By Andrew Martinez
Taking the Star Wars fan base by storm, Disney’s “The Mandalorian” was first released in 2019 and since then has become a favorite for many star wars fans. Following Mandalorian Din Djarin and force wielding child Grogu, you see his many adventures in the galaxy, as well as his quest to help other Mandalorians come out of hiding to reclaim their old home world.
With the jaw-dropping finale of season two, many fans were left with many questions wondering what was going to be in store for Din Djarin, Grogu and the rest of our characters. And with Jon Faverou once again being lead writer of the series along with the help of Dave Filoni for some episodes, fans were eagerly awaiting their return.
Needless to say, this season was not what I was expecting as far as the overarching plot. For starters, it seemed like this season had no sense of direction at times. The finale of season two of “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett” left Din needing to be redeemed and go to the Mines of Mandalore. After that was quickly resolved in episode two, the plot for the rest of the season was up in the air.
They didn’t really use the episodes to their full advantage and wasted a lot of time. Episodes four and six felt like filler and could have been better spent progressing the story forward. They were just doing a bunch of side quests and felt like they really slowed down the pacing of the show and did little to add to the overarching plot of the season. Personally, I have no problem with getting to see new planets and exploring new ideas. In fact, it’s something that can elevate a show, as well as an entire cinematic universe. However, when it takes up too much time and you only have eight episodes, then it’s a problem.
For example, episode three’s “The convert” gave us more context in terms of the political side of Star Wars around this time. It was able to add more layers to Doctor Pershing, who we’ve seen in the past, and a brand new character played by Katy O’Brian.
While many fans had negative things to say about this episode, I enjoyed it and thought that it was able to shed more light on the transition of the Rebellion to the New Republic. It showed us this new form of government is not all perfect, which can explain the eventual rise of The First Order in the sequel trilogy. But with such a short season spanning only eight episodes, they really needed to make the most of their time, which I felt was not really done well.
As shaky as the middle of the season was, I did feel they stuck the landing with the finale and wrapping up the plot of retaking Mandalore. Episode seven’s “The Spies” and episode eight's "The Return" had some very fun action, which was arguably some of the best in the entire series. I also appreciated that these episodes did not rely on any other cameos from fan-favorite characters to be good; they stood on their own.
Din and Grogu as a whole also took a step back this season and while some might have a problem with this, I did not mind. Seeing more of Bo-Katan and following her story of redeeming herself to her people as well as reclaiming Mandalore was interesting and makes the show better. As a show called “The Mandalorian,” it makes sense that we follow other people like Bo more closely that are also Mandalorian. This season also did a good job of showing us the transition from the empire from the first order. From seeing the praetorian guards to a cameo of General Hux’s father, it's really satisfying to see them connect the sequels to this point in the Star Wars timeline. And regardless of how you feel about the sequel trilogy, this only enhances it.
While I do have some problems with this season and feel that it is the weakest of the three, the last two episodes really saved it for me. This season sets up many good things to come for not only future seasons, but for the future shows and installments as well. The future for Din Djarin and the rest of The Mandalorian cast is bright, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Jon Faverou and Dave Filoni have to continue their story in the Star Wars universe.
“The Mandalorian” season 3 is now currently streaming on Disney +.