TV Reviews

The Mandalorian (Season 3) – TV Review

The first season of The Mandalorian came at an important time for live action Star Wars. Star Wars: The Last Jedi had been out for a while and had divided audiences, Solo: A Star Wars Story had a troubled production and failed to perform as well as it should have, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was just a few weeks away.

People felt a little unsure about live action Star Wars, and then this feeling wasn’t helped when the final film in the Skywalker Saga was released and divided fans all over again. But The Mandalorian seemed to be a glimmer of hope for a lot of fans, a jump backwards in time away from the sequel trilogy, with a whole host of new characters in some fantastically made episodes. It made a lot of people see that perhaps TV was the answer for Star Wars.

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Now the fandom seems to have shifted once again. With Star Wars Celebration having just happened, we’ve received more information on the upcoming Ahsoka show, Star Wars: Skeleton CrewStar Wars: Visions, and The Acolyte, as well as having had three new films announced, including a continuation of Rey Skywalker’s story. People are excited for what is coming, and The Mandalorian seems to be falling out of favour with some.

The second season of The Mandalorian ended with the capture of the evil Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), and Grogu leaving Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) to go train with the legendary Luke Skywalker (a combo of actor Max Lloyd-Jones and CGI Mark Hamill). If you’d also watched The Book of Boba Fett (and why wouldn’t you?) you’d know that Grogu left the Jedi temple to return to Din’s side, and that Din needed to redeem himself in the eyes of his people to be considered Mandalorian again.


For those who watch The Mandalorian and no other Star Wars shows, the sudden return of Grogu, Din having a new ship, and the new mission, would have been jarring in the first episode, but Star Wars has been a shared universe for a long while now, and criticisms of that kind do feel a little bit forced. The shows set during this time period (The MandalorianThe Book of Boba Fett, and Ahsoka) are all building towards a combined movie, so watching only one piece of that and not understanding the entire story is kind of on you.

But, that aside, the show begins strong, with Din and Grogu off to discover the Sacred Waters of Mandalore. Having to return to the ruins of Mandalore was something that fans speculated would be the focus of the season, the arc that Din would be going through. But by the end of the second episode Din had bathed in the waters and become a Mandalorian once again; so what was the show about now? The Mandalorian shifted from a story about bounty hunter Din Djarin, and became one about Mandalorians as a whole. The show had already shifted previous guest character Bo Katan (Katee Sackhoff) to co-lead, and the story became about what it means to be a Mandalorian.

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The show began to further explore the different factions that we’d been introduced to in the past, such as the animosity between regular Mandalorians and The Children of the Watch, and asked if there was any common ground for them. Since the Empire, the Mandalorian people had become divided, scattered, and leaderless. They had lost their home, and their culture was the only thing that they had left to them. Now was the time to try to correct the damage of the past, and to return Mandalore to glory. Some fans seemed to dislike this shift, upset that the show seemed to be ‘sidelining’ Din in order to give Bo some moments to shine. Ironic considering people seemed to love the episodes of The Book of Boba Fett that shifted focus from Boba (Temuera Morrison) to Din.

Despite the criticisms from some fans, the shift from one individual to Mandalorians as a whole helped to expand this season of the show. Whilst there is still time for Din to go off on adventures, the series became about his people and their place in the galaxy, and led to some fantastic moments. I’d struggle to understand people criticising the expansion of Mandalorians when it gives us the final two episodes of the season, which are some of the best Mandalorian-centred episodes in Star Wars. The fight to give the Mandalorians an actual home tied back to things that the show had done before, as well as including some small nods and winks to Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. It also continued to pave the way towards the sequel trilogy, and expanded upon the return of the Emperor.


The series still makes time to include some adventure of the week style things too, and this season also sees Din and his allies fighting against pirate raiders, as well as having to investigate a potential droid uprising on a peaceful world. Both of these episodes bring different things to the table, with the latter managing to capture the feel of some of the odd adventures that you’d often get to see in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Whilst these episodes don’t always move the main story forward in huge ways, they do offer our characters the chance to do new things, and to show off some fun action moments for the audience.

This season also manages to further explore and expand upon Grogu, the biggest break-out character of the series. Having spent some time training with Luke Skywalker, Grogu is less the vulnerable baby this season, and has begun to showcase more powerful Force powers and combat abilities. We also learn more about how he survived Order-66, in a flashback that brought back a Star Wars actor who received some incredibly unfair treatment at the hands of the fans, in a role that seems to have been universally accepted. Despite the big focus on the Mandalorians, the show manages to find time for Grogu, and cements him as being a Mandalorian himself, as well as furthering his relationship with his surrogate father figure. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing them throw that puppet around whenever the little guy does a Force jump?

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This season features some amazing moments thanks to the amazing team of directors involved. Rick Famuyiwa opens and closes the season in three of the best looking episodes this year, whilst award winning and nominated directors like Rachel Morrison and Lee Isaac Chung join returning director Bryce Dallas Howard, and series guest star Carl Weather to fill out the rest of the season. The shows continues to look good, and it seems like more effort has been made this year to move away from the Volume, and to use other filming techniques. As such, this season does look a bit different to the first season in sense of tone and style, yet still manages to have some incredibly impressive moments.

There will be some who will complain about this season of The Mandalorian, who don’t like the direction the show took, or choices made with the story and characters. But as a fan of Star Wars as a whole, who’s watched everything and who’s looking forward to the things to come, I had a lot of fun with this season. The moments that leaned into the legacy of the franchise were great, the stuff that was setting up things we already know was appreciated, and the expansion of the show to be about more than just one man and his son was needed in order to keep things fresh, and to make The Mandalorian a part of the wider Star Wars universe. With big things on the horizon we’re sure to be seeing Din Djarin again, and I’m eagerly awaiting his return.

The Mandalorian is now streaming on Disney +.

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