With An Exciting Season Premiere, ‘The Mandalorian’ Continues To Prove Why It’s An Amazing Star Wars Series
After what feels like forever, the third season of The Mandalorian is finally here! The original Disney+ series has dominated the streaming wars over the past few years and is back in full effect. The premiere episode “The Apostate” hit nearly every familiar story beat that we have come to know and love from our beloved “Lone Wolf and Cub” Star Wars show.
The formula of The Mandalorian is clear to most Star Wars fans: a mission is stated, and the plan is set in motion, only for unforeseen obstacles to get in the way. Din must overcome these obstacles while protecting Grogu and learning lessons from any help that may arrive. This well-trodden story structure was felt in full force last night, with Din Djarin, once again, visiting the Armorer and re-stating the mission statement that was given to him in The Book of Boba Fett. In order to be redeemed for his regrettable action of removing his helmet, he must bathe in the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore. Din sets out to accomplish this in “The Apostate” by seeking favors and advice from old friends, starting with the newly promoted High Magistrate, Greef Karga, and ending with the isolated Bo Katan.
As common as this formula has become in the show, it never fails to engage, excite and entertain. The Mandalorian may be one of the simplest Star Wars shows, but its simplicity has always been its greatest strength. The uncomplicated story structure allows for a reliance on the characters, which creates a more inviting series for a larger audience. This is what made the show succeed in the first place. People of all ages and backgrounds fell in love with the series. Some with extensive knowledge and years of fandom, and others watching Star Wars for the very first time. The formula works because the focus remains on Din Djarin and Grogu and not on any complex interplanetary disputes. Going on these missions with Mando feels like a fun adventure for audiences. There is just enough tension to engage during action scenes, and the quest-based format allows for viewers to compartmentalize the arcs throughout the season.
However, beyond the power of the formula or the overwhelming cuteness of Grogu, one of the most entertaining aspects of The Mandalorian remains Din Djarin himself. Pedro Pascal continues to shine as the titular character who will weather any storm in order to protect his son. Seeing Din casually blasting pirates in space battles while also awkwardly attempting to converse with adorable Anzellans in their tiny home is the perfect summation of his character. Mando never fails to impress, not only with his resilience but with his integrity. Although he is a living weapon, he never becomes a brute or a bully. His virtue is just as precious to him as his son Grogu is. This creates a compelling character that audiences want to see succeed. Every victory he experiences is always well-earned and is collectively celebrated by all.
The season 3 premiere sets out to ramp up the Mandalorian civil conflict with the bitterness of Bo Katan clashing with the Armorer’s religious fervor. The first episode was refreshing and exciting, reminding us why we loved this story to begin with. The Mandalorian is, at its core, an adventure show, with most of the excitement coming from simply spending time with our protagonists. The third season looks to follow that same blueprint while also expanding on the scale of the adventures. “The Apostate” perfectly sets up future plans for the season while maintaining its focus on Din Djarin and Grogu exploring the galaxy together. The excitement for this season has only been elevated. Let’s hope the show can live up to its promising expectations.