When Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni were first announced as helming a new Star Wars TV series, most didn't know what to expect. It wasn't until we learned that it would center on a Mandalorian and be tonally similar to a gunslinger story that we started to become excited.
The recent Star Wars movies have proven divisive among hardcore fans, so The Mandalorian was a sort of final beacon of hope for many who wanted to see Favreau and Filoni pull off something special.
And they did. The Mandalorian is critically acclaimed and adored by fans. It has introduced new technologies to filmmaking, and even restored faith in Disney's ownership of the Star Wars franchise as a whole.
The series has been nominated for six Emmy awards and one Golden Globe for Best Television Series Drama, and became one of the most-watched TV series in the world in the process.
In this article, I want to look back at some of the best scenes and moments from The Mandalorian and what made them great.
8. Mayfield and Operation Cinder
When Din Djarin and Migs Mayfeld are infiltrating an Empire facility to gain information about Moff Gideon, they become cornered by a high-ranking officer with whom they're forced to sit.
As the officer begins talking about the glories of the Empire, Mayfield suddenly begins discussing Operation Cinder with him. The tension that Mayfeld then brings to the sequence as he discusses his experience of Operation Cinder is one of The Mandalorian's finest moments.
We learn so much about Migs and his history, who becomes a deep and evocative character in the process. As Mayfeld remembers the friends he lost during the encounter, he shoots the officer dead—knowing he was responsible for much of the death that had permeated his life.
7. The Darksaber Reveal
During the finale of season one, Moff Gideon attacks Din and his friends with a Tie Fighter, but Din manages to bring it down and it's unclear if Moff Gideon survived—until he cuts himself free of the wreckage using a darksaber.
The appearance of the iconic Star Wars weapon for the first time in live-action is one of the show's most eye-popping moments, and seeing that Moff Gideon wields it gave The Mandalorian so much promise for its second season.
6. Bo Katan Helps Din Djarin
Bringing in characters who have only made appearances in the animated series is a tricky line for live-action The Mandalorian. However, when Din Jarin comes across Bo Katan for the first time, it didn't disappoint.
Given life by the same person who spent much of the previous decade voicing her in The Clone Wars, Katee Sackhoff does an equally great job bringing Bo's physical side across, too.
Her role at the end of the second season is left unclear, as is her relationship with Din since she wants the darksaber—and she must defeat him in battle to obtain it. Despite his numerous attempts to yield and hand it to her, she won't accept it from him, and the pair may have a lot to discuss in the third season.
5. IG11 Dies
IG11's role in The Mandalorian brings such joy to the first season, as Taika Waititi's hilarious droid attempts to self-destruct multiple times during Din's assault on the enemy compound.
However, IG11 gets retrofitted and rebooted to become a nurse droid and protect Grogu with his life. To fulfill his directive, IG11 walks through lava and meets the waiting ambush so that the others won't die.
The moment is heartbreaking, as IG11 dies a hero's death—dying to protect the object he once hunted.
4. The Guild Escape
When Din goes back for Grogu to ensure the Empire won't harm him, he kills numerous Stormtroopers to get out alive, only to be met by an army of Guild bounty hunters who pin Din down under heavy fire.
When the audience thinks that Din has no chance of escape, the rest of the Mandalorian creed arrive to help him.
Seeing the united force of the Mandalorian creed defend Grogu and Din while killing the Guild along the way is a sight that cemented The Mandalorian's early status as "could be great."
3. Boba Fett Returns
Star Wars fans have clamored for years for Boba Fett to return after being knocked into the Sarlacc pit during the events of Return of the Jedi. Well, in The Mandalorian, their wish was granted.
Boba returns to seek out Din Djarin after Din takes Boba's armor from Cobb Vanth—and the moment doesn't disappoint. Boba is still a fearsome fighting machine, which is proven when the pair (along with Fennec Shand) defend Grogu from the Stormtroopers.
Fennec Shand is indebted to Boba after she seemingly got killed in the first season. Alongside Boba, they'll both star in the upcoming series The Book of Boba Fett.
2. Seeing Ahsoka Tano In Live-Action
Of all the debut and returning live-action characters from the Star Wars universe, seeing Ahsoka for the first time is a special moment like none other.
Expertly played by Rosario Dawson, Ahsoka is the Jedi that Din finds during his quest to find Grogu a home that will nurture him. Her appearance is what fans wanted to see, and she's every bit as entertaining in the series as she was during The Clone Wars.
Ahsoka's entrance, in which she kills many guards during a stand-off in the dead woodland, is one of the series' best visual sequences, with Dawson immediately proving to be perfect for the role.
She will have her own series (currently titled Ahsoka) with Dawson returning to portray her, and fans are certainly excited.
1. Luke Destroys the Dark Troopers
There isn't a better or more surprising moment in The Mandalorian than the entrance of Luke Skywalker. Nobody saw it coming when the final moments of season two played out.
As Din, Bo, Fennec, Grogu, and Cara are pinned down by the arrival of the army of Dark Troopers, they face an impossible task in defeating them. However, a lone X-Wing enters the base and a single man climbs out of it.
Then they realize the Dark Troopers have stopped trying to break down the door, as the man ignites his green lightsaber and destroys the army as easily as a child might destroy their LEGO.
As Star Wars moments go, Luke's return is phenomenal. He demonstrates his vast power against an enemy who was a challenge to anybody else. Emotional, powerful, and devastating, the whole sequence is one of the best the franchise has ever seen.