The Mandalorian Chapter 16: The Rescue ending explained

Giancarlo Esposito is Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian season 2. Photo courtesy of Disney+.
Giancarlo Esposito is Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian season 2. Photo courtesy of Disney+. /

Here’s what the ending of The Mandalorian “Chapter 16: The Rescue” means.

What a series, what an ending to season 2 of The Mandalorian.

If you haven’t seen it yet, come back to this post after you watch the final episode (as well as the post-credits scene).

It was abundantly clear that The Mandalorian would permanently etch its place in Star Wars history when the “asset” Mando was after in Chapter 1 turned out to be The Child, Baby Yoda, the cutest little creature in the galaxy and really the only other prominent character in the Star Wars universe that is Yoda’s species. (Yaddle’s brief appearance in The Phantom Menace aside.)

Since that point, 15 episodes later, The Mandalorian has clearly become arguably the greatest Star Wars story told since the original trilogy introduced the world to this amazing universe.

Through 16 chapters of this amazing story, the bond between Grogu and Din Djarin has unified Star Wars fandom. When Grogu was kidnapped by Moff Gideon’s Dark Troopers, it was only a matter of time before Din would find him and destroy anything in his path to get him back.

To no one’s surprise, that is exactly what happened in this final chapter of season 2 of The Mandalorian — “Chapter 16: The Rescue.”

The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian season 2 finale /

The Mandalorian season 2 finale ending explained

With the help of Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, Cara Dune, Bo Katan, Koska Reeves, and the captive Dr. Pershing, an unlikely crew hatches a plan to rescue Grogu from the clutches of the Imperial Remnant, which is using him for his blood, high “M-count,” and Force sensitivity.

Their plan goes, well, according to plan.

Although it’s certainly not easy, the entire crew makes it safely to the bridge of Moff Gideon’s ship, but Gideon isn’t there. He’s anticipated their plot and is waiting in the cell where Grogu is being held.

It turns out that Gideon’s foresight of this was a masterful manipulation of the good guys’ plan. Gideon knew that once this crew boarded his ship, they would undoubtedly come away with either Grogu, the Darksaber, or both, so he sabotaged the motives of others on board by dueling Mando instead of Bo-Katan, and losing.

Mando is able to survive a battle against a Dark Trooper before his encounter with Moff Gideon and sent the rest of the platoon to the abyss of space, or so we all thought.

After defeating Moff Gideon and taking the Darksaber and Grogu, Mando doesn’t realize that he has completely thwarted Bo-Katan’s plan to reclaim the Darksaber and hopefully restore Mandalore.

Since the Darksaber has to be won in combat, Mando is now its rightful owner and Bo-Katan refuses to take it from him despite his multiple attempts to just give it to her.

As the Dark Troopers make a shocking return to the ship, it appears as though the crew of good guys, locked into the bridge of Gideon’s cruiser, are fish in a barrel. There are too many Dark Troopers and they are too powerful for this crew to take on. Gideon appears on his way to getting free along with the child while the rest on board the cruiser will die.

Until a single X-wing flies into the docking bay…

A cloaked figure emerges from the X-wing and begins to destroy the entire platoon of Dark Troopers one by one with their lightsaber. The closer the figure is to the bridge, the more it becomes apparent — the gloved hand, lightsaber hilt, and all-black robes can only mean one thing — Luke Skywalker was the Jedi who felt Grogu reach out in the Force.

Moff Gideon seems to be the only one who knows who has come aboard his ship, and just as Luke’s father Anakin — Darth Vader — was so terrifying, it appears as though Luke has inspired the same kind of terror even for someone like Moff Gideon, who never appeared afraid of anything until seeing Luke thrash through his platoon of Dark Troopers.

In a scene that was so reminiscent of Darth Vader’s final scene in Rogue One, Luke Skywalker with such a calm yet aggressive style moved through the Dark Troopers on his way to the bridge as though he was doing it with his eyes closed. He came to the bridge and called Grogu to come to him.

Grogu and Din shared an intimate goodbye, and Din even took off his helmet to show Grogu his face. It was an iconic moment that ranks among the greatest in Star Wars history.

After saying their goodbyes, Grogu approaches Luke Skywalker and R2-D2, and because of their time on Coruscant at the Jedi temple, it appears as though R2 instantly recognizes Grogu, but Grogu’s memory has been tampered with. They communicate as only these two characters can, and it almost feels as though Grogu acknowledges that he recognizes R2.

As Din watches with tears in his eyes, Grogu leaves with Luke Skywalker to be trained and properly developed in his force abilities. How amazing is that?

Luke was trained by a 900-year old Yoda in the Force, and now he will train Grogu, the only other of Yoda’s species that Luke would presumably know about.

This moment was such a rush of emotions. What does all of this mean for the future of The Mandalorian?

The next step in Din Djarin’s story is aboard the bridge of that ship. How is he going to solve the issue of being the rightful owner of the Darksaber? There is now a huge rift between Din and Bo-Katan, who won’t accept the Darksaber unless she wins it in combat. She obviously wanted to get it from Gideon, but he wasn’t going to let that happen.

Beyond that, it’s unclear what the future holds for Din. Will he become the ruler of Mandalore? Will his motivations change? Will he and Bo-Katan become enemies? Will he be so distraught at the loss of Grogu that he will revert to bounty hunting again to take his mind off of things? What about finding a simple life on Tatooine with the friends he made at Mos Pelgo?

There’s also the small matter of Moff Gideon being alive. Could Mando and Bo-Katan table their significant issue and help Ahsoka Tano find Grand Admiral Thrawn (and/or Ezra Bridger) with the help of the captive Gideon?

Also, what happened to Dr. Pershing? Is he still sitting on the ship waiting for everyone to return?

Moff Gideon has obviously been doing cloning experiments with Grogu’s blood — what is going to come of that and what role will Din play in attempting to thwart the rise of a new Empire?

And that was only one of the endings.

The Mandalorian Chapter 16 end credits scene explained

If you stuck around for the post-credits scene, you saw Boba Fett take the throne of the underworld at Jabba’s palace on Tatooine. Boba and Fennec Shand will obviously be the main characters in the show that was teased, The Book of Boba Fett.

What will come of that series? What kind of adventure is Boba about to go on? Will we get a live-action version of The Bad Batch as Boba joins forces with Fennec Shand (who is in the new Bad Batch series) and some of his clone “brothers” to rule the Star Wars underworld? Will he aid in the rise of Palpatine somehow?

Obviously, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have developed a long-term storyboard, but with where things left off in this final chapter of season 2 (and really all throughout season two in general), there are so many different arcs to be taken, and there is no shortage of stories to be told.

The shocking revelation of Luke Skywalker was an absolutely epic revelation in this story that already included some of the most epic moments in Star Wars throughout season 2.

The killing of the krait dragon in Chapter 1. The revelation of Ahsoka Tano in live-action. Boba Fett’s return. The first evidence of any somewhat successful cloning operation from the Empire. Bo-Katan in live-action. Mando winning the Darksaber.

And then Luke Skywalker hearing Grogu’s call.

What’s really fascinating is that Luke didn’t stick around to get any information out of Moff Gideon when he could have potentially learned of the Empire’s cloning experiments.


At any rate, the wait for more content from this particular arc of Star Wars is going to be painful. This was an incredible conclusion, and hats off to Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and the tremendous lineup of directors for season 2, including Peyton Reed for this final chapter.

What a show. What a story. What an ending.

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