Why Did ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 Undo Two Story Points?
We older folks can remember a time when The Mandalorian simply had to have IG-11 at his side when exploring Mandalore, no matter what it took to revive the exploded droid. Gosh, can you believe that was more than eight days ago…?
Listen, there is a lot to like, and some things to love, about Disney+’s flagship Star Wars series. But it’s been a bit puzzling why two very recent story points were very casually “undone” with not so much as a Jedi-like hand wave.
Take the whole IG-11 thing. Much of the Season 3 premiere revolved around Din Djarin’s return to Nevarro — not to catch up with (High) Magistrate Greef Karga but to enlist his one-time droid partner in bounty hunting to accompany him to Mandalore.
Greef thought Mandoooo! crazy to want to take the parts salvaged from IG-11’s self-destruction in the Season 1 finale (which had since been incorporated into a memorial statue) and somehow revive the droid. And yet so determined was Din to have IG-11 — and only IG-11! — at his side for the trip to a possibly-poisonous Mandalore, that he unwittingly put Grogu’s life in jeopardy when the powered-up droid reverted to his original programming and viciously lunged for the Child.
That was followed by a whole (and delightful) sequence with the Anzellans doing their best to repair IG-11, but ultimately determining that they are in need of a rare, outdated memory chip.
Mando set out to find said memory chip, because only IG-11 could help him scope out Mandalore. It sure seemed like that was going to be the next step in the show’s usual “find a thing to find the next thing” structure. Yet in the very next episode, when Peli Motto said she and the Jawas were fresh out of memory chips, Mando shrugged and decided that R5-D4 — a stout, anxious astromech droid — would suffice. Suddenly, IG-11 wasn’t a must-have. Which is fine, because it was great to see R5 put his sputtering/sparking/smoking A New Hope ignominy behind him and actually help Din determine that Mandalore is safe to explore.
But why the short-term memory about IG-11? I predict that in his Season 3 travels, Mando will happen upon the needed part, return to Nevarro, and tell Greef that IG-11 can be his new marshal.
Now, speaking of R5-D4…. “Red” accompanying Mando and Grogu to Mandalore brings us to this season’s other hasty reversal, seeing as Peli needed to re-retrofit Grogu’s observation dome on the N-1 Starfighter to again be a droid port.
Remember, Peli and her pit crew had removed the N-1’s droid port in The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5, when Mando first took ownership of the spruced-up ship. But surely at that time, the Star Wars TV overlords knew that the dome wouldn’t last, so why bother with it the first place? Other than to give Grogu a way to observe the hyperspeeding purrgil/space whales in a singular Season 3 episode?
(No, we won’t get into how said droid port allows R5 to exit straight downward through the floor of the vessel, whereas, for example, astromechs are lowered into their X-wing ports.)
Minor quibbles, we have, erm.
Going from Mando insisting Mandalore is “cursed” and Bo-Katan arguing different (in Season 2, Episode 3) to a complete reversal of that in the Season 3 premiere is one thing — a sign of character POVs changing with learning. But for a TV franchise that reportedly has the scripts for Season 4 already complete, we do wonder why two such conspicuous, albeit “minor,” plot points — Let’s give Grogu a dome! I must have IG-11! — were jarringly unwound just one to four episodes later.