The Mandalorian has come to a close, with a finale that doesn’t quite manage to tie everything together but still provides satisfying action and a rare happy ending in Star Wars.
Opening close to where episode seven left off, audiences find Bo-Katan leading her squad away and Din being dragged away by stormtroopers. He quickly escapes in a brutal sequence, which undercuts him captured last week. Grogu quickly catches up, and frees Din from his bonds. It lessens the personal stakes for this episode too.
Din decides to kill Gideon, needing R5’s help to get to him. This cowardly droid finally gets his big moment to be useful, all he ever wanted was to serve and now he can. The cop mouse droids were cute and hilarious, perfect for this show.
Finding Moff Gideon’s laser gates Din cleverly has them deactivated one at a time. The fight choreography and Din nicking weapons as he goes is amazing to watch, part of the coolest scenes.
Not forgetting about the Interceptors, they charge the Arquitens, missing the Mandalorian dropships somehow though, in an impressive sequence where it is blown up. It comes crashing down onto the base later on, ending its use in the show.
It’s here where the audience meets a Gideon clone in a tube, with Gideon explaining he wanted to make a clone army with the force. It’s something that has been hinted at since the very start, but is rushed here as all the clones are very quickly killed off with little fanfare.
Bo meanwhile finds plants on Mandalore, a sign of its rejuvenation. But this is only a whistlestop visit, quickly returning to the fast paced action beats. And while the action is enjoyable, having a few more moments to appreciate the quiet flora would have served the structure better.
The Mandalorians reinforce Bo-Katan, for an awesome shot, igniting her darksaber in midair. So it’s unfortunate the ensuing action beat is difficult to follow, with the camera shaking and blocking out what’s going on. Tight shots also obscure the fight.
But on the ground is where everything shines. The Gideon and Praetorian fights are very well done, utilising their skills and weapons in creative ways that delight. Grogu puts his force powers on full display, for the protection of Din. Him and Din have the cutest team up, and Bo fighting with Din at the end helps bring the theme of unity full circle.
Ending the show, audiences have the unification of Mandalore and a return to the Living Waters. The Mythosaur was something that was teased very early on this season, with Bo keeping its existence hidden from Din, which at the time seemed to be setting up a conflict between the pair. Going into the finale, it was bound to make another appearance.
And it did. In the closing few minutes of the episode, still in the pool. Grogu wakes it up with the force, but that’s it. This is a huge unresolved thread left frayed at the end of the season, with something that could have played into the narrative, but is instead left alone. The Mythosaur’s appearance earlier in the season makes no sense now.
Din visits the New Republic and offers to work for them, showing a huge amount of growth from when he called them a joke in the very first episode. It’s moments like this that help tie the wider story across the seasons together, and give it a sense of progression.
IG-11 is back, apparently the part they needed was lying about so they could screw on a new head and bring him there. The prior two resurrections were a much more ingenious way of reviving him, and made more sense, but this straight recovery is a bit surprising in a less enjoyable way.
But the ending shot is something to be proud of. It’s a happy moment of Din finally relaxing, on his plot on Nevarro. The status quo has returned, Din is ready to go on more adventures with his adopted son, who is once again disrupting the local ecosystem with the force.
Season three of The Mandalorian has been uneven, with major beats falling flat, but it’s still been enjoyable. A returned focus on Din and Grogu will serve the show better, as the wider struggles of the Mandalorian people has sometimes felt muddled.