Holy smokes, what a season. We’re still only a few days from the finale of The Mandalorian season 2 and there are still a lot of strong feelings out there. It’s Star Wars, what do you expect?

But a lot more happened this year beyond just the events of last week’s episode. It was a big season in other ways as well, which we’ll get into below. Before we do, however, just a fair warning that this’ll be one of those spoilerly articles. If you haven’t seen the latest season yet, we highly recommend you do before reading further. Why you clicked in the first place can go ahead and remain a mystery.

Seriously. Major spoilers begin immediately.

Luke Skywalker Flexes His Jedi Muscles

Let’s begin at the end, shall we? In what will undoubtedly go down as The Mandalorian season two’s biggest moment, we saw the return of Luke Skywalker. Not just a return, but an action-heavy return that shows Luke wielding the force in a much more kinetic way than we ever saw in the original trilogy. Those unhappy with the Luke found in The Last Jedi should have been pretty satisfied by this display of the Force. Enough so that his overly CG face was worth it.

The Return of Boba Fett

Luke Skywalker wasn’t the only old friend we saw return to the Star Wars fold. Fan favorite Boba Fett came back as well. Older, chunkier and somehow more honorable than we would have guessed, Mandalorian’s version of Boba Fett is a delightful ally, first just hunting down his old suit, later taking his rightful place as ruler of Jabba the Hutt’s old Tatooine turf. Where he goes from here remains one of the future’s big secrets (although it will be addressed in a new spin-off series), along with how he survived the Sarlacc Pit (assuming old EU continuity is still out the window on that score).

Ahsoka Tano vs an Old Enemy

And finally, season two gave us the live-action debut of a much beloved Star Wars figure, Clone Wars and Rebels’ Ahsoka Tano. Portrayed by Rosario Dawson, this older and wiser Ahsoka is as badass and cool as we hoped she’d be. Her brief crossing with Din Djarin doesn’t seem to affect her much on her path toward hunting down the villainous Admiral Thrawn, a conflict we’ll likely see come to fruition later on her own newly announced spin-off.

The Death of Krayt Dragon

We’ve wanted to see a live Krayt Dragon ever since seeing a skeleton of one in A New Hope. The Mandalorian season 2 finally granted that wish and it was worth the wait. Even more given how the dragon played catalyst to a cool Western story of regular townsfolk uniting with Tusken Raiders. And yes, they fetched a pearl from the Krayt Dragon’s guts. The people making this show know what they are doing.

A Growing Republic…

Perhaps “growing” puts it too strongly, but The Mandalorian definitely offered a sense of law and order in the form of X-Wings this year. Early in the season, Mando comes across a couple of X-Wing pilots interested in him for his exploits last season. They’re like space-cops, basically, which makes one assume the Rebellion has evolved into a leadership role at least in some sectors of the galaxy.

…and a Withering Empire

Meanwhile, the Empire – what’s left of it – was all over season 2, headlined by the Dark Saber-wielding Moff Gideon. And yet, even with the new threat of Gideon’s Dark Troopers, the Empire felt weaker this season than we’ve ever seen it. Its generals either commit suicide or get murdered with a fair amount of ease, and even Gideon himself goes down without much effort. His Dark Troopers are scary against Din and his crew, but Luke Skywalker brushes them aside like leaves. The Empire is certainly still present in the Star Wars galaxy, but its strength feels scattered and diminished.

A New Hope for Mandalore?

For those caught up on the Star Wars animated shows, the fate of Mandalore and Bo-Katan is a pretty complicated matter, a question The Mandalorian confronts directly via the Dark Saber. Bo-Katan can’t lead without it but also cannot accept it from Din Djarin – its accidental new owner – without a fight. How is this all going to shake out? We’ll have to wait until season 3 to find out. But hey! If nothing else, that means more Bo-Katan in our future!

Baby Yoda Gets a Name

It’s may seem like a little thing plot-wise, but Ahsoka Tano’s discovery of Baby Yoda’s actual name was a huge deal. Everyone meet Grogu! It maybe could have been a cooler name, leaving it a little difficult to stop calling him Baby Yoda. In that, he has more in common with Din Djarin, a guy most of us will just keep calling Mando or The Mandalorian. Sometimes nicknames just stick.

Din Djarin Relaxes His Standards

Last season, Djarin only took off his helmet once, and only in the presence of a droid. This year, he showed his face twice. Once because he had to, and once to give his friend Grogu a proper farewell. Djarin’s run-ins with Bo-Katan and Boba Fett have both had a diminishing effect on Djarin’s strict religious code. Maybe we’ll see even more of Pedro Pascal’s face next season.

In a Galaxy of War, Love Flourishes

And finally, the show’s most important story. A frog lady was able to get across the galaxy to reunite with her frog husband. Together they will raise all the adorable frog babies Grogu did not eat. Star Wars is for youngsters by design, but rarely does it offer such a cut-and-dry happy ending. Good for you, frog couple. We hope your family flourishes.

The post Breaking Down the 10 Most Important Moments from ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 appeared first on /Film.