Editor’s Note: Spoilers ahead for the first episode of “The Mandalorian,” season three
3.8 out of 5 stars
After a two-year wait, Star Wars “The Mandalorian” is kicking off a new season on Disney+. Pedro Pascal returns as Din Djarin, the tough bounty hunter with a soft spot for cute things. Speaking of cute things, Grogu is back too, and he is along for another ride with his bounty hunting best friend.
Season three’s first episode, “The Apostate,” begins with Din’s dramatic entrance as he saves a group of Mandalorians — including the Armorer (Emily Swallow) — from a ravenous sea monster. This scene confused me as it seemed the Mandalorians were caught off guard and rendered helpless.
The cinematography and effects in this scene were worth noting. The sea monster was portrayed as fierce and deadly through its realistic CGI, and I particularly liked how the water was used as a symbol of fear which threatened those who were caught in it. Like the previous two seasons, the realistic settings helped reinforce the narrative of Din traveling to different planets.
The overarching conflict introduced in this season is that Din’s home planet of Mandalore has been virtually destroyed, and rumors have spread that it has been poisoned. Din’s quest for redemption surfaces as an important season arc.
So far, screenwriters Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau have done an excellent job building and allowing Din’s character to grow at a natural pace, so there is promise that this new quest will not be boring or predictable.
In an attempt which seemed somewhat contrived, Din attempts to resurrect his droid friend IG-11 (Taika Waititi). Following his self-destruction in the season one finale, it seems unlikely that he would be able to make a recovery. This attempt left me wondering if resurrecting a very damaged character would be helpful to the plot.
Given the success of previous seasons of “The Mandalorian,” I am holding out hope for the rest of season three despite its somewhat slow start and abrupt ending to the first episode.
Though the story starts out slow, the music is just as awe-inspiring as it has been so far and gives powerful emotion to already beautiful scenes. The lifelike special effects and masterful cinematography bring Grogu to life, as well as all the places that Din takes him.
Episodes are released every Wednesday on Disney+.
Photo from www.starwars.com.