THE MANDALORIAN (2023)
Aired On: Disney+
Release Date: 03/01/23
Action. Adventure. Fantasy.
"The travels of a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic."
The Star Wars TV train just isn’t stopping anytime soon. With the disappointing Obi-Wan Kenobi and the exceptional Andor, I was honestly curious on the direction Lucasfilm would go with their longer running live action series The Mandalorian. There was a bit of me that was scared it would move towards a more pandering route as the end of its final season had done - the cold feeling that The Book of Boba Fett left me was also not filling me up with much optimism. It felt like that The Book of Boba Fett, though enjoyable, went against a lot of the decisions that made season's 2 ending impactful. Though it did raise some worries for season 3, they were thankfully washed away with such a strong opening to the season.
This show still knows how to deliver on its promise of being a fun space adventure spiral comic, and though it isn't the thought provoking text Andor had, it still at least understand how to still make it feel like Star Wars. Many episodes still remain adventurous, exciting, sometimes even swashbuckling, and just really nail what you're looking for on this kind of show, however, there's still many drawbacks of this season that are just too hard to ignore.
Something about season 3, however, feels a little less consequential to the bigger picture The Mandalorian is trying to give us. Although he's the main character, Din Djarin as a character feels way too passive here. Past episode 2 of this season, which may be my favorite episode of the show so far, the character and Pascal's performance lose a tremendous amount of stake in the season's over-arching narrative in favor of Bo Katan, played by Katee Sackhoff. Bo Katan does feel much more like a main character in this season, and while I do feel her arc meditates on a lot of great ideas, it almost feels towards the end of the season, it doesn't know what to do with her central conflict and it results in a final stretch feeling quite rushed.
There's a lot of great stuff in The Mandalorian season 3, but it only feels like it gives you so much. So many things happen, but yet it feels like we're still in the same place where we started before. Din Djarin is too passive of a character, and it never commits to the characters the show is more interested in tackling. Although satisfying, the third season of The Mandalorian still ends up being perhaps a bit too brisk and passive for it to really leave any impact.