The last episode of The Mandalorian’s third season is the climax of a two-part finale titled The Return, and features Bo-Katan, Din Djarin and Grogu battling Moff Gideon for Mandalore’s survival. Where Chapter 23’s ‘The Spies’ had set up the intrigue behind what Moff Gideon is trying to accomplish behind the rest of the Shadow Council’s backs, this conclusion is more action-heavy where the Mandalorians attempt to stop Gideon before his diabolical plan can be fully realized. There were no major twists and turns once the battle had begun as one might come to expect, however, the theme that the episode and overall season explores is strengthened by the fact that each of the different Mandalorian factions were able to come together as one people.
Bo-Katan leads the charge, picking up where we left off in Chapter 23’s cliff-hanger and helping the Mandalorians reach the surface, while also calling out to Axe Woves and warning of Moff Gideon’s return and that he ordered TIE Interceptors and Bombers to attack the privateer fleet. To mirror what happened in the second season finale, it is Grogu who comes to save Daddy Din this time around. The action between Mando and the super commandos wearing Gideon’s Beskar alloy armor is something to behold, and Din exclaims to Grogu “if we don’t take out Moff Gideon, this will never end.”
Axe Woves successfully takes control of the light cruiser and orders the Mandalorians to take the Gauntlets and evacuate while he uses the flagship to distract the Imperial fighters. The Mandalorian survivors guide Bo-Katan through some lush cave gardens that they have cultivated, proving that there is a way for life to thrive on Mandalore if you give it room to grow. The fleet of Gauntlets links up with Bo-Katan’s group in a stunning sequence where both Mandalorians and Super Troopers clash in jetpacks, with Bo-Katan brandishing the Darksaber and The Armorer swinging her hammers.
Din asks R5 (not sure what he’s been up to, perhaps he was sent to the Living Waters for causing the covert to relocate) to scomp into Moff Gideon’s base, which is a fun sequence that reminds me of a Jedi: Fallen Order mission. Mando is also working his way through a tough level in a video game, as he moves from shield ray to shield ray taking down troopers. Once inside the command centre, they move past a corrider of clones of Moff Gideon, which is what he had alluded to being his perfected vision of the Dark Trooper. Just as one of them awakes, Din hits self-destruct on the whole operation, and the vats explode.
The final showdown begins, as Moff Gideon cries out “my clones were finally going to be perfect”, explaining that he was trying to isolate their potential to wield the Force: the missing piece to his already formidable army. When the Praetorian Guards show up for Din and Grogu to deal with, Bo-Katan arrives to fight the Moff once and for all. Gideon pulls out a spear that looks like it is Beskar combined with the weaponry of the Praetorians/Purge Troopers to challenge Bo-Katan’s Darksaber, which is actually destroyed by the end of the duel with Gideon taunting “Mandalorians are weak once they lose their trinkets” (ironic in the fact that Moff Gideon amassed trinkets in order to gain power amongst the Imperial remnants). Bo-Katan responds with “Mandalorians are stronger together” as the base is destroyed along with Moff Gideon, save for Grogu shielding Din and Bo-Katan from the flames using the Force.
The finale satisfied the arc of Bo-Katan unifying her people on Mandalore with the help of Din Djarin and Din Grogu (yes, he was officially adopted by Mando so he could take the Creed), with Mandalorians celebrating as Bo lights up the Great Forge (a small wink from the Mythosaur teases a bright future for the warrior race). Mando flies to Adelphi base to convince Carson Teva to give him a job (on a case-by-case basis) for the New Republic fighting Imperial remnants in the outer rim, demanding an advance of a ‘scrapped assassin-droid head’. After gifting IG-11 back to Greef Karga to be the new Marshall (effectively replacing Cara Dune), The Mandalorian settles down in a cabin where he can kick his feet up and watch Grogu practice using the Force on one-eyed frogs, between adventures of course! Bo-Katan’s return to Mandalore was the most satisfying arc in Season 3, and it will be interesting to see how the new status quo factors into any crossover events being plotted out in this New Republic era (between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens) of Star Wars.