Why The Mandalorian Director Peyton Reed Couldn't Turn Down the Season 2 Finale

The Mandalorian director Peyton Reed says he felt an "extreme sense of responsibility" when helming the blockbuster season 2 finale — and he couldn't live with himself if he turned it down. In "Chapter 16: The Rescue," written by showrunner Jon Favreau, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and his allies mount a daring rescue mission taking them aboard Moff Gideon's (Giancarlo Esposito) Imperial light cruiser. Their charge: find and reclaim Grogu, the Force-sensitive child stolen from Djarin on the planet Tython. After stepping into the Star Wars galaxy with The Mandalorian season 2 episode "Chapter 10: The Passenger," the Ant-Man filmmaker describes returning to helm the action-packed season finale:

"As an almost lifelong Star Wars fan, I don't think I could have lived with myself if I turned down doing that finale," Reed says in the Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian season 2 making-of special now streaming on Disney+. "That was an exciting thing, to have Mando at the center of this rescue mission. And then to have Bo-Katan, and to have Koska, and then to have Fennec, and Cara, making their way through this Imperial ship."

As a beskar staff-swinging Djarin trades blows with the Darksaber-wielding Gideon, Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) blast their way through an entire squadron of Stormtroopers as a distraction.

"That was fantastic," Reed says, "and another thing that when I read the script, I was like, 'I'm dying to do this.'"

After the surprise return of a legendary Star Wars character — whose appearance goes unmentioned in the season 2 special — the episode culminates with a heartfelt goodbye between Djarin and the cooing Grogu, who is taken away by a Jedi Master to learn the ways of the Force.

"By the time you get to the end of season 2, you could see on the page the potential for this extreme emotion," Reed says. "That was really the challenge to bring all these elements together. I felt an extreme sense of responsibility to get this episode right."

"The Rescue" is now the highest-rated episode of The Mandalorian and among the best-rated television episodes on the IMDb TV Top 250.

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