After three years and an appearance in “The Book of Boba Fett,” Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu return for the third season of “The Mandalorian.”
Opening with the familiar female Mandalorian introduced in season one, the Armorer (Emily Swallow) forges a new Mandalorian helmet. However, upon completion, the helmet is smaller with a larger visor; it’s for a foundling. Exiting a cave, the Armorer takes the finished helmet to a beach surrounded by a variety of Mandalorians, each sporting unique color palettes and designs on their Beskar armor that may portray the clan they represent, which hopefully opens up the different perspectives and values from each clan as they take back Mandalore.
The Armorer hands the helmet to a boy standing in the shallow part of the water. As the boy puts on the helmet and starts reciting the Mandalorian Creed, he’s interrupted by a giant crocodile-like monster erupting from beneath the water. As the Mandalorians take the frontlines and protect the foundlings, the monster projects crocodile-like behaviors, thrashing and spinning like a crocodile when it’s cornered into a restrictive predicament.
One small detail that might be overlooked is when the new foundling tries to take a stand against the beast, Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher), the blue, heavy infantry Mandalorian who fought Din for the Darksaber, pushes the foundling aside and orders him to get down. Both have similar blue palettes on their helmet, and one can wonder if the foundling is from clan Vizsla or someone he rescued and is now responsible for him in the same kind of relationship Din and Grogu have.
Just as the Mandalorians get overwhelmed, a familiar Naboo N-1 starfighter fires missiles at the beast, littering the beachside with its entrails. Din Djarin and Grogu emerge from the cockpit as their saviors. Seems like they can add another beast defeated alongside the Krayt Dragon they defeated in season 2.
Despite the victory, Din isn’t welcomed among the Mandalorians due to deliberately taking off his helmet in front of others — a violation of his tribe’s creed. The Armorer tells him there’s no possibility of redemption due to the destruction and purge of Mandalore. However, Din reveals an artifact he traded from a Jawa that came from a traveler who’d retrieved it from Mandalore. This opens up the possibility for Din to actually visit the planet to see if he’s able to bathe in the living water beneath the mines of Mandalore, cleansing him from his exile. Not only will Din Djarin probably be the first Mandalorian to return to Mandalore after the purge, but it’ll be the first extensive live-action look onto the infamous planet that’s been the center of conflict during both the Republic and Galactic Empire.
As the two travel to their next destination, Grogu looks out the window to see the shadows of a few creatures coming out alongside them in hyperspace. The only creature that fits these characteristics are the Purrgil, who look like a mix of a whale and a squid and vary in color and size. The most unique thing about the Purrgil is that they’re able to connect and even communicate with those who are Force-sensitive. These creatures will likely play a larger role, especially with the “Ahsoka” show streaming later this year.
Din Djarin and Grogu return to Nevarro, which has transformed from a bounty hunter’s guild where only shady characters and killers roamed the streets to a thriving trade city where saloons have been replaced with schools for children. Not only is the transition a good representation of the time jumps between each season but also of Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), someone who went from being a greedy bounty collector to a kind high magistrate leading Nevarro’s citizens.
As Din and Karga catch up, they’re interrupted by pirates who want a place to drink and don’t appreciate Karga’s efforts in transforming Nevarro for the better. Despite being a kind official, Karga dispatches the few pirates with Din’s help.
Din explains the purpose of his arrival is so that he can rebuild IG-11, the droid whose parts remained on the planet as a statue since sacrificing its life for Grogu when Stormtroopers had surrounded him along the lava bedside.
Efforts to rebuild the droid are futile without a new memory circuit, so Din leaves in search of the part. As soon as the two leave Nevarro, they’re ambushed by the very same pirate group from before, who seek revenge. Not only is Din’s ship superior, but his maneuverability is also much better against the pirates as he takes them out one by one. The theme subtly plays in the background as the pirates anxiously look for the hidden Mandalorian. Only when Din makes his move does the music pick up and make his entrance more impactful.
Din and Grogu later arrive on Kalevala — another planet in the Mandalorian system. They greet one single Mandalorian sitting on a throne: Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), who searched for the Darksaber last season but yielded it to Din when he bested Moff Gideon in combat.
Now, Bo-Katan’s unmotivated and even colder than before. The forces she gathered to reclaim Mandalore abandoned her to become mercenaries, especially since she’s not the one with the Darksaber, which carries the same significance as a king’s crown. When she reunites with Din, she writes off his plans.
The more we learn about the creed that Din abides by, the Mandalorians that follow the teachings of Mandalore the Great, the superstitious and strict beliefs are similar in nature to the Jedi and Sith. Considering how Mandalore the Great fought Jedi in the Mandalorian-Jedi War, it could be possible that in order to defeat his enemies, he had to start thinking like them, so it could be possible his teachings were partially derived from the Jedi order.
As one of the shortest first episodes in any Star Wars medium, the episode doesn’t do much in terms of Din making any progress in his journey of reclaiming his place among the Mandalorians. On the surface, the episode seems like a casual nostalgic trip as it brings back familiar characters from past seasons and mediums, but underneath, there are a lot of different elements that tie into the greater lore of Star Wars and future series and teases for the exciting possibilities this universe can branch out to.