What a Babu Frik’in weekend this is for a galaxy far, far away. Just a few short days after J.J. Abrams brought the entire Skywalker Saga to a pretty divisive close with The Rise of Skywalker, Jon Favreau and Co. closed out the first season of the first-ever live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. Now, Rise of Skywalker has the clear advantage in the amount of lines rendered unnecessarily horny by Billy Dee Williams, but I feel like The Mandalorian was the more satisfying conclusion overall; “Redemption” was an action-packed family affair directed by Taika Waititi that opened up more than a few avenues into season 2, but also answered its fair share of questions. First and foremost: Who is the Mando under the mask?
Surprise! He looks just like Pedro Pascal and his name Din Djarin. (Which, hilariously, Pascal himself accidentally revealed like two months ago, the scamp.) Mando’s past was revealed in grand fashion by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), season 1’s ultimate big bad who seems to know everything except that “until nightfall” is an absurdly long time to let captives hang around when it’s only like, 3 in the afternoon. The massive Wild West shootout on Navarro was The Mandalorian‘s fieriest set-piece so far, but things only took a turn for the emotional once the action moved into the sewers. Mando’s clan is mostly gone, routed by the Empire after they jet-packed their way into the public eye back in episode 3, but The Armorer (Emily Swallow) stuck around to harvest all that sweet, sweet Beskar left behind. She gives Mando a sigil, the Mudhorn—ensuring that every day Din Djarin can proudly look to his armor and remember the time an alien rhinoceros just absolutely fucked his entire day up—and a new mission: Return Baby Yoda to his home planet, wherever that may be.
IG-11 (Waititi), reprogrammed to protect Baby Yoda at all costs, valiantly braves a lava river and activates his self-destruct protocol to kill a squad of Stormtroopers, clearing the way for Mando, Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) to walk right into a TIE fighter attack courtesy of Moff Gideon. One genuinely thrilling jet-pack altercation later and Gideon’s ship is in the dirt. Din Djarin and his beautiful green son blast off into the cosmos to find out how Baby Yodas are made, and we’re set up for an already-greenlit season 2.
But first! “Redemption” ends on an image that got Dave Filoni fans a-screamin’ and opened up a few dozen questions as we leave season 1 behind. Such as: