The Mandalorian returns with “The Apostate”, which is a solid season premiere episode with plenty of setup, great action bits, and a heavy dose of 80s and 90s era action movie humor.

Head on down below to check out the full review and to find out which moments made the cut. You can also check out our Easter egg breakdown for this episode.

Notable new characters:

  • Gorian Shand the Pirate King
  • Vane the Pirate


Hey Now, Fandos, Matt here from the SWTS to review the Season 3 debut of Mando, but first here’s your SPOILER warning, You Good, alright let’s do this.

Within the first five minutes of The Mandalorian’s return to Disney Plus it was hard not to wildly fist pump and shed tears of joy if you’ve become a superfan of Din and Grogu over the past 3.5 years. 

His big save at the Mando ceremony is a fantastic reminder of how badass Din is, as well as how strong this show has become when it comes to providing Star Wars moments that both look and feel franchise correct, while vividly reminding you as to why you love George’s Star Wars so much in the first place. 

Quite frankly, the feelings of pure Star Wars elation persisted throughout this short, but very engaging premiere episode. While this debut mostly served as setup for the full season’s deep dive into Mandalorian culture and its various factions, fans still got answers that were not known before, and that will ultimately help frame this season’s character motivations and overarching plot points. 

We now know that Gorian Shand, Vane, and the space pirates will play a role in antagonizing Mando and Navarro, so it’s safe to say they’re the ones that raze the city and the Mandos we’ve seen in trailers may actually be coming to help versus destroy. You also shouldn’t sleep on Vane’s push at the school, and the pirate faction in general, because if you’ve been following Skeleton Crew’s tea leaves, these pirates just may be the ones that hound Jude Law’s teacher character in that series. Just saying there’s a chance. 

This episode also revealed more about Din’s mission, and why he went back to Nevarro, and based on your leak knowledge, the IG-11 thread could have way more meat on it than him just becoming Din’s Mandalore guide and muscle. 

Bo-Katan’s plight and current situation also got fleshed out, and now that it’s clear that she’s fallen from grace yet again, it makes much more sense as to why she will eventually team up with Din for his quest. 

When you factor in these information dumps, the on point 80s and 90s action movie humor, I’m looking at you Din and Greef, you two were rivaling Arnold’s one liners from back in the day and as a child of that era I ate it up, this episode was about as good as it gets for a season premiere, which again are mostly used for setup anyway. 

Not to mention that visually it feels a bit more lived in when compared to recent Volume filmed shows. Hitting multiple locations and using more practical sets definitely made this episode feel alive, and it finally offered more visual pallets than just brown and black. 

A choice episode to be sure, so how about some top moments. 

No surprise here, but the opening Mando creed ceremony is first on my top moments list. Everything about it was top notch Mandalorian stuff. From the ceremony itself and its largest gathering of live action Mandos ever seen, to the beast attack and Din’s saving blows, was just picture perfect Star Wars. 

Seeing Din and Grogu arrived caused a Pavlovian emotional reaction in me that resulted in the air around me getting punched, my insides feeling funny, and my eyes watering, because it was Star Wars at its best, and it just bubbled up my collective love and appreciation for Din and Grogu to the point of a joyous system meltdown. Moments like this are why this franchise and Star Wars in general get me out of bed to make content no one sees. 

Up next is IG-11’a awakening. First, it was just great to hear Taika voicing him again, but secondly, the clear nod to Terminator 1’s finale was hard miss and not appreciate. It was freaky looking, helped setup a narrative thread, and offered some of this episode’s best dry humor with the using your head line Din deadpanned. 

Many fans may be over him and his childlike cuteness, but Grogu still hits with me big time, so I have to put his meeting with the Anzellans on this list. I do enjoy those little fast talking droid mechanics and how bluntly they speak to much bigger species, but the whole Grogu wants one as a pet bit was just too fun not to mention. Seeing the little guy squeezing them and the Anzellan’s reactions was priceless, and I’m down for more of this mushy grogu stuff moving forward. 

Ok, how about that dogfight. For starters, it looked freaking awesome and was thrilling to see play out. Secondly, it served as a great reminder about Din’s overall skill set. This dude is a bad bad dude that not only can handle himself in fistfights and mini-gang-wars, but he’s also an extremely skilled fighter pilot who may rival the likes of Solo, the Skywalker’s, or Luthen Rael. In terms of pure Star Wars dogfights, this one is up there on the all-time list. 

Finally, the Bo-katan info-dump rounds out the top moments. While she was cranky and wanted nothing to do with Din’s quest, what she revealed is crucial to their relationship and the season’s overarching plot moving forward. Learning that she’s been left by the likes of Axe and Koska over her failure with the Darksaber was eye opening and explains her sour puss attitude we saw teased in the trailers. It also opens up motivations for her to actually join Din on his quest and potentially alter mandalorian culture and tradition moving forward, so it was a poignant moment narratively for this season.

Nick and I will talk more about this episode on next week’s episode of the SWTS, so don’t forget to tune into the Star Wars Time Show on a weekly basis via our podcast platforms or via YouTube if you prefer the livestream angle.  

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Matt is literally from a galaxy that is far, far away. Star Wars has consumed his life, and made him the geek that he is. He's no fan of the Prequels, but still loves the Maker. When he's not recording his unstable takes for the Star Wars Time podcast, he's either working on, taking pictures of Star Wars toys, or trying to legitimately wield the Force.