May 25, 2024

THE MANDALORIAN – SEASON 3 (2023) – Star Wars universe lives on

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The Mandalorian (aka Din Djarin) has returned with Yoda (aka Grogu). This time, they embark on an adventure by joining forces with Bo-Katan, the exiled former ruler of planet Mandalore, which was devastated by the Imperial troops. They band together to regain their planet and respect, while uniting the previously dispersed Mandalorian community.

Each episode, like the previous seasons, is barely 30 minutes long, and the filmmakers do an excellent job of making every minute count with the limited time they have. Along the way, there are some good action set pieces to keep the die-hard Star Wars fans satisfied. These contain both the typical aerial dogfights and land conflicts between the Mandalorians and the villainous Imperial forces / storm troopers. While the characteriszation and language are not as captivating as the high standards set by another Disney+ Star Wars series, Andor, The Mandalorian to its credit, manages to avoid appearing one-dimensional and like a cartoon series.

One major gripe I have about this season and series in general is that its main actor, Pedro Pascal, is mostly wasted in the part due to the nature of his character, which necessitates him to never remove his helmet and publicly display his face. Pedro Pascal is a talented actor, as seen by his recent part in The Last of Us and other film appearances. We are robbed of a higher performance by having him hiding behind heavy armour and a helmet. Frankly it could be anyone with the same body built playing the role. To his credit, he manages to personalise the Mandalorian character through body language and vocal performance. But we know he’s capable of so much more, and this job just does not allow him to do so.

This season also felt a little bit hijacked by the supporting character of Bo-Katan (played by Katee Sackhoff), who seemed to steal centre stage several times. She even gets to save our hero, The Mandalorian, multiple times! Furthermore, unlike our Mandalorian, her character was allowed to wander around without her helmet on for some contrived reason, allowing her to give a more complete performance. It felt like the Bo-Katan show at times. Baby Yoda, too, had nothing much to accomplish and only demonstrated his might and the Force’s untapped potentials near the end. He spent the most of his time cooing sweetly in the background.

Aside from the throwback to the good old aerial dogfights and battles with storm troopers, one of the best things about this season was how it concluded. I thought it presented a wonderful closure to the overall storyline and could easily be regarded as a series finale. It can also work just as well as an introduction to a new beginning for our Mandalorian daddy and his young apprentice Grogu as they embark on brand new adventures in future seasons.

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