The Mandalorian Season 3 Review
Listen, I love Star Wars. I will always love Star Wars. The original and prequel trilogies were a big part of my childhood, and helped shape my love of cinema. While The Mandalorian isn’t among my favourites in the franchise, I thought it had a promising first season and a significantly stronger season two. Season three had so much potential, but a frustrating lack of focus held it back from greatness.
This show’s always had a bit of an identity crisis, but it’s never been as clear as it is here. Does it want to be a procedural-style adventure of the week, or tell an epic, multi-season spanning arc? Season one leaned toward the former, while Season two found a satisfying balance of both. Season three tries to find that balance, but the overarching story it wants to tell is bigger than the few episodes allotted to do so. There are only 8 chapters, some barely over 30 min. That’s a fairly tight run, even if the season had focused solely on its main storyline. However, when half the episodes are separate side-plots, it doesn’t give the story room to develop at a natural pace.
It’s a shame, because the foundation is strong. The final two episodes reminded me why I love this show, and delivered exactly what I wanted from this season. Looking at everything that came before though, this climax doesn’t feel earned. There’s no real build up, and for the third time now, the villain is tossed in at the end, with no presence in the prior episodes. It’s a formula that once worked, but feels a bit stale now.
Alright, let’s talk positives. The production value continues to impress, with excellent visual and practical effects, as well as a strong score to compliment everything happening on screen. Katee Sackhoff takes centre stage, proving Bo Katan is one of the best characters of the Disney Star Wars era. The lore of the Mandalorians is fascinating, and I love how we were shown the crumbling of theNew Republic, and rise of the First Order.
This season saw some high-highs and low-lows. Some episodes thrilled, where others felt like a different show entirely. It’s got enough working in it’s favour to warrant a watch, but the series is in need of a shakeup going forward. Andor recently showed us how Star Wars can still be fresh and exciting. This… this is not the way.