Warning: This recap of Disney+/Lucasfilm’s The Mandalorian season 3 opener “The Apostate” contains spoilers.
Disney’s The Mandalorian returns with its tried-and-true formula of breezy action sequences laced with Star Wars lore, and after battle scenes involving bullying pirates, asteroid field spaceship chases and a really big alligator at what looks to be Lake Powell, Utah (where the first Planet of the Apes was shot), we get some answers on the danglers left hanging since last season.
This season’s first episode ends with Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin and Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan having a conversation about –OMG– the darksaber. Scroll down.
We also get a few lines about where bounty hunter and Din’s BFF Cara Dune might be lurking after the actress who played her, Gina Carano, was dismissed from The Mandalorian over her controversial remarks on social media. The EP of the show and the director of S3, episode one “The Apostate”, Rick Famuyiwa, told Deadline that the outcome of Dune was at the top of the mind of the writers’ room this season.
How was Dune’s sifting away, explained away?
Well, during the middle of the episode, Din revisits his old buddy Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) who is living high on the hog as the high magistrate on the trade planet of Nevarro. However, he still has scuffles with ruffians, like a bunch of squid-looking pirates, who come through. Din and Greef shoot most of them down letting one of them, named ‘Vane’, go. Greef tells Mando he needs a good marshal now that Cara Dune is gone.
Greef tells Din, “After she brought in Moff Gideon, she was recruited by special forces.”
Meanwhile Gideon (played on the show by Giancarlo Esposito) “was sent off to a New Republic war tribunal,” adds Greef.
“The Apostate” begins lakeside in what is, gosh, Lake Powell, Utah, but probably called something else in Star Wars land. The Armorer has just forged a new helmet for a young candidate that’s being sworn into the Mandalorian sect Children of the Watch. There are several Mandalorians (like, many) standing around for this ritual whereby the incumbent is helmeted. Again, key words here in this baptism is that the young cub will never remove his helmet. Why, is this a flashback from when Din was inducted into the tribe? Sure looks like it. The lakeside group of helmeted guys are then attacked by a huge alligator (what looks to be one) which erupts out of the lake. No amount of laser guns or tiny bombs can keep this beast down — until Din arrives in his sleek spaceship with Grogu aka Baby Yoda and shoots the reptile to his death. It was never a flashback.
Din gets time with the Armorer (Emily Swallow) and says that after taking off his helmet (a big no, no with their sect), he’s going to Mandalore to bathe in the hot springs aka the living waters underneath the mines of Mandalore. As we know, that’s the only way Din can be forgiven for the sin of going helmet-less.
“Redemption is not possible since the destruction of our home world,” says the Armorer. And Din is all, ‘Well, I’ll show you’.
In Nevarro, Din wants to revive the Taika Waititi voiced bounty hunter killing droid-turned-servant, IG-11, who has been memorialized in the city square.
“I need a droid I can trust to explore Mandalore,” Din tells Greef. Din attempts to resuscitate IG-11, but the droid reverts to his old memory trying to kill those around him. Din attempts to shoot him, but it’s the gold bust of Greef that falls on IG-11’s head. Grogu, Greef and Din take the robot to the elven troll droidsmiths, but they’re all thumbs in fixing him; they need a memory circuit. Din says he’ll return with the part.
However, Din doesn’t head pronto to find a memory circuit in the galaxy, rather by episode’s end he heads to Kalbala “another planet in the Mandalorian system” he tells little Grogu.
There’s a Mandalorian castle, which he enters, and sitting on the throne is Bo-Katan. In the Dave Filoni Star Wars cartoons, she gets possession of the Darksaber. The person who has the Darksaber rules Mandalore. After the Empire destroys Mandalore, Bo-Katan lost possession of the Darksaber.
Din enters her throne room and announces “I’m here to join you.”
“There’s nothing left to join,” Bo-Katan answers.
“What are your plans to retake Mandalore?” he asks her.
“When I returned without the darksaber my forces melted away,” Bo-Katan responds defeated.
Where is the stolen fleet?” asks Din about her posse.
“Making their way through the galaxy as mercenaries,” she says.
“Do you still have the saber?” Bo-Katan asks Din. She doesn’t budge from her throne.
“I do,” says Din.
However, in this finale, what’s intriguing is that Bo-Katan isn’t even challenging Din to a fight over the sword. That’s odd, considering she was hellbent on getting it from Gideon last season.
“Then you lead them,” Bo-Katan tells Din, “Wave that thing around, they’ll do whatever you say.”
Din is befuddled by the fact that Bo-Katan has given up her desire to retake Mandalore.
“Your cult gave up on Mandalore long before the forge,” she responds coldly.
“The Children of the Watch, and the factions that came before, fractured and shattered our people; go home — there is nothing left,” she tells Din.
Din asserts his desire to go to the Mandalore hot springs, but Bo-Katan exclaims “You’re a fool.”
You can never go home, Mandalorian. It’s a broken place.
But, he’s too thick skulled.
Din rebuts, “I will find out if the planet is really poisoned.”
Until next Wednesday.
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