The Mandalorian Season 3 Begins With Big Action And A Big Timeline Reset

Spoilers for "Star Wars: The Mandalorian" Chapter 17 – The Apostate follow. 

The seventeenth chapter in "The Mandalorian" — "The Apostate" — starts off with a massive action sequence to show us just how much time has elapsed between the seasons. The Mandalorian covert Din used to be a part of was just two strong the last time he encountered them, consisting of only Paz Vizsla and the Armorer. The episode opens with them inducting a new foundling into their fold which has grown in size to dozens. 

That's when a massive creature comes out of the water and attacks, leaving them scrambling to fight against it. Of course, that's when Din Djarin comes to save the day in his N1 starfighter. He's come to plead his case once more about being a Mandalorian apostate, and she rebuffs him again. The only way he can atone for his sins is to bathe in the waters beneath Mandalore. The problem is that Mandalore is a poisoned planet and Din needs a droid to help him on this holy quest. For Din Djarin, this is a tall order. He doesn't trust droids and is suspicious of all of them. 

This is what brings him back to Nevarro, hoping he can revive the broken pieces of his old colleague IG-11. Unfortunately, his personality matrix has been destroyed, sending Din on a side quest to find a chip that can bring IG-11 back. After an impressive space battle with pirates, Din finds himself on a moon of Mandalore to parlay with Bo-Katan. She's none to pleased to see him. Without the Darksaber, she's been left to rot by herself in a castle of her own, and she's none too pleased to see Din Djarin.

Return to Nevarro

The majority of action in this episode involves Din Djarin's return to Nevarro, where he hopes to bring IG-11 back online. He meets up with Greef Karga who has now become the High Magistrate of Nevarro. Karga tells him that Nevarro is respectable now and offers him land to become part of the local gentry in exchange for becoming the marshal. This is one of the most interesting bits in the episode, where Din asks what happened to Marshal Cara Dune. She was played by Gina Carano who parted ways with Disney after making antisemitic and otherwise racist and bizarre conspiracy theorist posts across social media. Karga smiles and tells Din that she got recruited by the New Republic and is off doing secret missions as Special Forces and can't be their marshal any longer.

It makes one wonder what "Rangers of the New Republic" — the Disney+ show that was announced and summarily canceled because of Carano's behavior — would have been like.

It's another sign of just how long it's been between seasons because Nevarro looks more like Disneyland now than the rough-and-tumble outpost it began as in season one. It's a surprise to the pirates, too — led by a Nikto pirate and his crew who want to have a drink in the school that used to be the cantina.

One fun tidbit in the episode is the Anzellan droidsmiths. Anzellans were first introduced in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" with the character of Babu Frik. I can't imagine that all Anzellan's are terrific droidsmiths, so it seems possible that one of these Anzellan's could actually be Babu Frik himself. As far as the timeline is concerned, he wouldn't have to be doing that work for the Spice Runners of Kijimi yet.

Bo-Katan's Return

The return of Lady Bo-Katan Kryze is a particularly intriguing point that advances the timeline significantly and sets a lot of the tension and conflict for what might follow. Bo-Katan tried to rally her people, but without the Darksaber for them to rally behind, they scattered once more to the wind, regardless of her leadership.

When Din comes to her asking for information, she's not pleased to see him. And whether she has designs to take the Darksaber from Din at this point is unknown, but she could have very well challenged him right there. It sets a tone for their relationship that is frosty, but congenial enough.

The only thing I found a little odd about this is the idea that Bo-Katan sits alone in her castle, lounging on her throne waiting for visitors at all hours. Does she not do anything? Perhaps I'm overthinking it, but that's sort of what it felt like.

Details to watch out for

There were a lot of cool moments in this episode to keep an eye out for, and it wasn't just the cameo of the Anzellans from "The Rise of Skywalker." One of the most spectacular moments in the episode came from hyperspace. As Grogu watches the tunnel of blue from his bubble in the N1 Starfighter, he sees the silhouettes of creatures in the deep. These are purrgils, first introduced in "Star Wars Rebels." (I wrote more about them here, and why they might be incredibly important in future "Star Wars" storytelling.)

Another nice nod to some of the oldest bits of "Star Wars" lore is when Greef Karga refers to the Hydian Way. In "Star Wars" Legends, the Hydian Way was the only hyperspace route to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other. In the current canon, it's been a well-traveled route for a few thousand years and is key to keeping the galaxy connected. Now, it connects the Corporate Sector to the core worlds and then to the Outer Rim where Nevarro can be found.

We also get a great look at the moon of Concordia, which is an important part of "Star Wars" lore in the Mandalorian stories. It's where the Mandalorian grew up and his covert hid while the Night of a Thousand Tears tore apart Mandalore itself. Time will tell if we get to see that planet again.

I loved the nods to "Attack of the Clones" in this episode, too. The entire asteroid belt fight echoed the battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jango Fett over Geonosis, hiding between the asteroids and fighting for superiority in space. This goes a long way to show that Din is either a much better pilot than Jango, or that pirates are much worse pilots than Obi-Wan. Perhaps it's a combination of the two.


The episode does little to address the events of "The Book of Boba Fett," where Luke Skywalker gave Grogu his choice between the life of a Mandalorian and a Jedi and Grogu ultimately chose the way of the warrior. I don't think this is a bad thing. "Star Wars" works best when it's episodic and the show hangs a lantern on it enough that people who skipped "The Book of Boba Fett" for whatever reason know there's some sort of story there. For those of us who track all of the "Star Wars" shows, there's no problem at all. Because of how much of a crowd-pleaser this episode is, I doubt anyone will actually care. If nothing else, it might motivate them to catch up on "The Book of Boba Fett," which wouldn't be a bad thing.

I really loved the fight with the pirates in this episode, both the shootout on Nevarro, and the space battle above it. This was the sort of spectacle "Star Wars" is best known for and is one big reason why we watch it. But it's also tempered with the myths of the galaxy. We have these massive mythical beasts like the purrgils or the creature that attacked the Mandalorian covert at the beginning of the episode, representing the wonder and danger of the galaxy and Din on what is essentially a religious quest. He is eager to grow and we're eager to grow with him. It's been so fascinating to watch Din grow over all these years, too. Think back to season one and his reluctance to engage with Grogu and look at how they interact now, truly like a father teaching his son everything he needs to succeed in life as a Mandalorian. It's night and day.

I also wonder how much the opening scene of the show will come back symbolically for the rest of the season, with the waters in the mines of Mandalore so central to Din's quest, this feels like it's establishing the stakes for that eventual payoff. Pay attention to this, it'll come back in future episodes, surely.

Another thing that will come back to haunt this season, surely, is the pirate Gorian Shard. How will his influence play out across the landscape of this next season could be interesting. Things could get very ugly for Nevarro while the Mandalorian is on his quest, unable to take the position of marshal, leaving Gorian Shard to turn Nevarro into a backwater once more.

One thing is sure, though: with this episode, "The Mandalorian" is back, kicking into high gear, and it doesn't seem like there's any end in sight. And, personally, I don't think that's a bad thing.

The third season of "Star Wars: The Mandalorian" starts streaming March 1, 2023, only on Disney+. New episodes come every Wednesday.