December 18, 2020, was the last time we saw our shining space cowboy and our lovable green friend (in their own show). Most fans were split on whether it was the right decision to reunite the iconic pair in The Book of Boba Fett, a show which many people view as The Mandalorian season 2.5. Regardless of your standing on that, it’s undeniably touching to see the fan-favorite duo embark on more adventures together. The Mandalorian season 3 premiere is here, and it leaves nothing to be desired.
*Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere*
The Mandalorian Season 3 starts off hot
We kick off this season in an unfamiliar setting. The Armorer (Emily Swallow) is forging a new helmet out of what looks like an old pizza saucer. The thought, “could this be a helmet for Grogu?!” swirled into my head. Din was disowned by The Armorer, however, and is no longer considered Mandalorian, (yet another important detail to come out of The Book of Boba Fett), so it’s unlikely that she’s willing to forge a helmet for the apostate’s son.
We quickly learn that The Armorer has built up a hefty new clan, and the helmet is for an unknown Mandalorian foundling. As the time comes for him to swear loyalty to The Creed, a giant water monster attacks, bringing the ceremony to a halt. When the battle seems lost, Din Djarin and Grogu fly in on their new N-1 Starfighter, killing the beast and saving the day. As they step out of the ship, the signature score starts to build, and drops right as the title card appears. The Mandalorian is back, and everyone cheers.
No time to waste
While Mando and The Armorer converse on the topic of redemption, Grogu watches anxiously like an adorable little spectator in a tennis match, head darting back and forth. Afterward, the two head off to the first stop on their journey. There’s an unquestionable level of unease from The Armorer in this exchange. She moves swiftly to exile Din when she learns that he has removed his helmet, but is very hesitant to accept that he can redeem himself and be welcomed back into the fold.
Pascal’s ability to portray emotion while a shiny beskar helmet covers his entire face is second to none. When the pair of Din and Grogu travel through hyperspace, Grogu jumps down from his compartment and snuggles up in his dad’s lap. Despite only being able to see the helmet, the comfort that washes over them is apparent—it’s clear that they mean everything to each other.
A friendly face in The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere
The Mandalorian and Grogu arrive on Nevarro, and their good friend and familiar face Greef Karga (Karl Weathers) is there to greet them. A lot happens between these three in a relatively short period of time, so let’s give a brief summary and keep it moving.
Mando needs a droid to help navigate the treacherous terrain on Mandalore, and he zeroes in on IG-11. He is, unfortunately, out of commission and instead remains half droid/half statue to commemorate his sacrifice back during season one. In spite of his many problems, Mando and Karga attempt to fix IG-11 themselves, until he turns rogue and abandons his reprogramming, and attacks innocent little Grogu.
“Weapons are part of my religion”
Upon realizing they can’t fix IG, they decide to go for some help. The trio run into some pirates along the way to meet droid specialists, and despite being told to stay out of it, the pirates just can’t help themselves. Mando and Karga navigate a tense situation with astonishing levels of composure, and the pirates are dealt with swiftly.
Enter the droid specialists. Fans of the sequel trilogy will recognize these creatures, the Anzellans. They are of the same species as the beloved Babu Frik, who plays a crucial role in The Rise of Skywalker.
Grogu steals the show
It would be a crime to go too long without acknowledging Grogu’s adorable exploits. He picks up and hugs the Anzellans as if they were his family, which is simply the cutest thing ever seen on television. His sweet little “coos” and “awes” are more delightful than ever, and he seems undeniably more curious throughout the opening episode.
He is also more comfortable with The Force, using it to spin around in his chair and grab snacks off of Karga’s desk. His time with Luke clearly leaves him much more confident in his abilities, but he still enjoys using them in the same ways you’d expect a small child would.
What makes The Mandalorian Season 3 so special?
As we enter our third season with this pair, our bond with them couldn’t be stronger. Not only have we watched them grow as characters in their own right, but we’ve watched them mold together to a point where they are now completely inseparable. When Mando first finds Grogu, his only objective is to return him to complete a bounty. Now, Din would surely kill anyone that tries to stand between them.
The “Papa Bear and Cub” trope is incredibly common in Pedro Pascal’s characters. Despite having no kids of his own, Pascal makes it abundantly clear that playing these characters means something to him. His voice acting and body language deserves unending praise. He has a special gift for portraying not only compassion, but also angst, with a relative ease.
This is the way
Episode one is a stellar introduction back into this world we all know and love. Mando and Grogu’s bond is stronger than ever as they venture out on a very important mission. After a brief word with Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), previously seen in The Mandalorian season two, The Clone Wars, and Rebels, they head to Mandalore to bathe in the living waters so that Din may be absolved of his sins.
This season appears to have much bigger ambitions than either of its predecessors. The first episode strikes a perfect balance of setting up significant stakes, while telling a personal story. Favreau and Filoni are deep in their bag for this one, and fans have a lot to be excited about over the next seven weeks.
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'The Mandalorian Season 3' Premiere Review'The Mandalorian Season 3' Premiere Review
- Good to be back
- Fun nostalgia
- A bit slow