Since 2019, Din Djarin and Grogu have taken over the Star Wars fandom with their story of a wayward cowboy thrust into fatherhood in a turbulent galaxy. The Mandalorian ushered in a new era proving that a live-action series is a valuable method of storytelling for the Star Wars franchise. Through their adventures in the first two seasons, fans have seen the galaxy expand as their interactions with characters, new and old, began to answer various questions about what happened following the rise of the New Republic. The Mandalorian Season 3 largely follows in its predecessor’s footsteps, but the path in which it takes to do so will leave fans divided.
The Mandalorian Season 3 saw the return of many of those who worked on the two previous seasons. Directors Rick Famuyiwa, Carl Weathers, and Bryce Dallas Howard all returned to leave their mark on the series while Rachel Morrison, Lee Issac Chung, and Peter Ramsey all made their directorial debuts, adding to the growing list of new faces in the production team for Star Wars. Each director’s style gives each episode of The Mandalorian Season 3 a slightly different while Jon Favreau handled the bulk of the writing this season, keeping the overarching story connected.
Who are The Mandalorians outside of Din Djarin? Read here.
The Mandalorian‘s method of building out its seasons has always been centered on having smaller episodes serving as side missions leading a grand ensemble finale that plays off the beats laid down earlier in the season. It was true for season 1, which saw multiple characters and storylines coming together on Nevarro, and again in season 2 on the bridge of Moff Gideon’s light cruiser. The Mandalorian Season 3 attempts to recreate this magic. In both of the previous seasons, Din Djarin and Grogu stood firmly as the series’s focus to achieve its goals, whereas the third shifts the focus to other characters as it builds to its own epic finale.
While it is clear by the time the credit roll that this season of The Mandalorian was not meant to be all about Din Djarin and Grogu, that is not necessarily a bad thing. One of the most interesting things that The Mandalorian Season 3 does in its storytelling is also the source of one of its chief complaints. The season very clearly and definitively shifts the focus away from Din Djarin as THE Mandalorian. Instead, it provides a look at what it means to be Mandalorian as the group finally is able to reunite under one banner. While Rick Famuyiwa insisted THE Mandalorian is Bo-Katan Kryze at Star Wars Celebration 2023, I believe the show’s title now encompasses all Mandalorians. Bo-Katan, the Armorer, Axe Woves, Paz Vizla, and even Grogu all do their part in The Mandalorian Season 3 to show that Mandalorians are stronger together.
As The Mandalorian Season 3 builds to its finale, it is not only the Mandalorians that have their song continued to be written. Expanding the scope of the show allows for a nuanced look at the early years of the New Republic and their overconfidence to govern the galaxy post-Imperial rule. The socio-political issues explored in Andor that led to the collapse of the Republic are alive and well in this new era. Due to oversight by the New Republic, the embers of the Empire give way to Imperial remnants that remain in power as the seeds of the First Order are explored throughout the season. The door is now open to continue to explore the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens in live-action through Ahsoka and Dave Filoni’s upcoming film.
Just because the focus is not on Din Djarin and Grogu, doesn’t me that the two don’t have time to shine. Din Djarin’s honorable nature and the network that he has built allow him to walk in different worlds almost as easily as Bo-Katan has. Without his connections to Greef Karga and Carson Teva, it is very unlikely that the Mandalorians are able to be reunited. Further, Grogu continues his journey as a Force-sensitive Mandalorian. Through his training and the influence of those around him, Grogu more than proves himself to grow beyond just a simple foundling. As Grogu’s Force powers continue to blend with Mandalorian tradition, Din Djarin and Grogu look to make a force of nature the likes the galaxy has yet to have seen.
With the excitement for the future of Star Wars stories, many things in The Mandalorian Season 3 may go overlooked—namely, the work it does to continue incorporating elements from other Star Wars media into live-action. The appearance of the space-traveling purrgil, the existence of a mythosaur, the inclusion of Ahmed Best as Jedi Master Kelleran Beq, and the mention of Grand Admiral Thrawn, to name a few, are great examples of The Mandalorian as a vehicle to other stories in Star Wars that are rich with history. Further, The Mandalorian Season 3 remains true to the silliness that is integral to Star Wars. Cameo appearances and gags are intermixed, providing memorable and meme-able moments for all to enjoy.
Ultimately, The Mandalorian Season 3 invokes all elements that make Din Djarin so great as a character. While we have seen him grow much since season one, Din Djarin has never been one who has wanted to lead. He has always been focused on doing his part for his culture and protecting those closest to him. He doesn’t need the focus to be on him to accomplish this. Din Djrin’s determination and dedication to those he deems honorable allow for others’ songs to be written. Just as he passed the torch to Bo-Katan Kyrze to be the leader of the Mandalorians, The Mandalorian Season 3 gives way to even more stories to be told in the Star Wars canon.
The Mandalorian Season 3 is available now, exclusively on Disney+.
The Mandalorian Season 3
Din Djrin’s determination and dedication to those he deems honorable allow for others’ songs to be written. Just as he passed the torch to Bo-Katan Kyrze to be the leader of the Mandalorians, The Mandalorian Season 3 gives way to even more stories to be told in the Star Wars canon.
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