‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 Episode 2 Review: “The Mines of Mandalore”
This is a spoiler review for The Mandalorian Chapter 18: “The Mines of Mandalore”. To read last week’s review, click HERE.
Instead of diverting early to the adventure of the week model as in previous seasons, The Mandalorian chooses to jump right into the plot with a full, poignant, action-filled episode, that reminds us of why this show breathed new life to Star Wars. Rachel Morrison as director presents a balanced look at Bo-Katan (Katee Sackoff), Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal/Brendan Wayne/Lateef Crowder) and Grogu as the leads of the show. She brings the characters to life on Mandalore with the minute details, in particular making Grogu feel like an active part of the team.
Din and Grogu first head to Tatooine, where we get to see Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) again. He goes in looking for the IG memory circuit, and instead leaves with R5-D4 in tow to go spelunking on Mandalore! Once the planet is reached, we figure out communication to other worlds outside of the atmosphere is currently impossible. Landing, Din sends R5 off to go test the atmosphere near the underground, only for Arfive to disappear off radar. Ending up pressurizing his helmet after some prodding from Grogu, Din heads off to find Arfive. After fighting some Alamites, and finding the atmosphere is actually breathable, Din and Grogu take off to the depths underneath the ruined civic center to find the Living Waters. Skirting the underground, Din finds a helmet buried in the sand, only to find out it was a trap!
A spider-like mecha takes Din, and pulls him into a lair, for only a droid to get out of it! He removes Din’s weapons, and while Grogu tries to perform a rescue operation, he fails, and Din instructs him to go find Bo-Katan on Kalevala, a planet a short distance away in the system. You’d think after the Bo-Katan we saw last week, she would be off her rocker and unwilling. But seeing Grogu, the son without his father touches her, and opens her back up to the Bo-Katan we all know and love. They return to Mandalore, on Bo-Katan’s ship, where Bo reminisces slightly on growing up on Mandalore. As they journey back to the under city, Bo-Katan is able to open Grogu up, and encourage him to be strong in rescuing Din.
She gets her own face off with the Alamites, and ends up in the lair with the spider mecha. Bo-Katan takes down the droid with the darksaber. She ends up having to take down the spider mecha with it as well. She manages to get Din up to the entrance of the cave, only for them to go back down. Din desperately needs to bathe in the Living Waters. Bo-Katan offers to show him the way through the wreckage, and they make it there safely with Grogu. Din takes off his gear while Bo-Katan reminisces, and reads the plaque that tells us the story of the first Mandalore (the ruler). Din steps in while reciting the Creed, only to disappear underneath. Bo-Katan rescues him yet again, and tries to figure out what took him down. It’s a Mythosaur! The episode ends with them gasping on the steps.
There’s been so much emotion in Grogu through this episode of The Mandalorian. I can’t stress how cool it’s been to see him stand on his own. Additionally, I will always love seeing live action Bo-Katan in her helmet. It just never gets old after years of watching The Clone Wars and Rebels. In terms of any negatives, I think they could have played with some flashbacks, particularly when Bo-Katan says “this was once a beautiful civilization, my family ruled it all. Now it’s a tomb”. It would allow that line to pack a heck of a punch, and seeing Clone Wars era Mandalore would be epic. Definitely can say it also is evident The Volume continues to limit the show.
This is such a lore-filled episode, and it’s pure fun. It delves deep, and allows us to get a glimpse into not only Mandalore, but Bo-Katan Kryze herself. The rituals, and mentions of her father are thought provoking. A qualm would be she talks around Obi-Wan, and heck even Ahsoka. And there’s still been no mention of Satine. But my negatives truly are just nit picks. I think this is a perfect episode otherwise, it’s fantastic. There is no better way for Star Wars to be, with good action, lore building, and character building. – Katie Rentschler
The Mandalorian Airs New Episodes Every Wednesday on Disney+.