Last week’s episode of “The Mandalorian” (Season 3) was probably one of the worst things in the history of “Star Wars.” No, not because it had Christopher Lloyd, Lizzo, and Jack Black. The reason why it was grating to watch was due to the writing. It felt like the characters were written around them and not the other way around, thereby making the celebrities the focus of the show instead of the plot. Talking about the plot, director Bryce Dallas Howard and writer Jon Favreau somehow decided to shove Bo-Katan Kryze’s reunion with her squad towards the very end of the episode instead of making that the focus. I have no clue how they zeroed in on that decision. Thankfully, with this week’s episode, titled “The Spies,” which had Rick Famuyiwa in the director’s chair and Favreau and Dave Filoni in the writers’ room, the show highlighted Mandalore and the efforts to take it back.
Major Spoilers Ahead
The Mandalorians Fly To Mandalore
The opening minutes of this week’s episode of “The Mandalorian” (Season 3) pretty much confirms what we’ve all been suspecting. Elia Kane isn’t loyal to the New Republic. She’s secretly working for Moff Gideon. And in a scene clearly inspired by Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner,” we see her talking to Gideon about the failed attempt to take back Nevarro because of the Mandalorians. Based on this knowledge, Gideon doubles down on his decision to end the Mandalorians before they can create their base in Mandalore. For that, he needs reinforcements, although he already has a bunch of juiced-up Storm Troopers in his base, which is later revealed to be in Mandalore. The remnants of the Empire aren’t inclined to back Gideon up because they’re waiting for General Thrawn’s return. Everything about this particular character is just Dave Filoni trying his damnedest to connect “The Mandalorian” with “Star Wars Rebels” yet again. I couldn’t bring myself to care about it, and I’m thankful that the episode didn’t spend too much time on it.
Back in Nevarro, Bo-Katan and Din Djarin land with their Mandalorian Fleet. Although everyone can sense an air of animosity between the Bo-Katan squadron and Din Djarin’s covert, the Armorer manages to cool things down by announcing a feast to mark the union of the two parties. In the meantime, Greef Karga takes Din and Grogu to his office to present IG-12, a modified version of IG-11 that can be piloted by Grogu. I don’t know about you, but Grogu’s floating pod seems to be a much more reliable means of transportation and protection for the little guy. The IG-12 feels like a liability. Also, I thought that the whole point of making IG-11 functional was to help Din navigate Mandalore. Now, it’s a glorified perambulator for Grogu? What is going on? Anyway, later that night, at the great feast, Bo-Katan reveals her call-to-action, which is to fly to Mandalore, find the Great Forge, make sure that the whole place is safe, and then bring in the settlers. In order to do that, she needs volunteers. One by one, folks from both tribes agree to participate in this mission, and when Bo-Katan realizes she has enough people to conduct the operation, they board the ships and jet off.
Din Djarin Pledges His Allegiance to Bo-Katan
After landing in Mandalore and making their way to the Forge, Bo-Katan, Din Djarin, and the rest find themselves face-to-face with a mighty land-sailing ship filled with more Mandalorians. They are apparently affiliated with the Nite Owls and know all about Bo-Katan. In addition to that, they are the survivors of the Night of a Thousand Tears, i.e., the Empire’s ruthless attack on the Mandalorians, and they’ve been waiting for Bo-Katan to come back and save them. The only reason they’re alive is because of their conviction that even during times of great oppression, they didn’t surrender to the Empire. Bo-Katan essentially deflates their confidence with the truth. She reveals that she did surrender when she saw that defeat was inevitable. Apparently, it was the only way to stop the Empire from killing every one of their kind, and that was why she took the deal. However, as soon as Moff Gideon got hold of the Darksaber, he betrayed Bo-Katan and continued with his purge. The Armorer reveals that she and her Death Watch survived by hiding in Concordia. Soon after that, even the Death Watch broke into factions and decreased the feeling of unity amongst the Mandalorians.
Bo-Katan says that everyone in the galaxy knows that the Mandalorians are a force to be reckoned with. That’s why they haven’t been allowed to reunite with rumors about the poison in Mandalore, their adherence to the Creed, or their being hired for various missions. But after all these years, they have a chance to become a tribe again, and Bo-Katan doesn’t want to lose that opportunity. Now, there has been a lot of talk about Din Djarin’s lack of purpose and what he wants to do in life, especially after last week’s episode when he gave away the Darksaber to Bo-Katan, even though it prominently featured in his hands in all the promotional material. Well, Din explicitly spells out that he wants to spend the rest of his life serving Bo-Katan and ensuring that she becomes the ruler of Mandalore. He says that he doesn’t care who has the Darksaber or whether someone follows the Creed or not. He trusts Bo-Katan to revive the Mandalorians’ former glory, and that’s why he wants to back her up in every way he can. Now, whether or not you like this direction that Favreau and Filoni are going in for Din is totally up to you.
Season 3, Episode 7: Ending Explained: Moff Gideon Kidnaps Din Djarin
The Armorer returns to the Fleet right outside Mandalore with all the sick Mandalorians while the rest make their way to the Forge. Paz Vizsla and Axe Woves get into a bit of a fight because of their disagreements about the rules of a board game. But Grogu stops them from killing each other because they need to stay united instead of partaking in petty squabbles. Din acknowledges Grogu’s maturity, as he treats him like a child for playing with the IG-12’s controls. While all this is happening, the Mandalorians come across a great monster, which wrecks their land-traveling ship and forces them to go underground. This leads them to whatever is left of the Great Forge, where they are ambushed by the Troopers we saw earlier in Moff Gideon’s base. When the Troopers begin to retreat, the Mandalorians go after them and find out that Moff Gideon and his followers have created an entire war room in the heart of Mandalore. Additionally, Gideon has used the Beskar found in Mandalore to make his new and improved Dark Trooper suits.
Gideon says something alarming about plucking the best out of every culture (cloners, Jedi, and Mandalorians) and creating his army. It’s not very clear, but if we connect Brendol Hux’s penchant for cloning with Gideon’s words, it’s possible that this army he is talking about will be full of clones of the best specimens from every race in the galaxy. He was after Grogu to turn him into a powerful Jedis. Now, he has Din Djarin to make a powerful Mandalorian. If he plays his cards right, he can reacquire Grogu by threatening to kill Din. So, there’s that. Anyway, coming back to the plot, Gideon asks Bo-Katan to hand over the Darksaber, but she uses it to cut a hole in one of the blast doors and help the Mandalorians escape. Paz Vizsla stays behind to keep the Troopers from following the Mandalorians. It seems like he succeeds and is free to rejoin his squad. However, that’s when a mix of the Elite Praetorian Guards (from “The Last Jedi”) and the Sith Troopers (from “The Rise of Skywalker”) arrive to butcher Paz and leave in style.
If the appearance of the red-suited Troopers makes you think that Gideon will end up being behind the rise of the First Order, I don’t think you are wrong. If you are left wondering what happens to the Mandalorian Fleet orbiting Mandalore and whether or not they’ve been decimated by Gideon’s army, well, you’ll have to wait till next week’s episode to know that. But the biggest question is: what’s up with the timeline of the events?
All the way back in Season 3, Episode 2, when Din Djarin, Bo-Katan, and Grogu decided to stroll through Mandalore, battle all kinds of monsters, and find a Mythosaur, there wasn’t any sign of Gideon or his Imperial Troopers. In Season 3, Episode 5, Captain Carson Teva came across the shuttle that was carrying Moff Gideon to his trial, which was apparently attacked by the Mandalorians to free him. Did the new troopers armed with Beskar suits do that? If that’s the case, when did they come to Mandalore, form that base, and then turn Beskar into suits? Because for all this has to happen in chronological order, Season 3 of “The Mandalorian” has to take place over a few years, even though it seems like the episodes are taking place one after the other. It’s so confusing. So feel free to let me know what’s going on with Gideon and Mandalore.