The Mandalorian, S3 Ep 1 Review

This is a full disclaimer to those who didn’t watch The Book of Boba Fett series: the season premiere of The Mandalorian won’t make much sense. Some might scratch their heads and ask themselves, “why’s Grogu still with Mando? Didn’t he let him train with Luke to become a Jedi? Shouldn’t he start a new chapter in his life?” If that’s the case, then either go watch the last three episodes of The Book of Boba Fett or read my reviews for them. Otherwise, we’ll assume you caught up. 

Now, with that out of the way, let’s get down to business. By the Force almighty, Mando and Baby Yoda return, and the Internet rejoices.

The Mandalorian’s on a Quest of Redemption

The Mandalorian S3, Ep 1-Credits Artwork 1
Source-Disney+, Twitter

So, when we last saw him, Din Djarin was branded an apostate (an exile) by the Armorer. Since he took off his helmet in front of Grogu, he broke their creed, so she says he’s no longer a Mandalorian. Her sect won’t even speak to him, not even when he comes in his new N-1 starfighter to help them take down a giant crocodile monster. The only way they’ll let him come back is if he bathes in the living waters of the mines beneath Mandalore. In others words, a fool’s chance since they believe the Empire destroyed Mandalore. 

One wouldn’t blame Mando for deciding that what they think of him doesn’t matter. He has the Darksaber, a symbol of Mandalorian leadership, and he’s learned they’re not the only surviving Mandalorians out there. However, he’s not at the point where he can say their rules are dumb yet, so this episode revolves around him and Grogu trying to find allies to help them get to Mandalore. 

We then get to see some old friends and familiar places.

The New and Improved Nevarro, Same old Problems.

After a rather breathtaking sequence where Grogu stares out into hyperspace in complete wonder (and even sees some hyperspace-traveling Purrgil), the father-son duo return to Nevarro, which is now nigh-unrecognizable. The small, backwater town we first saw back in season one’s becoming a thriving settlement, bustling with merchants and travelers from all over. Greef’s even made the title of High Magistrate and is more than happy to let Din and Grogu settle down on some land. But Mando’s determined to get to Mandalore, and tries to enlist the help of a droid he can trust. In this case, IG-11.

The last time we saw IG-11, he destroyed himself to help remove Moff Gideon’s Stormtroopers. However, Karga took what’s left of him and made him into the statue of the droid, and he agrees to let Mando try to restore him.

It doesn’t work. Not only does IG-11 revert to his violent personality and try to kill Grogu…but he forces Din to make his first dad joke. 

On top of this, Mando ends up angering a crew of pirates who aren’t happy with how Nevarro’s changed. They pursue him and Grogu into space, and a classic Star Wars dogfight follows. This is the kind of action that fans love to see in Star Wars, and it’s great to see the show starting to include more of it. 

The Mandalorian S3, Ep 1-Credits Artwork 3
Source-Disney+, Twitter

Mando Has to Get Everyone’s Acts Together

Left with no other choice, Mando seeks out Bo-Katan and her faction for help getting to Mandalore. When he gets there, though, he finds she’s the only one left. Everyone else left when she came back without the Darksaber, leaving her bitter and defeated.

The Mandalorian S3, Ep 1-Credits Artwork 4
Source-Disney+, Twitter

Few people can help Mando and Grogu reach Mandalorie, and fewer are willing to help them. The Mandalorians are divided and scattered without any hope for their homeworld being reclaimed. However, despite how bleak things seem, there’s a golden opportunity at Din’s feet.

Years ago, when he won the Darksaber, I speculated this to be a sign that Din Djarin could be the one who becomes the next Mandalore, the leader of his people. If he made it to Mandalore and returned alive, he could unite its scattered people and rebuild what they lost. At least, I’m praying that’s what happens. It would make for a great story: a lowly bounty hunter becoming the leader of an entire civilization.

A Solid Return to the Series

Plot points and guessing aside, this episode delivered on fan’s expectations for the return of The Mandalorian. The locations were amazing, the character’s were good, and, as always, Baby Yoda was the absolute cutest. Seeing him trying to hug a tiny alien or using the Force to spin a chair around was always good for a smile. 

Given how much Lucasfilm and Disney have promised us regarding this third season, I feel like this will be the best The Mandalorian’s been thus far. Will it reach the same hype as Luke’s triumphant return? That remains to be seen. As of now, though, it’s off to a good start.

Don’t expect to see Cara Dune back, though. They wrote off her character as having joined New Republic Special Forces.

Go Read My Reviews for The Mandalorian

One last thing to note: I originally wrote my reviews for The Mandalorian on my personal blog, RJ Writing Ink. If you want to see my thoughts on the series from its inception, I’d recommend you check it out

This is the way.

I Give “The Apostate” a 4/5