THE MANDALORIAN S01E03 “Chapter 3” review

The Mandalorian (Disney/Lucasfilm)

The Mandalorian airs new episodes weekly via the Disney+ streaming service and comes to the UK in March 2020.

Synopsis

The battered Mandalorian returns to his client for reward.

Review

The Mandalorian has been a gift and a curse for me over the past three weeks. Whilst undeniably appealing to any Star Wars fan I remain convinced that the series is lacking in a level of detail to its story which would make it instantly accessible to its audience.

I’m not suggesting that it needs to be dumbed down, far from it. Over three episodes The Mandalorian has shown us that its capable of recreating a level of maturity only previously glimpsed in Rogue One. It’s a refreshingly contemporary view of a universe which is often steeped in bright colours and high octane adventure.

I’m suggesting that it’s too focussed on creating a certain kind of aesthetic that it’s failing to notice that some areas of the audience are struggling to connect with its subject matter.

Interestingly none of that has changed in episode three, but somehow the show has been able to really grab my attention this week. I would go as far as to say I really enjoyed this third chapter. It’s tense, it’s excellently paced and, despite the continued sparse use of dialogue, is able to progress the story significantly more than previous episodes.

Admittedly I think the show is dangerously reliant on Baby Yoda (not actually Yoda but we have nothing else to call him – N) in generating its appeal. Though he (or she) is absent for much of this episode their presence is the driving force for everything which happens this week. The Mandalorian has arguably found its central figure in this character and in danger of not investing the time required to make Pedro Pascal’s Mando more compelling.

That being said the show is beginning to show the true complexity of both its characters and its narrative in this episode. Introducing a level of morality to Mando which has only previously been hinted it. Pascal handles this new level of depth to the character brilliantly given that his performance is almost entirely physical. He’s able to convey the weight of his decisions as well as his reverence for the Mandalorian way of life as well as more of the comedic elements incredibly well and it goes to show his casting was an excellent choice.

Several returning characters, including Omid Abtahi as Dr Pershing are also able to show some more diverse emotions and motivations this week. Overall it certainly helps the world of The Mandalorian feel more well rounded. After two quite black and white episodes we are beginning to see the shades of grey which it sorely needed.

Looking at this episode objectively we’re now left in a position where we are not sure who is good and who is bad and, for me, that makes the show much more compelling viewing.

Fans will also be glad to know this episode runs a little longer, 37 minutes overall with around 31 minutes of story and the remainder dedicated to credits and logos. The series has a way to go to really become a heavy hitter in the marketplace but for Star Wars fans its undoubtedly becoming a must-watch.

Chapter 3″ certainly feels more jam-packed than last week (reviewed here), in no small part due to an intense action sequence as Mando and Yoda attempt to escape from Greef Carga and the rest of the bounty hunters. It’s a great shoot out which feels steeped in the series’ Western roots but with some very Star Wars style mechanics added on top.

It really is the antithesis of “Chapter 2” in all the right ways and I hope we’re seeing the show find a groove it will stick with for the remaining five episodes.

Verdict

Finally The Mandalorian strikes a chord which makes it exciting, tense and undeniably compelling. This is the show I’ve been waiting to see all along.

8/10

Written by Iron Man‘s Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog and Nick Nolte. The series debuts new episodes weekly on Disney+.


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About Neil Vagg 4080 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG