“The Mandalorian” - Season 3, Episode 1 Review

Story posted March 14, 2023 in

This is the way.

“The Mandalorian” is finally back after nearly a two-and-a-half-year break, and is, of course, streaming on Disney+ (the new home for all original Star Wars content).

The episode, titled “The Apostate,” opens with a Mandalorian Armorer bestowing a helmet to a young boy seemingly being initiated into the ranks. But in true Star Wars fashion, a giant crocodile-like creature bursts from the sea and wreaks havoc on the ceremony.

It was refreshing to be put right back into the action of “The Mandalorian,” since sometimes the series falls victim to going episodes without it.

Just when the Mandalorian soldiers seem to have no hope of defeating the creature, a familiar ship appears in the distance. The ship’s blaster delivers the killing blow, and it’s revealed to be Mando and Grogu.

The characters’ return was nothing short of epic– with Mando quickly becoming a fan-favorite of the franchise (mostly due to Pedro Pascal’s excellent performance) and Grogu’s childish charm always putting a smile on viewers’ faces.

After Mando saves the day, he speaks with the Armorer about a way to redeem himself after breaking the sacred Mandalorian code and removing his helmet last season, leading to his exile. The Armorer says the only way to do so is to bathe in the Living Waters beneath the mines of Mandalore.

Seems easy, but there’s a catch – Mandalore was allegedly completely destroyed in an event called “The Purge.”

How can Mando bathe in the Living Waters if they no longer exist?

He, unfortunately, has no choice, and the viewers learn that this season of “The Mandalorian” will likely follow his search for the Waters and his redemption.

Before embarking on this journey, Mando and Grogu head to Navarro, which has now become a booming trade port led by Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), who is happy to see the duo. While Mando and Karga converse, a band of pirates threaten them and cause blasters to be drawn.

The stand-off that ensues is another great action moment in the episode, creating a nice balance between plot advancement and good old-fashioned blaster battles.

Later on in the episode, Mando and Grogu visit Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), who was left with nothing after her squad abandoned her to become mercenaries. She can no longer take over Mandalore now that Mando has the Darksaber, and the only purpose she serves in the episode is to give a clue as to where the mines are located on the planet.

“The Apostate” was a nice reintroduction to the characters and world of “The Mandalorian,” and delivered some fast-paced action to hold the viewer’s attention for the full duration.

The chemistry between Mando and Grogu was as endearing as ever, and Grogu also had some humorous moments with Anzalleans that tried to help fix IG-11.

However, it did seem a bit surface-level and did not stand out against the series' previous episodes. If “The Mandalorian '' wants to keep the Star Wars fan base invested, it needs to possibly break free from the “journey to…” format and introduce new threats for Mando.

Rating: 3.5/5

Kaitlyn Murphy is a first-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email kvm6255@psu.edu.