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The Mandalorian Begins A Tall Task In Latest Episode

“People are predictable.” - Tobias Beckett in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

In this case, Season 3 of Star Wars: The Mandalorian has been somewhat predictable, at least through the first two episodes. Din Djarin, last seen helping to liberate a town on Tatooine in The Book of Boba Fett, looks to atone for his “sin” of removing his helmet. The first two episodes of the season follow that quick, if predictable journey, to his creed-mandated redemption by taking a dive into sacred waters contained within the ruins of the planet Mandalore.

But Wednesday’s third episode of the current third season was easily the strongest. The episode begins and ends with Djarin and Bo-Katan escaping from Imperial TIE Interceptors (my favorite TIE ship) before linking up with the remaining Mandalorians, led by The Armorer and Paz Viszla, as seen in the season opener. 

Those sequences bookend the bulk of the episode, spent on Coruscant, following the story of Doctor Pershing, a character we’ve known since the series debut in 2019. 

Pershing is a participant in an Amnesty program for ex-Imperials, which includes basic housing and employment on the galaxy’s capital planet. Pershing remains passionate about the idea of organ cloning, but for “good” reasons, as opposed to the Empire’s “bad” reasons. One of his fellow ex-Imperials, Elia Kane, convinces him he can continue this work, unsanctioned.

They sneak onto a decommissioned Star Destroyer, where Pershing acquires the materials he needs for a mobile lab. However, he is betrayed to a New Republic police force by Kane, and he undergoes some rather cruel looking reconditioning, which Kane increases exponentially.

The Coruscant scenes in this episode are highlighted by two occasions of some John Williams underscore. A short scene where the top of Coruscant’s tallest terrestrial mountain is revealed includes a remixed version of March of the Resistance, which Williams wrote for The Force Awakens and was later used throughout The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker. A scene shortly thereafter features the low, guttural male choral arrangement of the music associated with Supreme Leader Snoke, primarily in Episodes VII and VIII. 

This leads me to the verification of what I feel is one of the underlying tasks of The Mandalorian as a show, and that is the rehabilitation of the Sequel Trilogy. 

Look, I get how unpopular the Sequel Trilogy is, particularly among our readership. But it is part of the established Star Wars canon, whether you and I like it or not. The three films feel very separated from the George Lucas saga of six films, and are even more separated from one another, which is shown in the difference in J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson’s visions for their respective films. In my view, Disney seemed to correctly perceive this upon the release of Rise of Skywalker in 2019, given how little effort was put into marketing and celebrating that film.

But The Mandalorian has become a golden goose for Disney, led by the character of Grogu. The show is in its third season, and according to showrunner Jon Favreau, has its fourth season already written. 

Given the popularity of Disney Plus’s flagship show, it only makes sense that Disney try to bridge the considerable narrative and popular gap between that show and the Sequel Trilogy. Wednesday’s episode, The Convert, addresses this more explicitly than any single episode previously. 

Will it work? I figure it can’t hurt, given how inconsistent the storytelling was in the Sequel Trilogy. Having something tangible and cohesive to better flesh out the who, what, why and how of those three films can only strengthen them, relative to the shaky ground they’re on now. The questions of where the First Order came from, what or who the heck Snoke was and how he rose to power were glaring details the Sequel Trilogy filmmakers straight-up ignored, much to their detriment. Perhaps, while telling the tale of The Mandalorian and his baby Yoda charge, some retroactive repair work can be done on the trilogy of films Disney first announced eight years ago.

Written by Brad Monastiere. You can follow him on Twitter @bmonastiere 

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.


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