(L-R): Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) with the Darksaber in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Thomas takes a look back at the third season of The Mandalorian.

It has been exactly a month since The Mandalorian season 3 ended its run. It was an incredible 8 weeks of Star Wars awesomeness. Since 2019, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have impressed fans with what we call now the Mando-verse. The two showrunners are filling in the gaps between the Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. They keep expanding their stories with more series. We got The Book of Boba Fett in 2021 and 2022, this year we are getting Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew. Plus, there is also a film on the horizon to wrap up the storyline of the New Republic versus the Remnants of the Empire. This time period is proving to be quite compelling. There is a lot happening.

At the end of The Mandalorian season 2, the door was left opened for the story to go in different directions. Nevertheless, bringing Bo-Katan, the Darksaber and the idea of retaking Mandalore wasn’t there for nothing. The series would have to explore all of that at one point. And that is what season 3 was all about. For a series called The Mandalorian, it makes sense that it does dive deeper into subjects related to Mandalorians. This is exactly what I loved about this season, it is bigger in scale and it expands on so many things. Undoubtedly, for me this is the best season of this Mando-verse yet and I want to share my love of this season with you.


(L-R): Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), the Armorer (Emily Swallow), Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels had showed us that there are different ways of being a Mandalorian. There are different factions representing different ideals of what is a Mandalorian. They are a complicated people. And then, The Mandalorian added another layer with the Children of the Watch. This is a group of Mandalorians who never remove their helmet and obviously they are in opposition with other groups who do remove their helmet. And each think they are right and the others are wrong. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean one group is better than the other, they are just different. Not everything is one thing or the other, there is a lot of in-between.

Season 2 had opened Din Djarin (played by Pedro Pascal)’s world with Bo-Katan (played by Katee Sackhoff) but it had only scratched the surface of the diverging Mandalorian cultures. Season 3 fully explores who are the Mandalorians as a people. Their story is a complex one with many layers and I find it so compelling to learn more about them. This season presents the Child of the Watch on a new light which allows us to better understand who they are. It is through the eyes of Bo-Katan that we discover more about them as she learns to live among them.


(L-R): Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and Grogu in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

At the end of season 2, I was hoping to see her become the co-lead with Din in season 3. And it is exactly what happened. Without any doubt, Bo-Katan is with Din Djarin the key player of the season. You can’t go to Mandalore and explore the idea of retaking the planet without her. Bo-Katan is going through a riveting journey, one that I would describe as a redemption arc for her past sins. Since her first episode in The Clone Wars, she has had an impressive character development. Beyond that, Bo-Katan gets even more awesome and badass action scenes this season. She sure knows how to wield the Darksaber.

(L-R): Ragnar (Wesley Kimmel), Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

At the beginning of season 3, we find her isolated after her failure to take hold of the Darksaber and unite her people to retake her homeworld. This failure is just another one on the list. She was also the leader of Mandalore during the Night of a thousand tears. She feels responsible for the massacre of her people. This accumulation of failures has taken a tole on her. On top of that, going back to Mandalore to help Din doesn’t help her to stop dwelling on the past.

The turning point in her story happens when the Empire destroys her castle. It is the last thing she had left and she looses that too. This leads her to follow Din and join the Children of the Watch. This is something you couldn’t have thought she would do in season 2. But because of what she has been through, she finds solace within this group. It is a new home for her. The Armorer (played by Emily Swallow) help her feeling welcome and feeling like she belongs there. The Children of the Watch give Bo-Katan the sense of unity she was looking for.

And her seeing the Mythosaur who is a symbol of the Mandalorian legends convinces her even more that it is the right choice to join this group. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni always know how to surprise the audience. I don’t think anyone expected to see this legendary creature in live-action. And it worked because of how they used it. The Mythosaur is there as a symbol, it helps the characters realizing something they didn’t see before. For Bo-Katan, it allows her to find her belief in Mandalorians again and walk the way.

(Center): Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) with Covert Mandalorians in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Moreover, Bo-Katan’s story doesn’t stop at joining the Children of the Watch. Her story is so much bigger. Bo-Katan seeing the Mythosaur is also an awakening for The Armorer. Indeed, The Armorer realizes that if Bo-Katan saw this legendary creature while she wasn’t following “their way,” then they have to look at things in a different light. The Mythosaur is a sign that times are changing. Thus, having walked both ways, Bo-Katan becomes the one who can bring together both Mandalorian cultures. They don’t have to be enemies, they can live together, Bo-Katan is the proof of that.

The second part of the season puts Bo-Katan back in the leadership role. Firstly, she has to rally her former troops. This allows us to see Koska Reeves (played by Mercedes Varnado) and Axe Woves (played by Simon Kassianides) again. And because Mandalorians are Mandalorians, this obviously involves a fight. To unite them, she uses the Darksaber. Secondly, she has to bring together both tribes (her troops and the Children of the Watch). Mandalorians are stronger together.

In this new role of leader, Bo-Katan is able to confront her fears and become who she was always meant to be. It is because of her journey with the Children of the Watch that she is able to find the faith to be that key to uniting Mandalorians. Looking back at her beginning in The Clone Wars and seeing where seeing where she is now in The Mandalorian, I think she has had one of the best journeys in Star Wars. It is an incredibly powerful journey.

(L-R): Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Grogu, and Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Furthermore, Bo-Katan’s relationship with Din is also an important part of the season. Filler and fan service are not part of my vocabulary. An episode always moves the story forward but there are different ways of doing it. Exploring characters’ relationships is one way of doing it. Throughout the season, we see an evolution in the interactions between Bo-Katan and Din Djarin. At the beginning, she sees Din as a burden she has to carry. But, things slowly change. Bo-Katan learns to know Din and vice versa.

The episode ‘Guns for Hire’ sets Bo-Katan and Din Djarin on a detective mission but it is more than that. In fact, it strengthens their bonds and shows the audience that the two have come a long way. They have become friends, brothers in arms. And it is because we have episodes like this one that we can later get scenes like Din pledging his support to Bo-Katan. They feel earned and they carry an emotional weight. It is like the fight against Gideon, they work so well together because of the relationship they have built in previous episodes. On a side note, Jack Black in Star Wars was something totally unexpected but it was perfect. Jack Black can be in any universe and it will feel like he always belonged there.


(Center): Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and IG-12 (Taika Waititi, far right) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Retaking Mandalore was the end goal of season 3. It is not only the culmination of 3 seasons of The Mandalorian but also of the stories about Mandalorians that came before. The final two episodes of the season are explosive and action-packed. Reclaiming their homeworld is not an easy task.

(L-R): The Armorer (Emily Swallow) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Mandalorians have to face Moff Gideon (played by Giancarlo Esposito) and his Imperial Commandos with reinforced Beskar armors. Gideon had a connection with Mandalore so it makes sense that he is their final adversary. He brings the big guns with him. The Praetorian Guards make a triumphant return. These red guards mean troubles. Indeed, the music and the way they are filmed shows that they are a real threat. Right in their first scene, they kill Paz Vizsla (played by Tait Fletcher).

In this fight, each character gets their moment to shine. Axe Woves is taking on the Tie Interceptors and Tie Bombers in space with the Light cruiser. Koska Reeves gets some badass moves, so does The Armorer. Paz Vizsla makes a noble sacrifice. Bo-Katan, Din Djarin and Grogu fight Gideon who has upped his game. Indeed, he is wearing a new suit of Dark Trooper that uses Beskar alloy. What’s not to love? On top of that, the Mandalorians finally have their own Pelennor’s Field scene (it is a Lord of the Rings reference). The epic gathering of the Mandalorians is mind-blowing. Seeing all these Mandalorians using their jetpacks and charging towards Gideon’s forces, that is clearly a memorable scene.

The placing of the characters is also quite meaningful. Bo-Katan leads the way so she is at the center. But the characters at her side also have a significance. The Armorer is the guide so she is with her. And Koska Reeves is also there. Koska and Bo-Katan are close, you can tell that the two have been through a lot together. You sometime get a scene when they just share a look and you know that they both understand each other. I see Koska as someone who has been Bo-Katan’s faithful right hand. Bo-Katan, Koska and The Armorer all charging together form a powerful trio.

(L-R): The Armorer (Emily Swallow) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

In addition, I think the finale also works as a sort of conclusion on the Mandalorians’ storyline. They have fulfilled their goal by retaking their planet and being a united people once again. Undoubtedly, it is a satisfying conclusion. The ceremony scene is a powerful scene. I have rewatched ‘The Return’ quite a few times and the Mandalorians chanting “For Mandalore!” always makes me cheer.

Beyond that, I think the Mandalorians being united also sends a message of acceptance. These two very different groups thought they were enemies but they just needed to see that despite their differences they have the same goal and believes. They are actually not that different. Mandalorians are stronger together. I think we should definitely take exemple on them, “this is the way.”


(L-R): Desk Jockey (Dawn Dininger) and Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Season 3 also expanded on the overall story arc of the time period, which is the New Republic and Empire Remnants content. In fact, we returned to Coruscant. You can tell Dave Filoni worked on the series because the Corsucant we saw is the same glorious Coruscant from the Prequels. I got the same vibes from the aesthetic of the buildings and the costumes. There is even a Revenge of the Sith easter egg, we see the Opera building again! The Prequel kid in me was incredibly happy to see this planet again. Coruscant at night under the rain is also a wonderful vibe, it has a Blade Runner-esque feeling that I think fits perfectly.

(L-R): Dr. Penn Pershing / Amnesty Scientist L52 (Omid Abtahi), Aristocrat 2 (Stephen Kearin) and Aristocrat 4 (Veanne Cox) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

And the adult me was really excited to discover Coruscant under the reign of the New Republic. After the Fall of the Republic (the Prequels), the New Republic era (the Mando-verse) is becoming my second favorite Star Wars era. It is made of complex layers that are so interesting. I like when it is nuanced, it makes things more compelling. I love that the Mando-verse is now fully diving into the plotline of this story arc.

The New Republic makes the same mistakes than the previous governments which eventually leads to its decay and destruction in The Force Awakens. And the how it happened is fascinating to me. It is like the fall of the Jedi, everything was in front of them but they didn’t see it until it was too late.

Indeed, the New Republic is stuck with endless bureaucracy and its desire to disconnect itself from the Empire. Plus, they have been infiltrated by spies like Elia Kane (played by Katy M. O’Brian). Their treatment of former imperials is also quite questionable. What happens to Dr. Pershing (played by Omid Abtahi) is something you would expect from the Empire not the Republic. There is a scene that speaks a thousand words about this whole situation. The Aristocrats tell Pershing that for them the New Republic is just another government, they even mistake the Empire and the Republic. It is just a few lines that seem so trivial but they bear so much meaning.

(L-R): Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and Zeb (Steve Blum) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Moreover, the New Republic plotline brings some familiar faces. Season 3 really connects everything that was used in previous seasons. It is not fan service, this is called storytelling and worldbuilding. We see what happens to Dr. Pershing, Elia Kane takes on the role of a spy. And we see our favorite Captain of the New Republic again – Captain Carson Teva (played by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee). Teva is actually the Tahitian name of my father. I don’t know if it was intentional but I love that in Star Wars there is a Polynesian name. It makes me proud.

Carson Teva is the character who sees that something is wrong and that things are not going in the right direction but all he can do is a put up a brave face and does his best despite the odds. He is a character I love seeing and as the story moves forward I feel like we will see more of him. He definitely has a role to play there. Plus, we all love pilots who wear a cool leather jacket.

One of the biggest surprises was to see Zeb in live-action. I knew we would eventually see him, I was thinking in Ahsoka. But I didn’t expect a cameo here. It is a little scene but it shows us what he is doing at that time. And I am glad to see him serving as a pilot of the New Republic. Steve Blum returned to voice the character, which is great. The transition from animation to live-action is seamless. The CG is truly impressive.


(Clockwise from front left): Gilad Pellaeon (Xander Berkeley), Warlord (Hemky Madera), Warlord (Marco Khan), Warlord (Ron Bottitta), Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), Warlord (Jonny Coyne), Warlord (Jodi Long), Brendol Hux (Brian Gleeson) and Warlord (Imelda Corcoran) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The opening sequence of ‘The Spies’ informs the audience on a lot of things concerning the Remnants of the Empire. There is a lot to take in within the 10 first minutes of the episode. We see as we suspected that Gideon is but the tip of the iceberg. The episode marks the on-screen debut of the Shadow Council. It is a group of Imperial officers who are working on the re-emergence of the Empire. Among them lies Brendol Hux (played by Brian Gleeson). He is the father of General Hux from the Sequels. So, it does seem fitting that Domhnall Gleeson’s brother plays him.

We get the idea that Brendol and Gilad Pellaeon (played by Xander Berkeley) are the heads of this council. Pellaeon, this is another important figure to mention. He also makes his live-action debut. I didn’t expect to see Xander Berkeley in Star Wars but it is a fitting casting for Pellaeon. And if Pellaeon is there, it means Thrawn is coming. The Grand Admiral is mentioned once again. The Shadow Council is clearly getting ready for the big fight and they are not ready to give up yet. These mentions, these characters, they are here in preparation for what comes next. The next chapter is coming in August with Ahsoka.

On top of that, Project Necromancer got my attention. One would think it has to do with cloning Palpatine, but is it really that? The name is definitely intriguing and we will learn more about it in the future. Until then, it is theory time.

Season 3 fully reveals what Gideon’s master plan was with Grogu’s blood. This adds another layer to this villain and it actually makes sense with what we saw of him in the previous season. Gideon always had delusions of grandeur so it seems logical that he wants to control things and clone himself to get the best version of himself. Unfortunately, he meets his end as Mandalorians retake their planet. Ending his story with the Mandalorians leave the door open for the real big villain to come in now. Gideon’s story was always linked with Mandalorians but now, the story is moving to the bigger picture – what’s at play in the Galaxy.


Jedi Kelleran Beq (Ahmed Best) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Finally, the real biggest surprise of the season was the reveal of who saved Grogu at the Jedi Temple during Order 66. This flashback literally sent me back to my childhood watching Revenge of the Sith. As someone who grew up with the Prequels, this trilogy is my Star Wars so seeing Ahmed Best on the screen again meant everything to me. I am not going to lie I was crying, happy tears but still crying. He got so much hate from the adults back then but us the kids who grew up with these films, we always loved him and Jar Jar Binks. The fan reaction of him playing Kelleran was priceless. But what was even better was to see Ahmed Best seeing how much he was loved by the fans.

This was actually not the first time Ahmed Best played Kelleran Beq. In fact, this Jedi first appeared in the children game show Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge. Ahmed Best absolutely shines as Kelleran in this rescue action sequence of pure adrenaline. It also self references his past in Star Wars as Kelleran is helped by the people of Naboo in his escape. Thank you Dave Filoni for this. And the cherry on the cake is the return of Temuera Morrison to voice the clones.

The flashback ends with Grogu and Kelleran escaping Coruscant aboard a Nubian Yatch. This means their story together hasn’t been told in its entirety. So I truly hope we see Kelleran Beq again. There is definitely more story to tell with him. I think a mini series of 6 episodes telling the adventures of Kelleran and Grogu would be pretty great. But if that doesn’t happen, I would also settle for more flashbacks in season 4.


(Clockwise from front): Din Grogu, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) in THE MANDALORIAN. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

You may remember a show from the Mando-verse that was to be called Rangers of the New Republic, we all know its been scrapped for valid reasons. However, with the end of season 3, I feel like they have found their replacement to that series – it is The Mandalorian season 4. While setting to his home on Nevarro with his son Grogu, Din Djarin decides he wants to do some jobs for the New Republic. This would pivot the series into a new direction and leads the path to the upcoming film. All we have to do now is wait and see … and also rewatch the Mando-verse again.

The Mandalorian Season 3 is now streaming on Disney Plus.

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