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‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 Premiere Review: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

The Mandalorian season 3 feels like welcoming back an old friend, in the best of ways. The show, which stars Pedro Pascal as the titular Mandalorian, Din Djarin, has always been about the adventures of this somewhat reluctant space dad and his adorable son, Grogu. Season 3 changes nothing of that, even while it continues to shape a larger future for Din’s storyline with Mandalore.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, seems to be the show’s mantra, however. The beginning of season 3 goes into a lot that was teased in the second season, some of which might sound very familiar to old-time Star Wars fans, but it doesn’t take any big swings – and it doesn’t need to. The show has worked well as a space western of sorts and doesn’t seem interested in deviating from the path. If anything, the only difference is that this space dad seems way less reluctant. This is a family drama now, and the show’s ready to embrace it.

And if that means Grogu spinning around in a chair while stealing candy from Greef Karga’s desk, or Din having to prevent his kid from hugging someone to death, so be it. 

The first episode brings back some old familiar faces, like Greef Karga and Bo-Katan Kryze, allowing the storyline to feel more expansive, as both Din and Grogu get to exist in their spaces, albeit briefly. Both of them are clearly meant for longer arcs, and though it’s yet unclear what roles Nevarro and Mandalore have to play in the season 3 storyline, the first episode of the season provides a blueprint for what the show does well, and what it intends to do going forward. In the end, it’s still father and child against the world or a possibly poisoned planet. And they would have it no other way.

Star Wars TV has greatly expanded since The Mandalorian’s first season, both in animation and live-action, but The Mandalorian remains both a standout and an anomaly. There’s nothing quite like it, and though the show’s third season gives Din Djarin – and by extension, Grogu – a purpose, there’s still an aimlessness to the story that works well for this show, and would probably hurt any other. Whether season 3 can keep the balance, while continuing to provide long-time fans with enough tie-ins to the larger Star Wars universe remains to be seen.

But as a story of found family, of home being not an undefined place, but the people you choose to surround yourself with, The Mandalorian is still not just one of the best shows out there, but a satisfying journey that proves stories don’t end with finding your people – if anything, stories start there. And we’re not just saying that because Pedro Pascal has now been, officially, crowned the internet’s daddy. That’s just icing on the cake.

The first episode of The Mandalorian season 3 is now streaming on Disney+. New episodes will be available every Wednesday.