Director: Deborah Chow
Starring: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers and Werner Herzog
WARNING: Potential SPOILERS for The Mandalorian Episode 3 in this review.
The first two episodes of this new Disney Plus Star Wars TV show could be classed as set-up, and they were both brilliant, but this episode, which was brilliantly directed by Deborah Chow, is where things get taken up a notch.
We finally get to see what this show is all about, and what its main character is all about.
So far, Pedro Pascal’s Mandalorian (who’s often referred to as just ‘Mando’ in this series so far) has been something of a blank canvas.
Part of that is because he’s literally wearing a helmet that masks his emotions, but it’s also because we know so little about his backstory.
Could The Mandalorian Episode 3 be the start of something amazing?
This episode shows us a bit more of that, but it also shows him grappling with a really tricky moral dilemma. Does he leave the young thing behind (whom I’m just going to refer to as ‘Baby Yoda’ from now on to make things easier for both me and you)?
Or, does he go back and save Baby Yoda from whatever those rather dodgy individuals, including Werner Herzog’s character (known only as ‘The Client’), have planned for it.
That in itself is interesting to watch, and Pascal actually is able to portray his character’s inner struggle with simple head movements, and I’m sure the score and direction help a great deal as well.
We also get to see The Mandalorian in action, which we’ve seen before, but this time it seems a bit more like The Mandalorians from the myths and the animated TV shows.
He genuinely deadly in a fight and has a whole load of new gadgets in this episode which are brilliant to see on-screen.
Baby Yoda is just too cute!
That said, there are some issues with The Mandalorian Episode 3, chief among which is that its effectiveness is utterly beholden on what comes next.
This could either be a great episode which leads into bigger and better things, or just a combination of pure ‘fan-servicey’ moments such as seeing a Mandalorian shoot Whistling bird’s at Stormtroopers.
Granted, these moments are incredible to watch, but there is a danger of this falling into a fan-made TV show on YouTube territory rather than genuinely good television in its own right with good character development and which explores interesting and poignant themes.
I can’t quite make my mind up yet, and I have really enjoyed every minute of every episode up to this point, but there is a nagging doubt in the back of my head which worries me about how this show is going to be remembered.
The only other criticism I can think of is that I find these episodes to be too short. I would have liked Lucasfilm to put a bit more effort into making these episodes a bit longer and maybe slightly better paced.
Exciting times ahead for The Mandalorian
At the moment, it’s almost a case of ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’. I want to spend a lot of time in this world, and it feels as though this whole season will only end up being about 5 hours long, which is fine, but it isn’t that long for a TV show.
Apart from those slight reservations, this episode of The Mandalorian is genuinely impressive and it promises exciting times ahead for Mando and his little sidekick, Baby Yoda.
What did you make of The Mandalorian Episode 3? Let us know in the comments below.
And if you enjoy listening to film podcasts, why not check out Small Screen Radio wherever you get your podcasts!