The Mandalorian Season 3 kicks off by playing it safe

Disney's most popular new Star Wars character returns with more of the same, but that's not always a bad thing.

by Justin Choo

The long-awaited Mandalorian Season 3 is here, and fans of Pedro Pascal doing daddy duty will swoon at the weekly double bill alongside The Last of Us.

The first episode of Season 3 picks up where The Book of Boba Fett left off—yes, they don’t do a recap to bring you up to speed on the events that happened between Seasons 2 and 3.

We won’t have to wait much longer to see the ruins of Mandalore. | Screencaps: Disney+

They do reveal what happened to the Children of the Watch though; they’re conducting an initiation ceremony that gives us more insights into the Way of the Mandalore. Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) returns with Grogu in tow to seek information from the Armorer (Emily Swallow). He’s now an apostate–an outcast–and he seeks information to find, and bathe in, the Living Waters beneath the mines of Manadalore, which by Creed (not Apollo Creed but Mandalorian Creed), will help him atone for his sin of revealing his face to Grogu. But we the audience know that mostly it’s because he can’t tell a white lie, even when the full-face helmet offers the world’s best cheat code for that sort of thing.

Din Djarin reunites with Greef Karga, albeit briefly as always. | Screencaps: Disney+

Our hero spends the episode making his way around his usual haunts to pull favours, with Nevarro undoubtedly on the radar. The mercenary haven has prospered in the days post-empire, led by now High Magistrate Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) who still hopes that Djarin can help maintain the peace. As usual, as these shows do, we’re given a little reminder of why Karga wants his help so badly.

Din Djarin lives rent-free in Bo-Katan Kryse’s head. | Screencaps: Disney+

The new souped-up N1 Starfighter also gets its chance to show off before Djarin ends the episode with a visit to the series’ final key figure, Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), who would no doubt play a major role in Season 3 either as an invaluable ally or a deadly foe; or even both.

Jon Favreau who wrote the episode and plays Pre Vizsla plays it safe on this one with plenty of crowd-pleasing, eye-candy moments, which includes the first live-action appearance of purrgils, creatures that are naturally capable of travelling through hyperspace. Perhaps that might come in handy in a later episode? Hmm…

Joel and Ellie enjoy a bit of the peace while they can. | Screencaps: Disney+

You might argue that the episode feels a little generic and you’d be right. However, The Mandalorian has been the franchise’s crowd-pleaser series largely because it has no fandom baggage and toxic expectations to live up to, and it would be pretty hard–though not impossible–to get things spectacularly wrong by this point. It’s the kind of show that will be somewhat serviceable thanks to its old-school, episodic format, even if the stories become somewhat lacklustre.

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