The following recap, by the very definition of the word recap, contains major spoilers from The Mandalorian‘s Season 2 finale.
The Mandalorian sought to rescue Grogu from Moff Gideon’s clutches in the Disney+ hit’s Season 2 finale — and along the way, he got an unexpected helping hand.
A gloved helping hand, from no less than Luke Skywalker himself.
Mando & Co.’s overall rescue plan unfurled pretty perfectly. After commandeering an Imperial shuttle carrying Dr. Pershing and then soliciting the help of Bo-Katan and Koska Reeves, they staged a fake dogfight between the shuttle and Boba Fett in Slave I. Dropping out of hyperspace near Gideon’s light cruiser, Bo in the shuttle requested an emergency landing, but was denied. As dispatched TIE fighters got into it with Slave I, Bo landed/skidded the shuttle in the cruiser’s launch tube, keeping other TIE fighters from getting out. As Bo, Koska, Cara and Fennec hopped out of the shuttle and started mowing through stormtroopers, Mando slipped off to find Grogu — while hopefully sealing off in time the platoon of powering-up Dark Troopers, along the way.
Mando was a second too slow, though, and had to duke it out with one Dark Trooper, ultimately (but barely) besting it by driving his Beskar spear through its neck and wrenching off its head; he then sucked the others out into space by opening an airlock. The ladies meanwhile made easy work of the troopers they faced, before arriving at an empty bridge. We and Mando then saw that Gideon was in Grogu’s cell, holding the kid at Darksaber-point. After some back and forth, Mando said Gideon could keep his saber as long as he gets the kid. Gideon agreed… but then reneged on that deal, soon as Mando turned his back to pick up Grogu, and a duel ensued — Darksaber vs. spear of pure Beskar (the only material it cannot cut through). Mando wound up knocking the Darksaber away and gaining the upper hand, but spared Gideon’s life. The look on Bo’s face when Mando brought the Moff to the bridge was not a happy one, however, seeing as the Darksaber’s true “power” comes from having seized it during battle. Meaning, it was of less use to her unless she beat Mando in combat for it.
That sticky wicket, however, took a back seat to the more pressing matter of the Dark Troopers returning to and boarding the cruiser, marching toward the bridge, and parking outside its blast door. As they begin hammering at the door, crimping it bit by bit, Mando and the others raised their guns and readied for what Gideon warned will be a futile battle. But then….
But then, an X-Wing appears outside, and it boards the cruiser. The monitors show a robed figure masterfully wielding a green lightsaber, slicing and dicing its way through Dark Trooper after Dark Trooper, using a Jedi hand wave to lob the occasional one out of the way/against a wall. Once the Jedi arrives at the bridge, Mando — clocking Grogu’s interest/”connection” — OKs the door to be opened. In walks the Jedi, wearing a glove over one bionic hand. He pushes back his hood, and it’s Luke Skywalker! (I hereby give props to those who suggested we’d get a CGI’d version of a younger Mark Hamill. I naively underestimated the production budget. Respect, plus 250 Imperial Power User points.)
Mando suggests Grogu doesn’t want to go, but Luke explains that while Grogu is strong with the Force, “talent without training is nothing.” (Knows of that, he does.) Luke assures Mando, “I will give my life to protect him,” adding that Grogu is not safe until he has mastered his abilities. Mando concedes, telling his wee ward, “Go on. That’s who you belong with, one of your kind. I will see you again, I promise.” At Grogu’s urging, Mando removes his helmet for a proper face-to-face farewell, before setting him down… to then be greeted by an arriving R2-D2! The two little guys seem quite excited to meet. Luke picks up Grogu and says to Mando et al, “May the Force be with you.”
But wait, there is more.
Because in a post-credits scene, we return to Tatooine — namely, what used to be Jabba the Hutt’s palace, where Bib Fortuna is now living large. His good time is interrupted by laser fire, as Fennec Shand comes down the stairs, using one of her shots to free a shackled Twi-lek. Boba Fett follows behind her, and Bib begins to go on about the “rumors” he had heard of the great bounty hunter’s demise — but he gets cut short/dead by a blaster shot. Boba then claims the “throne,” while Fennec grabs some blue booze to swig. A title card comes up saying, “THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT…. COMING DECEMBER 2021” — as in the announced premiere date for Season 3.
UPDATE: It has since been clarified that The Book of Boba Fett is the “third chapter” in the Mandalorian franchise, but very much a standalone spinoff series. The Mandalorian Season 3 will begin filming in 2021, premiere date TBD.