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'The Mandalorian' review: Season 3 promises more episodes, but just as much fun

When Luke Skywalker appears in Disney+’s The Mandalorian season 2 finale, it may be the biggest The blockbuster that the series has ever dropped. It’s also, arguably, a sign that the series may have lost its way. For one thing, it separates Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu with no obvious way to put them back together. More radically, it seems to bring two characters closer to the Skywalker-centric core of the Star Wars universe, after they previously seemed content to explore their own little corner of the galaxy.

Well, the mild surprise of season three is that nothing actually seems to have changed. In the first two episodes sent to critics, the eight-episode season, The Mandalorian ) The core fun remains the same – namely the sweet bond between the stoic hero and his lovable young master, and the opportunity to explore rich new worlds with them.

The Mandalorian

Bottom Line A more serialized season exploring new depths.

Air Date:
Wednesday, March 1 (Disney+)3535
Throwing: Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Brendan Wayne, La Steve Crowder 35
Jon Favreau

To a large extent, The Mandalorian was reinstated because of The Book of Boba Fett did the heavy lifting of getting Grogu and Ding back on track, basically just mislabeledThe Mandalorian for two and a half episodes. TL;DR: Grogu tries to train with Luke (again played by a digitally aged Mark Hamill) but ultimately chooses to go back to his Mandalorian dad; The sin of the helmet. (Plus, some more clarification on Darksaber.) All of which means that by the time the third season of The Mandalorian kicks off, the status quo has reset.

Well, mostly. One notable change that The Mandalorian seems to have stalled on is a more serialized nature. The premiere (written by Jon Favreau and directed by Rick Famuyiwa) has no shortage of fun for the general audience: a daring rescue from a giant sea creature; a high-speed chase through an asteroid field; a thrilling performance by Ludwig Göransson Heart’s score returns; Grogu has many, many moments doing bad things. But even in its relatively short 35 minutes, the episode gets bogged down with references to earlier episodes and settings from later episodes.

The Armorer (Emily Swallow) is back mainly so Din can retell his story in The Book of Boba Fett Conversations with her in ), and remind us again what his updated plot is. There’s a trip to Nevarro, so Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) can explain how his storyline has evolved since the last time we saw him. Likewise, Bo-Katan (Katee Sackoff) spends most of the first episode giving us a quick peek at her trade, but thankfully, she gets more opportunities to show off her charisma and confident personality in the second episode . While each episode advances Din’s quest and his growing attachment to Grogu bit by bit, there’s a lot to keep track of in a show that once felt refreshingly committed to a major standalone adventure.

The promise of a tighter continuity isn’t all bad (with Episode 1’s initial table setting left out, Episode 2’s new quest from Din Got a lot of excitement). Another big development this season is the shifting relationship between Din and Grogu. Over the first two seasons, Din slowly opened up to Grogu and began to care for the kid involuntarily. Now, having completed his task of handing Grogu over to the Jedi, Grogu has chosen Ding, and Ding is free to assume his parental role more fully. He did it with gusto, holding Grogu in his lap, pointing out this map or that control as they flew his starfighter across the galaxy.

Poignantly, Din also began to pass his culture on to his children. “That’s Mandalorian, the home of our people. Every Mandalorian can trace their roots back to this planet, and the beskar mines lie deep,” he told Grogu as they approached the planet. Never mind that, as Din admits in the next breath, he’s never actually been there, and neither has Grogu; community and culture, as expats on our planet know, are more than just a physical location. It’s an elegant touch that deepens the characters and their universe at the precise moment the story needs – because if the first two chapters are any indication, the first two chapters of The Mandalorian Season three is about diving headfirst into the ins and outs of The Mandalorian.

On its own, the promise of more knowledge is not particularly enticing. Star Wars has never been short of new proper titles to remember or new mysterious histories to learn; what it sometimes lacks is a reason to care deeply about it. But there, The Mandalorian is poised for success. If the plot of the new season feels heavier, it’s still a show that makes room for the simple joys of the first two seasons that were so beloved.

Still having fun discovering new creatures and being amazed at how real and tactile they look. (Marvel could borrow a page from Star Wars on this, just saying.) Surrounding our core duo are many indelible personalities – including Amy Sedaris Delightful eccentric Peli motto, come back to run more fast-talking con. It was fun watching Din argue first with a neurotic robot, then with Grogu, while he was the only character in the scene speaking a truly recognizable human language, because that was the kind of galaxy Star Wars yes.

And of course, there’s Grogu’s apparently infinite appeal – after three years and countless cultural references, still cute enough to re-melt our hearts and continue to spur this The once stoic bounty hunter goes to new depths.



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