The Mandalorian Season 3 Review – Quality storytelling disappears to a galaxy far, far away

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Episode Guide

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8


It’s hard to know where to start with Star Wars. From the dreadful attempt at Obi-Wan’s backstory in Obi-Wan to the tonally conflicted Book of Boba Fett, which abandoned its main character to focus on Mando for 2 episodes, this galaxy far, far away feels like it’s drifted far, far away from what made the originals so beloved.

After the sour taste the sequel trilogy left for many people, The Mandalorian felt like a little ray of hope; a small rebellion standing defiant to the endless dark sludge of mediocrity coming from Disney. Unfortunately, this rebellion comes crumbling down in season 3, with a story that’s both directionless and at times farcical.

If you haven’t seen The Book of Boba Fett, the beginning of this season will make little sense, despite a slight recap of what’s taken place off-screen. Grogu decides to stay with Mando after much deliberation, deciding that “This is the way” forward. However, Mando’s big task here comes from redeeming his past, atoning for his sin of removing his helmet by bathing in the waters of Mandalore.

Along the way – and after several detours that follow different characters in the universe – Mando is joined by Bo-Katan, who essentially takes the reigns of the show and sidelines Din Djarin in his own series. Oh, and SHE also doesn’t need to wear her helmet anymore as she’s prophesied to be the chosen one; the Mandalorian to unite the tribe once more and grow stronger together.

When it comes to characters, The Mandalorian is chock full of them but none are handled particularly well. The sheer lack of creativity – especially with using Grogu – is baffling. It’s almost as if the writing team had a few ideas and decided to smush them together in the most head-scratching way possible, all whilst being unable to fill a season with a good, interconnected story that doesn’t feel like an abandoned side-quest from a blockbuster videogame.

At one point in the show, Mando is captured by a spidery creature that looks set to kill him. Mando tasks Grogu to help. Instead of using the Force powers we know The Child wields, or find some ingenious way to help our “Mando in Distress”, little Grogue instead flies off the planet, across to Bo-Katan’s planet, has a droid translate his call for help, Bo-Katan gears up, heads back, is led back to the same underground passage and kills the creature before it can eat Din Djarin. All whilst not really explaining how much time has passed.

This sort of set-up, where a more contrived outcome is chosen over a simple, satisfying narrative, is not an isolated incident, and crops up an alarming amount of times across the season. And if that wasn’t enough, the showrunners seem to forget their own characters and capabilities. The Mandalorian jetpacks are used less than a handful of times, despite being caught in firefights in streets or – in the case of episode 1 – a fight against a giant alligator.

Unfortunately, this poor writing doesn’t just stop at the contrived narratives either. The dialogue is woeful at times, while “guest stars” like Lizzo do nothing to help the universe with stifled acting. There’s also a good deal of filler too, which seems rather unforgivable given the writers have had 2 years to come up with material – and some of these episodes are only 30 minutes long!

The production design continues to excel, with costumes, production design and the various sets looking excellent. However, one must point out the terrible wire-work with Grogu. The character darts around like a CGI Yoda in Attack of the Clones, but it’s done in such an awkwardly clumsy way that you can’t help but laugh.

Unfortunately, that laugh is more one of incredulous disbelief than genuine fun. The fact that Mando is sidelined to a sidekick in his own show, despite being the selling point of The Mandalorian (I mean, the clue is in the name!) just shows how little Lucasfilm respects its source material or the characters its built up over the past few seasons. If the cracks could be seen in season 2, season 3 opens them wide and shows the sleeping, violent beast below.

Disney have milked the proverbial teat dry and it’s so disappointing to see how far The Mandalorian has fallen. In a year where we’ve just received the excellent Andor series – showing that good Star Wars TV can be made – season 3 of The Mandalorian is an embarrassing failure by comparison. Do yourselves a favour and skip this one. This is the way.

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  • Verdict - 3.5/10

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