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‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 Episode 8: “The Return” is this the way?

Taken from Llanelliherald
Taken from Llanelliherald

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.

This season of The Mandalorian might be the most divisive season of any Star Wars project… ever. The many highs and lows of this season has all lead up to this episode. Overall, the episode is not a bad one, but after all the years we have spent with these beautifully crafted characters, it seems the writers played it way too safe with this finale. From the lack of any galaxy-shifting plot twist to the overly simple final scenes, it gives the impression that the writers had no clue how to wrap up the story in a way that feels refreshing and well-deserved for the characters. 

Takin’ the easy way out

We pick up right where we left off. Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) is leading the strike team on Mandalore, but they have just been ambushed by Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) army of super commando troopers and are currently retreating in hopes that Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides) will soon send them reinforcements. 

We then jump to Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) where we get a nice first-person shot of his perspective. He is being carried by two super commandos, but the moment one of them slows down, Mando springs into action and nearly takes them both out with his hands bound. Right when the troopers get him on the ropes, however, Grogu comes out of nowhere and throws the troopers off of Mando, giving him a chance to take them both out. 

Just as everyone gets a second to regain their bearings, Gideon sends out his squad of TIE fighters and they blast off toward the Mandalorian’s giant cruiser. Then we finally see Gideon, where he throws his helmet on and says that he will take care of Din Djarin and Grogu himself. 

Back to Mando, we see him standing in front of a hall full of shield barriers, so he gets the genius idea of contacting a familiar droid that seems to have taken these last couple of episodes off, R5-D4. He asks R5 to help him hack through the shield barriers, and in return, get a map of the entire compound. R5 of course helps him out, and what follows is an awesome corridor fight between the commandos and Mando as he tries to collect as many weapons as he can from the fallen troopers. It was honestly one of the more creative fights that the show has had, and I would’ve liked to see more “gimmicky” fights such as that. 

During that little battle with Mando, Axe Woves makes it to the ship and evacuates everyone out of it, leaving him alone to captain the doomed vessel. The TIE fighters quickly catch up and Axe manages to take a few of them out, but he is just far too outnumbered to consider saving the ship. 

After making it through all of the shield barriers, Mando and Grogu stumble across a room full of cloning pods. Grogu, being the curious child that he is, walks up to one of the pods and confirms our worst suspicions: that Moff Gideon is not planning to clone Grogu (or even worse, Palpatine). Instead, they are merely clones of Gideon himself. Mando quickly ends up blowing the whole room to smithereens and the duo wander into the next room. 

We bring it back to the other main character of this season, Bo-Katan where we see her, along with all of the other Mandalorians accompanying her, following the Nite Owls to what is supposedly their home. Although it is inside a cave, there are still plants everywhere, which is surprising to many of the Mandalorians as nobody knew that the planet could sustain life anymore. Just as we are starting to be amazed by the farm that the Nite Owls put together, The Armorer (Emily Swallow) returns with a fleet of Mandalorian ships, ready to take the fight straight to Gideon. Bo-Katan, now proudly wielding the darksaber, immediately leaves the cave with her small army and uses their jetpacks to fly directly into Gideon’s base, where an awesome, jetpack-based aerial battle ensues.

Taken from Denofgeek

As Bo-Katan and her warriors are flying around dealing with the commando troopers, Mando and Grogu file into a room with none other than Moff Gideon himself. While Grogu hides in the corner, Mando steps out and confronts Gideon, where he is then told the secret behind all of the clones. Gideon didn’t just want to clone himself, he wanted to also give his clones the force so he could have an unstoppable force-sensitive army. Since Mando literally blew up all of his clones, Gideon is quite angry with him and immediately the two get into a heated battle, where Gideon shows off the true power of his new Dark Trooper suit. 

Gideon being the evil man he is, watches as his new Praetorian Guards come out of the shadows and take on Mando. As we saw last week with Paz Vizsla, Mando stands no chance against them. Grogu apparently realizes this as well and the moment the guards seem to get the upper hand, Grogu comes out of hiding and leads the guards away into a separate room. The IG-12 suit gets destroyed right away, which leaves Grogu with only one choice: jumping around hoping the guards don’t hit him. 

As Grogu jumps around for his life in a separate room, Bo-Katan swoops in and hits Gideon with a devastating sneak attack, and she tells Mando to go help his son. Mando rushes into the room that Grogu is trapped in and with the help of Grogu throwing the guard’s weapons everywhere with the force, Mando ends up taking them all out.

As everyone else is in the middle of a ground war, Axe Woves is still manning the helm and is aiming the ship directly at the base. Although it would’ve been interesting to see him go down with the ship, at the last second, Axe blasts a hole through one of the ship’s windows and uses his jetpack to escape the explosion. 

Just before the ship explodes, however, we see Bo-Katan and Moff Gideon going at it. We see the true strength of Gideon’s new armor here, as when Bo tries to slash him with the darksaber, Gideon catches Bo’s hand and crushes the darksaber like a twig, completely destroying it. Just as Gideon is about to strike down Bo-Katan, Mando and Grogu come up from behind him and Mando lands a couple of good blaster shots. Gideon tries to regain himself when Grogu just throws him on the ground, essentially cementing his demise. 

The ship then crashes, sending a humongous fireball all over the base that completely engulfs Gideon and presumably kills him. All seems lost for our heroes too, but of course, Grogu ends up saving Bo-Katan and Mando by using the force to protect them from the flames until they die down. 

Putting a Bo on it

We fade back in on what seems to be a ceremony, it’s a shot that parallels the first shot of the season, especially when you consider that this also is a ceremony for Paz Vizsla’s kid. In the scene he recites the Creed, officially making him a Mandalorian and officially the new leader of Clan Vizsla. 

After the young Vizsla is done, Mando grabs Grogu and brings him to the waters. He tries to talk to the Armorer about officially making Grogu his apprentice, which would no longer make him a foundling. The Armorer says that since he can’t recite the Creed, he cannot officially become an apprentice, especially considering that Mando is technically not Grogu’s father. Mando then says that he will be Grogu’s adoptive father, making Grogu’s name Din Grogu and also making Grogu Din Djarin’s Mandalorian apprentice. The Armorer then tells Din Djarin to take Din Grogu away from Mandalore and go on adventures across the galaxy—basically to keep doing what they were doing before. We then go below the waters, and get a nice shot of the Mythosaur swimming underwater. 

Image from Digitaltrends

Din Djarin and Din Grogu then go to the New Republic bar that was showcased in some past episodes where they meet Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee). Din Djarin and Teva engage in a little bit of small talk before getting down to brass tax. With Din Djarin now having an apprentice, he is going to need a job that doesn’t consist of bounty hunting. He asks Teva if he could help assist in some New Republic business, and although Teva doesn’t say “yes,” he doesn’t say “no” either. The only thing that Mando wants as payment for his services is an old assassin droid head that rests atop the bar. 

The happy family then make their way to Nevarro, where they again meet up with an old friend, Greef Karga (Carl Weathers). Karga says that he has an extra plot of land that he can give to him for all of his help in building up the city. Mando then gives Karga the gift he got for him, which is a perfectly rebuilt IG-11, ready to be the new marshall of Nevarro. 

The final shot of this show that we get is something purely wholesome that I’m sure we all wanted to see. It’s the happy ending that Mando and Grogu have fought for the entire time. We see Mando walk onto his new porch and kick his feet up as he watches his son play with a frog.




Denofgeek, LlanelliHerald, DigitalTrends

Contact Conor Butler with comments at cmbutler@bsu.edu