The Mandalorian Season 3 Premiere Review: The Most Disappointing Season Premiere Yet

The Season 3 premiere of The Mandalorian has action and laughs, but it doesn't deliver a complete story.

By Michileen Martin | Updated

mandalorian season 3 premiere

There is a lot to love about The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere, which dropped this Wednesday morning. It’s got the Star Wars action, it’s got the laughs, and it has some amazing visuals. But “Chapter 17” is the first episode of Disney+‘s flagship series I can remember that is all set up and forgets to deliver a complete story all on its own.


Considering the toxicity that infects so much Star Wars discussion these days, I feel it’s important I point out that you’re not talking to a guy who automatically hates new Star Wars. I don’t have pictures of Jon Favreau or Mickey Mouse on a dartboard, I’ve enjoyed most (but not all) of the live-action Star Wars series to come out of Disney+, and when anyone bashes the sequels while praising the prequels it makes me want throw up in someone else’s mouth. Regardless, as much as I’d love to tell you The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere was worth the long wait since the conclusion of Season 2, I’d be a lying nerf herder if I did.

The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere — as you’d expect if you’ve seen The Book of Boba Fett — deals chiefly with Din Djarin’s quest to redeem himself in the eyes of The Armorer (Emily Swallow) by bathing in the sacred waters in the depths of Mandalore. In spite of already doing so in Boba Fett, the hero visits The Armorer to confirm what he already knew he had to do in order to be considered a Mandalorian again. Next he visits Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) in Nevarro — which has become way more Bougie since the last time we were there — for a favor he needs to help him in his quest.

On his way to the Mandalorian system Din Djarin gets in trouble with some pirates, gets out of trouble pretty quickly, and then visits Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff); who is now apparently spending all day just sitting on a throne in a huge, empty castle. Djarin is supposed to be looking for something very specific, and he never brings it up during their conversation. The scene seems to unfold only to let us know that Bo-Katan is moody these days.

mandalorian season 3 premiere
Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan in The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere

Part of The Mandalorian‘s signature brilliance is tragically missing from the Season 3 premiere: the show’s ability to deliver a complete story in one episode while at the same time progressing the larger narrative of the series. This is the first time I can recall an episode of The Mandalorian succeeding at the second promise while forgetting the former.

I’m hoping The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere is an outlier and not a sign of things to come, because there really is a lot to like about it. Djarin and Grogu’s entrance into the story is absolutely perfect, and achieved with some clever bit of misdirection. The action and visuals are, as always, impressive with one more of Star Wars’ Godzilla-sized beasties introduced in the opening scene.

Also, as usual, The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere doesn’t spare us the laughs. In particular, there’s a scene with Grogu and some other memorable franchise aliens that will likely make you laugh harder than you have at any other scene in the show.

But overall unfortunately this is feeling a little bit too much like Season 1 of The Book of Boba Fett (which could be getting a Season 2 if is right). If the rest of the season likewise fails to deliver consistently complete individual episodes, we could find out Mando should’ve left Grogu with Luke Skywalker after all.