I’m late to the party on this one.
The season 2 finale of The Mandalorian titled “The Rescue” culminated with the ultimate surprise. Luke Skywalker made his triumphant return to answer the call put out into the universe by Grogu (Baby Yoda).
Five years removed from the events of Return of the Jedi, Luke saved the day by destroying the Imperial Dark Troopers and took Grogu to train him in the ways of the Force. Din Djarin, as the titular character, fulfilled his mission to unite his little green friend with a Jedi in the definitive bittersweet ending.
I admit, they got me!
A whirlwind of emotions began with the sight of a lone X-Wing fighter racing past the viewport of the Imperial Light Cruiser. “Wait a minute, Luk… No, I’m not going to do that to myself,” I thought as there was no way Disney would do this on a TV show, right?
From then on, it got better and better!
The hooded Jedi cloaked in familiar black attire wielded his iconic green lightsaber while displaying a mastery of the Force Star Wars fans’ dreams of seeing. Black and white security footage engulfed with Luke dispatching the Dark Troopers looked all too easy.
Finally, the infamous hallway scene. Like his father before him, Luke tore down the evil droids with cunning precision and Force crushed the last trooper. Grogu points to the blast doors. Din Djarin acknowledges and opens the doors.
“IS IT? IS IT?” Raced through my mind as Luke removed his hood, confirming what we already knew. What we felt. “IT’S LUKE SKYWALKER!” I said to myself as the tears began to flow. Din Djarin cautiously asks Luke if he’s a Jedi. “HE’S THE JEDI,” I blurted out as I became dwarfed by the enormity of the moment.
Tears of joy turned to tears of sadness as Din and Grogu said their heartfelt goodbye to one another. Grogu still didn’t want to leave until the familiar robotic beeps signaled the arrival of R2-D2. Like a child enamored with a new toy, Grogu waddled over to the blue and white Astro droid. The two acknowledged each other in the cutest way, affirming they’re going to be best friends.
Tears of sadness turned to tears of admiration for the moment as a whole.
One month later, I still can’t believe what happened. We saw the version of Luke Skywalker…Jedi Master Luke Skywalker that the prequel trilogy denied us. Coupled with the Grogu/Din farewell; Lucasfilm/Disney delivered the greatest Star Wars story since the final credits rolled in 1983.
I wish I could watch that episode over and over again for the first time. The optimism of Luke Skywalker is something we all aspire to in one form or another. Din Djarin and Grogu are now indelibly etched in the fabric of popular culture.
Din will continue to do his Mandalorian thing. As for Grogu, since his species can live up to 900 years-old, we’ll be treated to the rarity of seeing the little guy grow up as he’s raised in front of generations of fans.
Thank you, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, for creating a story that I will truly never forget.
Thank you for giving us the real rise of Skywalker.