While the world building in season 3 of The Mandalorian continues to be top-notch, especially the dream-like planet of Plazir-15, and the neon-drenched Coruscant, the creatures stay wild and wonderful, and Grogu delightful as ever, the storytelling seems to have gone down a predictable path.
After dragging Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) out of the Living Waters in ‘The Mines of Mandalore’, without telling him about the mythosaur sighting, Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), Din and little Grogu head back for the secret Mandalorian enclave where both are accepted as they bathed in the Living Waters. The Armorer (Emily Swallow), gives Bo-Katan the extra responsibility of bringing the scattered Mandalorians together to reclaim their land and their legacy, with the option of keeping her helmet off as she “walks both paths”. She accepts Bo-Katan’s mythosaur sighting as significant. The mythosaur is a telling name, signifying a gigantic myth or truth.
In the glittering land of Coruscant, after a pardon from the New Republic, Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) is being rehabilitated. He is uneasy about the presence of Elia Kane (Katy M. O’Brian) who was a communications officer with Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) Imperial Forces before being rehabilitated. Elia seems all ready to help Pershing continue his cloning research, but naturally not. Incidentally, those city trains in the sky are so cool as is the only part of the planet that is not built upon being kept like a fenced-off exhibit.
The Mandalorian Season 3 (English)
Run time: 30–52 minutes
Creator: Jon Favreau
Cast: Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, Amy Sedaris, Taika Waititi, Jack Black, Christopher Lloyd
Storyline: The Mandalorians decide to regroup and take back their land and their legacy
‘The Foundling’ sees Grogu training in the ways of the Mandalore (awww…) and he smartly defeats his opponent with his new upside-down flip. There is a raptor to be subdued and younglings to be rescued. While Grogu watches the Armorer work the forge, he has a flashback of the chaos and bloodshed in the Jedi temple during Order 66. The Armorer forges a roundle for Grogu which she assures him he will grow into and as he gurgles in delight, all thoughts of the desperate flight with Jedi Master Kelleran Beq (Ahmed Best) are apparently filed away.
Gorian Shard, who looks like a cousin of Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, in retaliation for previous wrongs, is back at Nevarro in ‘The Pirate.’ High Magistrate Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) sends a hologram to Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) for help—just like Princess Leia so many suns and moons ago. With the New Republic having enough of their own problems, it is left to the Mandalorians to help, which they do in fine style.
Bo-Katan, Din and Grogu head to the lotus-eating planet of Plazir-15 in ‘Guns for Hire’ in a bid to get her former army back. The army, now led by Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides) are mercenaries for the rulers of the pleasant planet, former Imperial officer, Captain Bombardier (Jack Black) and his Bridgerton-style consort, The Duchess (Lizzo). There is no such thing as a free lunch and the Mandalorians are asked to neutralise the threat of repurposed droids who are going haywire. The duo head to a bar because naturally, that is where you can pick up all sorts of useful information. Commissioner Helgait (Christopher Lloyd) does not have much faith in the outsiders. All is set up for the big confrontation between the Mandalorians and Moff who escaped his prison transport and is up to his usual dastardly deeds.
The final episode, ‘The Return’ is just that bit underwhelming with its vanilla happily ever after. Grogu in a repurposed IG-11 (Taika Waititi) repeating yes, yes, yes and no, no, no is cute as always but now The Mandalorian seems to be more a placeholder for the larger Star Wars story.
Well, there is enough eye candy, with fantastic worlds courtesy of the 360-degree video wall. With two spin-off series, Rangers of the New Republic and Ahsoka following The Book of Boba Fett, and a film in The Mandalorian universe which is set between The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, there is a lot more beskar-plated fun to be had in the galaxy far, far away.
The Mandalorian is currently streaming on Disney+Hotstar