Din Djarin Is on a Path of Redemption

Mar 1, 2023

After an extended absence, The Mandalorian has finally returned with its exhilarating Season 3 premiere, which sees Din Djarin (voiced by Pedro Pascal) picking up where things left off in The Book of Boba Fett. If you skipped his two-episode arc in the spin-off series, fear not: the premiere brings you back up to speed.

Drawing a parallel to Din’s own spiritual journey, and existence as an unwilling apostate, the episode—aptly titled “The Apostate”— opens on Concordia with a young member of the cult taking his vows. In contrast with what The Mandalorian has shown us previously of this covert, it’s a jarring scene. Sure, The Armorer (Emily Swallow) is once again at her forge, crafting beskar armor for the newest member of the fold, but this isn’t the hidden depths of Nevarro or a few shattered Mandalorians halfway across the galaxy. This feels like a clan that is regaining its numbers and its strength.
But tragedy quickly overtakes the festivities, as a vicious beast emerges from the depths of the placid surface of the water and turns a few Mandos into fish food. Despite their newfound masses, The Armorer and the rest of the Children of the Watch are overpowered and losing to the beast. Fortunately, Din Djarin’s return to beg for penance is perfectly timed to allow him to sweep in and save the day. However, even that isn’t enough to sway the Armorer into overlooking the fact that he willingly removed his helmet. With the help of Grogu’s puppy dog eyes, the Armorer reluctantly agrees to allow Din back into the covert if he proves that he bathed in the waters beneath Mandalore, which is presented as an impossible task. Din, however, is blindly optimistic that this is just like any other mission that he’s ever been on.

Image via Disney+

RELATED: ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 Recap Ahead of Season 3

Despite Season 2 beginning to shift the scales in the direction of Din recognizing that he is part of an extremist Mandalorian cult, in the premiere he remains steadfast in his belief that he must redeem himself in the waters of the mines of Mandalore—even though his actions were done to save a Foundling. While his logic is extremely flawed, and more than a little frustrating, it does present Din with a chance to learn firsthand that what he’s looking for is nothing more than a myth.

From there, the episode shifts into the formulaic “mission of the week” styling that The Mandalorian has become known for. Din has a series of side quests he needs to complete before venturing off into the great unknown that is Mandalore. As anyone who has ever played video games will know, it’s always important to check back in with members of your inner circle, which is exactly why Din jets off to Nevarro to reunite with Greef Karga (Carl Weathers). Since taking up the mantle as the High Magistrate, he has turned the once run-down city into a vibrant tourist spot, though the city is still plagued by a little pirate-shaped trouble. With the newly improved atmosphere, Greef tries to convince Din to settle down on Nevarro, buy a tract of land, and have a normal life—but Din is bound and determined to rededicate his life to the Mandalorian way.

Din reveals that he came to Nevarro to see what was left of IG-11, in hopes that he could use the droid in his mission on Mandalore. Unfortunately, after sacrificing himself in Season 1, there isn’t much left of the droid, but even still Din insists on trying to repair him all by himself—to disastrous ends. Eventually, Greef convinces him to use a local shop run by adorable Anzellans, who also fail to revive the former bounty hunter droid, leaving Din out of luck. It’s a lighthearted side quest that allows audiences to giggle at Grogu’s childlike nonsense, and soak in how much Din has grown from being a droid-hating loner.

Image via Disney+

After a brief run-in with some trouble-making pirates, Din makes his way across the galaxy to the castle that Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) has relegated herself to sulk in after losing out on reclaiming the Darksaber. Unsurprisingly, she has little interest in holding court for Din or talking about his obsession with redeeming himself to the tune of the cultish myths certain Mandalorians ascribed to. It’s clear that these two are going to have a lot of friction in Season 3, which makes for a great contrast to how helpful she has been during his previous quests. “The Apostate” is a fairly straightforward episode, but an excellent premiere to get Star Wars fans back into the N-1 Starfighter cockpit with Din Djarin and the galaxy’s favorite pint-sized pipsqueak.

Following in the footsteps of Andor the return to The Mandalorian may prove difficult for some, but there are marked differences between the first two seasons and Season 3. Nearly every character that Din encounters has a name, practical sets are paired with The Volume to add more depth, and Din is finally communicating with Grogu in a more meaningful way. Still, the episodes run tragically short and leave audiences wishing for just a few more minutes to sit within this world.

The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere dives straight back into the action and awe of everyone’s favorite Wolf and Cub while setting the stages for a story that has the potential to unpack the layers of trauma and misconceptions that have created the titular character. In its junior season, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have finally hit their stride, and perhaps their secret lies with Rick Famuyiwa who has joined them as an executive producer this season. Something is different this time around and it presents a world of opportunities for The Mandalorian.

One of the most exciting aspects of Season 3 of The Mandalorian is the fact that Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder now have billing on the series, which was long overdue considering both men bring the physicality to the role that audiences have fallen in love with since Season 1. Pascal may bring the bedroom voice to the role, but Wayne and Crowder are the swagger and the brawn.

Looking Ahead to The Mandalorian Season 3, Episode 2

Image via Disney+

At the launch event for The Mandalorian Season 3, Disney also debuted the second episode, which ups the stakes in entirely unexpected ways. Din’s journey to Mandalore turns into a life-or-death scenario, which pushes Grogu to lean on everything that Din has been teaching him along the way. It delivers major thrills, a few chills, and some really impressive action sequences. It’s the second episode that fully solidifies that this new season is a turning point for The Mandalorian’s storytelling—the world may still feel small around Din, but it’s growing by leaps and bounds too.

Grade: A-

The premiere of The Mandalorian Season 3 is now streaming on Disney+.

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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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