I just finished watching the finale of The Mandalorian, and to say that I’m peeved is an understatement. The Mandalorian was a show that felt like it took itself seriously for the first two seasons. There was character development and fascinating storytelling, and the finales left you reeling in some capacity.
I knew this season’s finale was going to have troubles when I learned that it was going to be a relatively short runtime for a season finale, clocking in at forty-one minutes. With credits and the recap, that runtime boils closer to something you’d see from a Clone Wars episode. And sure enough, the finale feels as if it’s moving a million miles an hour to conclude a story that ultimately was as lackluster as they come.
Instead of sharing my thoughts on the latest episode of The Bad Batch I have something else to talk about. Something that I feel is far more important.
This will be a longread.
I’m a Star Wars fan and fanatic. I have been since I was a little girl. The power of the Force and the familial bonds/drama sucked me in like a whirlpool and it took a long time for it to let go. Then Marvel Studios happened.
Since 2014, it seems like Marvel Studios hasn’t failed me yet. That year we got Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, two of the greatest superhero movies ever made and a true testament to the genre. They were the first Marvel films I owned.
Since then, this cinematic universe has managed to never disappoint as it continues to raise the stakes and introduces new characters that manage to steal my heart.
Star Wars, on the other hand, has been a mixed bag. The first two movies under Disney, The Force Awakens and Rogue One, were two scintillating wins back to back. It seemed like Star Wars was back and better than ever. And then…we had three losses in a row.
The Last Jedi has become one of my favorite Star Wars movies but it took me over a year to fully appreciate it. It didn’t take me a year to know that Thor: Ragnarok, the best Marvel movie in 2017, was that good.
Then came Solo: A Star Wars Story, a decent film that I ultimately can’t seem to get the urge to watch anymore. It’s boring, I’m not a fan of Ehrenreich’s Han Solo, and even Donald Glover can’t infuse enough cool to become a truly believable Lando Calrissian. The best thing about that film is Qi’ra and even she can’t get me to watch that movie.
And then there was The Rise of Skywalker. My feelings on that dumpster fire of a Star Wars finale are clear.
My love for Star Wars had tanked greatly but Marvel Studios kept me happy at every turn. In fact, that very same year The Rise of Skywalker came out we got Avengers: Endgame, another fantastic superhero flick and a fitting end to over ten years of superhero excellence. It was, however, The Mandalorian that saved me and made me believe that Star Wars was still worth cherishing.
When Ahsoka told Mando that a Jedi would come for Grogu if he called out it was very clear that we would be seeing another Jedi by the end of the season.
The theories ran rampant. People started speculating that Mace Windu might make his long-awaited return, I started freaking out when I began to spectate Cal Kestis’ live-action debut, and so on and so forth. But no, they didn’t do that. They did what made the most sense but we thought was impossible.
It’s been two days and I still have not fully recuperated from the shock of that stunning finale. There were so many moments to digest, so much storytelling implications to explore, but I’m still trying to process most of what happened in the finale so I’m going to stick to talking about the basics; like the return of *that* character and what I think about the new spin-off coming next December.
I don’t think in the four years I’ve had this blog I’ve written a post specifically thanking an actor for their performance in a show or television series but it’s happening today: I’m thanking Pedro Pascal for his performance in The Mandalorian.
Last year around this time of the year my love for Star Wars had mostly dimmed to nothingness. If not for The Mandalorian and his exciting adventures with The Child, I would’ve been even more depressed. Despite loving the series and being excited for this show’s second season I didn’t dare get too exhilarated for what the second season could off.
The Sequel Trilogy ultimately broke my belief that Star Wars could be great anymore. I felt like the Hollywood goliaths holding the franchise in their hands didn’t understand Star Wars and that they had turned it into a mockery of what it once was. The Rise of Skywalker was an absolute travesty! Yes, there were lightsaber duels and X-wings, beloved characters and brand-new characters that seemed pretty likable, but the overall experience left me hollow as the story made no sense and only seemed to make the franchise as a whole feel like it wasn’t worth watching anymore.
Now, after eight non-stop incredible episodes of The Mandalorian, concluding with an episode that still has me floored, I’m in love with this franchise again. And at the helm of this remarkable series is Pedro Pascal.
I’ve cried a lot this morning. Much more than I would’ve ever expected and I thank Favreau and Filoni for an ending that was all-time epic. The surprises, the delights, the emotional content, it was all glorious. What a conclusion to a perfect series.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a tremendous day.