The Mandalorian season 3 finally comes together in “The Pirate”


Halfway through The Mandalorian season 3, it still wasn’t clear where this season was headed and what overarching story it would tell. Sure, the first four episodes were entertaining. Luckily, it turns out we just needed to be patient and trust writers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.

Chapter 21, “The Pirate,” brings together all the loose story threads spun so far. While it opens like another “mission of the week,” Episode 5 gives us character-defining moments with massive implications for the rest of the season.

Rangers and Rebels of the New Republic

Remember way back in the season premiere when Din chased an unruly band of pirates off Nevarro? Well, those pirates are back, led by Gorian Shard (Nonso Anosie). This time, they open fire on the town and force the people and High Magistrate Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) to flee to safety.

The people of Nevarro desperately need help. Unfortunately, they aren’t a member of the New Republic, which is apparently swamped with requests for aid from all around the galaxy. But there is at least one New Republic citizen whom Greef can call upon: Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung), featured in previous seasons of The Mandalorian.

Captain Teva receives Greef’s plea while stationed on Aldephi Base, hanging out with a bunch of other New Republic officers and pilots in a cantina. In a welcome surprise, Zeb Orrelios (of Star Wars Rebels fame) shows up and chats briefly with Captain Teva before the pilot heads off to request help from Coruscant.

The cameo is a cheer-worthy moment. And it’s either a tease for the Ahsoka show or a hint at what — or who — to expect in the rest of this season of The Mandalorian.

The Rise of Moff Gideon

On Coruscant, Captain Teva meets with a New Republic colonel (Tim Meadows) who doesn’t share Teva’s view that there’s something fishy going on in the Outer Rim. Teva believes there are too many stormtroopers and TIE fighters still around for the fight against the Empire to be truly over.

Teva’s request is further undermined by the convenient arrival of Elia Kane (Katy M. O’Brian), who is pretending to be a reformed Imperial officer now loyal to the New Republic. Elia and Teva trade a few barbs and Teva leaves with a clear view of the New Republic’s apathy.

The episode ends with Teva discovering a wrecked prison transport out in space; all of the crew are dead and the ship appears to have been attacked. And well well well: the ship was transporting Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), who Teva knew never made it to his trial.

In a juicy cliffhanger, Teva’s probe finds a shard of Beskar embedded into the wall of the destroyed ship, a key sign that the Mandalorians may have had something to do with Moff Gideon’s escape.

Mandos vs. pirates

Though Teva’s attempt to get Nevarro help don’t work out, the X-Wing pilot is able to track down Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and the Mandalorians using R5-D4’s tracking signal. The covert isn’t exactly pleased to see him, but Din and Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher) convince the group of warriors to answer Nevarro’s call for aid; Paz reminds the group of Din and Bo-Katan’s heroics and dedication to the family after rescuing his son in last week’s episode.

Leaning on Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) to plan the mission, the Mandalorians do what they do best: quickly take down Gorian Shard’s massive cruiser and his hordes of pirates. Watching armored Mandalorians fight will always be a sight to behold, from the quick and snappy grappling lines and whistling birds to the Armorer’s (Emily Swallow) hammer and Paz’s heavy repeater, it’s thrilling.

While the outfitted Mandalorians take down the pirates on the ground, Bo-Katan and Din take care of Gorian Shard and the fleet in the sky — all except Vane, who flees like a coward.

A new home for new heroes

After the victory, Greef and the people of Nevarro thank the Mandalorians for helping them and offer a huge tract of land for the covert to call their new home.

Paz then tells Bo-Katan that the Armorer wants to speak with her back in the tunnels where the covert used to operate. The two reminisce about the legendary forge on Mandalore before the Armorer gets to the point, asking Bo-Katan to remove her helmet.

Hesitant at first, Bo-Katan takes off her helmet and continues to listen to the Armorer speak about her changed belief in the future of the Mandalorians: they need to stick together and fight together, no matter their creed. And Bo-Katan’s glimpse of a living, breathing Mythosaur is a sign of a new age of Mandalorians to come.

Back outside, still helmet-less, Bo-Katan walks alongside the Armorer, who tells the others that she “walks in both worlds.” So, yes, it’s totally okay for her to remove her helmet now. Din is probably so mad.

The Armorer says Bo-Katan is being sent to find more Mandalorians who have been misplaced. Now is the time to retake their home world.


For Clone Wars and Rebels fans, this feels like a moment that’s been a long time coming: Bo-Katan returning to her rightful place as the leader of Mandalore. But The Mandalorian showrunners would be remiss to not explain why Bo-Katan is worthy of the position. There are many who have not seen either of the animated series and may feel that Din was being set up as the one to reunite the clans. Still, it’s great to finally have a clearer picture of where the third season of The Mandalorian is headed.

Episode grade: A

Next. The Mandalorian serves up Star Wars fan service, still doesn’t push the plot forward. dark

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