There were no real surprises in the season finale of The Mandalorian although the episode ran well shorter than preferred.
Spoilers follow for Chapter 24 of The Mandalorian. There are no mid- or post-credit scenes.
While the episode brought the action, there were at least a good ten minutes of credits (including all of the foreign language credits). I thought maybe we’d get a tease at the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn ahead of Ahsoka launching in August. Alas, that was not to be. In any event, the episode brought more sprinklings of confirmation that The Mandalorians are the Jews of the Star Wars galaxy and I absolutely love it. There was a line in last week’s episode about how they’ve been around for thousands of years and always rebuild after being threatened with annihilation. In this week’s episode, we get to see the Mandalorians take back their planet and restart the Great Forge, akin to Jews relighting the menorah in the Temple.
I know people are going to say that there wasn’t enough of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) this season. That’s fine with me. He was always the villain looming in the distance, even if we didn’t see him when the series brought Dr. Pershing back. It was absolutely fun to see Coruscant during the New Republic era. We don’t get enough of this, certainly not in live-action post-Return of the Jedi. Anyway, this season was never really about the Imperial Remnant threat. Sure, it played a part but it was always about taking back Mandalore. Getting the Darksaber during the season 2 finale paved the way. The start of the season even pointed towards taking Mandalore back.
In bringing Mandalorians out of exile and together, it allows Jon Favreau to show their Judaism. Not in the traditional sense of practicing Judaism but in how Favreau and Filoni have written the show, Mandalorian culture has shown that they are the most Jewish of any Star Wars characters. We see this in the Death Watch remnants acting more Orthodox. They never take off their helmets similar to how the most religious Jews always cover their head–either by kippah or sheitel. Meanwhile, Bo-Katan, the Nite Owls, and others fall somewhere in the Open Orthodox/Conservative/Reform area of practice. There’s also the Living Waters of Mandalore, which is akin to the Mikvah. Anyone removing their helmet needs a full dunking. Taking the Mandalorian creed only requires a sprinkling of water, similar to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. All we need now is a transgender Mandalorian to truly be seen in the universe!
Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) was never going to die. I love that Grogu went to rescue him and that he puts his Force abilities on display. Oh yeah, Din also destroyed Gideon’s clones, too. But in the end, Gideon had to face off against Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff). Unfortunately, his Beskar armor was just too strong and that put an end to the Darksaber. Will another one be rebuilt? I don’t know. Meanwhile, Axes Woves (Simon Kassianides) sent reinforcements down to Mandalore. This was before using the flagship to–smartly, I must add–destroy the Imperial base. With all of Grogu’s Force abilities on display this season, I thought we might have seen him start talking!
In addition to retaking Mandalore, the closing scenes see Din Djarin not only adopt Grogu, now Din Grogu, as his own but offer his services to the New Republic as an independent contractor. Make no mistake that this will almost certainly come into play during the upcoming Dave Filoni film. All it takes is getting an IG droid’s head so that they could reprogram IG-11 (Taika Waititi) as the new Marshall of Nevarro.
Chapter 24 of The Mandalorian brings the action and puts the series in a good place as it heads towards the future. There was so much action in this episode. And yet, they still tied up everything in roughly half an hour. The runtime inconsistences were my biggest issue this season. At the end of the day, The Mandalorian, more or less, is a half hour series. My hope for season four is that they’ll be more consistent. In rewatching Chapters 22 and 23, I forgot how quickly the former ended!
DIRECTOR: Rick Famuyiwa
SCREENWRITERS: Jon Favreau
CAST: Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Simon Kassianides, Mercedes Varnado, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Carl Weathers, Brendan Wayne, Lateef Crowder
All episodes of The Mandalorian: Season 3 are now streaming on Disney+. Grade: 4/5
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