Like many, I felt like the second season of The Mandalorian was a mixed bag regarding the series’ direction. It was very clear that the show would be the launching pad of many others, and so, most of the season felt like it had no clear direction. And then came The Book of Boba Fett. It was not a great show at all, but – for some reason – became The Mandalorian 2.0 by the end of its season by reuniting Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu after Grogu had been sent with Luke Skywalker (a de-aged Mark Hamill) to train. It was confusing, and to those who never watched The Book of Boba Fett – which I can’t blame you for – it meant that the start of the third season with the duo reunited would be very confusing.
Pairing that with the fact that Jon Favreau – the series creator – explained that not only had a two-year time jump occurred between the second and third season, but the series’ two seasons had also spanned years without ever being something that had been explained – The Mandalorian had a lot to do to get me back on their good side, especially with how good Andor was and how high expectations were now put knowing how great a Star Wars show could be.
And while the show’s first two episodes are not perfect – especially this time jump that is never explained and that we only know about because it was told to us behind the scenes – it is a clear return to what had made the first season so successful.
The show finally lets Din be the main character by exploring Mandalore and its culture. While we had been following him for two seasons, he always felt like he never was the centrepiece. The first season was about Grogu and who he was, while the second became a guest star show. This time around, while Bo Katan (Katee Sackhoff) is very much also an important piece of the puzzle, she never feels like the center of it all. Even when he isn’t on screen, Din’s presence is everywhere, and the show had been missing that before.
Someone once told me they felt disappointed by The Mandalorian because the world never felt lived in. And most of that was because of the setting we were exploring, but mostly because the sets felt dried and one note. This time, at least for the first two episodes, it is clear that the show finally seems interested in the world. Even when we get to Mandalore in the second episode, a civilization destroyed and abandoned, it feels lived in and interesting. It’s a plus that I look forward to continuing to see as the season progresses, but it also makes this season even more interesting.
Judging this third season of The Mandalorian from only two episodes is hard. Still, if these two episodes are anything to go by, it seems like the show is interested in returning to what made it so good during its initial season. While there are issues, especially with the confusing timeline that is never explained, there are many things to love about these two episodes. But most importantly, they did their job… Making me interested once again in watching this show after I had very little interest left in it…
The first episode third season of The Mandalorian is now live on Disney+, with a new episode every Wednesday.