After waiting nearly three years after the end of season two, The Mandalorian is back with new weekly episodes on Disney+. Fans are captivated by the adventures of Din Djarin and Grogu but the show is also notable for the unique circumstances of its production. The Mandalorian uses innovative technology and a cadre of notable filmmakers to bring each chapter to life. The amount of time and effort needed for every episode could be daunting for some actors, but Pedro Pascal greatly enjoys being part of such a distinctive program.
‘The Mandalorian’ season 3 digs deeper into the culture of Mandalore
The opening episodes of the third season of The Mandalorian focus more on the lore of Din’s chosen family as he attempts to atone for his oath-breaking helmet removal in “Chapter 15: The Believer”.
Din helps some Mandalorians fight off a monster that attacks a child’s induction ceremony, but to fully rejoin the order, he must take a dip in the Living Waters in the mines of Mandalore, a task he goes about achieving with the help of two droids, IG-11 and R5-D4, as well as Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff).
The cute antics of Grogu have been the main draw of The Mandalorian so far, but season three attempts to show that the titular figure at the center of the frame is just as interesting as his tiny green companion.
Pedro Pascal has a lot of praise for the production team
The Mandalorian is an extraordinary feat of modern production. The show popularized the use of the Volume, a sound stage surrounded by a 360-degree LED video wall that provides detailed digital backgrounds. The Grogu we see on screen is the result of an animatronic puppet accented by CGI flourishes.
Disney cycled through a cadre of respected filmmakers on each season of The Mandalorian, with Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Deborah Chow all taking turns behind the camera in past seasons. Season three sees Lee Isaac Chung, Rachel Morrison, and Peter Ramsey join in on the action. The constant rotation of directors could be a point of frustration for the show’s lead, but Pascal finds inspiration in The Mandalorian’s behind-the-scenes process.
“This thing is the most unique job I’ve ever had because there’s such as team effort around being the Mandalorian. Number one, there’s [stunt doubles] Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder. There’s so much surgical post-production work that goes into changing the text, changing the tonality of a line,” he explained during an interview on UK radio station Capital FM.
Pascal also gives a shoutout to the creative duo of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, particularly for the latter’s regular presence during shooting.
“From the very first meeting I had with them, Jon has been with me, he’s always on set, he’s in every aspect of post and it is just an incredible working collaborative relationship, which you wouldn’t expect it to be so rich because it’s a faceless armored man of few words.”
Is interest in ‘The Mandalorian’ waning?
Most viewers and critics are still broadly enjoying The Mandalorian, but there are small signs that the excitement that followed the first two seasons is no longer present.
Season three has a lower rating among critics (85%) and fans (76%) on Rotten Tomatoes than the previous two installments. The old-school western set-ups that were endearingly familiar initially now feel a little more repetitive and simple in 2023, especially after Andor showed that it was possible to make a more mature show in the Star Wars universe. It feels significant that “Chapter 19: The Convert” tries to channel some of the political intrigue of Andor, but it isn’t as successful.
The ways The Mandalorian tries to serialize this season may be off-putting in a different way. Exploring the tension between myth and reality in the Mandalore faith will satisfy the Star Wars diehards in your life, but it also sets up the show to run into the same difficulties that the Marvel Cinematic Universe in recent years in attempting to make common fans care about less popular characters in Phase Five.
Did most people watch The Mandalorian for this level of information or did they just want to see a guy in Boba Fett armor go on a Lone Wolf and Cub-style adventure with Baby Yoda? It’s a question worth asking.