Season Two was strong, right up until the end, when it played the Card of No Return.
What we had with the Mandalorian was a breath of fresh air. Something new in Disney-era Star Wars, which so far has been hidebound, repetitive, pointlessly formulaic and that reeks of design by committee. Proof (as if it was needed, old EU had plenty of it) that the franchise could stand strong without having to make every little thing about comings and going of the Skywalker clan. We could see the galaxy from points of view we'd never seen before. no more trade negotiations, no more space opera politics, no more mystery boxes.
And for fifteen glorious episodes, we were free of them. We had a show helmed by folks with artistic vision yet who knew the frames of the canon, directed by new directors injecting a fresh vision for what Star Wars could be, rather than constant repetition and poaching of the past for that sweet, sweet nostalgia cash.
There was no reason for Skywalker to show up. You want a Jedi tearing up some Dark Troopers? Okay, I can roll with that. It could have been literally any Jedi, though. Ahsoka Tano realising she was wrong a few chapters back. a young Snoke popping out of a clone tank. Sam Jackson returning in a surprise cameo as a one armed, 0rder 66 surviving BMF emerging from exile. a Sith Lord. an old canon character being brought back. One of those Padawans from the Clone Wars. Heaven forfend,*shocked gasp* a NEW Jedi we've never heard of.
Nope. We got an almost-out-of-the-Uncanny Valley Luke Skywalker. Like a walking millstone around the franchise's neck, because everything has to have a Skywalker in it somewhere, or it's not Star Wars, right? Wouldn't want those idiots watching at home to think they've tuned in to Star Trek: Discovery by mistake.
So yeah. Either this was an imposition on the Mandalorian from above, a sign that Disney is tightening its grip on the creative control for the franchise, now that it's found a profitable and fan-approved venue for the franchise, and that we can continue seeing this going on as more and more Star Wars shows start airing, squeezing more and more life and creativity from the franchise.
Or, this is what Favreau And Filioni came up with all along, and the last hope we had for the franchise is just as hackneyed as the rest of it.
I would dearly love to be wrong. Mando was great right up until the very end. But I don't see the point in denial. There isn't much room for The Mandalorian to manoeuvre now that the Skywalker card has been played. The shark has been jumped, just with a jetpack this time.