The Dark Herald Recommends: The Mandalorian Season 3

The Dark Herald Recommends: The Mandalorian Season 3

This may be the last season of The Mandalorian. The season finale could certainly function as a series finale as well.  Honestly, I hope they call it a day.  It certainly can’t come back from this incredibly weak season. And the ratings for the first three episodes can’t justify a renewal for a fourth season given the expense of producing a Star Wars show.  There is absolutely no Return of Luke scene this year. At the end of the day if you are a streaming service which Disney+ at least claims to be, you have to be able to answer the question, did this show do anything to generate new subscriptions?

It didn’t.  In fact, it has seriously underperformed in the ratings.

Even with a couple of decent or at least flashy final episodes, no one had any reason to sub to Disney+ over this thing. And it is obviously expensive to make.

It will take years before we find out what actually happened behind the scenes on this show.  However, there is little doubt that it was more entertaining than what happened on screen.  

There are a lot of rumors flying around that John Favreau is out as of now unless Iger can convince him, cajole him or threaten him into staying at LucasFilm.  There may be something to these rumors. He made those “hostage videos” earlier this year stating he has no studio interference. At Star Wars Celebration his name got mentioned exactly once while Dave Filoni’s was burbled by everyone constantly. During his one appearance, Favreau was absolutely stone-faced. Kennedy also announced a Mandalorian movie that would be directed by Dave Filoni(?). Seriously?  I personally suspect this is just going to be one of the many, many projects announced by Kathleen Kennedy that never actually happens.  But let’s say it does happen, why in hell would you give it to Dave Filoni when you’ve got a director with a proven track record for delivering billion-dollar-plus box office movies like John Favreau? Because he ain’t gonna be there is why.  

After he stepped back from the MCU (read kicked off of it unless they need him to play Happy Hogan) he made a passion project called Chef.  It was about a chef who worked at a deluxe high-end restaurant but was stifled by the lack of creativity that he was allowed to express. So, he quit and started working out of a food truck and loved it.  It was definitely a Sundance indie flick but some of the biggest stars in Hollywood to include Robert Downey worked on it…for scale. It was clearly viewed by Hollywood as a show of support for Favreau.  

The reason I brought it up is that in this season the character of Paz Vizla, who was played and voiced by John Favreau had a magnificent death scene in the fifth episode.  He fought a mob of dark troopers and killed all of them but was finally overwhelmed by the Praetorian Guards. His final scene was him clanking face-first into the deck, having fought to the last but being overcome due to circumstances beyond his control.

An analogy for the last defender of Star Wars finally falling, doesn’t seem like a stretch.

As usual, half the rumors weren’t true.  Thrawn’s guaranteed appearance never happened, nor did Cara Dune’s although I knew damn good and well that one wasn’t happening.

What was most shocking to me was the low quality of the stories this season.  This was the most why should I give a fuck season of Mando ever.  The stuff that didn’t happened was more memorable than what did.  I had to go look up these episodes because I couldn’t remember most of them off the top of my head.  It was that good!

Chap 17 Apostate

Din Djarin has to replay his entire plot from the Book of Boba Fett, but it wasn’t as good the second time around.  And still left people confused about, where the hell did he get his new ship and why isn’t Baby Yoda with Luke?  

Chap 18 The Mines of Mandalore

Din goes to Manadalore to take a magic bath.  He gets grabbed by a critter and becomes a Mansel in Distress.  So, he has to be saved by Bo Katan who is the new star of the series. Filoni fan service for all!

Chap 19 The Convert

This was a what the hell(?) episode. It was a massive side story that felt like it belonged more in Andor than in Mando. Its purpose (assuming it had one) was to raise the profile of Katie O’Brian’s character, who had almost nothing more to do in the rest of the season.  At least she’s still evil.

Chap 20 The Foundling

It would have been the worst episode of the season if the competition wasn’t so fierce this year.  A Mando kid gets nabbed by a space pterodactyl who forgets to eat him.  And Baby Yoda’s puppet does that unbelievably cringe jumping thing you’ve seen all over the internet.

Chap 21 The Pirate

Another strong contender for worst episode but was easily beaten by the next one on the list. The pirates that I forgot about from the first episode led by Man-Thing invade Apollo Creed’s planet. The Rangers of the New Republic want to help but aren’t allowed to because Kathleen Kennedy fired Gina Carano. So, the Mandos invade blow up the pirate ship and vow to defend Navarro.  Briefly. 

Chap 22 Guns for Hire

We have a winner! Not just the worst episode of Mandalorian but easily the worst episode in all of Disney Star Wars to include the entire Book of Boba Fett!  Well done guys!  This is the one with Jack Black, Lizzo, and Reverend Jim from Taxi (you thought I was going to say Doc Brown didn’t you?).  I already shelled this one.

Chap 23 The Spies

I have no idea why it was called that.  The only spy we saw was Katie O’Brian and we already knew about her.  The Mandos leave Navarro to invade their homeworld.  John Favreau emerges from his whiskey closet so he can give himself a good death scene.  Best show of the season.  It was the only one where I felt something besides boredom, confusion, embarrassment, and cringe.

Chap 24 The Return

Again, I don’t know why it was called that since they were already there on Mandalore.  The Mandos retake the hometown, defeat Moff Gideon’s Imperial Remnant, and possibly killed Gideon himself but they deliberately left some wiggle room there in case they want to bring him back and pay Esposito enough to play a part he’s clearly bored to tears with.  Din Djarin formally adopts Grogu which means he has to leave Mandalore for reasons that will never be explained.  The final scene is him back on Navarro in front of his ranch(?) with his feet crossed Western Sheriff on the Porch style while Baby Yoda Force plays with a frog but doesn’t eat it.  The End.

I strongly suspect that Favreau had that image in mind as the closing scene from the start. Back when it was supposed to be about a gunslinger that would ride into town, shoot the problem of the week, and ride back out.  Long before the show got hijacked.

Like I said, it could easily function as a series finale. And I hope it will be because it is not getting better with time.  I can’t say it was completely awful. The last two episodes weren’t great, but they functioned as a TV show. If you are curious about how the show ended these are the only two worth watching.  Skip. The. Rest.

And they are the only reason I’m giving it as good a review as I am.

The Dark Herald Recommends with Serious Reservations (1.5/5)

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