The third season of “The Mandalorian” hinged on three things: retaking Mandalore, killing Moff Gideon, and fleshing out Din Djarin and Grogu’s relationship. Since only two of those complement each other, it’s obvious that Din and Grogu’s whole arc seemed like an afterthought. So, in an attempt to make the endeavor feel meaningful, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni got Din kidnapped in the penultimate episode of the show, thereby giving the illusion of stakes. They also tried to make it seem like the Mandalorians in the ships orbiting Mandalore were in imminent danger because Gideon was going to turn them into ashes. And they also tried to make it look like the Mandalorians in the caves of Mandalore were trapped, and they had no option but to watch the purge of their home planet yet again. Well, the finale continued this season’s trend of generating tension by resolving everything in the simplest fashion possible.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Moff Gideon’s Project Necromancer Is Dead?
Axe Woves manages to warn the Mandalorians about the impending attack on the fleet, and they fly away into Mandalore to save the rest of the group that has been trapped there by Moff Gideon. Woves himself hangs back on the ship, though, in order to take on the incoming TIE fighters and TIE Interceptors. Din Djarin and Grogu (in his IG-12 mech suit) head over to Moff Gideon’s headquarters after Grogu frees and rescues Din. The R5 unit helps them along the way. If the fight between Din and the Beskar alloy-suited Storm Troopers between the red shields reminded you of the fight between Qui-Gon Jinn, Darth Maul, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, then it’s probably because Rick Famuiywa wanted to mirror that sequence. But, as you can see, there was a clear sense of tension in the sequence from “The Phantom Menace,” while there is none of that in “Chapter 24: The Return.” The stunts are good. However, none of it is impactful.
Din and Grogu find out that Gideon has been making clones of himself and promptly destroy them. When the real Gideon confronts them, he says that his Project Necromancer was supposed to create the perfect version of him because they would’ve been able to harness the Force. And since Din has killed them all, Gideon has to kill him. This beat is weird for a variety of reasons. Gideon was clearly following Din and Grogu’s movements. So why didn’t he just stop them when they destroyed the Bacta tanks? If that was his most prized possession, why did he just leave it unguarded like that? No safety protocols? Also, what’s the point of evoking Darth Vader again? Haven’t we seen enough of that guy? This is why “Andor” is a cut above the rest because they don’t have to explicitly pander to nostalgia vampires to get some kind of emotional reaction. Anyway, the Praetorian guards, Djarin, Grogu, Gideon, and even Bo-Katan fight for a bit. The heroes overpower the villains, and Woves’ kamikaze attack apparently kills Gideon.
With all that said, there are a few questions that remain unanswered. Did Gideon actually die, or was that a clone of Gideon? Regardless of whether it was Gideon or his clone, is the person in the Dark Trooper suit dead? And is Project Necromancer directly linked to Snoke and Palpatine? The answer to “Is Snoke one of Gideon’s clones?” was kind of answered in “The Rise of Skywalker” because Palpatine and his scientists had apparently created Snoke from scratch. But, yes, there’s a good chance that Gideon and Hux’s work in Project Necromancer paved the way for the creation of Snoke and the mysterious resurrection of Palpatine. As for Gideon, I think that’s actually him since his anger was so palpable. I don’t think he’s dead, though. Yes, we saw him go up in flames. Where’s his body, then? The golden rule of movies and TV shows states that if you don’t see a body, then the character is probably still alive. We didn’t even see a blob of melted Beskar. Therefore, in my opinion, Gideon is alive.
The Great Forge Of Mandalore Is Relit
In a brief scene, while waiting for the reinforcements to arrive, Bo-Katan sees that there’s a lot of flora thriving underneath the surface of Mandalore, thanks to the work of the survivors. This motivates her to fight for the planet’s survival because this is what her people deserve. The only things they’ve known are barren landscapes and seeking refuge in sewers and whatnot. Thankfully, she attains it with the help of Djarin, Grogu, the Armorer, Axe Woves, and the rest of the Mandalorians. And the first thing that they do is conduct their version of a Baptism ceremony in the Living Waters of Mandalore with Ragnar. The little guy is probably mourning the loss of his father. But he clearly can’t show that in public because “The Way” is more important for the Mandalorians. I hope that someone hugs Ragnar when all this religious nonsense is done because he has been through a lot.
Din Djarin attends the ceremony with Grogu and asks the Armorer if Grogu’s status can be promoted from “foundling” to “apprentice.” The Armorer states that since Grogu can’t speak for himself and he doesn’t have parents who can speak for him, he can’t be a Mandalorian. Din Djarin finds a loophole and announces that he’s adopting Grogu as his son. This works for the Armorer as she alters the green gremlin’s name from Grogu to Din Grogu (which means that Din is a surname). Then she turns to Djarin and tells him to leave Mandalore and take Grogu on the missions that’ll teach him to become a true Mandalorian. To celebrate this moment, I think Grogu contacts the Mythosaur through the Force. The monster merely opens its eyes and does nothing substantial, thereby allowing the focus to be on the lighting of the Great Forge. I want to point out two weird things here. Grogu was already Din Djarin’s adopted son. I don’t see the point of making it “official” after all this time. And why didn’t Din Djarin bid goodbye to Bo-Katan? After all they’ve been through, don’t you think they should’ve at least said goodbye to each other? Well, I think that’s an oversight by the writers and the director.
What Is Next For Din Djarin And Din Grogu?
Din Djarin and Grogu’s first stop on the next chapter of their journey turns out to be the Adelphi post. Djarin talks to Carson Teva about a hush-hush contractual deal. Apparently, he doesn’t want to do any overly violent and dirty jobs for anyone that wants to pay him good money. He wants to go somewhat clean because Grogu looks up to him. So, he wants Teva to inform him about issues that need to be taken care of in the Outer Rim, especially issues synonymous with Imperial remnants. Teva isn’t okay with that because, as we all know, the New Republic is tyrannical in its own way. But Din Djarin brushes aside Teva’s doubts and tells him to get the discarded IG head for Grogu. Why? Well, upon returning to Nevarro, we see that that head has been attached to the body of the IG-12, and its functions have been restored to its basic settings. Greef Karga gifts Din Djarin a cabin, and Din Djarin gifts Greek Karga the new IG droid, who’ll serve as the protector of the planet.
At the end of Season 3, we see Din Grogu and Din Djarin chilling in the cabin. And that moment is both comforting and vapid. It seems like the show’s way of responding to comments you see on Twitter dot com where people cry about how they want to see the Mandalorian and his adopted son simply hanging around, doing nothing. It’s a noble request in an era where every movie or show feels the need to be message-oriented or complex for the sake of being complex. But is that really the point of “The Mandalorian?” As mentioned earlier, it was never established that this was Din Djarin or Grogu’s ultimate goal. Mandalore was the main goal. So why aren’t they spending the concluding moments of the show there? It’s so dumb. In addition to that, Din Djarin working for the New Republic is gross. Since when has working for the government been the ideal way to be a role model for your kids? It’s such a weird misreading of George Lucas’ views on fascism as well as what the show was saying about the New Republic. Unless Din Djarin and Grogu realize that being anti-establishment is the Way, then this sub-franchise in the “Star Wars” universe is going to feel very pointless.