Scene from The Mandalorian season 3 premiere The Apostate on Disney Plus.

TV REVIEW: The Mandalorian Plays it Safe in Season 3 Premiere ‘The Apostate’

After a two-year hiatus, The Mandalorian is back.

Season 3 debuted on March 1 and will continue every Wednesday until April 19. The show’s return has drawn a lot of interest from fans especially as new spin-offs are on the horizon. 

Still, the return of Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu (colloquially known as Baby Yoda) provides a bolstering of the base show that helped launch Disney Plus. 

There are a lot of questions heading into this season, many of which revolve around offscreen drama. There’s also a lot of intrigue surrounding where The Mandalorian goes from here and how his story continues after a seemingly storybook ending in season 2.

The Boss Rush Network will be here every week to provide you with our weekly thoughts and reviews on the show as it runs this season. Be sure to check back each Thursday morning for our thoughts on the show.

Warning: The following review may contain light spoilers.

Scene from The Mandalorian season 3 premiere The Apostate on Disney Plus.
Image Credit: Disney (via Publish Ox)

Synopsis

The episode opens to a Mandalorian ceremony that involves placing a helmet on a young boy. A giant crocodile monster attacks the ceremony before Djarin swoops in to save the day.

Djarin learns of the task he must undertake to achieve redemption for his sin of removing his helmet during season 2. He and Grogu set out to Nevarro to reunite with Greef Karga (Carl Weathers).

Karga shows-off the reformed Nevarro, the former home to the Bounty Hunters’ Guild, and boasts of his role as high magistrate. He also has an altercation with some space pirates with the backing of Djarin.

Karga tries to convince Djarin to stay as his marshall after former marshall Cara Dune (Gina Carano) left for a special forces post. Djarin declines and requests the statue honoring IG-11 be used to rebuild the droid. 

After an unsuccessful repair, Djarin leaves Nevarro in search of the parts needed to fix the droid. He flies to Kalevala after a brief interaction with space pirates to meet with Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff).

She has a testy exchange with Djarin as she laments her lack of power without the dark saber, a symbol of authority in Mandalorian culture that came into Djarin’s possession last season. The episode ends with Djarin and Grogu leaving to pursue redemption and some spare parts.

Scene from The Mandalorian season 3 premiere The Apostate on Disney Plus.
Image Credit: Disney (via Geeks and Gamers)

Breakdown

There are a couple of elephants in the room we need to discuss.

First, a lot has happened since the end of season 2 and if you didn’t watch any of The Book of Boba Fett, you might be a bit lost. About halfway through that show, it became The Mandalorian season 2.5.

The season 3 premiere tried to explain some of that, but if I were someone who missed The Book of Boba Fett, I’d still have a lot of questions. There are moments when the show appears to be a bit self-aware as the characters come close to breaking the fourth wall.

Still, the appearance of Grogu is what is left to viewers’ imaginations as there isn’t any mention of Luke Skywalker or Jedi training. 

Another major point is the absence of Carano from the cast. Disney booted her from the show after posting controversial content on her social media

What I find most interesting is the manner in which the show handled her departure. Let’s just say Carano’s character Cara Dune isn’t dead.

As an overall show, this episode was slow. I think that was by design as it’s been a while since we’ve had a The Mandalorian episode. The show needed a reset and this episode served as that. 

There was plenty of action and even a callback to the show’s roots. This late in the game, it can be hard to remember that The Mandalorian started out as a space western. There are some gunslinging moments that remind us of that in this episode.

The action was great and helped simplify the plot. This will help moving forward as the show tries to recalibrate its direction. Additionally, we got some adorable moments between Djarin and Grogu that continue to soften the rocky exterior of Djarin.

Weathers was a standout performance for me. The show did a good job showcasing how well Karga has cleaned up the once-seedy town on Nevarro.

At the end of the day, this episode catered to new and returning viewers, despite its lack of context regarding The Book of Boba Fett. Everything felt like dust settling to a safe place before blasting off on another adventure. 

The seeds are there for that adventure and there are numerous ways this story can go. The simplicity of this episode, however, does help ground the show in a way it desperately needed.

Scene from The Mandalorian season 3 premiere The Apostate on Disney Plus.
Image Credit: Disney (via Den of Geek)

Final Score (3.5 out of 5 stars)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The season premiere of the third season of The Mandalorian was ok. The action sequences were awesome, conjuring up visions of what Star Wars does best. 

While not impacting me as much, the lack of context from events in The Book of Boba Fett will make this a bit of a challenge to understand. That said, the small context issues were not a hindrance of the incoming story as future events don’t seem tied to past ones. 

I would’ve liked to see a bit more happen in this episode, but it wasn’t terrible. I just found myself lulled too much at times. 

Given all that, I think The Mandalorian is heading in a fun direction. It is a challenge for a show to redefine its story, but Disney did a pretty good job. 

I am excited to see where we go, especially as Ahsoka looms later this year.


The Boss Rush Podcast is the flagship podcast of Boss Rush Media and The Boss Rush Network. Each week, Corey, LeRon, Stephanie, Edward, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk their week in games, entertainment, and more while also bringing topics for conversation, answer listener and community questions, and cover major news and events happening in the video game industry. Watch The Boss Rush Podcast live on Wednesday Nights on Twitch at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT or on Monday mornings at 7 a.m. ET on YouTube and podcast services everywhere. Thanks for listening! You can also get this episode one week early on Patreon.

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Featured Image: Disney (via Vulture)

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