“The Mandalorian’ Season 3: This Is Not The Way

“The Mandalorian” season three delivers a mangled plot with little direction and sadly loses its way.

“The Mandalorian’s” latest season followed Din Djarin, Grogu, and Bo-Katan, as each went on a journey to take back Mandalore. As they find allies throughout the galaxy to help their cause, they also encounter many dangerous enemies. All while we see the formation of a new Empire against the New Republic.

From the sound of that description, this season should have been a smashing, critical success. Yet all that was given to the viewers was a dry story filled with unnecessary plots and disappointing developments.

From the first two episodes of the season, it’s a very intriguing story and premise, with the now reunited Din and Grogu exploring the galaxy and set to return to Mandalore to redeem Din in the eyes of his creed. This does play out in a very exciting and story-centric episode and then gets derailed by having no personal story arc afterward. After this point, Din becomes a secondary character to the returning character, Bo-Katan.

Bo-Katan, once again played by Katee Sackhoff, brings a great presence of familiarity to the story. After all, she has been around as a character since 2012 in “The Clone Wars”. Now it’s nice to see her get a live-action focus like she did in season two, but her focus overshadows our main protagonist. Much like Din Djarin did in “The Book of Boba Fett”, her integration into the story makes it, not an add-on to Din’s arc, but rather a replacement.

Her story is very well done in the season with an interesting focus, but it should have been done more appropriately to accommodate Din’s own story. When I think about it, the most substantial development to happen to Din after episode two comes at the very end of the season with him and Grogu finally solidifying their father-son relationship.

While I was clearly on the downside of this choice in the story, I can see why it was done. Mostly due to the fact that as a viewer, I don’t even think Pedro Pascal was there.

Each season there is always at least one scene with Pedro Pascal in it as Din Djarin, yet season three lacks any physical appearance from our lead actor. Presumably due to him being busy with HBO’s “The Last of Us”, Pedro Pascal does not make any unmasked appearances in this season. All we have to even say he was involved with the season is his voice acting.

When it comes to the “other” side characters, there is some pretty great story, just sadly misplaced.

For example, in episode three this season, we get some fallout from the previous episode involving Din and Bo-Katan’s exploration of the Mines of Mandalore. Then about 15 minutes into the episode we focus on another character from the previous seasons: Dr. Pershing.

Played by Omid Abtahi, Pershing gives us a terrifying, but misplaced story of his integration into the New Republic. The story itself is ripped right out of the real-worldreal world Project Paper-Clip, where the U.S. Government employed German scientists to work for NASA and other parts of the government in an effort to beat the Soviets in the space/arms race.

“Star Wars” however, sees Imperials and scientists like Pershing being utilized in office jobs and wasted away in cubicles. Not only that, we see these droid-oriented check-ups on the integrated Imperials, meaning the New Republic is very uncaring towards their actual treatment. If anything it’s showing how misguided the New Republic is and how something like the First Order can rise in the sequels.

It provides for a great story that unfortunately felt unnecessarily jabbed into this season. Especially with it being explored throughout the later episodes of the season, where it would have felt a lot more appropriate.

When it comes to other characters like Paz Vizsla, the hardened enforcer of the Mandalorian group, The Watch, we have some actual development occur. Instead of being a hard-head brute, he’s actually shown to be a father with a determination to protect his son and tribe from a dangerous galaxy full of threats. I find it to be endearing to see him develop, but like my problem with Bo-Katan, he had more to do than Din Djarin himself.

It wasn’t just Din Djarin with no development either, as expressed in my previous review of the premiere, I had expected something to happen with The Armorer. So did a lot of the fan base. Yet we went through another season of having learned nothing about her.

ThisWhich leads to the next problem of the season: Unfulfilled set-ups.

Throughout the season there werewas numerous amounts of set-up, such as the appearance of the Mythosaur, tension between the owner of the Darksaber, and a mysterious spy within the Mandalorian group.

None of these get an answer or conclusion except for the dark saberdarksaber, which many viewers may find disappointing, as did I.

“The Mandalorian” season three was disappointing, to say the least, but maybe it’ll get better in season four? Best not to get my hopes up though.

I will give this season the praise it deserves for a thrilling finale, as well as being consistently plot-oriented throughout the season with little to no filler. Aside from episode six which I’d rather not talk about.

“The Mandalorian” season three is streaming all episodes on Disney+ and stars Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Carl Weathers, GiancarloGaincarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Amy Sedaris, and Taika Waititi.