The end of The Mandalorian’s second season really doesn’t mess around. Though even I – a Star Wars fan ever since I saw the original in the late 70s, whose first memory of the cinema is seeing the Empire Strikes Back on the big screen in 1980 – have had issues with the sometimes meandering (Meanderlorian, amirite?) and formulaic episodes that formed at least half of season 2, the quality of the finale is leagues ahead of those slightly disappointing outings.

With Moff Gideon’s location uncovered and The Mandalorian – with his allies – now en route to rescuing Grogu, the stage is set for an epic showdown.

And wow, do we get one. A few friends we met earlier in Season 2 come along to assist – and of course we still have Boba Fett and Fennec Shand along for the ride. After a quick set up – in which we’re once again considering the way the Rebels handled the destruction of the Empire, a little nuance that goes a long way – it’s pretty much action all the way, with some brilliantly choreographed fights and lots of Stormtroopers getting blown to smithereens.

The Terminator-esque Dark Troopers almost steal the show, with their imposing size and inhuman relentlessness proving a big challenge for our motley crew. Ludwig Göransson’s electronic, almost mechanical theme for the Dark Troopers adds immensely to the proceedings. Göransson’s score in general has been a bit of an unsung hero throughout The Mandalorian’s run, it must be said.

And I say almost steal the show, because there’s another surprise up the show’s sleeves. Suffice it to say that saying anything more would be a spoiler, so I shall remain tight-lipped for now. Disappointingly, the news is all over websites online and even ruined by the trends on Twitter, so if you want the genuinely jaw-dropping reveal to be a surprise, refrain from checking out any more coverage of The Mandalorian at all costs.

There’s even a reasonably lengthy post-credits sequence that sets us up for this time next year – which is very, very exciting indeed.

It’s difficult to foresee where The Mandalorian will go next, but there’s some exciting possibilities hinted at by the end of the episode. I certainly hope we do get to see more of Pedro Pascal’s bounty hunter; despite the problems I’ve had with pacing and formula at times throughout the show’s run so far, I’ve looked forward to every episode and have at least enjoyed spending time in a galaxy far, far away that truly feels as it did a long time ago – when a little boy (not much bigger than Grogu) was sat in a dark cinema, completely enthralled, watching the Empire get their revenge on the Rebel Alliance.

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