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The Ending Of The Mandalorian Chapter 16 Explained

The Mandalorian wrapped up its sophomore season on December 18, 2020, and within its roughly 45 minute runtime, it packed plenty of action, surprises, and huge moments. Spoilers for chapter 16 of The Mandalorian, "The Rescue," ahead!

As Mando (Pedro Pascal) and his intrepid gang — Boba Fett (Temeura Morrison), Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and her gang, and Fennec Shard (Ming-Na Wen) embark on a risky mission to invade an imperial ship, rescue Grogu, and defeat Empire higher-up Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), they end up fighting off everything from Stormtroopers to Dark Troopers to Moff Gideon himself. Mando, with the help of his Beskar spear, manages to subdue Moff Gideon... but moments after that, the group finds themselves in peril again as Darktroopers storm the flight deck.

However, a mysterious figure emerges just in time, decimating Dark Troopers left and right before revealing his identity as one of Star Wars' most familiar — and beloved — faces. Here's the ending of The Mandalorian season 2, from returning favorites to the future of the show, explained.

Mando's next adventure will take him to Mandalore

Separated from the group, Mando finds Moff Gideon alone with Grogu, and the two end up deuling in hand to hand combat. After a pretty spectacular fight sequence, Mando bests Moff Gideon once and for all, bringing him to Bo-Katan, who wanted to defeat the villain herself, as a prize. However, in defeating Moff Gideon, Mando has created an interesting new problem; as the Imperial boss explains, according to Mandalorian custom, the Darksaber belongs only to whomever wins it in battle, and that determines who can sit on the throne of Mandalore.

Faced with a dumbfounded Bo-Katan, who has been fighting for the throne for years, Mando tells her he'll happily give her the Darksaber. But as Moff Gideon then points out, it simply doesn't work that way. Mando has seemingly already agreed to help Bo-Katan take back the planet of Mandalore, but their new conflict certainly throws a monkey wrench into the works. Clearly, these two allies will be at odds now that Mando has become the apparent Chosen One.

Grogu moves on from the Mandalorian

Sadly, it seems as if the cutest cast member of The Mandalorian may appear on the show a little less frequently going forward — if he shows up again at all. At the end of the episode, when all hope seems lost, a Jedi ends up answering Grogu's call that he clearly sent out from the Jedi temple in "The Tragedy," and in an exciting twist, it's none other than Luke Skywalker himself — thanks to some clever de-aging technology used on original Star Wars actor Mark Hamill.

Grogu is immediately drawn to Luke, who's joined by beloved droid R2D2, but is still hesitant to leave his surrogate father. After Mando grants permission and is assured that Luke will protect the tiny creature with his life, he says a heartbreaking goodbye to Grogu, promising that they'll meet again. In the episode's sweetest moment, Mando even removes his helmet, letting Grogu see his real face. Clearly, Grogu was destined to train with Luke all along, and what will become of the adorable creature under the master Jedi's tutelage — and how much he'll appear on The Mandalorian going forward — remains to be seen.

Additionally, Mando removing his helmet also spells big changes for our hero going forward. This is now the second time in as many episodes that he's chosen to break his oath to follow The Way and show his face to other living beings. The first time he did it, in "The Believer," he did it to accomplish his goal of finding Grogu's location. This time, however, he did it so he could better connect with his surrogate son — just like when Luke helped remove the Darth Vader helmet from his father's head at the end of Return of the Jedi. While Mando's future seems inextricably linked with the retaking of Mandalore, his commitment to the Mandalorian ideals he was raised with seems weaker than ever. How will that impact his alliance with Bo-Katan?

Forceful connections

Seeing a young Luke Skywalker — who, judging by his incredible decimation of every single Dark Trooper, is in his prime — was a pretty big surprise, but in the aftermath of a spectacular second season, fans are left wondering who else might end up returning to The Mandalorian as the series moves forward. Beyond original trilogy favorites like Luke and Boba, characters like Bo-Katan and Ahsoka Tano (played by Rosario Dawson) have shown up in live-action appearances after winning over audiences in The Clone Wars, the beloved animated Star Wars series.

After seeing Bo-Katan and Ahsoka pop up, fans have been hoping and waiting to see other Star Wars characters, especially ones connected to Bo-Katan and Ahsoka. In the aftermath of Ahsoka's appearance, devoted fans started to wonder if Ezra Bridger or Grand Admiral Thrawn might pop up. Obviously, that didn't happen in season two, but in The Mandalorian's third season, there's a whole galaxy of possibilities ahead... and as for Ahsoka, you'll be able to catch her in her own standalone series soon, which will more than likely be where Bridger and Thrawn come back into play.

Meanwhile, we never explicitly find out just what Moff Gideon wanted Grogu's blood for, but we know that Doctor Pershing (Omid Abtahi) is an Imperial cloning engineer. And we also saw very Snoke-like shapes floating in tanks in the Imperial base that Mando, Cara Dune, and Greef Karga infiltrated back in Chapter 12, "The Siege." It's never explicitly stated, but it seems like a good bet that Grogu's Force-powered blood is what helped create Supreme Leader Snoke, and resurrect Emperor Palpatine for The Rise of Skywalker. But will we ever find out if this is the case for sure? Or is there another evil purpose Grogu's blood serves for the Empire?

A post-credits scene sets up a new series

If you stick around after the credits roll on The Mandalorian's second season finale, you were richly rewarded... with news of a brand new Disney+ Star Wars series. After saying goodbye to the main cast, a post-credits scene showed Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt's right hand man last seen in Return of the Jedi, lounging on Jabba's old throne as he lazily greets his old acquaintance, Boba Fett.

Aided by Fennec Shard, the two fighters easily disarm and kill Bib Fortuna's henchmen, and then proceed to kill Bib Fortuna himself. If you're wondering how Bib Fortuna actually survived the events of Return of the Jedi to only be killed in this episode of The Mandalorian, you're not alone. Bib Fortuna's last on-screen appearance was on Jabba's barge, which was thoroughly exploded by Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and the rest of the gang. But while we never saw Bib Fortuna make his escape into the Tatooine desert, we'll just have to assume he jumped ship at the first sign of trouble. After all, if Boba Fett can survive being literally swallowed by a horrific sand monster, Bib Fortuna could probably hitch a ride back to the palace.  

Anyway, after Bib Fortuna's unceremonious execution, Fennec perches next to Jabba's throne, while Boba takes the seat as his own. Immediately after the scene ends, the official announcement arrives: a new series, The Book of Boba Fett, will arrive on the service in December of 2021, potentially along with the next season of The Mandalorian (which, so far, has typically dropped in the final months of the year).

As if it wasn't exciting enough to see Boba in action this season in The Mandalorian, news that Morrison will be starring in an entire series focused on the character is a veritable Star Wars bombshell. More details about The Book of Boba Fett will undoubtedly emerge soon, but for now, it's thrilling enough to know that we'll get an entire series devoted to Boba.

The entire second season of The Mandalorian is streaming on Disney+ now.