The Mandalorian Chapter 16 recap: It takes a village

The Mandalorian chapter 16
The Mandalorian chapter 16 /

The Mandalorian Chapter 16 brings the season’s heroes together to mount a daring rescue of the child. How will they fare against Moff Gideon?

It’s the finale of The Mandalorian Season 2 and the show goes out with quite a bang. Bringing back the characters introduced this season, The Mandalorian Chapter 16 is action-packed, with some heartfelt moments and a surprising ending.

And, to viewers who switch off at the credits, this episode of the Disney Plus show has a post-credits scene so remember to keep watching.

The Mandalorian Chapter 16 recap: The Doctor

The Mandalorian chapter 16
The Mandalorian chapter 16 /

If you want to know how action-packed The Mandalorian Chapter 16 is, look no further than the opening scene. Boba Fett in Slave 1 chases down an Imperial shuttle ferrying one Dr. Pershing—aka, the man who knows where Moff Gideon is.

Boba makes short work of the battle and Mando and Cara Dune soon board the shuttle. But the Imperial stooges with Pershing aren’t ready to die just yet. One of them practically washes his hands off the Empire but his co-pilot shoots him before he can gain his freedom.

The remaining pilot is a smart cookie—he threatens to kill Pershing because he knows how important Pershing is to Mando. But this pilot doesn’t know what to do with the upper-hand. He recognizes Cara as an Alderaanian and needles her about her planet’s destruction—he was on the Death Star when Alderaan was destroyed, and he wants Cara to know it.

Despite holding Pershing too close for comfort, Cara manages to take the shot and kill the pilot, delivering Pershing into Mando’s safe hands. Don’t annoy an Alderaanian with a blaster.

The Mandalorian Chapter 16 recap: Alliances

For a bounty hunter who was once a lone ranger, Mando now has some staunch allies fighting by his side. Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, and Cara Dune helped Mando get crucial information on Moff Gideon’s whereabouts. But as we see in The Mandalorian Chapter 16, they need more help.

We haven’t seen Bo-Katan Kryze, rightful heir to Mandalore, and her fellow Mandalorian, Koska Reeves, since Chapter 11. For the finale, and Grogu’s rescue, Mando’s going to need all the help he can get—and who better than the heiress with a bone to pick with Gideon?

But Bo-Katan and Koska aren’t initially interested in the proposition of going into battle for Grogu. They have no connection to the child—and they don’t think they can find Gideon. Plus, Boba’s presence ruffles a few feathers.

Bo-Katan fought in the Clone Wars and she knows how clones sound—they sound like Boba, son of Jango Fett, the template for the clones. But Boba isn’t like the other clones and he does not appreciate being clubbed in the same category. He and Koska tussle for a while but eventually Bo-Katan calls for a cease-fire.

If Gideon and the Darksaber are within reach, Bo-Katan wants in. And once Grogu is safe, Mando promises to help Bo-Katan free Mandalore.

The Mandalorian Chapter 16 recap: The Rescue

Pershing is a talker—he gives up all the secrets about Moff Gideon’s lightcruiser in The Mandalorian Chapter 16. Fennec grabs Pershing’s code-cylinder for Mando—he can use it to stop the Darktroopers from joining the fight.

Getting onboard the lightcruiser takes a bit of work—and it gets hairy. Boba in Slave 1 fires several volleys at the Imperial shuttle, now with Bo-Katan at the helm. He makes it look good—a bit too good.

Gideon unleashes his TIE fighters—more than Boba can handle. Bo-Katan improvises by crashing the shuttle into the launch bay. The Imperials aren’t happy, but they don’t have to worry about it for long.

Bo-Katan, Koska, Fennec, and Cara march out, guns blazing. Let’s take a moment to appreciate four female characters getting such a badass scene in Star Wars. They make short work of the Imperials on their way to the bridge. But, once they reach, they’re stumped. Where’s Gideon?

The Mandalorian Chapter 16 recap: The Darksaber

The Mandalorian chapter 16
The Mandalorian chapter 16 /

With the team distracting the rest of the cruiser’s crew, The Mandalorian Chapter 16 sees Mando make his way to the Darktroopers’ hold to keep them in place. Too late. Gideon’s activated them and Mando arrives just as they’re about to step out.

Though Mando manages to close the doors on them, one trooper gets through. While this trooper pummels Mando, the others try to break through the door. It takes everything Mando has to stop the one trooper—and he finally decapitates it using his Beskar staff. Then he purges the hold and sends the Darktroopers into the dead of space.

Unfortunately, the battle doesn’t end there. At the brig, Mando finds Grogu, with Moff Gideon standing over him, Darksaber poised to strike at a moment’s notice.

Mando knows Bo-Katan wants that saber but he just wants his son. He tells Gideon he can keep the Darksaber if Mando can have Grogu back. Surprisingly, Gideon agrees. Or does he?

The moment Mando turns his back on Gideon to free Grogu, Gideon strikes. Fortunately, Beskar can handle the Darksaber and Mando is skilled enough to best Gideon.

The Mandalorian Chapter 16 recap: That Surprising Cameo

Mando brings Gideon to Bo-Katan in the cockpit and she is not pleased. Turns out that Mando defeating Gideon means the Darksaber is now rightfully his. He can’t just hand it over to Bo-Katan—the story of her winning the saber is as important as wielding the weapon. She needs to fight Mando to win the saber back if she is to rule Mandalore again.

This appears to be a departure from what we’ve seen in Star Wars: Rebels. In that show, Sabine Wren, rightful wielder of the Darksaber, did hand over the saber to Bo-Katan so she could rule Mandalore and Sabine could continue fighting for the Rebellion. Not sure how this new story fits with the Darksaber’s legacy.

But there are more pressing problems to deal with in The Mandalorian Chapter 16. Chiefly that the Darktroopers are droids and the vacuum of space has done nothing to slow them down. The troopers are back and breaking down the blast doors.

Things look bad for the heroes when a lone X-Wing stops by. Grogu seems interested, but the rest of the team have no idea what to expect. Watching on the monitors, they see a robed being, likely a Jedi, wielding a green lightsaber and making extremely short work of the Darktroopers.

When he arrives at the cockpit, the Jedi removes his hood to reveal Luke Skywalker (played by Max Lloyd-Jones and voiced by Mark Hamill). Luke heard Grogu’s call through the Force and he’s here to train the child. But Grogu isn’t willing to go—he wants to stay with his father.

As Luke explains, Grogu needs Mando to tell him he can go—it’s what Ahsoka had told him. Grogu is too attached to Mando and it will make training him very hard.

Heartbroken, Mando tells Grogu that he should go with Luke and be with his fellow Jedi. Grogu still dithers and then reaches out to Mando’s helmet. Mando understands and removes his helmet so his son can see his face. Grogu reaches out and touches his father’s chin, and Mando feels his son’s hand for the first time, moments before handing him over to Luke. Yes, fans, we know you’re reaching for those tissues.

By the time R2-D2 arrives, Grogu seems to have accepted his new path. Luke promises to protect Grogu with his life and he departs with the child and R2 as a non-helmeted Mando, Cara, Fennec, Bo-Katan, and Koska look on. What a way for The Mandalorian Chapter 16 to end.

The Mandalorian Chapter 16 recap: The Post-Credits Scene

But wait! There’s more! The Mandalorian Chapter 16 has a scene after the credits. On Tatooine, in what used to be Jabba the Hutt’s palace, the deceased Hutt’s once-loyal advisor, Bib Fortuna (Matthew Wood), now reigns supreme. Not for long.

In Return of the Jedi-style, a Gamorrean guard is shot and comes rolling down the stairs, this time followed by Fennec Shand. She takes out the rest of Bib Fortuna’s crew and frees a Twi’lek dancer. Then Boba comes in.

Despite Bib Fortuna’s pleasantries and pleas, Boba ignores him and then shoots him down. Pushing the body out of the way, Boba seats himself on the throne with Fennec by his side. A closing card announces the imminent arrival of ‘The Book of Boba Fett’.

Final Thoughts: The Mandalorian Chapter 16 Has Memorable, Heart-Pumping Action

The Mandalorian Chapter 16 brings the second season of the show to a close. And if the after-credits scene is anything to go by, this may be the end of Din Djarin’s story, with the show moving its focus to another Mandalorian, Boba Fett, and Fennec Shand.

It would be interesting to see the show go the anthology route, though we can’t help but feel like we haven’t seen enough of Din Djarin. He has been changed forever by his son—what will he be like now that he is no longer a clan of two?

This season has been an incredible homage to Star Wars—there are so many visual throwbacks, even in this episode, that it feels like a much-loved and familiar universe. The action scenes have been unparalleled and a thrill to watch.

However, we can’t ignore the fact that certain elements have marred this season and upcoming spin-offs. Gina Carano seems to be doubling down on her problematic tweets. Though Rosario Dawson has cleared up the allegations against her, there have been no updates from her accuser. There are also some allegations of transphobia against Bill Burr that call into question his casting.

Of course, the Disney and Star Wars machine is steaming ahead with both Carano and Dawson leading their own spin-offs. For Star Wars fans, it dims the enjoyment of the series if they feel so othered by casting decisions.

The Mandalorian has been a fun watch and seeing Din and Grogu bond was a joy. But Star Wars doesn’t exist in a vacuum and one hopes that the show’s creators will note how marginalized fans feel as they look forward to the next season.

Bringing back Luke Skywalker in the finale was a bold move, but an effective one. We’re drawn back into the galaxy we love so much, and fans will be relieved to know that Grogu is in good hands, for now.

It is, however, a little surprising that the creators didn’t choose a different Jedi to train Grogu, given that Luke’s legacy ends in the creation of Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren, and the deaths of the rest of his padawans. Why convolute the timeline even more? The option to bring in video game characters, or even Ezra Bridger, was open.

The showrunners have balanced homage and fan-service this season—the episodes have not felt over-bloated with characters. The promise of giving Boba Fett and Fennec Shand their due in the third season is an exciting development. These are fan-favorite characters who definitely deserve some additional screen time.

Returning to Tatooine suggests we may see more of Cobb Vanth (yet another popular character, despite his curtailed screen time). Who else will be found wandering under the binary suns in The Mandalorian Season 3?

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What did you think of The Mandalorian Chapter 16? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Catch The Mandalorian on Disney Plus.