It’s a pretty common action cliche for badass dudes to be able to bounce back from getting the crap beaten out of them, but the season finale of The Mandalorian takes it to a whole new level. After Mando gets basically blown-up, it seems like he might be down for the count. But he’s not. Here’s how he made a miraculous recovery thanks to some fake Star Wars tech introduced in The Empire Strikes Back.
Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian, Chapter 8, “Redemption.”
Okay, so when IG-11 comes to help out Mando (or should we call him Din Djarin now?) he mentions he needs to take off his helmet to treat his wounds. He then says “this is a Bacta spray.” Now if you’re a normal person, like, for example, my wife, you have no idea what this means. If you’re me, however, you are hyper-aware that Bacta is a somewhat miraculous fictional substance that helps treat all sorts of injuries in Star Wars. In fact, remember when Luke Skywalker got smacked in the face by that snow monster (Wampa) in The Empire Strikes Back? Yep, they dipped him in Bacta to make all of his wounds heal.
Now, Bacta isn’t just some kind of great disinfectant; in Star Wars, it can literally help skin re-grow and for cells to regenerate. In other words, it’s pretty freaking magic, and you really have to wonder why the people in Star Wars don’t use it more often. (Corners of the internet are still debating about Darth Vader being inside of a Bacta tank in Rogue One. Why can’t the Bacta regrow his arms? Best not to think about this.)
The point is, if you felt like IG-11 giving Mando a quick spray and making him all better was a little out of nowhere, you’re right, but also, in Star Wars, there is a cooky precedent. Back in the ’90s, one Star Wars book, called X-Wing: The Bacta War was all about a limited supply of Bacta screwing up everything with the Rebels. And, if you played the N64 game Rogue Squadron in 1997, then you totally know guarding Bacta was a thing back then, too.
So, there you go. Mando’s speedy recovery from a terrible head wound wasn’t solved by the new magic Star Wars bullshit. This is old magic Star Wars bullshit from our childhoods.
The Mandalorian season 1 is streaming in its entirety on Disney+.