‘Chapter 24: The Return’ marks the end of another season of The Mandalorian. Fans have had very mixed reviews about the direction this season took. It strayed from what we were used to but gave us the chance to learn about more characters and opened the Star Wars galaxy.
But how strong was the finale?
Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) returned once again for a final showdown with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) in an action-packed episode. When Din was captured at the end of the last episode, many viewers speculated that Disney may plan on killing him off.
The focus this season has been on Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and other Mandalorians more than Din. Another popular theory was that he would have his mind wiped and forget Grogu, using the machine that was introduced to us in ‘Chapter 19: The Convert’. While both of these theories would be interesting to see on-screen, it is far from what happened.
Instead, the plot remains consistent and follows Bo-Katan as she leads the Mandalorians in charge to take back Mandalore. We see them battling against Gideon’s new and improved Dark Troopers. The Armorer joined in on the action this time and we finally got to see how she fights.
The sequence of Bo-Katan, The Armorer, and the other Mandalorians fighting in mid-air against the Dark Troopers was spectacular and had Star Wars action scene written all over it.
Din faces off against Gideon alone at one point as he and Grogu are separated in a heart-wrenching scene. Viewers are put at ease quickly, however, as Grogu shows off his recently learned force abilities against Gideon’s guards.
In theory, this sounds like what fans have been waiting for, a chance for Grogu to show his power. Unfortunately, the finale falls flat with this scene simply due to CGI and SFX. We know Grogu is a puppet, but his stiff movements break the immersion in this scene. Hopefully, as The Mandalorian and its graphics evolve, Grogu’s movements will become more fluid and feel more natural.
One force scene with Grogu that was impressive to watch was when he shields himself, Din, and Bo-Katan from an explosion, the scene echoing that of Kanan’s in Star Wars: Rebels.
One point that was disappointing in the finale was the reveal of ‘the scientist’ and the cloning sub-plot. Since season one, we have known that the remaining Imperials were interested in Grogu and the Force. In the finale, it was revealed that Gideon was attempting to clone himself with the added bonus of force sensitivity. He explains this in a throw-away line, and Din destroys the clones within a few seconds, so it was rather disappointing that this idea was not taken further.
Gideon’s ‘end’ (if he is really gone) was rushed in my opinion. We had just been introduced to him again and in the blink of an eye, his story is over. In the short time he did have, Esposito as usual killed this role. His smugness and collected, chilling delivery are the perfect combination for a Star Wars baddie.
The episode does tie up some loose ends nicely, whilst leaving some things unanswered and available as future plotlines.
For instance, we see the Foundling from the first episode of this season finally get his initiation completed. We also see Din officially adopt Grogu, now known as Din Grogu, and the Armorer lays out their future plan for them: “You must take your apprentice on his journeys, just as your teacher did for you”.
Some things left unanswered include the possible consequences of Gideon destroying the Darksabre, and the existence of the Mythosaur.
To wrap up, this was a fun finale to watch and definitely one of the best episodes of this season. The acting and graphics were spot-on for the most part, but the plot this season felt muddled. This definitely showed in this finale, as it seemed rushed in places. However, I do hope that the next season will return focus to Din and Grogu’s adventures around the galaxy and bring back some of the energy that season one brought.
After all, this is the Way.
Watch all episodes of The Mandalorian now on Disney+
Featured Image Credit: Jefferson Chacon / Collider
Second year student journalist studying Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Journalism Studies.
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