The Mandalorian (2023): Season 3 Review

Fun but Underwhelming


Season 3 of The Mandalorian is a mixed bag feeling a little too episodic at times and lacking a major villain until the last two episodes. The visual effects are the best the show has ever looked and we do get some cool action scenes so it’s still fun escapism and is more interesting than real life.

Plot: The journeys of the Mandalorian through the Star Wars galaxy continue. Once a lone bounty hunter, Din Djarin has reunited with Grogu. Meanwhile, the New Republic struggles to lead the galaxy away from its dark history. The Mandalorian will cross paths with old allies and make new enemies as he and Grogu continue their journey together.

Review: If you haven’t watched all of season 3 of The Mandalorian then there are major spoilers ahead so read no further.

It’s been several years since the end of Season 2 of The Mandalorian so Disney shouldn’t be surprised that the viewing figures for Season 3 have been considerably lower. We had multiple shows in between so the appetite for the further adventures of Mando will have abated somewhat. I believe COVID won’t have helped as it will have delayed it but they should have done season 3 rather than waste time with Book of Boba Fett.

Disney have made some odd decisions in the world of Star Wars and bringing back Grogu so quickly was a big mistake after the emotional payoff at the end of the last season. It’s like everything that has happened in the first two seasons meant nothing and this almost feels like a soft reboot. You also need to have watched The Book of Boba Fett to understand why Din and Grogu are reunited so casual fans may be bemused as to what happened. Grogu sells toys though so I imagine they wanted him back in the show but even he hasn’t helped the viewing figures.

Grogu doesn’t feel necessary to the story and is really only there to provide a few laughs and entertain the kids; I feel he should have spoken something by now and I keep waiting for him to say “The Way, This is” but it’s another season of him just making babbling noises.

Fans reaction to season 3 has been lukewarm at best but despite the flaws I’ve still had a fun time with Season 3; I love Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) as a character and seeing her develop has been entertaining. Many have complained that Din has become a side character in his own show which is valid but he still has plenty to do and this season is about all of the Mandalorians, their culture and trying to rebuild their world after The Great Purge.

There are a few too many monster of the week moments and the cameos of Jack Black and Lizzo were distracting and took you out of the world a little but I liked how that episode explored democracy and wasn’t just “filler” as many have suggested.

A complaint I agree with is that it all feels episodic with no real sense of threat as there isn’t a main villain until the second last episode; the pirates are a bit lame too especially Gorian Shard who looked ridiculous.

The action was always one of the best elements of this show and season 3 is no different; the last two episodes have some great shoot-outs and fight scenes with Lateef Crowder showing off his skills in the Mando suit.

There are no big surprises or major plot twists and for the final episode I was waiting for a post-credit scene but we didn’t get one; on the one hand I was a little disappointed but on the other I liked that it didn’t rely on pandering and fan service by throwing more cameos at us. The appeal of this show initially was the fact that it wasn’t connected to the Skywalker saga and was its own story but as its gone on you do feel like you need to do homework like watch The Clone Wars and Rebels to know who certain characters are (especially Bo-Katan).

It’s really the last two episodes which elevated this season but I do wish they’d brought back Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) sooner as he just steals every scene he is in looking like he is having a ball. I also need to commend his awesome new outfit which we see in the penultimate episode…

Overall, The Mandalorian Season 3 is arguably my least favourite of the series so far mostly due to the fact it is nearly 3 years since the end of season 2. Grogu shouldn’t have been brought back so quickly and it takes too long for Gideon to make his inevitable return. There is still plenty to enjoy with some incredible visual effects especially considering this is a TV series and the exploring of some of the lore of the Mandalorians being a highlight. I love Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan and even if at times Din feels like a side character he still gets to have some awesome action scenes and in the end the story is still about him. I hope season 4 comes next year so we don’t have to wait so long otherwise this series will lose even more fans.