The Mandalorian season 3 episode 7 was phenomenal television. Perhaps some of the best Star Wars I’ve ever seen. But in making a penultimate episode so good, this Star Wars series finale ended up being a victim of its own success.
Almost right away, we see Baby Yoda as IG-12 rescue Din Djarin from Moff Gideon‘s stormtroopers. Din tells his surrogate son that they “can’t keep running” and must take down Gideon once and for all. Meanwhile, as a literal infant saves Mando, Bo-Katan and her squadron are about as useful as a bunch of chocolate teapots, as its down to Axe Woves in the sky to rally the rest of the troops to provide backup while the fearless, Darksaber-wielding warrior destined for great things does… nothing. Thanks a lot, Kryze.
As Din and Grogu head towards Gideon’s command base, we see him communicate with Star Wars droid R5 about dismantling all the shields to help him and Grogu fight their way through the troopers. Again, this makes way for some fun action sequences, with Din accumulating his enemy’s weaponry as he goes, but it’s nothing spectacular. That being said, this is probably the first time we saw Din and Grogu tag-teaming a fight after three seasons of one saving the other, and it was nice seeing that play out.
Well, at least someone is doing something, as Bo-Katan and her group continue to hide out in a pocket cave in Mandalore. With this particular hideout cultivated with greenery and produce, everyone has a nice exposition-serving chat about how the planet can sustain life after all — but unfortunately for them, The Armorer, Axe Woves, and the rest of the reinforcements then show up, meaning that they might actually have to do something.
But back to Moff Gideon at the base. Din and Grogu discover that the Star Wars villain has been building a clone army of himself (I guess that’s what Doctor Pershing was working towards). However, given they’re still in their cloning tanks, they seem not to be fully-grown and are quickly destroyed without putting up any kind of fight. Maybe that’s because, at their full strength, it just wouldn’t be feasible for Din and Grogu to defeat for a room full of Moff Gideons. Or perhaps it’s because Favreau and Filoni would then have had to explain why all of the clones were naked.
In a handy exposition-dump, we’re told by Gideon the clones were being built to wield the Force, and while it would have been nice for this to have been shown rather than told, I doubt we’ve seen the last of these clones entirely. If nothing else, it shows precedent for clones like Snoke in the sequel Star Wars movies, which was a nice touch.
But then we’re back to the thick of the action, as we see a mixture of exciting fight sequences both in air and on-land. From mid-air jetpack stabbings, to Star Wars ship fights, and Bo-Katan bringing out the Darksaber at last, the carnage comes thick and fast in the last 15 minutes or so of this episode. Because Din was rescued so early on, it was hard to feel like this finale had a lot of stakes — but we finally get a semblance of trouble when Grogu is cornered by the Praetorian Guards which, after their actions last episode, definitely provide some of the threat this episode had been missing some far.
As Din goes after Grogu and the guards, we finally see Gideon and Katan face off in a fight that we’ve been building all season to see. But again, there’s not a lot of payoff as Gideon quickly destroys her Darksaber, and the other Mandos surround her as backup. Simultaneously, we see Din and Grogu working together to take down the Praetorian Guards.
Given how easily they killed Paz Vizsla, it seems suspicious how fast Din and Grogu are able to defeat them, but this all paves way for a stunningly beautiful sequence where all these little fights collide into a literal baptism of fire, with the Mandos’ flamethrowers being channelled by Grogu to burn down the base, barbecue Moff Gideon and re-light the Forge: helping serve the story both symbolically and literally given that the Big Bad is now, presumably, deep-fried. The score here is also sensational and helps elevate this scene further
From there, things wrap up in a neat and wholesome way — although we never find out what happened to those three birds the Mandos adopted, and how the Mythosaur plays into the wider scheme of things. Proving that initiating children into a cult is fine, actually, both Ragnar (whose father’s death seems to have been forgotten) and Grogu are christened as official Mandalorian apprentices. While Grogu is still too young to take the Creed, Din ends up formally adopting the little Star Wars alien, giving him another name alongside Grogu and Baby Yoda: Din Grogu.
I’ll admit, I might have had something in my eye at that point, but as the Armorer encourages Din to take his new son on adventures, and the Star Wars bounty hunter decides to go back to his roots as a contractor for the New Republic, we’re left in a pretty satisfying place. Also, IG-11 is back guys! As the show closes in on Mando and Grogu chilling in their little house, it’s clear that their story, at least as main characters, has come to an end. Maybe I’m jaded from too many plot twists, but I can’t help being a little disappointed by just how… happy everyone is.
Wouldn’t it have been interesting if we saw The Armorer betray the Mandalorians? Or saw Din’s mind wiped from the mindflayer, forgetting his surrogate son in the process? Wouldn’t it have at least raised the stakes a bit if Bo-Katan actually had a warrior’s death, too? Maybe, if Favreau and Filoni thought there was more to do with these Star Wars characters, they might have done some of those things — but it seems like instead, they went for the ultimate Good Ending™ where, as warm and fuzzy as you feel inside, you’re happy to leave the story alone for now. That is, of course, until the Dins inevitably show up in Ahsoka.
So, that’s everything on The Mandalorian characters this season — here’s what we know about The Mandalorian season 4 release date. And speaking of Ahsoka Tano, check out our guide on the Star Wars Ahsoka release date, along with everything announced at Star Wars Celebration 2023.
The Mandalorian season 3 episode 8 review
Visually stunning, narratively thin.