REVIEW: Erratic season sets up stellar finale in ‘The Mandalorian’ season three

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By Vianney Morales

The hit Star Wars series “The Mandalorian” completed its third season April 19. Disappointingly, I didn’t feel especially anticipatory of the following episode after every new episode aired. I mostly took issue with the piling subplots that derailed the main characters’ journey for the majority of the season. However, the season ended on a high note that leaves the Mandalorian and Grogu reunited and safe from harm’s way.

The previous seasons had a strong central story that was elevated by the subplots, however this was not the case this time around. I continuously had to extend my patience as I watched elaborate backstories for side characters, only to finish each episode feeling like I hardly saw the main characters or truly understood the significance of the backstories.

In terms of the little screen time he did have, the Mandalorian’s growth felt stunted in the first several episodes. The show brings up an aspect of his character that felt mostly resolved last season, only for it to be brought up again in a way that almost regressed the character.

It felt like the writers didn’t quite know how to establish the season’s plot in the beginning and dragged it on. The series has a habit of slowly building up the momentum, however I didn’t expect the season to only start taking off more than halfway through.

The season wasn’t entirely bad, as there were a few positives worth noting. Its visually stunning aesthetics reminded me of what makes the Star Wars franchise not only so distinctive but nostalgic and personal. Despite their faults, the showrunners do a remarkable job of capturing the essence of what makes the Star Wars franchise so memorable. It experienced no shortage of achieving the Star Wars vision, especially in terms of the magnificent action sequences.

Grogu continued to evolve as both the comedic relief and heart of the series, definitely a credit to his adoptive father, the Mandalorian.There are a few touching scenes between Grogu and the Mandalorian that made their ending in the season especially rewarding.

It also brings characters to life that hadn’t been adapted in the live-action format, a detail easily overlooked by casual viewers but loved by loyal fans.

I’m especially a fan of Katee Sackhoff who has continued to take on the role of Bo-Katan so admirably. I loved how commanding her character was throughout the season, easily becoming my personal favorite.

The finale finished the season strong, despite the rocky first episodes. As incredible as the penultimate and finale episodes were in spite of the previous episodes, the initial storytelling and direction of the series made me question the longevity of the series. I fear that the writers aren’t sure how to handle the Mandalorian’s character and don’t have an endgame in mind, making the character wander aimlessly instead of further developing him more carefully throughout the series. Though I deeply appreciate where the story leaves off, the evolution of the Mandalorian’s character throughout the season wasn’t as rewarding as the previous seasons.

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