TV Review: “The Mandalorian” – Season 3

This is not the way


Lea Vazquez, Staff Writer

Nothing good is meant to last forever. Let’s face it, even your favorite TV show has some flaw you can admit to. Almost every TV show has a season you skip or an episode you hate. Sometimes great media just turns unwatchable. I’ve seen this situation play out again and again, but never would I have expected to have seen it happen in Season 3 of “The Mandalorian.” With a phenomenal (almost perfect, in my opinion) two-season run, Season 3 is so bad I rank it in the same category as “The Rise of Skywalker” — not canon in my eyes. 

Season 3 feels like your high school best friend leaving for college and coming back during winter break. Of course, they’re still the same person, but they’re just different. They have new experiences and are going in a different direction. Of course, in the show we see familiar characters from previous seasons, but something about it just feels … off.

The synopsis of Season 3 summarizes it as follows: “The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal as the title character, a bounty hunter traveling to Mandalore to redeem his past transgressions with his adopted son Grogu and being aided on their journey by fellow Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze. The biggest issue to me is the plot, and we know the main plot point in the previous two seasons. In Season 1, we followed the Mandalorian (who’s name is revealed to be Din Djarin by the end of the season) as he protects the child, completing tasks along the way. In Season 2, we follow Mando as he tries to return the child to the Jedi. Both of the seasons have a sole focus on Grogu, and his growing bond with Din Djarin, which allows him to grow as a character. Going from originally cold and aloof, to more kind towards the child, he even goes as far to take off his helmet for Grogu’s protection. Season 3 lacks that relationship that originally made the show so wonderful. It was something new and fresh for Star Wars, and had something enjoyable anyone could appreciate. 

The original singular meaning of the show’s title, “The Mandalorian,” is now shifting to become plural, with more screen time for The Children of The Watch and Bo Katan Kryze. Allowing her to reclaim the dark saber not only gave her the throne of Mandalore, but also shifted most of the focus towards her character. That choice was in poor taste, seeing how many people love Din Djarin as a character. To me, Season 3 is a poor attempt at furthering the connection between “The Mandalorian” and the other TV shows that Lucasfilms has produced. This is evident in Chapter 21 “The Pirate,” in which we see an appearance from Zeb (Steven Blum) for about 30 seconds. His character offered nothing important to the story, nor was his appearance long enough to be meaningful by any means. It’s just blatant fanservice, and what could have been another great introduction of more animated characters turned into something that is lackluster. Don’t even get me started on Lizzo and Jack Black starring as The Duchess of Plazir-15 and Captain Bombardier, respectively. Both of these characters only appear for Chapter 22, “Guns for Hire,” and their only real purpose in the episode is just to be plot devices and cameos from well-known celebrities. With how vast the Star Wars Universe is, I wouldn’t say it is that hard to find Nobles that the fanbase knows and are canon, and use them instead of just hiring Lizzo and Jack Black for the fun of it. It makes no sense to have a character that is well known and beloved be given worthless screen time, while on the other hand, characters that didn’t really need to be created be given much more screen time just for the sake of it. 

Overall, the whole season itself is just forgettable. It’s trying too hard to expand into something bigger, but it is doing it too fast, leaving every episode feeling aimless and empty. Every chapter I watched was just … things happening. No scene in the episode felt like it was leading into something. I felt like maybe I needed to give it time, but as each week went by, the less interested I became. Honestly, if I wasn’t writing this review, I wouldn’t have even bothered to finish the season. With bland new characters and direction, Season 3 seems like it was airing the drafts of each episode. 

I understand that “The Mandalorian” is a show that is made with the love of Star Wars fans. Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau are not only talented writers, but they are also passionate about what they are doing, and that is something that’s evident throughout the first two seasons. Although this review might give the appearance that this isn’t the case, Season 3 is too passionate, with the attempt of bringing in different characters that don’t bring anything fresh or good to the season. The writers and producers are biting off more than they can chew. And what once was a show I would stay up until midnight every week to watch, has now become one I struggle to keep my eyes open for. I only hope that Filoni and Favreau can redeem themselves next season, for this is not the way.

Image courtesy of The Daily Beast