The Good and the Bad of the Mando Season 3 finale

(Center): Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) with Imperial armored commandos in Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season three, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
(Center): Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) with Imperial armored commandos in Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season three, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

The Mandalorian Season 3 is officially in the books and now it’s time to dissect what went right and what went wrong for the series. Chapter 24 “The Return” premiered on Wednesday and there was plenty of aerial as well as ground action, hand to hand fighting and a lot of Mandalorians. There were also some exceptional moments between Din and Grogu.

Here are some good and then some not so good things we can takeaway from the Season 3 finale:

The Good: 

  1. The aerial action scenes: The aerial fighting involving the TIE Interceptors, Mandalorian ships and dozens of jetpack clad Mandalorians  was absolutely dazzling. The Armorer’s destructive mid-air hammering was terrifying. The flying Mando scenes from The Clone Wars and Rebels may look great but bringing them to live action must have taken painstaking effort. The results were mesmerizing.
  2. The visuals: This season is, at least visually, the grandest season of the show so far and perhaps of any live action Star Wars show. It was movie quality and every shot provided so much to take in. Whether it was the starships fighting it out, the TIE Interceptors chasing the Gauntlet, the N1 flying faster than a fathier or a simple shot of Mandalore from above ground, the team at Industrial Light & Magic should take a bow.
  3. The reunification of Mandalorians: While the plot got off to a sluggish start, and it wasn’t until Chapter 23 that Mandalorians really united and decided to take back their planet for good, it is nice that they have finally done it. For now at least, they all seem united under one leader. Though the journey there has been messy and even poorly written at times, with many inconsistencies, including how the Darksaber mattered to Axe Woves in Chapter 22, but didn’t seem to matter to anyone by the end once Bo Katan had lost it, but that’s understandable, as perhaps the Mandalorians have finally decided to get over their fixation on the weapon.

The Bad:

  1. The inconsistencies: The writing was riddled with loose threads that barely got tied up by the end and some left hanging. The helmet plotline has been by far the worst aspect of the series, making previous scenes where Din removed his helmet seeming almost meaningless. He never arrived at the conclusion that perhaps removing it is no issue, especially now that The Armorer approves. If the leader of Mandalore can remove hers, why not him? Not being able to pay for Pedro to show his face doesn’t seem like a good enough reason anymore. This is simply very poor writing.
  2. The lack of Pedro Pascal: When your lead actor is Pedro Pascal, you need to find a way to let him act in a couple of scenes. They managed it in the past but not this time. The season feels somewhat incomplete without that touch.
  3. The Darksaber’s destruction: If the Darksaber was going to be destroyed, maybe it could have been done with the agreement of all Mandalorians that the weapon now be eliminated, after the obsession with it created so much division between their people. Instead, Bo Katan fought proudly with the Darksaber in her hand. Gideon bent it’s hilt and broke it. Even if the aim was to ultimately rid Mandalore of its fixation over an ancient weapon, this was the weirdest way to accomplish that.

All episodes of The Mandalorian Season 3 are streaming now on Disney+.