The Mandalorian season two finale was emotional, exciting and filled with Star Wars Easter eggs as Mando (Pedro Pascal) and his allies took the fight to Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) to save Baby Yoda.
But after all the excitement, the final moments of the episode concluded season two on a bittersweet note, with a new twist hinting at a dark future for series breakout Grogu (aka the Child, aka the aforementioned Baby Yoda).
Warning – major spoilers follow for the Mandalorion Chapter 16: The Rescue. Check out our latest The Mandalorian review if you do want a quick recap before reading.
In the finale’s closing moments Mando finally hands Grogu over to a Jedi teacher, with no less than Luke Skywalker himself (Mark Hamill) arriving to take him into his care.
“He is strong with the Force. But talent without training is nothing,” Luke explains.
“I will give my life to protect the Child. But he will not be safe until he masters his abilities.”
It’s an emotional parting between Mandalorian father and green muppet son, with the final shot of the series (beyond a Boba Fett post-credits scene) seeing Luke and R2-D2 departing with Baby Yoda in hand.
— Cooper Foard ???? (@foard_with_an_a) December 18, 2020
But as many fans have noted, it’s possible that it’s an even sadder ending than it first appeared – because from what we’ve seen in the Star Wars sequel films, things don’t end well for Luke’s group of students.
— snail ☆彡 (@afterthefIood) December 18, 2020
Specifically, as seen in 2015’s The Force Awakens and 2017’s The Last Jedi, Luke’s entire Jedi training program is wiped out by Snoke (Andy Serkis), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the Knights of Ren, with no survivors mentioned beyond Luke himself. The tragedy is so extreme that it drove Luke to give up on Jedi life entirely, retreating into his hermitage and hoping the order would die out.
— 『Isaac』 (@isaac_irving01) December 18, 2020
Now, Baby Yoda is headed to join that catastrophe – and on social media fans reacted with dismay to his terrible fate.
— Mandalorian (@Mando3637) December 18, 2020
But is Grogu’s end really so foretold? After all, there’s a bit of a gap between The Mandalorian (which is set a few years after Return of the Jedi) and The Force Awakens, with 25 years separating the two stories.
While the long-lived Grogu would easily still be around at the time of Luke’s loss (which took place a few years before The Force Awakens) it’s also entirely likely that he could have moved on from his teaching in the intervening decades, reuniting with his Mandalorian stepdad for more spacefaring adventures.
On the other hand, there’s no mention of him by Luke or any other character by the time of the sequel trilogy – we feel like an extra Jedi wandering around would be worth bringing up in the battle against the First Order – so even if Grogu isn’t dead, it seems like something must have taken him off the board by that time.
Who knows – maybe season three will see Baby Yoda and Mando heading out of reach into the Unknown Territories of space (a largely unmapped, unreachable portion of the galaxy), or maybe Grogu will simply give up his Jedi aspirations long before he’d be in danger from Kylo Ren.
Frankly, we’ll accept any storyline at all that saves Baby Yoda from a fiery sequel death. It might make Kylo Ren’s eventual redemption even harder to swallow…
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