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The Mandalorian season 2 ending explained: your biggest questions answered

The Mandalorian season 2 ending
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

The Mandalorian season 2 ending has been and gone on Disney Plus. Chapter 16 felt definitive in some ways but in others, well – that would be telling. Let’s just say, in case you haven’t seen the episode yet, The Mandalorian season 2, episode 8 ending has left the door open for so much more to be explored in a galaxy far, far away.

With that in mind, we’ve trawled social media and asked some of our own in-house experts on what were the biggest questions they had after The Mandalorian season 2 ending. Then we answered them. You ready? This is the complete breakdown of everything that happened in Chapter 16’s final act – and speculation on what could come next. First, a recap of The Mandalorian season 2 ending, just in case you missed any important details in all the excitement.

MAJOR spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 8 follow.

The Mandalorian

(Image credit: LucasFilm)

The Mandalorian season 2 ending: recap

The final half of The Mandalorian season 2, episode 8 sees Mando, Fennec, Bo-Katan, Koska Reeves, and Cara Dune fight their way through Moff Gideon’s imperial cruiser to not only rescue Grogu, but also for Bo-Katan to take back her Darksaber – the ancestral weapon of the Mandalore homeworld.

Unfortunately, those plans hit more than a few snags. Mando was stopped on the way to the holding cell by a legion of Dark Troopers. One slipped out of the cargo bay despite Din’s best attempts to keep them there, and nearly bested him in combat until he decapitated it with his Beskar spear. Din also opens the airlock to send the Dark Troopers hurtling off into space.

Mando makes his way to Grogu’s cell, but a Darksaber-wielding Moff Gideon is there to meet him. Gideon says he’s already taken what he needs – i.e. the blood – from Grogu, so Mando can take him and they can “go their separate ways.”

Gideon being Gideon attacks Din with the Darksaber while he’s picking up Grogu. The two fight, before Mando disarms Gideon and forces him to surrender.

Mando takes the Moff to the bridge, though Bo-Katan is noticeably concerned. It is revealed that what she came here for – the Darksaber – is no longer hers and belongs to Din because he defeated Gideon in combat. To get it back, she would have to fight Din, who offers to hand over the Darksaber.

Bo-Katan refuses, and yet more problems surface. The Dark Troopers return (rocket-powered thrusters are apparently pretty useful in space, who knew?) and close in on the bridge.

But, then, a saviour: an X-Wing docks and a mysterious Jedi cuts through the Dark Troopers, destroying every last one of them before making his way to the bridge. Then, the big reveal: it’s Luke Skywalker!

Luke explains that Grogu is strong with the Force but “talent without training is nothing.” So, it seems that the next stop on Grogu’s path is to go and train with the Jedi Master himself. But before he goes, he gets one final goodbye with Mando, who removes his helmet and lets The Child see his face one last (?) time. I’m not crying, it’s just space dust.

What happened to Luke Skywalker after Return of the Jedi?

The Mandalorian season 2 ending Luke Skywalker

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Honestly, we don’t know. But we hope the next season of The Mandalorian fills in those gaps. By the time of the sequels, we know Luke is grouchy and living as a hermit on Ahch-To. Before that, he trained potential Jedi in his academy – which was destroyed by Kylo Ren some 20 years after the events of The Mandalorian.

The gap between Return of the Jedi and the two decades after it is very much unexplored – at least in official canon. Judging by his late appearance in the episode, he’s still scouting the galaxy for potential Jedi, and got in touch with Grogu via the Seeing Stone on Tython. Expect the post-ROTJ period to revolve around Luke’s search for the next generation of Jedi and those strong with the Force, starting with Baby Yoda.

Will Luke Skywalker now train Grogu?

The Mandalorian season 2 ending Grogu

(Image credit: Disney)

You may have missed it through the tears of joy (and sadness), but Luke is now set to train Grogu in the ways of the Force. It’s a fun mirror, too, to Yoda training Luke all those years ago on Dagobah. Expect any training scenes (or montages) to take place in The Mandalorian season 3.

What happens to Grogu before the sequels?

The Mandalorian season 2 ending

(Image credit: IMDb)

Ah, do we have to go there? Grogu’s absence in the sequels has turned from a weird quirk into a gaping hole in the narrative. The aforementioned attack by Kylo Ren (then Ben Solo) on the Jedi Temple led to all of the students there being killed. We don’t know if Grogu was among them.

We’d like to think that, in the two decades between Grogu being ushered into Luke’s care and the destruction of the academy, Grogu is a fully-trained Jedi or perhaps is shut off from the Force and is spending some quality time with Din. Either way, let’s hope he’s survived – but it’s a question worth pondering.

Will The Mandalorian take his helmet off for good?

The Mandalorian season 2 ending

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

It sure seems that way. Din has slowly been more accepting of taking off his helmet. That began, ironically knowing the big Darksaber-sized issue they now have, with Bo-Katan.

When the pair first met, Mando realised that The Way and his group the Children of the Watch were perhaps more hardline fanatics than he had originally realised. They refused to let anyone see their face, but Din took his helmet off to get his face scanned in Chapter 15 and, finally, let Grogu see him without his helmet in Chapter 16.

Both narratively and in the wider meta context of the show, Mando not wearing his helmet as often makes more sense. Not only do we get to see more of Din’s expressions, but Pedro Pascal gets some long overdue screen-time without his helmet on. Away from Grogu’s departure, this is one of the key character developments from The Mandalorian season 2 ending.

Why can’t Bo-Katan take the Darksaber?

The Mandalorian season 2 ending

(Image credit: Disney)

Bo-Katan isn’t allowed to wield the Darksaber – all thanks to Mandalorian tradition. That decrees that whoever has the Darksaber must be defeated in combat. It cannot be yielded, as Din tried to do.

It seems Bo-Katan must defeat Mando in (fair) one-on-one combat, though that sidesteps the potential plot hole that saw Sabine Wren literally hand over the Darksaber to Bo-Katan in the animated Star Wars shows... An oversight here? Or something that will be addressed next season? Either way, only one person has possession of the Darksaber for the time being…

Who has the Darksaber?

Darksaber The Mandalorian season 2 ending

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

The Darksaber officially belongs to Din Djarin, who beat Moff Gideon (the previous holder of the weapon) in combat. Simple. Ish.

Is Din Djarin now the ruler of Mandalore?

The Mandalorian season 2 ending

(Image credit: Disney)

Technically, yes. However, Mandalore’s current status isn’t looking too rosy. The Empire pilot at the beginning of Chapter 16 mentioned how it was glassed by the Empire, so it might not even be worth ruling. But in terms of tradition, Din is now the figurehead of the Mandalores – a role he might have to get used to sooner or later.

What are the Empire using Grogu's blood for?

The Mandalorian season 2 ending

(Image credit: Disney)

In case you skipped the “Previously On” section in Chapter 16, it might be worth a quick refresh.

Grogu was needed by the Empire (and Dr. Pershing) to help with their clone experiments. It was revealed back in Chapter 12 during “The Siege” that the Empire was working on a way to get a donor with a high midi-chlorian count and put their blood into an unknown subject’s body. That body could be that of Supreme Leader Snoke – whose creation formed part of the Emperor’s plans to rule the galaxy after his belated return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

What’s next for the Empire?

With Gideon’s defeat and the Empire’s many, many references to “Order” this season, it stands to reason that the seeds of the First Order could start to be sown. Of course, this is also likely to be addressed elsewhere – specifically in the Ahsoka Tano spin-off.

The last we saw of Rosario Dawson’s Jedi, she was off looking for Grand Admiral Thrawn, who could certainly stake a claim to leading the remnants of the Empire into an unlikely comeback. Whether that comes to pass is unclear but, with Gideon indisposed, Thrawn is in a strong position to rule what remains.

What will happen to Moff Gideon now?

The Mandalorian season 2 ending Moff Gideon

(Image credit: Disney)

Well, he’s probably coming back for season 3. He told EW in November that he’s returning next season, though given how secretive and misleading the majority of The Mandalorian cast has been, maybe we shouldn’t be so sure.

For the time being, he’s going to be in New Republic custody. Given that Gideon makes a blatant reference to knowing everything in Chapter 16, it’s likely he’s got an ace up his sleeve. Thrawn? A secret Empire unit? We’ll have to wait and see.

Where did Boba Fett hyperspeed off to?

Boba Fett The Mandalorian season 2 ending

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

This one has been revealed – just as long as you stayed and watched the credits. The Mandalorian season 2 post-credits scene includes not only an announcement of a Boba Fett spin-off, but also reveals what Fett did next.

Being joined by Fennec Shand (so this is either an unlikely flashback or a time jump of at least a few days), Boba kills Jabba the Hutt’s former henchman Bib Fortuna and takes his place on the throne of the palace.

How did Fennec end up with Boba?

The Mandalorian season 2 ending

(Image credit: Disney)

For now, we just have to assume that she eventually made her way back to Tatooine after the events of The Mandalorian season 2 finale. Unless this is a flashback, but Boba keeping schtum about that sort of major development wouldn’t really make sense – because why would he take power and then leave room for an insurgency?

What will happen on the next season of The Mandalorian?

The Mandalorian season 2 ending

(Image credit: Disney)

That’s the biggest question, isn’t it? There’s so much up in the air about The Mandalorian season 3 – all of it exciting.

Luke could train Grogu, for starters. If Lucasfilm goes down that route, it’ll be interesting to see if Mark Hamill returns and if Grogu even wants to be trained. He might want to spend more time with dearest daddy, Din.

Expect the tensions between Mando and Bo-Katan to also form the crux of the narrative. With Cara Dune likely off to the New Rangers spin-off and most of the other side stories consigned to their own series, that might be where Din’s future lies – as he wrestles with his newly-found position as part of Mandalore culture with the Darksaber in tow.

But what if there isn’t a Mandalorian season 3 for a while? During the Disney Investor Day stream, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy only said that the “next chapter” of The Mandalorian universe.

So, The Mandalorian might not be back for a new season for quite some time. The only currently-announced project for around Christmas 2021 is Boba Fett’s spin-off Book of Boba Fett, which is set to air in December 2021.

Let’s just hope that, after The Mandalorian season 2 ending, we don’t have to wait years for some of these answers. Check out everything we know about all the new Star Wars movies.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.