Grogu Echoes An Emotional Star Wars Rebels Scene In The Mandalorian Season 3 Finale

"The Mandalorian" just tied up the loose ends of its third season with a grand battle to reclaim Mandalore, and it had everything you could want out of a big "Star Wars" battle: lightsabers, blasters going "pew-pew," spaceships crashing into enemy bases, bad guys falling into shafts, and much more.

But as cool as some of the moments were, the finale overall felt like it wasted one of the show's core characters — Grogu. After "The Mandalorian" all but brought an end to Grogu's story in season two, he's been on the sidelines for most of this season. Not that the foundling is just sitting idly by on his little floating cradle all season, of course, but his part in the story has been reduced to just the cute creature he was when we first met him.

This is why Grogu getting his own mecha suit in last week's episode was so exciting. Not only did it bring the far, far away galaxy closer than ever to "Gundam" territory, but it teased the little 50-year-old baby finally having both mobility and firepower to join in the big fights. Though we don't see Grogu join the battle with guns blazing, he still displays the Force powers he honed during his time with child kidnapper Luke Skywalker, saving his now-adoptive father Din Djarin from the Praetorian Guards, and also from notorious nerd Moff Gideon. 

But for Sir Grogu, knight of the Ancient Order of Independent Regencies, his big hero moment comes later when he saves Din Djarin and Bo-Katan from a fiery explosion, perhaps echoing the most emotional scene in "Star Wars Rebels."

Holding out for a hero

The finale itself felt rushed and safe and was kind of an underwhelming conclusion to the Mandalore plot. It didn't hold many surprises and there wasn't much thought put into playing off the season's different storylines beyond a few seconds in the closing montage. Indeed, after a whole season where Din Djarin had to redeem himself by going to Mandalore, and after three seasons' worth of talk about reclaiming a homeland, Din Djarin leaves his kin as soon as they win the battle, and all we get is a short scene of the Forge being lit again before moving on to the next thing. 

Granted, there were some cool moments, like when we get the badass Woves maneuver, so-called after Axe Woves, the Mandalorian who literally takes a capital ship and crashes it into the ground, destroying the Imperial base and causing a huge explosion.

Unfortunately, Din Djarin, Grogu, and Bo-Katan are trapped inside the underground base when the ship comes crashing down. Thankfully, the little green guy has enough energy after already beating three Praetorian Guards using the force to make a Force air bubble that protects the three against the explosion.

This echoes the same way another Jedi saved the day by holding an explosion using the Force, Kanan Jarrus in "Star Wars Rebels." The difference was that Kanan was also standing on top of a huge fuel depot that was about to explode, resulting in his emotionally devastating death.

Jedi night

Kanan's death was arguably the biggest loss and the most emotional moment of the entire "Star Wars Rebels." In the season four episode "Jedi Night," Kanan rescues Hera and helps the rebels escape from a fuel depot, but not before it explodes. Though he holds the explosion just long enough so the others can escape, he's caught in it and dies.

It was a full circle moment of Kanan finally becoming a true Jedi after four seasons of struggling with his identity. When we first meet him, Kanan had renounced his Jedi teachings, having survived Order 66 as a padawan and never completing his training. Though he served as Ezra's teacher, in reality, Kanan learned as much from Ezra as Ezra learned from Kanan. In the last two seasons of the show, we saw Kanan slowly come to embrace his role as Jedi, which made his ultimate sacrifice all the more emotional. 

No wonder this was the episode Dave Filoni told Collider fans should start "Rebels" with before watching "Ahsoka," as it is not just a great episode, but one that propels the final act of that show.