“The Mandalorian” Season 3 Premiere Review


Courtesy of Disney

Grogu (l) and Din Djarin (r) (Pedro Pascal) in the cockpit in The Mandalorian, on Disney+.

“The Mandalorian” season three brings back one of Star Wars’ most successful series in full stride.

After being on hiatus for the better part of three years, we are back in Din Djarin’s bounty-hunting corner of the galaxy, with his little friend Grogu, coined as “Baby Yoda”. Having made an appearance in “The Book of Boba Fett”, we’re back to good ol’ “Mandalorian”.

The season premiere itself re-establishes what is to come after the long wait since season two. In “Book of Boba Fett” Din becomes ex-communicated as a Mandalorian, but with Grogu having returned to his dad, Din sets out on a new journey to his retrieve status as a Mandalorian in the mines of Mandalore.

This episode itself is a nice return to form; we get Din catching up with old friends like Greef Karga, fighting off pirates, and of course, Grogu being troublesome like normal. Previously we’ve had one overarching storyline of returning Grogu to one of his people. Now we are seeing a new story of rebuilding Mandalore and returning Din to his roots.

Din Djarin, played by Pedro Pascal, is back to it as his legendary, breakout Star Wars character. Nothing much has changed with his character since we last saw him. He’s still the same deadly, but fatherly, bounty hunter we all know and love. Of course, he is nothing without his child, Grogu. It is very apparent after seeing them separated and later returned to each other that they cannot be one without the other. It’s just so sweet to see the progression of their relationship. However, he has his own character development.

I don’t want to see Din return to being a part of The Watch, which is the Mandalorian tribe that he and his creed originate from. Every time I’ve thought of the whole ordeal of his creed, it reminds me of a cult of sorts. That’s what the character Bo-Katan has stated so clearly. If he goes back, or goes back and doesn’t feel any different about the creed, then I wouldn’t feel like he had worthwhile character development. In the same way that having Luke make Grogu choose between his father or the Jedi Order was twisted. I can only hope that as the season goes on we see a different approach to his beliefs.

As for other characters, we don’t see a great many of them.

Bo-Katan appears in the episode after last having seen her in the season two finale. She is very much still distraught over not having ownership of the Darksaber, which is currently in Din’s possession. She is so distraught in fact that she has pretty much given up on retaking her homeworld of Mandalore. She doesn’t believe in it anymore, so now she has lost all passion and purpose. It’s like the reverse of General Zod in “Man of Steel”, but in this case, she has just given up.

There are still Mandalorian cells in the galaxy, such as The Watch. They’re still led by the Armorer (Emily Swallow) and I still can’t shake this bad feeling that I get from her. Her all-knowing ways and the control she has over Din makes her feel so villainous. It seems she’s manipulating him to an extent, maybe to simply keep him under her thumb or to use him to bring Mandalore back now that he has the Darksaber. As the viewer, I’m going to be very cautious when it comes to trusting her character.

As for Din’s friends, we see him stop at Navarro to visit Greef Karga, played by Carl Weathers. Karga is now a reformed man seeking to make Navarro less a pit of “scum and villainy” as he states in the episode. He’s now the Magistrate of the city and aims at keeping it out of any major governments like the New Republic. Instead, he’s looking for ways to make it thrive in legal businesses and practices like trading. It’s an interesting turn from how he was in season one. I’m glad to see that he isn’t stuck as a one-dimensional side character to Din.

Overall the episode looked very well done visually, and story-wise we’re getting into a brand new chunk of lore with the Mandalorians, which is very pleasing considering the name of the series.

Going into this season I do have my worries as I always do with these series. A complaint that I heard frequently is that this is a very formulaic show. It is all about how each episode we see him go off on a mission with Grogu, gets derailed, ends up doing something completely different than what he was supposed to do, and then all is good in the end. I understand these complaints, but with the end of this episode, it seems like we’re getting a mix of story and “side quest” type adventures within the episodes.

“The Mandalorian” nonetheless still stands as one of the best Disney+ originals, so I’m more faithful in this series than any other Disney+ shows. The only problem I see is how this season can compare to the recent premiere season of “Andor”, a series that blew all the other Star Wars series out of the park, so it’s up to this season to see if that remains true.

“The Mandalorian” stars Pedro Pascal, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Amy Sedaris, Taika Waititi, Christopher Lloyd, and Tim Meadows. New episodes release Wednesdays only on Disney+.