Another season of ‘The Mandalorian’ has come to a conclusion, and while I feel like it was a lackluster season overall, I did enjoy the ending. There are plenty of shining moments throughout the season, and the narrative is the strongest when the focus is on Din and Grogu, but this season felt the most inconsistent in terms of it’s writing and narrative. From the very start of the season they set up the taking back of Mandalore which was thought to be a dead planet, which in of itself sounds exciting, but the rest of the season felt like a chore to get through because of it’s lack of focus. As the title of this review suggests, I did highly enjoy the final two episodes since I think these were excellent in terms of bringing the story to a nice conclusion while delivering great character moments and awesome action sequences which I felt was severely lacking. Is it enough to save the entire season though? I don’t quite believe so. *Spoilers ahead*
The Mandalorian has always been a series with an episodic formula where not every episode connects to the “bigger” outgoing narrative, but somehow, season 3 seems to stumble it’s way through this season by losing focus and generally feeling all over the place. The one glaring problem here is that they placed both Grogu and Din in the backseat of the majority of this season which I feel loses a big chunk of what most fans enjoy from the series. It’s not to say other characters aren’t interesting enough, but the lack of direction certainly is felt here. I also believe that when compared to the previous seasons, the quality definitely dipped. Besides the messy storytelling, I also believe that a major contribution to this is that most of the episodes in this season were short, 30-40 mins long which is never enough time for a show to flesh out story threads that they’re trying to establish leaving them feeling like filler until we get to the “real” story which sadly wraps up in the final two episodes. It’s no coincidence that the best episodes of this season were in fact the final two, making a strong ending for a weak season. They try very hard to interweave so much content to create something bigger, but fall flat in it’s execution.
The one major pro, DIn and Grogu have a satisfying story end and dare I say, if this were to be there canonically forever goodbye, it would be picture perfect and well earned. Although Disney has already planned a season 4 of The Mandalorian and there is also rumor of a Mandalorian movie that is said to completely wrap up Din and Grogu’s story in the works. Time will tell what the stories of those projects will be. Another thing I loved about the season was the Mandalorians taking back Mandalore and Bo-Katan redeeming herself. This piece of new canon was so gratifying to see and I love that this will no doubt shake up the Star Wars universe from here on out. The action set pieces and visual FX were also fantastic, and youc an really tell that care was put into crafting this. We also got one of the coolest looking villain costumes out of Moff Gideon played by the always wonderful Giancarlo Esposito, who’s character shows up in the penultimate episode to reveal that most of the things that had happened up until this point were orchestrated by him, tying most of the story threads together.
While season 3 of The Mandalorian is my least favorite out of the bunch, it does have some great moments sprinkled throughout, with 2 fantastic episodes in the finale. It does seem like too little too late, because everything else was average and sometimes even a chore to watch. The constantly shifting focus gives us whiplash and also makes us question what the future of this series will be. Maybe now there will be more focus on Mandalore itself as they re-establish themselves in the universe? Will we see Grogu and Din again in this series? Time will tell.
Season 3 of The Mandalorian is now streaming on Disney+