The highly anticipated third season of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian has finally arrived with its first episode titled “Chapter 17 – The Apostate”. Below is a breakdown of what was seen in the episode and how it possibly connects to future events in the season.
As the episode opens, the Armorer from the Children of the Watch sect is seen crafting a helmet for a young Foundling who is about to be indoctrinated into the group as a warrior in training. This ritual is interrupted as a gigantic creature emerges from the water and begins to attack the group of Mandalorians who have gathered near the shore. After an intense that involves a variety of tactics, the creature is killed thanks to the arrival of our main character, Din Djarin, in his new spacecraft. Following the events of The Book of Boba Fett, Din has retrieved some type of artifact that has Mandalore markings on it and believes it proves that the planet of Mandalore is able to sustain life and is no longer poisonous to visitors. After consulting with the Armorer, Din is given approval to go to the planet, bathe in the Living Waters and atone for the transgression of removing his helmet.
Din returns to the planet Nevarro to see his old friend, Greef Karga, who has ascended to the position of High Magistrate and has also overseen the ascension of his planet as an essential stop on an important trade route. Greef is surprised to see Din still hauling around Grogu but Din seems to have resolved that Grogu has chosen him as his people in spite of the events at the end of the second season and during the sixth and seventh episodes of The Book of Boba Fett but Din has to balance the duties of being a father and a bounty hunter. The reminder of their old life is made plain as a group of pirates arrive in the town square believing a converted schoolhouse is still a bar and following yet another tense standoff, ends when Greef initially displays mercy to the pirates but are finished off by Din in quick fashion. Following this gunfight, Greef offers the position of marshal but Din turns this down as he must continue on with his mission and has to rebuild IG-11, the robot hero from the finale of the first season.
In spite of their efforts to successfully revive IG-11, the bounty hunter droid reverts to its original programming and tries to kill Grogu as it attempted to do in the very first episode in the series. Grogu is still very much a child and it is humorous to see him enjoy the sights of traveling in hyperspace, snagging candy from Greef’s desk and to see him try to hug the little creatures that try to properly fix IG-11. The Anzellan mechanics reveal to Din that a new memory core is needed to properly fix the droid so he resolves to leave the planet, find the part and continue on his journey but as he departs the planet, Din is ambushed led by the pirate commander, Gorian Shard but is able to escape into space. Shard and his gang are more than likely to resurface at some point during the season as long as the show sticks to the “creature/adventure of the week” format so stay tuned for more pirate encounters to come.
Din and Grogu travel to see Bo-Katan at an old Mandalorian castle to plead for her assistance but she is not willing to give any. After losing the Darksaber, the symbol of legitimacy to Mandalorian leadership, she abandoned her quest to reclaim Mandalore and seems content to angrily sit in an empty castle. Din now has to travel to the forsaken planet by himself but he will probably find unlikely allies during his journey and will somehow find a way to complete in his atonement. The third season of The Mandalorian is shaping up to the most ambitious one yet as it has hit the ground running with the action and sets up the action to come in this Star Wars epic.
Featured Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.