For over two years, we’ve waited to see the return of the best father and son TV duo, Din Djarin (voiced by Pedro Pascal) and Grogu. In between seasons 2 and 3, we got a little over an hour’s worth of updates on Clan Mudhorn in The Book of Boba Fett and this week we pick right where we left off from that season finale. With Grogu and Din back in action, it’s time to dive into The Mandalorian season 3 premiere episode for the start of what’s sure to be an exciting new season.
[Warning: Spoilers for The Mandalorian season 3 premiere episode below]
Din and Grogu together again with more challenges to face
As I mentioned, season 3 continues directly from the ending of The Book of Boba Fett. However, I found it extremely odd that in the recap, there was zero mention of the rather significant events in the Boba Fett series. That series was teased in the post-credits of the second season of Mandalorian, so it was a curious decision to not give any commentary on the drastic changes between seasons. For those who didn’t watch The Book of Boba Fett in between, the start of the third season might be a head-scratcher.
But if you’ve kept up, you’ll recall that Grogu eventually chose Din over training to use the Force with Luke. Din also had Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) enhance a Naboo Starfighter, and now his mission is to purify himself in the waters of Mandalore, in order to be forgiven for his transgressions. Looking back, this seems to be an impossible task as Mandalore has been bombed to hell.
Din Djarin meets with Greef Karga about an old ally
At the beginning of the third season, Din reveals that he’s found a shard from Mandalore and begins theorizing that he might be able to redeem himself if Mandalore hadn’t been fully destroyed. This is where things begin to take off at almost a breakneck speed of cuts from mission to mission as Din prepares for this journey.
Eventually, Din heads to Nevarro to speak with Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) about the IG-11 droid unit that helped him back in the first season. Back then, IG-11 had taken a full explosion from the center of its housing in order to save them. What really stood out for me was that Din was not only interested in acquiring the droid, but even tried testing it himself. He was also willing to go the length of getting new parts so that some friendly (and by Grogu’s standards, squeezable) Anzellans could repair IG-11 (previously voiced by Taika Waititi).
This is a far cry from the Din of the first season, who had no trust in droids whatsoever. The fact that Din is now willing to reconstruct a specific droid to aid him in his arguably most difficult quest proves his development over the course of the show so far. This is especially true since droids are quite common in this universe. Din reconstructing specifically IG-11 to help him proves that Din is finding confidence in droids, even if just the ones he knows.
Space pirates and Mandalorians
One oddity about the season 3 premiere is having three concurrent plotlines introduced in thirty minutes. The first two are apparent, Din wants to make his way to Mandalore, which by extension sets him on the second one of getting droid parts.
But the third one is by chance in Nevarro by association. Din fends off some pirates who were causing trouble and allows one to walk away alive, which proves to be a partial mistake later on. When Din enters into open space, the leader the pirates, Gorian Shard (Carey Jones), baits him into a brilliant dogfight.
The maneuverability and firepower of the Naboo Starfighter truly shine in this scene. Din’s familiar fighting style of picking off his enemies one at a time comes into play as he uses an asteroid field to his advantage and beats them all. This was easily my favorite portion of the entire episode as we could have never gotten this in the Razor Crest. It also highlights the quality of the ship, and it was neat seeing Din teaching Grogu the controls in the most paternal way. The ship easily outclassed the pirates, as did his piloting abilities, and I hope to see this sort of action again in this season.
We end the episode with a trip to the planet Kalevala. There Din visits Bo Katan (Katee Sackhoff), who shares what could be the most important line of the episode in regard to the Darksaber: “Wave that thing around and they’ll do whatever you say.”
I’m hoping this is some strong foreshadowing that Din might be able to reunite Mandalorians. Bo Katan strongly detests the clans that caused a split amongst them, and it was ultimately the truest display of emotion from this episode. The sense of rejection, failure, and disgust came frothing from every word she delivered. Although dejected, it’s possible that Din’s determination could serve as an inspiration for Bo Katan to reclaim Mandalore in the upcoming episodes.
Final thoughts on The Mandalorian season 3 premiere
All in all, the opener for the season did a lot of heavy lifting for establishing season-long plots. Whether it did it in a truly satisfying manner is questionable, since it felt like the first half of the first season, but pushed into one episode.
Pairing that without clarity about the past events (for those who haven’t kept up) left a weird impression on me. This is easily the biggest IP on Disney+ since its inception, and with a two-year absence, it just didn’t exactly hit the mark for what was a long wait. But with the groundwork laid out from the previous season and this opener, it does have the potential to give us an exciting eight weeks of discussions.
Check out The Mandalorian season 3 premiere episode, now airing on Disney+! Will you be watching it weekly to see if Din gets his chance at redemption? Let us know on Twitter or The Cosmic Circus Discord!