It took six long, brutal episodes, but we finally got what we wanted. Star Wars fans who hung in there until the end saw something special in the last two episodes of season three of The Mandalorian. There will be several spoilers here, so if you haven’t seen “The Return” yet, go do that and come back quickly. You’ll thank me later.
This season of The Mandalorian was a bit of a mess. For the first four episodes, Din Djarin seemed like a co-pilot in his show. He was watching just like the rest of us. Episode three, “The Convert,” felt very much like an episode of Andor, The Mandalorian’s younger, cooler brother.
Some of the storylines just felt contrived. The pirate thing seemed a bit unnecessary and like it was setting up another show without bringing in someone for a crossover episode. The only thing that saved The Book of Boba Fett was when Din and Grogu showed up for a few episodes.
And then there was the Jack Black and Lizzo debacle. None, and I mean not a single part, of their appearance on the show, was necessary to move the storyline we ended with along. It felt like Jon Favreau just wanted to invite the cool kids over for a little while and needed something for them to do. But then again, no one in their right mind would think Jack Black is a cool kid.
So was it worth it for the final two episodes? I guess. But it hurt getting to that point.
We finally got the return of Moff Gideon and his Beskar-clad stormtroopers. Let’s first just saw that no one plays a calm, menacing villain better than Giancarlo Esposito. At least we get to see his face, unlike Pedro Pascal, who only made that brief appearance at the end of The Mandalorian season two.
Shout out to Paz Vizsla for sacrificing himself to save the remaining Mandalorians. After Din Djarin and Bo-Katan saved his son earlier in the season, it seemed appropriate that he would lay down his life for them.
But for all the good the last two episodes gave us, it was pretty formulaic. Episode seven, “The Spies,” was Empire Strikes Back (1980). Din Djarin was captured, and it appeared evil was going to win. “The Return” was Return of the Jedi (1983), with several simultaneous battles, including Bo-Katan including Bo-Katan fighting off Moff Gideon with the dark saber. Ultimately, good wins, and we all live happily ever after.
Sure, it did follow the Star Wars formula, but isn’t that what we all wanted? After the pain of the first six episodes, it felt good to have something we knew and loved. So, we ended with Bo-Katan as the queen of Mandalore and Din Djarin and the new Din Grogu finding a nice place in the countryside to hunt the Empire. That felt good.
We know there will be a fourth season; Favreau confirmed that and hinted at the possibility of a Mandalorian ride at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Despite the seeming finality of “The Return,” some unanswered questions remain. Is Moff Gideon dead? Is the Dark Saber destroyed? What’s going on with the Mythosaur?
So, now we wait for the next season with other shows and now the possibility of new movies coming to cure our Star Wars fix. So, for now, May the Force be With You.