wan's movement; for a lot of that sequence, I forgot what the timeline was and was expecting today's Mark Hamill to emerge from the hood.

I also kinda expected Old Luke. We get the same fundamental storytelling weakness of all prequels - you know what goes down with Luke in the future.

But it's cool you can look at the way he's taking out the Darktroopers and say 'nope, that's not how Rey would do it, that's not how a cirque du soleil clone wars ninja would do it...'
posted by StarkRoads at 12:20 PM on December 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


If you didn't know who Luke Skywalker was this episode does little to inform you. The show is big on economy of storytelling but in an actual scenario I'd expect there to be a lot more discussion

I’m now pondering the number of viewers who are watching the end of the second season of a serialized Star Wars drama who are unfamiliar with Luke Skywalker.

I was briefly thinking of phrasing it as “watching x hours of this show” and then I realized with sixteen episodes of ~45 minutes each, viewers now have had more live action Star Wars on screen in the last fifteen months than the OG fans got in the first thirty-five years. And I’m counting the Holiday Special in this tally.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:23 PM on December 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


Yes! For those who haven't seen Rebels, Sabine wins the Darksaber off of [memfault, some dude working for the Empire] and then hands it off to Bo-Katan because Bo-Katan is the heir of the last Duchess of Mandalore. There is no question at that point about how Bo-Katan has to defeat Sabine to legitimately hold the Darksaber: Bo-Katan takes it willingly, and Sabine goes back to the Rebels to fight the Empire.

So what changed here?


The reason you can't remember who Sabine got it from is because she didn't get it from anybody - Maul had stashed it on Dathomir (I don't remember why, if they even gave a reason...maybe just so he couldn't be defeated, have it taken from him and lose his claim to Mandalore's throne?) and when Sabine and Ezra happened by, she got possessed and grabbed it to try and kill him with it.

The fact that Sabine didn't defeat Maul to take the darksaber was actually raised as an issue by her own mom(!) who went behind her back to give it to the Empire-appointed puppet in charge of Mandalore. Sabine, naturally, kicked his ass and took the darksaber from him after beating him in combat, thus I guess "legitimizing" her ownership of it.

The wrinkle is that Sabine later just hands it over to Bo-Katan. However, the symbolic importance of the Darksaber is that whoever holds it can unite the (otherwise presumably warring/fractious) clans of Mandalore, and Bo-Katan only accepts it from Sabine after representatives of all the clans tell her they support her.

So they didn't make up that lore about how the Darksaber is "supposed" to work just for this episode - it was already well-established as far back as when Maul killed the leader of Death Watch, and claimed the Darksaber and rulership of Mandalore.

If there's a caveat, it seems to be that you can non-violently pass it along if you already have affirmation from all the clans. I would speculate that at this point, getting affirmation from all the clans is A.) functionally impossible because all the clans are so scattered, post-Purge, and B.) not as likely to work for Bo-Katan a second time, since she was the one holding the Darksaber and leading Mandalore at the point that Mandalore got purged by the Empire and she apparently lost the Darksaber to Moff Gideon in the process.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:25 PM on December 19, 2020 [4 favorites]


Ah, yes, totem law.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 12:37 PM on December 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


I’m a little confused as to why the answer was “seal the blast doors” and not “Din, go kick their asses”.

Considering how badly he got his ass kicked in his first run-in with a single Dark Trooper, I’m not sure the audience would buy him now being able to snuff a platoon of the things thanks to a couple of nifty tools.

Speaking of which...That sword (Black Sword?) was the weapon said to be able to cut through pure beskar, yes? So, why wasn’t Moff Gideon able to slice Mando up like soft butter in their fight. Mando’s armor and lance seemed to hold up quite well.

Overall, I liked the ending alright. I think I would have been far more satisfied, though, if Mando had gone to Luke somewhere far off the beaten path. He didn’t really complete his mission, did he? Not satisfyingly, anyway.

I’m kind of surprised so many were caught flat-footed at Luke showing up. I mean, a single, lone X-Wing quietly shows up? That’s how Luke rolls. I kind of felt like it was the only way to close the Jedi circle. There’s no real reason to make the child whatever species Yoda was unless you end up doing a take on the “intern becomes the master” trope, and bring in Luke to now train KidYoda.

Those DarkTroopers were really kind of rubbish, weren’t they?
posted by Thorzdad at 12:51 PM on December 19, 2020


The dark saber is said to cut through anythung but pure beskar.
posted by chrchr at 12:55 PM on December 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


That sword (Black Sword?) was the weapon said to be able to cut through pure beskar, yes?

Darksaber. And no, they explicitly said that’s the only thing it can’t cut through.
posted by supercres at 12:55 PM on December 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


No, it’s Black Sword now.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 12:56 PM on December 19, 2020 [11 favorites]


By the way, why did Mando shave in between last episode and this one? Fool the Imperial Facial Recognition system by not having the 'stache anymore? Have to change his look since somebody saw him? Does he have to grow sideburns now?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:00 PM on December 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


Generally I've liked this show, but man . . . this episode . . .

Yes to CGILUKE being 1) poorly done, he looked like a damn 90's videogame cutscene 2) unnecessarily annoying fanservice and 3) even more annoyingly unnecessarily making this show All About The Skywalkers. Again.

Yes to "If Mando never removing his helmet is a big friggin' deal whhhhhhhyyyyyy blow the big emotional moment of having him do it ONLY for baby Yoda by having him dump it a whole episode early for dumb face-scan reasons?"

There was a lot of "writers didn't really think this through too good" happening:

1) "Imperial Light Cruisers used to have crews of several hundred, Gideon's is only operating with a fraction of that now."

--- Yeah, well, I bet that's still a lot more than TWO (2 !!!) Mandalorians. OK maybe 4 people total if they were counting on Ming-Na Wen and Mando to help . . . That still seems thoroughly inadequate.

"Hey, we're gonna hijack an enormous ship that common sense would tell you can't possibly operate without a bare-bones skeleton crew of at least a dozen, and they're never gonna sleep."

"Well, we got 4 people."

"Sounds great! Let's go for it!!"

No.

2) "Hey there's a whole batch of super-tough killer droids that can be started up from the bridge. A bridge far far away from where we actually enter the ship. And the Droid Storage is also far far away."

"Well, then clearly the Best Plan is for most of us to make a full frontal assault on the bridge, traveling slowly through the ship battling All The Crew on our way there. Then one of you will sneak over to Droid Storage, slowly, because you'll have to hide ("Why do I have to hide? My armor is impenetrable." "Shut up, just go with it.") from the crew running around. There is no way anyone on the bridge - standing there watching our frontal assault on camera - would possibly have the 1.5 seconds necessary to push the Release Droids button."

Really annoying that this bit of idiot ball would have been totally unnecessary if it had occurred to the writers that "RUN, motherfucker!" would have been a perfectly sensible action for Mando.

3) Also yes, if the Killer Droids could be started up from the bridge why can't they be shut down from the bridge?

4) Also yes, where the fuck did Boba Fett go? He couldn't hang around a couple more hours to help take (AND THEN HELP FLY (!!!!)) the cruiser? Pretty sure taking over a Tatooine crime syndicate isn't the kind of thing that requires a strict schedule.


My guess is that next season is all about Who Rules The Mandalorians? No idea how they'll get Baby Yoda involved in this, I just hope it doesn't include any more Uncanny Valley Luke. (Brrrrrr.)
posted by soundguy99 at 1:20 PM on December 19, 2020


Din Djarin needs to get some kind of endorsement deal for beskar, because a robot fist that could punch through blast doors didn't even dent his helmet.

Well, that's why beskar is so valuable. I doubt they could afford to make blast doors out of it, it would be like making them out of platinum.

I think someone who had watched the series without, somehow, having managed to see the original films probably wouldn't have any problem with Luke turning up: it's patently obvious from what we see that he's a very powerful and authoritative figure, and that's all you really need to know. The only thing that might confuse them is why, exactly, he seems to be made out of plastic.

I've never seen any of the Clone Wars series, and I didn't have any trouble with any of the characters who crossed over from that - who they are and what they are capable of is clearly shown. In fact the series in general has been exemplary in that respect.

Curiously, the situation - an essentially magical creature, fostered by mortals, then reclaimed after the mortals defend him from a threat - reminds me of the original series of The Pogles. I'm only mentioning that because it's so incredibly niche that I expect no one else will have any idea what I'm talking about, and wilful obscurity can be fun. At least for me.
posted by Grangousier at 1:28 PM on December 19, 2020 [2 favorites]


I liked that the rules for removing the helmet evolved from "never" to "never unless the baby needs it" to "never unless the baby needs it or just wants it."
posted by amarynth at 1:50 PM on December 19, 2020 [23 favorites]


He took his helmet off last week out of practical necessity; he took it off this week out of emotional necessity. That feels like growth to me?

I too thought that the answer to the Dark Troopers returning, and to Moff Gideon's taunting that he got his ass kicked by just one of them, was going to be Mando being basically "yeah, but I have the darksaber now, fucker" and mowing through them with it.

Count me in on both "why bring Luke into it" and "hoo boy their rendering of Luke was pretty ropey." Very noticeable that they did a lot of shots in that scene from Grogu's level so that Luke's head was conveniently out of frame. It also didn't feel to me like their body double carried himself the same way that young Mark Hammill did?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:51 PM on December 19, 2020 [11 favorites]


Those DarkTroopers were really kind of rubbish, weren’t they?

I think that may have been the point, and possibly something of an exclamation mark on the work they've done so far. I'm so delighted with what they've done with the iconography of this show, and their solution for the problem of Boba Fett's legend. For as adored as he came to be, the Mandalorian we see in the original 3 movies is largely an empty suit of armor. It was an absolute stroke of genius to model a helmet off Clint Eastwood's cheekbones. From this beautiful suit of armor, a few nods across the cantina, and a few lines too short to even contain any commas, we speculated wildly. But was there ever anything there but a cool costume?

The Mandalorian answers this question by creating an entire culture and identity around this very costume. It returns again and again to the question of who Din is beyond his suit of armor. It pits him against the logical endpoint of that philosophy: fighters who are nothing but their weapons and armor, Dark Troopers with all of his advantages and none of his frailties. Din found his way to them and gained what he needed to survive them (the Beskar spear, the Imperial codes, the Luke ex Machina) through a combination of brutality, guile, vulnerability and bravery that only a human would be capable of. Strict obedience to the cold, disconnected code of his armor would have left him to face these monsters alone, if indeed he had ever found them at all. But because the man within that armor was willing to reach beyond it and himself, to put the child he loved above the beliefs that no longer keep him safe, he was able to become the center of a coalition which linked an ex Imperial sharpshooter to the greatest Jedi alive.

Am I reaching? Possibly. If nothing else, I'm just grateful that Rise of Skywalker is not the final word on our galaxy far, far away.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:51 PM on December 19, 2020 [25 favorites]


Okay, I just looked up the Pogles. Looks delightfully British. I’m in.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 2:05 PM on December 19, 2020


Well, it was for children under the age of five and made in someone's shed, and instead of bounty hunters and warriors you had a nice old couple of tiny people who live in a tree, and instead of the Jedi you had fairies, and instead of the Empire there was a witch, but apart from that the story arc was surprisingly similar in a general way.
posted by Grangousier at 2:08 PM on December 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


1.) Can we just hand all of Star Wars over to Jon Favreau already, because clearly the man knows what he is doing far better than J.J. Abrams?

In my opinion Dave Filoni has way more to do with this than John Favreau.
posted by Pendragon at 3:54 PM on December 19, 2020 [15 favorites]


I feel like this should have been the series finale. This story is about Mando and Grogu, with Mando trying to protect this weird little baby from sinister forces. Grogu going off to learn the way of the Jedi with 1980-something Luke Skywalker, that's how you end this thing.

Of course, this bittersweet ending is only sweet at all if you think of this show as a sequel to the original trilogy, and not as a prequel to the new sequels. Is this the heroic, post-ROTJ Luke, or is this a pre-TLJ Luke who is going to become a wretched, hateful failure in a few years? Hamill himself has commented that they don't really seem like the same guy and he had to make a mental adjustment that TLJ Luke was a Luke and not necessarily his Luke. Assuming we treat the sequels as canon (which I'm not sure I do!) Luke's Jedi academy deal will only last a short while and Grogu may just get murdered by Kylo Ren.

Of course, even if we don't hear about Grogu in the sequels, I don't think we can assume he's dead. At the rate he's aging, how much more mature would Grogu be by the time of the sequels? Perhaps he's a toddler at most, still being raised by a silver-haired Mando!

It was thrilling to see Luke again, but the people who do these age-rewind jobs for the Star Wars franchise never seem to learn from their mistakes. Guys, just use freaking Deep Fakes. People on Youtube routinely create more convincing face replacements than you do. They even take your expensive effects and redo them, making them look better using cheapo desktop stuff. Treat these special effects like something you need to work around, with shadows and over-the-shoulder shots, instead of building long scenes around them with lots of closeups and bright light. The video game cutscene Luke here felt more like a symbol of Luke than a true return of the character. It had weight only because of what Luke represents, and not because we felt like we were really seeing 1980s Mark Hamill again.

They're going all in on the larger franchise stuff, bringing in more and more elements from the movies and the EU, and it feels like kind of a bait and switch. I don't know if this was the plan all along or if Favreau and Filoni are getting buried in notes from Disney, but I worry for this show going forward. And as somebody with a weird childhood affection for Bib Fortuna (he was just so sleazy and gross) I didn't enjoy seeing him offed like that. The modern franchise does this weird thing a lot, where it's like, "Remember this minor alien character you had an action figure of? They're back, and, BAM, they're dead."
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:16 PM on December 19, 2020 [8 favorites]


In my opinion Dave Filoni has way more to do with this than John Favreau.

Filoni is a deep encyclopedia of Star Wars with a talent for making really cool stuff out of all the toys in the toybox, Favreau's talents lie in serving all that up in a way that has broad crossover appeal without sucking the life out of it and navigating the demands of the studio system. They're a very complimentary team!
posted by jason_steakums at 4:21 PM on December 19, 2020 [13 favorites]


Looking back over the series, I loved a lot about it, the feel of things, the music, the way things looked, a lot of that was just perfect.

The thing that bugs me about the whole show, though, is that it too often feels like a video game rather than a story. Too many side quests to get a Mcguffin that will allow the next stage to be unlocked. The egg in season one felt like the most blatant example, but even in the previous episode, from having to go to an entirely new place to retrieve data, to the very “okay, your character is now in a vehicle instead of walking, and you can’t drive too fast, but you’re also being chased” shift in, well, gameplay. The slow adding of members to the party felt very much the same.

I wanted to like it more than I did, but it just felt like a mishmash of games (Specifically Red Dead, Borderlands, and a smidge of Baldur’s Gate) rather than a story. And, in proper Star Wars fashion, I’ve got a bad feeling about this, in that I imagine that it’s how a lot of things are going to feel going forward.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:51 PM on December 19, 2020 [3 favorites]


I totally agree that the helmet removal twice should have just been once.

I sincerely doubt that Disney/Lucasfilm would give up such a huge merchandising opportunity as Grogu, but if this is it for the adventures of Din and Grogu, I don't know how interested I'm in what comes next.
Grogu is a money printing machine so I don't see them writing him out, and I don't see them leaning on heavy cgi Lukeface all season. Plus it's kind of a bummer to think Grogu gets Ren'd. Somehow he'll be back.


Yeah. I probably won't stick with the show without "The Bounty Hunter and the Baby." The only thing that comforts me is thinking that Baby Yoda makes them a lot of money so they can't REALLY write him out. Also, think of literally every single person on the Internet complaining in their reviews/on Twitter every week: "Where is Baby Yoda? Baby Yoda wasn't back this week either. I'm gonna stop watching until Baby Yoda comes back."

I really really want an acknowledgement from the showrunners that the Jedi are kind of fucked up, and that there are different ways to train people in the Force, that allows them to have human relationships.

Me too. The disappointment is that Jedi aren't allowed to have personal relationships, so Grogu can't have a dad. *grumblegrumblegrumble*

Also, why can't a clone be a proper Manalorian? Would they reject a foundling who happened to be a clone?

Eh, I doubt it's being a clone that's the issue. He didn't exactly take the creed or anything, right?

He never even introduces himself. If you didn't know who Luke Skywalker was this episode does little to inform you.

Yeah, seriously, Mando didn't even get the guy's NAME? Didn't ask much of anything as to whether or not this total stranger he just met should get to take his baby? How the hell will he ever see the baby again if he doesn't even know who he handed him off to?

As for Luke:
(a) They went there, which is impressive. He was, reasonably, the best candidate we know of.
(b) I was fine with the special effects, but I am not at all an expert on that shit. I thought it was better than previous attempts, but also because Mark Hamill is still alive, I assume that helps.
(c) I assume they reasonably can't use Luke much due to the fact that they have to do all those special effects, which is limiting.
(d) Hopefully they have set up something in the future where the baby leaves Luke before the slaughter, or "somehow" Mando runs into them again, or Grogu gives him some kind of psychic phone call for all I know.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:34 PM on December 19, 2020 [1 favorite]


From the level of detail they applied to the Luke avatar, I got the message that Luke was vital to the conclusion of this story (and gives him his own Jedi ownage rampage on par with his dad's at the end of Rogue One) but please don't expect him to show up again.

I really loved how the pieces were laid in place that the Mandalorians were the best fighters, that they didn't stand a chance against the Dark Troopers, and then a Jedi shows up and mows through them like a hot knife through butter. Then it was like, yep here's the guy as you've experienced him the most: As a cutscene in a video game. (Which is not a dis! I was genuinely thrilled to see him in Jedi Outcast.)
posted by whuppy at 7:46 PM on December 19, 2020 [6 favorites]


Obviously everyone watching the show knows who Luke Skywalker is, but as far as I know nobody in that room other than Moff Gideon knew him from a hole in the floor. It would have been nice if the final scene went something like

*Luke reveals his face*

Cara Dune: Luke Skywalker. I shoulda known it was you.

Luke: Cara Dune. Keeping yourself busy I see.

*Din and Luke exchange lines*

Cara: Mando, you won't find a better Jedi than this to take care of the child.

Establishing that this is not just some stranger, but a Jedi that a trusted friend knows and can vouch for would have made giving Grogu over make a lot more sense. Of course, that would raise the question of why Cara didn't mention she knew a Jedi, but Din never exactly asked her, did he?

While I'm asking for ponies and imagining alternate versions of reality it would have been funny if Luke had politely knocked while they were arguing about opening the blast doors. I guess he just stood there awkwardly wondering if they'd let him in or if he'd have to Qui-Gon the door down.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:13 PM on December 19, 2020 [5 favorites]


It would have been nice if the final scene went something like

Nah, I'm happy with what they did, since they effectively did what you described without the dreaded exposition. Din was sent with Grogu to call on a Jedi. A Jedi finally showed up. Grogu was hesitant to go but Luke explained to Din why - he was waiting for permission. (Luke and Grogu obviously spoke like Ahsoka and Grogu did in the earlier episode, based on this bit of information.) Din gave his permission. Grogu was still unhappy about going. R2D2 appears to speak with Grogu. It's possible that R2 and Grogu know each other from the Jedi Temple, but even if you don't get this connection, R2 is obviously speaking to Grogu. Grogu clearly understands other languages, even if he hasn't mastered speaking himself. After R2 speaks with Grogu, Grogu and Luke "force speak" like Grogu and Ahsoka did previously, to the point where Grogu holds his arms up, wanting to be picked up, just like he did with Ahsoka when they spoke.

The shows accomplishes all of this with very little dialogue (perfect for this show) and without having to use the name Luke Skywalker, which doesn't mean anything to anyone in the scene. No point forcing a connection when we already have all the pieces in place to make this transition work. It's actually a really masterful piece of minimalist storytelling - the set-up has been happening all season and the pay off is excellent.

As discussed above, there's really probably no one who watches this show who doesn't know who Luke is, but many who wouldn't know Ahsoka or Bo Katan. (Like me, for instance, who has never watch the Clone Wars.) Luke drops into this show much like these two characters - with very little backstory, but essential to the narrative of The Mandalorian. This is what the Star Wars films have always done - alluded to a larger world. Now that the larger world has been established in multiple films and TV series, you don't need to make these connections explicit. People get them if they get them, if they don't, it's just an allusion to a universe that exists outside the current story.
posted by crossoverman at 12:25 AM on December 20, 2020 [17 favorites]


R2 is obviously speaking to Grogu. Grogu clearly understands other languages, even if he hasn't mastered speaking himself. After R2 speaks with Grogu, Grogu and Luke "force speak" like Grogu and Ahsoka did previously, to the point where Grogu holds his arms up, wanting to be picked up, just like he did with Ahsoka when they spoke.

I steeled myself to watch the scene again (it's possible my vision may have been slightly blurred the first time around) and this is how I read the scene too - R2 is very obviously speaking to Grogu and being positive and reassuring, and Luke and Grogu do obviously communicate after that.

I have been re-watching A New Hope and the difference between Luke's face and voice there is so different from here, it feels very affirming and awesome to see him in his prime, and at the peak of his power; and while there are limitations to how expressive CGILuke is, he does look down at Grogu with tenderness and a half-smile which is nice to see.

Harking back to what Ahsoka said about Grogu choosing his own path, it is nice, also, to see Grogu stepping away from his dad to walk towards R2D2 and Luke himself and not being handed over. This is definitely something he is doing of his own free will.
posted by unicorn chaser at 4:25 AM on December 20, 2020 [4 favorites]


Well, that's why beskar is so valuable. I doubt they could afford to make blast doors out of it, it would be like making them out of platinum.

It’s the “long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” version of, “Why don’t they make the entire plane out of the black box stuff?”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:56 AM on December 20, 2020 [7 favorites]


To cut down on the sketchy CGI-ness, I might’ve had one or two different Jedi show up, then have Luke appear via force ghost to explain the situation. That would give cover for the CGI, and let him be a bit more expressive.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:02 AM on December 20, 2020


Force ghost? He’s still alive and will be for decades yet. When he pulls off the the remote appearance in TLJ, it is a surprise to everyone, both on screen and in the audience.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:11 AM on December 20, 2020 [5 favorites]


I'm wondering why they went for CGI only and not a combination of CGI and deepfake. I'm betting within a month a deepfake version of the scene will be on youtube looking much better than what we saw in the episode.
posted by Pendragon at 6:20 AM on December 20, 2020 [2 favorites]


I feel like this should have been the series finale.

Is it possible that it is? This article speculates that the "Book of Boba Fett" thing is for real and will effectively replace the show that we've been watching. That this is the end of Grogu and Mando's story. I'd be OK with that.
posted by Nelson at 6:28 AM on December 20, 2020 [5 favorites]


Harking back to what Ahsoka said about Grogu choosing his own path, it is nice, also, to see Grogu stepping away from his dad to walk towards R2D2 and Luke himself and not being handed over. This is definitely something he is doing of his own free will.

Perhaps another Lone Wolf and Cub reference! Just like when Cub chooses the sword over the ball, Grogu is choosing the next stage of his journey.
posted by cazoo at 9:03 AM on December 20, 2020


force ghost

Are Force Ghosts also Space Professionals?
posted by juiceCake at 5:37 PM on December 20, 2020




It's simple. We can watch season 3 of the Mandalorian, but first we need to go over to this other planet to check in with Boba Fett; if we help him with whatever his deal is, he'll be able to tell us where to go to find Mando.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:28 AM on December 21, 2020 [15 favorites]


I wasn't sure how much I cared about the Boba Fett show but apparently Robert Rodriguez is an executive producer on it, so yeah it's probably going to be big stupid fun.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:29 AM on December 21, 2020 [3 favorites]


but first we need to go over to this other planet

Tatooine AGAIN??? *rolls eyes*
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:11 AM on December 21, 2020 [3 favorites]


What's more frustrating than Tatooine yet again is when they're like, ok, we need something real different this time but I think we've got something really special: the desert planet Jakku! No? How about the desert moon Jedha?

...the deserts of Savareen?

...the desert planet Pasaana? Anyone?
posted by jason_steakums at 8:33 AM on December 21, 2020 [3 favorites]


I wasn't sure how much I cared about the Boba Fett show but apparently Robert Rodriguez is an executive producer on it

Which prompts me to ask: Can a Star Wars series survive having two executive producers (Dave Filoni and Robert Rodriguez) both walking around in cowboy hats?
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:52 AM on December 21, 2020 [3 favorites]


What's more frustrating than Tatooine yet again is when they're like, ok, we need something real different this time but I think we've got something really special: the desert planet Jakku! No? How about the desert moon Jedha?

Star Wars has never quite managed to metabolize Dune into itself, no matter how many return trips to Tatooine it takes us on.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:55 PM on December 21, 2020 [4 favorites]


Not to mention Luke getting an amazing version of the Vader hallway scene in Rogue One.

@blackdragonroll edited these two scenes together, and I'm confounded by how close they were but I never noticed until I read bfranklin's comment. Warning: the clip continues into Grogu's farewell.

I loved this episode, but ultimately, I'm not sure where this puts me for season three. Would I still be into this if it's Mando figuring out his Mandolorian-ness and what he believes? I'm not sure. I think I only got through the first season because of Grogu's adorable face, but at least I care about Mando himself now. And after the Mayfield/mask episode, I'm actually invested in how Mando squares "This is the way," when there's a few different ways.

I really loved the payoff of the beskar spear though.
posted by gladly at 1:02 PM on December 21, 2020 [1 favorite]


This is what the Star Wars films have always done - alluded to a larger world.

This is what I've always been drawn to in them, since seeing a movie begin with "Episode IV". The Skywalkers are cool and all, but there's also a jazz band in a dive bar and a junk-scavenging team who don't give half a damn about them because there are smaller but more immediate problems to be faced. I like this ending, it makes sense. But the journey was so much more fun for wandering new paths without a clear direction!

CGI Luke seemed less calm-Jedi-master to me than botox-galore. A live actor has a couple of dozen subtle micro-expressions to use, but CGI is just blank at this point. Maybe one day...

I loved Giancarlo Esposito in this episode. I mean I love him always, but this episode is why they needed him when any vaguely authoritative actor could have worked in the role before now. Hyper-aware of every nuance, conveying to the audience things that the other characters haven't realised yet. From smugly confident to willing to slit his own throat - he's persuasive in an instant.
posted by harriet vane at 6:23 AM on December 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


I've posted this before: We Can’t See ‘Star Wars’ Anymore
Much of the fun of watching the film for the first time, now forever inaccessible to us, was in the slow unveiling of its universe: Swords made of lasers! A Bigfoot who co-pilots a spaceship! A swing band of ’50s U.F.O. aliens! Mr. Lucas refuses to explain anything, keeping the viewer as off-balance as a jet-lagged tourist in Benares or Times Square. We don’t see the film’s hero until 17 minutes in; we’re kept watching not by plot but by novelty, curiosity...
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:47 AM on December 22, 2020 [9 favorites]


The link Theophile Escargot posts neatly sums up some of the vivid, almost hallucinatory imagery that was so attractive to young minds (including this one) and which has now been tediously explained away and dissected by a generation and a half of literal-minded imitators:
There may come a day, a long time from now, after Disney’s vampirically extended copyrights have expired and all the accumulated cultural detritus has eroded away, when people will have forgotten “Star Wars,” and can finally see it again. Seen anew, much of its imagery is surreally beautiful: the vast plated underside of an armored starship sliding on and on forever overhead; the dreamlike tableau, seen through a scrim of smoke and framed by concentric portals, of a girl shrouded in white furtively genuflecting to a robot; a golden android waving for help in a desert by the skeleton of a dinosaur; a convoy of space fighters opening their split wings in sequence, like poison flowers blossoming.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:33 AM on December 22, 2020 [9 favorites]


I think potentially there are other kinds of pleasures you can get once the freshness is gone. One thing that's happening on screen over the last decade is that we're seeing complex world-building in things like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and A Game of Thrones. Comics and novel readers are used to them but previously movie and TV producers have been too worried about alienating new viewers to let things get complicated.

The Star Wars Universe I think has had only mixed success at world-building. I think "The Mandalorian" did it well, introducing new things like the Mandalorian coverts and the Outer Rim's distrust of both rebels and Empire, but bringing a few references to the other movies in. But some of the new movies haven't done well, relying on old characters and retreading old plots without adding enough fresh material. I'm hoping Mandalorian Series 3 doesn't rely on Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker or more characters reappearing.

Also it's a bit depressing that in the Star Wars universe good people seem to die forever while baddies keep coming back.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:58 AM on December 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


I'm hoping Mandalorian Series 3 doesn't rely on Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker or more characters reappearing.

In my perfect world, season 3 somehow dispenses with that Darksaber business before we see the first title card, and then we don't hear shit about the fate of the galaxy for eight episodes minimum.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:27 AM on December 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


I feel like the thing that foregrounds the imagery in the original movie is that it has simple straightforward presentation of that imagery with a good pacing rhythm shifting between nice relaxed shots that let you linger and drink it in in places and quick teases that make you want more (cantina aliens especially), and it's that Marcia Lucas editing rhythm and sense of restraint in blocking and camera movements that's missing from modern Star Wars. Knowing that there's a book-length Wookieepedia entry on rando cantina monster #4 doesn't make them any less compelling and iconic to me, it's the presentation in that movie that does the work there. I think that bad CGI aside that's why the special edition additions stick out in a bad way, just too much business going on in the frame instead of letting straightforward presentation do its job.

The Mandalorian gets this right in a lot of ways, like that episode with the AT-ST - it wasn't doing a bunch of flashy nonsense, it was shot like any character. Or when they show ships fighting in the show it's pretty straightforward versus something like the overly kinetic Falcon vs TIEs scene in The Force Awakens, the former feels like Star Wars and the latter doesn't imo.

Star Wars mainly just looks like everything else but using Star Wars props now, and its unique language was more than that coat of paint. I feel like when they get that feel right in modern Star Wars, like lots of (but definitely not all of) Rogue One and The Mandalorian, it can still grab you in the same way it used to. And certainly the new stuff can speak a different language and grab you in a different way, a lot of stuff in the sequel films used the language of grand epic films which isn't what Star Wars was outside of George Lucas's mythologizing of it, and they pulled that off really well in a lot of places, but still the moments that spoke the language of Star Wars in those feel more special to me - Rey alone on Jakku, Kylo freezing a blaster bolt in midair, the increasingly physical remote communication scenes between Kylo and Rey, most of the stuff on Ahch-To and also Snoke's throne room design, those felt very Star Wars. The Holdo maneuver or the actual fighting in Snoke's throne room (most Jedi fights outside of the original trilogy tbh) felt like big epic cinema and kicked ass at that and I loved it but it wasn't quite the same language as Star Wars.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:33 AM on December 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


The first(?) Luke Skywalker deepfake is out. It does look more crisp and less video game-y, but they couldn't do anything about the iffy mouth movement. What I've read has made it sound like Hamill was on-set, playing and voicing the part, but if that's so I don't know why Luke has that kind of weightless CGI look and he doesn't quite sound like Hamill.

(Weirdly, my spellcheck recognizes Hamill but underlines Skywalker. I guess whoever programmed it thinks Luke Skywalker is less famous than the actor who played him?)

Overall I'd describe the effects in the aired scene as... adequate-ish. But I did really like seeing Luke again and it was sweet to see him at the height of his powers, just obliterating a bunch of evil imperial robots on his way to help out a baby Jedi. This was exactly the balm I needed after the horrors of TLJ.

So, Moff Gideon was just kind of a wannabe Sith? With the Darth Vader-y outfit and the dark lightsaber and all that, I'd assumed he was some sort of Sith... but in the end he just seems like a regular imperial officer who is kind of cosplaying.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:00 PM on December 22, 2020


I loved the way the Beskar spear glowed red hot when resisting the Darksaber. Just a terrific detail.
posted by whuppy at 5:39 PM on December 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


My feeling with Gideon is that his biting Vader's style is a wholly intentional part of his leadership strategy. With most of the Imperial upper chain of command zorched out of existence during the battle of Endor, he's decided that if he's going to fill the leadership vacuum and take on Vader's role, he might as well have a big billowy cape, questionably functional light-up breastplate, and a cool laser-sword while he's at it.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:10 PM on December 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


Make The Empire Great Again
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:35 PM on December 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


So, Moff Gideon was just kind of a wannabe Sith? With the Darth Vader-y outfit and the dark lightsaber and all that, I'd assumed he was some sort of Sith... but in the end he just seems like a regular imperial officer who is kind of cosplaying.

Something I've been wondering is if his endgame with Grogu's blood and the experiments on clones is performing some sort of procedure on himself to give him Force powers.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:50 AM on December 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


I've stayed away from this show since it came out. They released the first 10 minutes of the first episode as a trailer at some point and it just turned me off completely. It struck me as Yet Another Edgy "Adult" Action-Drama and I have no interest in in that at all. Seeing my friends talk about how much they loved this episode made me decide to give it a try and I'm so glad I did. I've binged the whole thing in the last few days.

They got me completely with the climax. "Was that an X-wing?" Didn't register. I didn't suspect anything at all until the lightsaber ignited. Then, as it became obvious who the stranger was, I slipped into an altered state and started to hyperventilate. 100% serious.

I will say that after such a thrilling scene, the denouement was a bit of a let-down. I wasn't bothered too much by the technical aspects. It just wasn't a satisfying conclusion to the story for me.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:56 PM on December 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


I was never too worried they were going to sideline Mando and make this the Boba Fett show. For one thing, they'd have to know that that would piss off a lot of this show's fans. For another, all that stuff about the Mandalorian blacklight-saber was clearly setting up some future conflict between Mando and not-Starbuck. So far it's not the most intriguing conflict, to be honest, because you've got Mando being quite willing to hand over the damn sword and the lady whose name sounds like Boca Raton (but isn't) just refusing to take it and giving him the stinkeye.

Gideon trying to Sith-ify himself would make some sense, but I think that'd have to be his own personal thing and not something the rest of the imperials are involved in. It seems like everybody in the Empire is trying to track down Grogu for this mystery project, and I don't think they'd be doing that if all they were going to get out of it was Dark Side powers for Gideon. So, I think this is either leading to Snoke, the resurrection of Palpatine or maybe a bunch of Sith-ed up babies or clones.

Gideon's OK, but honestly I've never found him half as scary as Commandant Herzog. (Did they ever give him a name?) Herzog brought his eerie gravitas to that character, and he was genuinely chilling even when he was just sitting there. Gideon by contrast is a bit of a mustache-twirler. Esposito is a very good actor, but I feel like I'm watching a very good actor play kind of a generic Star Wars villain while Herzog was just some whole other deal.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:44 PM on December 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


Boca Raton. I’m dying.

Agreed about the mustache twirling, but I don’t think much of that director fella’s acting.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 5:05 PM on December 23, 2020


Herzog's dirty, run down Stormtroopers hinting at the galaxy being full of the scattered pieces of the broken Empire, all opportunistic warlords and the few remaining desperate true believers, was one of those indelible pure Star Wars moments and as much as I like Esposito, I would love to see more of that instead of the shiny parts of the Empire that still have it together.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:31 PM on December 23, 2020 [14 favorites]


When I called Katee Sackhoff Not-Starbuck it wasn't some #notmystarbuck thing, it's that I watched the entire run of the BSG reboot and when I see her playing an outer space badass person on this show I keep having to make a mental adjustment that this is not Starbuck. She's typecast in my head. Also, I'm not great with Star Wars names and her character's name in particular just will not stick in my head. Every time I look it up I forget it two minutes later and then I'm back to, "Uh... I know it sounds like Boca Raton."

I only say all this because I realized my previous comment might have made me sound like one of those misogynist, troll-y Star Wars fans who are always crabbing about "Mary Sues" and all that stuff. So I wanted to make it clear that I was not complaining about Katee Sackhoff having played Starbuck (she was superb in the role) and I was not trying to single her character out for having a goofy name. It's Star Wars. They all have goofy names!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:32 AM on December 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


As far as Grogu’s blood, I just assumed it’s going to end up being where all those clones of Snoke come from. I mean, you had tanks full of terrible mishaps and what, and it was only a year ago that an incredibly poorly thought out film purported to end the main storyline, and there were, for no obvious reason, similar tanks filled with more Snokes.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:30 AM on December 24, 2020


The Mandalorian gets this right in a lot of ways

I agree w/ your whole comment and yet also I feel like the show mostly fails at feeling like Star Wars. It's not trying to tell a story like Star Wars of course.. though, even on its own terms, I think it fails a lot stylistically. There's a cold overcast desaturated feeling a lot of the time -- I don't think the show helps itself out by presenting concept art at the end: here's what we just saw, but with more imagination, character, color, and light. The new ships and vehicles are almost all very cowardly, boxy, dark-grey designs; beveled lumps with standard nacelles; palpably afraid of having a shape or discernible features. Any time a TIE fighter is on screen it's a revelation by comparison, and they even remind us they had better sound design too. (When they blew up Mando's Razor Crest I cheered.) Some style elements are missing, like voice distortion over comms, and instant velocity of doors and vehicles. They don't really matter but seem weird to not just include anyway so they do kinda matter. If you're gonna fucking go to Tatooine again just do the fucking other stuff too.

I think the spider cave frog mom episode is sneakily the best of the season. The explodium truck/refinery episode has decent action scenes. The worst episode imo is the Ahsoka episode, which is, like, a plain cold McChicken sandwich of an episode. In general the named characters don't feel very good on the show. They feel very stiff, overserious and fake. It's hard to introduce a badass, and the Mandalorian is not very good at it. It's kind of tryhard and kiddie-brained about presenting its kewl Important characters; its action sequences aren't good enough and there's too many good guys. The show is saved by having the main character be the stiffest baddest-ass of all, except we know him and see his soft side, and we just want the other ppl to go away so we can be alone with Mando and Baby Yoda some more. So given how they were presented in The Mandalorian, to me the idea of spinoff shows for those other characters is lolbarf no thanks.

They did manage to hit a very Star Wars big John Williams drama at the end, though, as finally Mando has some feelings. It felt like a good resolution.

I think I liked S2 better than S1. Not so many highs but fewer lows? The Ahsoka village felt incredibly cursory, yes, but not misbegotten like that S1 village filled with what looked like rich white people playing ethnic dress-up, creepily smiling. And ofc the S2 finale didn't make me feel mentally ill, which is a plus.
posted by fleacircus at 10:00 AM on December 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


Tweet from @ILMVFX
For those who asked... We can now confirm that indeed it is real and it’s spectacular 😀. Moff Gideon's Light Cruiser 5’ practical shooting model from. The Mandalorian. More to come...
Click through for photo.
posted by Nelson at 2:03 PM on December 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


That's interesting:
Favreau is writer, producer, and showrunner of the series, and while talking about it he revealed that the series was shot using practical effects and miniature models of the ships in the series including the bounty hunter ship known as the Razorcrest.

Favreau was obviously looking to embrace the old-school filmmaking techniques that George Lucas used when creating the original Star Wars. So, he teamed up with Industrial Light & Magic to pay homage to the original Star Wars movies by shooting The Mandalorian the same way, which I love! They even used a motion-control rig to shoot it.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:59 AM on December 26, 2020


the lady whose name sounds like Boca Raton (but isn't)

Now she's going to be Boca Raton to me forever.
posted by medusa at 6:50 AM on December 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


Welcome to my world. I'm always like, "Ko Botron? Boko Kotoba? Bookie Kobo? Koboka Bokotron? Fuck it, she's Boca Raton."
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:16 PM on December 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


Just think of it like you were vacationing in Boca Raton, and came back with a tan. And somebody says to you, "Hey looks like you got some color" and you reply, "yeah that's my Boca Tan."
posted by wabbittwax at 9:42 PM on December 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


even more annoyingly unnecessarily making this show All About The Skywalkers. Again.

Please try not to let your imagination dominate your sense of proportion. The show so far has a total screen time of about 11 hours; from when Luke doffs his hood and reveals his identity to when the elevator door closes is a touch over four minutes. The show is “all about the Skywalkers” to the extent that the 1977 movie is all about that krayt dragon skeleton in the desert.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:43 PM on December 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


Is the Krayt dragon's skeleton getting a spin-off? I'm interested...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:06 AM on December 28, 2020 [4 favorites]


It’s a Lucasfilm/Pixar joint production called “The Krayt Beyond”, in which a Krayt dragon exploded before its time teaches new unassigned dragon souls before they begin their lives on Tatooine.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:39 AM on December 28, 2020 [5 favorites]


what do you call a force-sensitive Mandalorian?

A manda-chlorian
posted by BungaDunga at 8:31 AM on December 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


what do you call a force-sensitive Mandalorian?

A manda-chlorian


Ha, you know what I keep coming back to though? How that beskar spear is cool, but it's not the most practical weapon for most situations. Most of Mando's fights are resolved with firearms. But that spear isn't really enough steel to make another suit of armor, unless that suit of armor was made for someone very small.

And that the show is called "The Mandalorian," and that as the brief window Boba Fett show takeover anxiety demonstrated, that doesn't necessarily have to refer to Din Djarin.

And that when Grogu first used the Force deliberately before Ahsoka, they marked the moment with that "eagle cry" musical sting that sometimes plays when Din does something awesome.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:43 AM on December 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


Grogu going Mandalorian has been a favorite bit for artists, certainly.
posted by tavella at 1:42 PM on December 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


The way this is.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:42 PM on December 28, 2020 [4 favorites]


Shouldn’t everyone know who Luke is? He killed the Death Star, his name and face was probably plastered all over the place.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:18 PM on December 29, 2020


Mark Hamil is popular on Twitter and Instagram with 4.2 million followers on Twitter and 5.6 million followers on Instagram. He’s been receiving more attention lately due to his recent digital appearance on the Mandalorian but also for one post he uploaded yesterday December 28.

Here’s a link to his Twitter profile for anyone interested in viewing the tweet. I won’t spoil the fun, but it involves a New Hope reference.

Hamil is mostly known for playing Luke Skywalker, a character that helps destabilize a galactic empire. In real life he’s been one of many who challenge President Trump’s outrageous, democracy-undermining claims.

Hamil and everyone else who challenge autocratic leaders, demonstrate that words, like the Force, can bring down emperors.
posted by mundo at 2:22 PM on December 29, 2020


yeah that's my Boca Tan.

And if she went to Boca Raton, Bo-Katan might get a Boca tan. (Seriously, thanks for the mnemonic device. I think I'll finally remember her freaking name now.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:41 PM on December 29, 2020 [2 favorites]


I figured the mysterious Empire project that requires yoda-blood was the resurrection of Palpatine. Unless he's already alive again, and it's all about the Snoke.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:17 AM on January 3


If it doesn't have to be a fight to the death, they could just arm wrestle for the Dark Saber now that Grogu isn't around to get upset about it. I would require zero suspension of disbelief to accept Katee Sackhoff winning that contest.
posted by straight at 2:23 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


I don't think we need to worry about how Grogu fits into Luke and Ren's story in the prequels. If nothing else it won't be too many years until he's old enough to skip out on his boring mentor to go hang out with his cool space dad.
posted by straight at 2:31 PM on January 3


To be honest the stiffness in the CGI scenes here came pretty close to how I remember Luke's face looking in Return of the Jedi when he was facing Jabba or surrendering to Vader and trying to do that impassive Jedi face.
posted by straight at 4:15 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


If nothing else it won't be too many years until he's old enough to skip out on his boring mentor to go hang out with his cool space dad.

My guess is that he spends 25 years for every year of approximate human development--I think of him as a 50-year-old 2-year-old. So Mando's gonna be long dead by the time the baby hits his teen rebellion years.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:16 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


I've been wondering about the age thing. Yoda was 900 when he died, so I assumed maybe a 10:1 ratio to human years. That would make Grogu 4 in human years though, which would be old enough to talk fluently and understand a lot of what was going on. Maybe they mature more slowly, or Yoda died tragically young due to Force-lightning damage.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:42 AM on January 4


Luke pestered him to death. I thought that was canon?

/sarcasm
posted by cooker girl at 8:39 AM on January 4


That would make Grogu 4 in human years though, which would be old enough to talk fluently and understand a lot of what was going on.

I suspect Grogu knows EVERYTHING that's going on, but is frustrated that these hairless apes keep making mouth noises instead of just thinking at him.
posted by mikelieman at 10:00 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


Humans spend proportionally more time as children than dogs and cats do. I don't know if it's a general rule that longer-lived species also spend a greater proportion of their lives as children, but it doesn't feel obviously wrong either.

So it seems reasonable that Baby yoda is still a baby, and won't be an adult until he's like, idk, 500 or something.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:19 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


If I may self-link again, I got interviewed by a science fiction newsletter about Baby Yoda and the pace of aging/development, in relation to my research on primates and orangutans in particular. "If he continues to follow an ape-like path, it could be a while before Baby Yoda is an adult. Our brains continue to mature into our twenties, more than a quarter of the way through the average human life span of 72. Orangutans have even longer childhoods, with juveniles nursing intermittently through 7 or 8 years of age and only reaching adulthood around age 15 (roughly 40 percent of a typical orangutan lifespan). Researchers hypothesize that the orangutan’s slow maturation and extended nursing period help ensure juvenile survival in rainforests where food availability varies greatly from year to year. Whether Yoda will have a similarly stretched out youth may depend on what the food situation is like on his homeworld..."
posted by ChuraChura at 11:45 AM on January 5 [11 favorites]


As much as I love Grogu, I do wonder about the realism of a species being infantile for many decades. Grogu has revealed himself to be not quite so helpless as he originally appeared, but he is still a baby and he needs constant looking after. Even if his species has the kind of lifespan that would permit the parents to care for their children for 150 years or whatever it is, that seems like a long, long time for a child to be so vulnerable.

It seems Grogu communicates more effectively through telepathy than speech, so maybe that explains Yoda's unusual syntax. We always assumed that Yoda was following the syntax rules of his people's language, but maybe speaking doesn't come naturally to his kind and he's doing the best he can. There are no rules, he's just always struggling to remember if it's "You will be" or "Be, you will."
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:04 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Good point. I took some psych class in college that said essentially that the issue with human babies being so unable to take care of themselves is that human bodies really can only fit the baby in there to cook for nine months, but really they need something like a year or two more in there. Animals can incubate the babies for longer so that they're ready to stand, etc. pretty quickly after being born.

Who the heck knows with this species, though. But they do seem tiny, so....

Good point on the telepathy vs. speech re: Yoda, as well.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:42 PM on January 5


I was raised on Star Trek TNG, and warmed up to Star Wars gradually watching the saga and anthology movies, but this season of Mandalorian made me fall in love. I can't get enough!
posted by polymodus at 1:17 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


As long as people are talking about the "stiffness" of Mark Hamill's face, this is a good place to mention that soon after filming Star Wars the actor was in a severe auto accident, and his face was rebuilt using cartilage from other parts of his body, leaving him with a different appearance, and a certain amount of facial paralysis. So if there is any actor that will benefit from clumsy second-gen CGI de-aging, it's probably him. His face in that era (post-Return of the Jedi) was way more stiff and artificial looking to start with, at least compared to an uninjured human.
posted by seasparrow at 12:44 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


I read a fair bit of spoilers before watching the last episode, so I knew what was coming. Uncanny Luke was a huge improvement on Uncanny Leia for sure. But now that Grogu and Mando (Din? I missed when we established that was his name--I skipped ahead to the finale) are separated, whatever will our hero do? I for one am barely interested in a season three without the little guy.

Why did Din take off his helmet in front of everybody? That seemed off, given that previously he wouldn't even take it off in the privacy of his own ship.

Moff Gideon should get his own show, not Boba Fett. (And come on, not Tatooine AGAIN!)
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:14 PM on January 7


I just want to mention that I watched this episode a couple of nights ago with a dear friend who has had a tough time of things lately--within two years, both her parents, her partner and one of her dogs have all passed away--and she greatly enjoyed it, and made a happy noise when the rescuing Jedi removed his hood and it was Luke Skywalker. It was such a wonderful moment. It's easy to forget, when you watch a lot of media, how individual stories can delight people.
posted by JHarris at 4:59 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


I (and my friend!) both agreed that Moff Gideon is a great villain. We both were curious about what direction the Boba Fett show will take as well, though. And Tatooine is interesting as a nexus of Star Wars, the first planet seen in the series, and an echo in later stories, so long as we see plenty of other planets too. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that the planet has importance to the Force, maybe it would help to explain why there's so many horrible monsters living there.
posted by JHarris at 8:07 PM on January 28


Lucasfilm has fired Gina Carano: Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:40 AM on February 11 [8 favorites]


Well, finally. What took them so long?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:03 AM on February 11


Did she say something new recently? I know she had a history, but it appeared that Disney had been satisfied with her apologizing privately to castmembers, so I was a little surprised at the about face.
posted by tavella at 1:08 PM on February 11


The article 1970s Antihero linked answers both your questions. Well, hints at an answer to the first.
posted by Nelson at 1:18 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Just finished a season 2 re-watch with my partner, who I'd say is more of a Star Trek fan than Star Wars, but they really enjoyed it and were genuinely anxious about what would happen to Grogu. When they saw the previous episode ("The Tragedy") I had to reassure them that neither Din nor Grogu were going to die. Amusingly at the end of this episode they said the Luke reveal was a bit of an anti-climax (I think they were expecting a cool new character).

Grogu reached out to touch Din's face in the same way my 7mo baby does to me.

My now-11mo baby also clings to my ankle like Grogu did in the same scene 😢
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:18 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


I didn't think last week's episode undercut the drama here of Din removing his helmet. Because we get to appreciate the difference between last time, when Din took the helmet off because he had to, and this time, where he takes the helmet off because he wants to.
posted by straight at 9:00 PM on March 1 [8 favorites]


But both times he did it for the baby.
posted by the webmistress at 7:23 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]


On a recent rewatch of Rogue One I noticed that, in the scene in the archive, one of the documents mentioned was called Dark Sabre. It was in the same drive as Stardust (the Death Star plans). Is that significant? I haven't read the novelizations.
posted by orrnyereg at 11:26 AM on April 14


On a recent rewatch of Rogue One I noticed that, in the scene in the archive, one of the documents mentioned was called Dark Sabre. It was in the same drive as Stardust (the Death Star plans). Is that significant? I haven't read the novelizations.

My assumption is this was just an Easter Egg reference to the Darksaber, a now non-canon superweapon built by a Hutt crimelord (it was basically a Death Star super-laser without the surrounding spherical space-station).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:56 PM on April 14


Having looked it up further, the Rogue One quote is "Black Sabre", not "Dark Sabre," for what it's worth.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:58 AM on April 15


Aha! Thanks for the catch!
posted by orrnyereg at 6:19 AM on April 15


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