The Mandalorian 2×8 Review: Chapter 16 – The Rescue
‘The Rescue’ had me shaking with increasing amounts of uncontrollable sobbing from beginning to end. What a masterpiece!
‘The Rescue’ was exciting from the moment it began, with Cara and Mando commandeering an Imperial Shuttle and then Mando and Boba Fett setting off to find Bo-Katan and Koska. This is just the set up for where the episode ultimately ends up going, but it still gets the blood pumping, and the rest of the episode doesn’t give you even a minute to catch your breath. The most peaceful moment is when Bo-Katan and Mando act like the only adults in the room and strike a deal; Mando gets the child and Bo-Katan gets the Dark Saber. And with that, our team is off on their rescue mission!
Once we get to our main battle location, Fennec, Cara, Bo-Katan, and Koska split off into their own little squad and kick a serious amount of ass. If you’ve been reading my reviews, you know I’ve been struggling to separate the Gina Carano controversy from her character, but I was still able to enjoy this sequence to a large degree. My issues with her remain, but these four characters had an absolutely flawless arc in this episode and I’m incredibly pleased by it. It’s incredibly difficult for a lot of us to separate the artist from the art, but I’m glad I could do so for a few moments and enjoy this.
We also got to see the Dark Troopers in action in ‘The Rescue.’ Honestly, every bit of music that accompanied their appearance was spectacular. I realize that Star Wars without John Williams can be weird sometimes, but the score for The Mandalorian has always been incredibly strong. This is just another example of how fantastic it is. My only mild complaint (and believe me, it’s mild) is that they were defeated so quickly. They were built up for many episodes, then Mando flushed a bunch out an airlock and Luke appears to crush the second batch of them just a bit later. There may be more to come later, but these ones seemed to be defeated fairly easily and may end up acting as fodder without too high of stakes.
And oh yeah, Luke is here.
LUKE IS HERE??!
The CGI used to make Mark Hamill look younger seemed much more seamless than what was used Carrie Fisher look younger in Rogue One. I’m not sure if it was actually better, or if we merely have the benefit of experiencing this on a much smaller screen, and thus can’t notice the weirdness and almost uncanny valley nature of the effects. The moment I saw the green Light Saber I knew it was him, but I thought they would avoid showing his face to skip any potential CGI woes. But they went there, and it worked.
Perhaps if I had a bigger screen, I might feel differently, but it looked fine on my dinky little laptop, okay? But, for context, I also couldn’t see anything during ‘The Long Night‘ so by all means take my opinion on these effects with a grain of salt.
Or maybe Mark Hamill has a super-secret skincare routine and there was no CGI? Who knows, man. Who knows.
While this was a highly action-packed episode, it still had depth, which is honestly one of the most impressive skills that The Mandalorian has at its disposal. I’ve always loved Star Wars, and I’ve always enjoyed discussing the deeper philosophical aspects of it, but a lot of the time the content we get on-screen tends to lean more in favor of the action sequences than the philosophy. One line from Moff Gideon about how Bo-Katan and her crew killed countless people brought us back to the philosophical question that Mayfeld brought up last episode.
I’m not the biggest fan of the ‘bothsidesism‘ arguments. In both real life and the world of Star Wars, there is one side that is oppressive and authoritarian, while the other side is fighting for freedom and democratic ideals. The two are not comparable. But at the same time, taking the position of someone in the middle, like Mayfeld, or someone who is a soldier for the authoritarian side, can add some nuance to an otherwise black and white situation. Nuance is always more interesting than black and white thinking, so while I’m clearly on the side of the resistance, I appreciate the questions this type of situation raise.
‘The Rescue’ also had a whole lot of heart. Mando and Grogu saying goodbye to each other as Luke takes him to be trained just broke me. I started basically crying the moment the green Light Saber lit up, and kept crying through the entire goodbye scene. It made me a complete emotional mess and I don’t know if I’ll be able to rewatch it without breaking down again. These two characters love each other a lot, but our baby has an enormous power that he needs to train with, so this is what’s best for him. But damn, dude, it breaks your heart to see it.
So important question: was Baby Yoda/Grogu cute this episode? Hell yes, he was. Especially during this highly emotional scene that felt like a punch to the heart. Damn, I love him.
After Luke took Grogu away at the end of ‘The Rescue’ I looked down at how much time was left of the episode and realized there was much more left than a simple roll of the credits would take. To my delight, we got an extra scene! It seems we’re getting something called The Book of Boba Fett in December 2021. Back when the Star Wars spin-offs were first announced, there was an untitled Boba Fett project slated to be produced, but I honestly thought they’d swapped that out for The Mandalorian instead. Looks like I was wrong! We get both! And, honestly, the part I’m most excited about is Fennec. She’s really won me over and I hope she remains central to Boba’s story. It’s fantastic.
We are now entering another dark period with no new Mandalorian content. Hopefully, this period will be less stressful for us as the real world seems to get itself back on track, but I know it’ll be painful to go without any new Mando content. Keep your head held high, friends. We’ll get more Star Wars soon! And quite a lot of it.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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