Wednesday 6 January 2021

Luke Skywalker returns in The Mandalorian

Having waited almost a month in the hopes of not spoiling surprises for fellow Star Wars fans, I wanted to share my reaction to Luke Skywalker's return in the second season finale of The Mandalorian on Disney+.

After a torrid year spent self-isolating due to being at high risk from coronavirus, seeing a childhood hero at the peak of their powers during the holiday season was 'emosh', as I originally tweeted without giving anything away to my followers on Twitter.

A week before Christmas, Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni and the fine folks at Lucasfilm had left this lifelong fan (as well as many others) in tatters and shaking - such was its raw emotional power. Overwhelmingly so.

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) had answered Grogu's AKA Baby Yoda's summons from an ancient Jedi temple, destroyed Moff Gideon's (Giancarlo Esposito) Dark Trooper army with aggression worthy of his late father Anakin Skywalker AKA Darth Vader, and would train the tyke in the ways of the Force if he wished to leave Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal).

Grogu decides to follow Luke and the goodbye between the pair evoked the finale of E.T. - the Extra-Terrestrial. As Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) warned, Grogu has formed an attachment to Din and we all know the consequences for a Jedi coupled with what happens to Luke's academy before The Force Awakens.

If that wasn't enough. R2-D2, Luke's faithful droid companion and my first Star Wars action figure, appears. All too much for this fan - at least I spared social media the ugly mess of my live reaction. Triggered by composer Ludwig Göransson effortlessly segueing from an eclectic fusion of Brad Fiedel and Ennio Morricone to John Williams' lush leitmotivs with goosebump-inducing aplomb as a familiar X-wing flies into view.

Looking to the future of The Mandalorian and the live-action spin-offs already announced. It's increasingly clear showrunner Jon Favreau's endgame is to introduce Grand Admiral Thrawn for a live-action Heir to the Empire trilogy adaptation on Disney+.

Author Timothy Zahn's sequel to the original trilogy was released 30 years ago and ushered in a new era for the franchise created by George Lucas.

If so, then we'll see more of Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. He's the hero we deserve as hope leads us out of these dark times...

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