[Warning: Contains spoilers for Chapter 22 of The Mandalorian.] As a Star Wars fan and a writer, I had really hoped this day wouldn’t come…. But here we are, a day after Chapter 22 aired, and I’m scratching my head wondering what in the galaxy has gone wrong with The Mandalorian. Since its critically acclaimed debut, the show has unquestionably carried the weight of the entire Star Wars franchise on its shoulders. Perhaps rightfully so; the show outclassed the sequel trilogy by leaps and bounds. With Chapter 22, however, that weight may have finally come crashing down.
Season 3 of The Mandalorian has already garnered far more criticism than did the prior seasons. Thus far there are two, chief complaints: first is the season’s seeming lack of a direction. Second is the fact that the titular character has become little more than a supporting one in his own show. I tend to be in the minority on the latter issue: As a fan of The Clone Wars and Rebels, Bo Katan Kryze has been one of my favorite characters. Thus, I didn’t really mind a little shift in focus towards Katee Sackhoff’s character. Notwithstanding…. It’s one thing to also showcase another lead, but Din Djarin and Grogu now feel like afterthoughts, or worse.
What happened to The Mandalorian?
Chapter 22 certainly did not do anything to assuage fans’ concerns that the show has lost its focus. Let’s take Grogu, for example. After all the “will he be a Jedi or a Mandalorian” buildup, his character has developed into nothing more than a petty parlor trick for Lizzo. (And though she may be an amazing vocal artist and musician, her acting left much to be desired.) Likewise, Jack Black’s appearance in Star Wars simply felt forced, and added little value to the show. The whole chapter, for that matter, felt forced. Christopher Lloyd certainly deserved a better subplot than what he got in this Chapter of The Mandalorian, too.
There are two chapters left in Season 3. Now that Bo Katan again possesses the Darksaber, here’s hoping the season with end with the bang we’ve been craving for the last six weeks. If I were a betting man, I’d say the ironic twist that’s likely to follow will be the fact that Moff Gideon was rescued by Mandalorians – likely those of the Death Watch that once followed Maul. That would set up one hell of a showdown with the newly united warriors of the Covert and Bo Katan’s fleet.
Here’s hoping, because the sixth chapter of an eight chapter season should have delivered far more than some distracting guest stars and a pointless side quest. The Mandalorian needs and deserves to knock it out of the park with the final two episodes. I have faith that Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau will come through.
This is the way.
The Mandalorian airs every Wednesday on Disney+.