This Mandalorian Season 3 Update Is Actually Very Concerning
Jon Favreau provided an update on The Mandalorian season 3 at CCXP, but his comments are actually very concerning – is the show losing its heart?
The latest update for The Mandalorian is actually very concerning. The Mandalorian is essentially the flagship Disney+ TV show, with season 1 releasing alongside the streaming service’s launch – and delighting viewers with a surprisingly intimate portrayal of the father-child relationship between Din Djarin and Baby Yoda (now known to be named Grogu). Lucasfilm took advantage of Disney’s CCXP panel to officially announce the release date for The Mandalorian season 3, with creator Jon Favreau promising the show’s “scope is bigger than ever: space battles, and more Mandalorians.“
This is actually deeply concerning. The Mandalorian season 1 worked precisely because it was so intimate, the story of an unlikely found-family who came together against the Empire. Season 2 came tantalizingly close to losing that balance, with several high-profile cameos that risked drawing attention away from Din Djarin and Grogu; skillful writing thankfully prevented this becoming a major problem. Still, there is now clearly the danger that The Mandalorian will begin to operate on a scale where the emotional core is lost in space battles and lore.
Lucasfilm’s Ambitions For The Mandalorian Era Are A Major Risk
Star Wars has expanded into three new time periods of late; the High Republic Era (centuries before the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace), the Dark Times of the Empire’s reign, and a period five years after Return of the Jedi. Viewers were introduced to this part of the timeline through The Mandalorian, but Lucasfilm aim to build out of this into some kind of grand saga, with season 2’s Ahsoka Tano cameo launching a spinoff. There’s intense speculation the shows will tell a Disney-canon version of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, which successfully launched the Expanded Universe back in 1991. This saw the entire galaxy threatened by a resurgent Empire under the leadership of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has already been explicitly referenced in The Mandalorian season 2. The problem with adapting the Thrawn trilogy like this is simple, though; there is a risk the emotional center of The Mandalorian will be lost in the scale of the story.
Din Djarin Works Better As A Lone Gunslinger Than A Mandalorian Leader
The problem is compounded by creative choices in season 2 that risk losing Din Darin’s core concept. He was created as a lone gunslinger whose heart is melted by a Force-sensitive infant he stumbles upon; The Mandalorian season 2 switched things up by having him take possession of the Darksaber, thus giving him an unlikely claim to rule all Mandalorians. Naturally, there could well be many twists in this tale in season 3, and it’s even possible Din Djarin will give the Darksaber over to potential rival Bo-Katan Kryze. Whether he does so or not, though, the mere presence of the Darksaber means the narrative focus has broadened out. It will now center upon Mandalorian lore, not upon Din Djarin and Grogu. The lone gunslinger is now contender for a planet’s throne, and his core concept is changed as a result.
The question is whether Lucasfilm can handle this change without losing what made The Mandalorian so successful in the first place. Favreau’s comment seems to suggest the show is becoming something a little more traditional Star Wars, and that’s frankly a shame, because it should instead continue to be something different – and consequently special. There is a very real risk The Mandalorian season 3 will forget what made the series work in the first place, a result of storytelling decisions and crossover ambitions.
Next: Din’s Ship In The Mandalorian Season 3 Doesn’t Make Any Sense