The Mandalorian – Season 3 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Chapter 17 – The Apostate

Episode 1 of The Mandalorian season 3 begins with with the Armorer creating a brand new mask, ready for a new Mandalorian to join their ranks. The young boy is in the water, submerged up to his knees and recites the ancient words, vowing never to remove his helmet.

However, their initiation is immediately disrupted by a giant crocodile appearing out the water and ambushing them all. Paz Visla urges the troops to take to the sky, jumping on its back and placing explosives to try and smash it down. Half the troops don’t listen, and continue to try and pummel it with laser fire from the beach.

The Armorer charges into the water to save one of their own who ends up submerged, while the young boy is saved by Paz Visla who shows with a minigun and begins firing. However, it’s Mando that gets the killing blow, arriving in his ship with Grogu to take out this behemoth.

Mando eventually speaks to the Armorer in private, discussing the Mines of Mandalore. The Armorer is convinced that everything was destroyed in the Purge, but given Mando possesses a chunk of crystal, it seems to hint otherwise. The Armorer claims that it’s simply evidence that Mandalore’s entire surface has been crystalized by fusion rays.

Mando is far more optimistic though and wants to visit the planet himself. If the rumours are true, then he should be able to bathe in the Living Waters beneath the mines and see the exile lifted in order to redeem himself for removing his helmet last season. After a brief pause, The Armorer retorts “This is the Way.”

Mando and Grogu head off to Nevarro first, which has become a bustling independent trade anchor and Outer Rim Hyperlane port. In a scene reminiscent of episode 1, the pair head on through the streets soaking in the wonders. “A lot has changed around here.” Mando retorts.

One of the biggest changes though comes from Greef Karga. He’s jovial and happy to meet Mando, revealing that he’s the new High Magistrate, and is overseeing the great progress the place has made. There’s a big construction boom and the whole place is brimming with life.

Midway through talking though, they’re interrupted by Vane and a bunch of pirates, who happen to be sniffing around outside. A tense stand-off ensues, eventually leading to resolving any pirate greef (sorry, I’ll see myself out.)

Mando and Greef Karga work together and thwart the threat of the pirates, leaving Vane to head back with his tail between his legs. All of this is a play of course to show that Nevarro isn’t a push-over state anymore. Greef knows he needs a sheriff to oversee matters, but similarly, propositions the Mandalorian to hang up his blaster and prosper off the land. Under Greef’s watch, he wants Nevarro to become a truly independent trade anchor.

Mando gets to work patching up their old friend, as the remains of IG-11 bursts to life. Unfortunately, he also comes straight for Grogu, given he’s defaulted to his initial programming. This is beyond Mando’s capability, so the pair decide to bring in the best droidsmiths to get him back to his old self. These creatures happen to be the Anzellans but they’re convinced that IG-11 is broken. His memory circuit is completely shot to bits, meaning Mando needs to find a replacement. And of course, it’s side-quest time as Mando and Grogu take off to get the parts.

In space, they’re stopped by Vane and several of his compatriots, who show up to get revenge for the killing of his brothers. Mando flies into an asteroid field and uses his skills to get away… or does he? Unfortunately a much larger ship, manned by Gorian Shard, happens to be waiting for them, guns primed and locked on.

Mando makes the jump to Hyperspace though, and approaches Kalevala with Grogu. It’s another planet in the Mandalorian system, with a Mandalorian castle on the edge of the cliffs. Once there, Mando heads in to see Bo-Katan, who’s broken and alone. Her forces are gone and with the Darksaber on Mando’s possession, her motivation to retake Mandalore has vanished.

However, she does give some crucial intel. Specifically, she points out that the mines are located beneath the civic center in the city of Sundari and watches as he walks away.

The Episode Review

The Mandalorian is back and with a bombastic action-packed episode to boot. While Andor showed that Star Wars can be gritty and dramatic, The Mandalorian instead opts for much more of the familiar space battles and fighting… but it does so in a rather contrived way.

Don’t get me wrong, the episode is enjoyable but there are flaws here that are hard to overlook. The beginning fight with the crocodile is one such example. All of these Mandalorians have jetpacks and are supposed to be skilled fighters, but yet many of them are trying to fight this thing on the ground, not even from the cliffs overlooking the cave.

This, similarly, is joined by the escape through the asteroid field which begs the question – why didn’t Mando just use the jump to hyperspace immediately rather than risk flying through it?

However, the production design and general aesthetic of the show is great and there are some genuinely funny and enjoyable moments featuring Grogu and Mando. It’s still early days though and hopefully the episodes ahead iron out any writing kinks, but once more you can already feel that The Mandalorian is slipping into its familiar fetch-quest pattern.

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You can read our full season review for The Mandalorian season 3 here!

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