Luke Reveal from the Mandalorian was perfect nostalgia
Watch out, Moff Gideon, you are about to be hit by an explosion of Star wars nostalgia.
Photo: Courtesy of Disney +
For info: this room will be full of Mandalorian Spoilers for the season two finale.
In the eighth and last episode of The Mandalorian, as Mando and his coterie of Imperial Cruiser intruders battle Moff Gideon and attempt to save Grogu, a hunter suddenly appears.
“Great, an X-wing”, quips Cara Dune. “Have been saved.”
In fact, they are saved. When the pilot of said X-wing disembarks, he proceeds with the lightsaber to fight his way through every robo-protector in Moff Gideon’s army. His face remains wrapped in a hood, protecting his identity, but the fact that Grogu is so energized by the presence of this figure strongly suggests who it could be. This is confirmed when he reaches Mando and Grogu, removes his hood and is revealed to be Luke Skywalker, looking as young, vibrant and Force-filled as he was in Return of the Jedi.
If you are a Star wars fan and your heart hasn’t grown three sizes, at least during that time check your pulse. The idea that Luke should be the one to save Grogu, making Baby Yoda the pupil of the Jedi who was once Actual Yoda’s pupil, is such a beautiful idea and one that should have been obvious – in retrospect, of coursee this was going to happen! – yet somehow it wasn’t, and so landed as a poignant surprise.
The return of this particular Jedi is a perfect example of what Star wars, as a franchise, often tries to do and only occasionally succeeds: marrying a sense of nostalgia with the telling of compelling new stories. In his films he has had mixed success with this. (I claim he did it exactly The force awakens, and if you want to beat me on that you can find me on Twitter.) But in The Mandalorian, especially this season, he’s done it very well, drawing on pre-existing characters and mythology at appropriate and well-chosen times.
The reintroduction of Boba Fett in The Mandalorian, first come “The Marshall”, and more completely in “The tragedy,” has stayed true to the tradition fans have always built around the bounty hunter OG – that despite being a villain, he’s a badass – while also adding more dimension to his character and backstory. background than it had ever had in the original trilogy. The fact that he was played by Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett, the “father” from whom Boba was cloned, in the Star wars prequels was another nod to the history of this massive sci-fi saga.
Considering the final post-credits scene, where Boba and Fennec Shand pay an unfriendly visit to Bib Fortuna, still under the extremely false impression that Boba died in a Sarlacc pit, we are going to learn a lot more about him. A closing teaser notes that Boba Fett’s book will arrive at Disney + in December 2021, a reminder that as wonderful as these hats date back to the good old days of Star wars are, they also play directly in the Disney Strategy from surface mining our beloved childhood pop culture to more income.
Even though the underlying business acumen The Mandalorian ‘S’s actions are pretty obvious, remarkably, that doesn’t make his reminders and heartfelt touches any less effective. Grogu was the shining star of The Mandalorian from the very beginning, precisely because it was both a reminder and something new. The fact that he was immediately nicknamed Baby Yoda was a testimony to that. And yes, of course, it helped that Grogu was incredibly adorable and Imminent gif.
But as adorable as Grogu was, the final appearance of Luke Skywalker – played by Mark Hamill and aged by CGI to look like Luke after the events of Episode VI – is by far the most moving moment of The Mandalorian until now. This is because it brings this series, arguably the most universally appreciated mainstream Star wars work since the films of the 1970s and early 1980s, come full circle where it all began.
When Mando says goodbye to Grogu, a child he was indeed the father of, it is an echo of Yoda’s farewell to Luke in Return of the Jedi, when Yoda confirmed that Darth Vader was the father of young Skywalker. When Luke picks up Grogu and leaves – accompanied by R2D2, because your heart wasn’t bursting sufficient – this imagery is a mirror of Luke and Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. While training on Dagobah, Yoda sat in Luke’s backpack, looking over his shoulder behind him. As Luke leaves with Grogu, he cradles the child on his chest as Grogu looks over Luke’s shoulder to the other side at a teary-eyed Mando.
Video: Disney +
Again, Mando has took off his helmet in this final scene so that Grogu can see his eyes and touch his face. (Skin to skin contact: important for babies even on The Mandalorian.) It also makes the scene much more meaningful as we can see Pedro Pascal’s face and witness the depth of his feelings. As much as the call in all Star wars stories is about action, lightsaber battles and bench! bench! shootings – and there were a lot of bench! bench! in this season finale – it’s also about the strong feelings these stories evoke when they confirm that the thing you loved when you were little is still something worthy of love as an adult. The Mandalorian has confirmed this several times in season two. Our helmets have been taken off and our eyes are a little watery, because of it.
Update: An earlier version of this part incorrectly references Return of the Jedi like Episode III, while of course it is Episode VI. It has been corrected.