This is the way.
Season three of The Mandalorian is the third season of the space Western series, The Mandalorian. This season is directed by Rick Famuyiwa, Rachel Morrison, Lee Isaac Chung, Carl Weathers, Peter Ramsey, and Bryce Dallas Howard, created by Jon Favreau, produced by Lucasfilm, Fairview Entertainment, and Golem Creations, and distributed by Disney Platform Distribution. It stars Pedro Pascal and Katee Sackhoff. This is the fifth entry in the Star Wars TV universe. It was preceded by The Mandalorian season two, The Book of Boba Fett, and Andor and will be followed by Ahsoka.
"Redemption is not possible since the destruction of our home world." - The Armorer
Two years after handing Grogu over to the Jedi, Din Djarin returns to Mandalore only to have his title of Mandalorian stripped from him for taking off his helmet. Din and Grogu then begin an adventure to the old mines of Mandalore so that Djarin can reclaim his title as a Mandalorian once more.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Mandalorian returns with a fine episode.
Let me preface with this: I've never loved The Mandalorian. I actually disliked the first season. The second season was a vast improvement. I really liked it, but I've still never truly understood the critical acclaim it's gotten. I also thought season two ended on a great note and seemed to complete Mando's journey, so I was skeptical when they announced season three.
And I wouldn't say that that skepticism has gone away. This episode was decent. It was a welcoming return to the show that just gives us an update on where Mando and Grogu are at. The episode opens with a big fight scene that gives us an awesome entrance from Mando. Then we just go through a mini-adventure and get an idea of the story for the season.
I like the idea of Din Djarin being stripped of his title as Mandalorian. It makes sense that that would happen if he willingly removed his helmet in front of others, and I think it makes for an interesting story for the season. It also feels like it gives Mando a new arc he has to go on, which I am excited to see.
Overall, this was an okay return to the show. It eases you into the season and allows you to re-adjust to the world of The Mandalorian. It isn't as much focused on truly building out a story as it is giving you some fun action and some hilarious Grogu moments.
My biggest problem with this episode is that it doesn't feel like it gives me an idea as to why we're doing a third season. I strongly believe that The Mandalorian should've ended with the season two finale. It was perfect. It wrapped up all the plot lines and character arcs nicely. We got to see Luke Skywalker go crazy on a bunch of death droids. It was sick. I don't think anything can top that.
I also HATE that they brought Grogu back. Not only did they bring Grogu back, but they did it before this season even came out. If you haven't seen The Book of Boba Fett, you're going to be confused, because that's where Mando and Grogu reunite. It completely undoes the journey of the first two seasons. If they were at all going to do a season three, the story should've been about Mando trying to get Grogu back for some reason. But they brought him back...and he doesn't serve any purpose. There's no reason that Grogu really needs to be in this story, so just let him train with Luke and allow the story of the first two seasons to rest.
I also don't really see the threat of the season. We're following Mando as he goes to bathe in the waters underneath the mines of Mandalore...but that doesn't actually sound that exciting. Who is the villain? What conflict is there? That's a major question that I would like addressed sooner than later, so that's another thing that has me worried.
Finally, I really don't like this thing that The Mandalorian does. It spends about six of the eight episodes just doing this one-off adventures and then suddenly builds to a big, climactic finale. While some of the episodes are great, it just takes away from the urgency and excitement of the season when they're all one-off episodes that aren't really building to anything. That's what this episode is.
Final Thoughts and Score
I've been skeptical of this season since it was announced, and while this episode was fun, it has not eased me concerns about this season.
Fun Factor: 7.5/10
"Chapter 17: The Apostate"
Created by Jon Favreau
Rated TV-14 for sci-fi violence and action, disturbing themes and images, thematic elements
Premiered on March 1, 2023
Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin / The Mandalorian
Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze
Emily Swallow as The Armorer
Carl Weathers as Greef Karga
Marti Matulis as Vane
Nonso Anozie as Gorian Shard
Tait Fletcher as Paz Visla
Jon Favreau as Paz Visla (voice)
Taika Waititi as IG-11