THE MANDALORIAN Season 3 Review; "Buckle Up For Pure, Unadulterated STAR WARS Perfection"

The Mandalorian has finally returned to Disney+ for its third season, and after watching the first two episodes, we're pleased to report that it's nothing short of the Star Wars franchise at its finest!

Reviews Opinion

The first two episodes of The Mandalorian season 3 were provided for review.

The Mandalorian launched alongside Disney+ in 2019, and there was really no better way to establish the streaming service as a must-have than with a new Star Wars TV series. As luck would have it, and right in the midst of the divisive sequel trilogy, Lucasfilm released its best piece of Star Wars storytelling yet, with the adventures of Din Djarin and Grogu (not that we knew their names at the time) immediately proving to be appointment viewing each week. Season 2 kept the momentum going, while even the still highly enjoyable spin-off The Book of Boba Fett was at its best when the spotlight shifted back to the bounty hunter and his young ward. The wait for season 3 has been a long one, but The Mandalorian is back and better than ever.

We’re not going to get into spoilers here but you’ll know from the trailers that Din hopes to return to Mandalore in an effort to regain his status as a Mandalorian. To do so, he must bathe in the dead planet’s living waters, a mission that seems nigh on impossible after the Empire laid waste to this formerly powerful nation of warriors. Rick Famuyiwa directs the premiere and, boy, we can’t help but wish his take on The Flash had become a reality a few years back. Similar to his previous episodes, the filmmaker delivers a rip-roaring adventure with standout action scenes…and the expected moments of cuteness from Grogu.

Establishing a new status quo for a number of characters, this opener sets the tone for season 3 and serves as a fantastic reintroduction to this corner of the Galaxy. Along the way, Din is given an unexpected new mission and Famuyiwa pulls back a little more of the curtain on the Mandalorian way of life. We open and close "The Apostate" with some big set pieces and a reminder of why The Mandalorian is top-tier Star Wars

In episode 2, Black Panther cinematographer Rachel Morrison makes her Star Wars debut for a lengthier story that takes a deep dive into the franchise's lore and delivers some massive surprises. If the premiere was about setting the tone for season 3, then "The Mines of Mandalore" firmly establishes where this series is going as we move into a new era (it also puts the spotlight on Grogu in an unexpected, exciting new way). Morrison may be visiting this Galaxy for the first time, but she isn’t a first-time director; however, we can’t help but think The Mandalorian will be what puts her on the map as a filmmaker to watch. 

John Shirley steps in to compose the series in place of Ludwig Göransson but does a fine job of ensuring the series continues to boast that one-of-a-kind sound. The fact Göransson's themes remain a big part of what we hear from the show is welcomed and ensures the change is in no way jarring.

Pedro Pascal is as excellent as ever as the voice of Din Djarin, while credit must also go to his physical stand-ins Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder. Carl Weathers is also a delight, but it’s Katee Sackhoff who deserves the lion’s share of praise for these first two episodes. In season 2, she was somewhat overshadowed by the novelty of her animated character being brought to life in live-action. A glorified cameo in many ways now becomes a solid supporting role and Sackhoff takes the opportunity to show why Lucasfilm made the right decision to bring her back when it would have been easy to recast the character with any number of "bigger" stars. Sackhoff is the perfect Bo-Katan and we’re excited to see where the actress takes the character next. 

Jon Favreau just gets Star Wars, and with The Mandalorian, he’s delivered something truly special that can unite even the most fickle fans. With Din no longer on the run from the Empire or trying to reunite The Child with its own kind, some have wondered whether the series might lose focus and, in the process, what made it so great in the first place. That’s definitely not the case and, if these first two episodes are any indication, it’s time to buckle up for another season of pure, unadulterated Star Wars perfection.

Still the best Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian returns with everything fans love about the franchise and plenty of hints that this will be the most thrilling and revealing season yet. We’re ready for that Bo-Katan Kryze spin-off. 


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