The Mandalorian’s premiere set the stage for its main narrative, while its second chapter took a slower approach to create a greater attachment among its characters. With all of the necessary storytelling and emotional dominoes in place, creator and writer Jon Favreau uses the series’ third chapter to begin knocking them down in a satisfying blend of explosive action and intense drama.
Having recovered the parts for his starship, The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) travels back to the Imperial-affiliated “Client” (Werner Herzog) to deliver his acquired bounty, the unofficially named and universally adored “baby Yoda.” However, cracks begin to show behind the stoic bounty hunter’s helmet, as he is forced to choose between his newfound connection and his proud culture.
This emotional tension is a challenge to convey with a fully-covered face, even more so when conversing with similarly masked Mandalorians. Pascal and his supporting cast nevertheless succeed in giving impassioned performances that convey their culture’s shared history and pain. Carl Weathers also expertly plays the guild leader Greef Karga, acting as a charismatic ally yet dangerous enemy to cross.
Deborah Chow breaks new ground by becoming the first woman to direct a live-action Star Wars and provides some of the series’ most stunning shots yet. The escalating action scenes in particular are stunning, utilizing composer Ludwig Goransson’s powerful score to create emotionally overwhelming moments. The franchise showcasing female directors should have happened a long, long time ago, but with Bryce Dallas Howard directing next week’s episode, these talented women finally have the opportunity to direct a part of the far, far away galaxy’s story.
Following its powerful climax, The Mandalorian’s third chapter concludes much like a proper Star Wars film, seeming to signify the close of its first act. The Mandalorian has a lot to address, thanks to some major plot twists and revelations, and it is all but certain that there are still many yet to come.
The live-action series continues to expertly translate the rich universe of Star Wars to its new format, not simply taking influence from its rich history but adding new nuance and mysteries as well.
New episodes of The Mandalorian normally release Fridays on Disney+.