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The Mandalorian Season 3 started out as video-gamey as ever

A new main quest, a town level-up, and Jarl Bo Katan
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Many of us have pleasant memories watching the first few episodes of The Mandalorian on Disney+ and finding some striking parallels between the Star Wars show and how modern open-world video games are structured.

Protagonist Din Djarin got a fetch quest for which he had to fly to a brand-new area, where he immediately picked up a side quest, and was thrown into another fetch quest before being able to finish his main mission. That, of course, rewarded him with materials for some stylish new gear with overpowered defense stats. We even got regular flashbacks during the gear upgrade process. Showrunner Jon Favreau may have had Saturday morning cartoons in mind when he created The Mandalorian, but it sure would have made for a fun video game as well – or a great tabletop RPG campaign.

Season 3 of the show, which launched on March 1, 2023, continued this tradition of reminding us of games at several points. For one, Mando has a new main quest, which is to redeem himself in the eyes of his weird sect, the Children of the Watch.

The Mandalorian's Nevarro.

Welcome to Nevarro, which is now a level 3 town.

To prepare himself, he flies to the now familiar planet of Nevarro, which – partly through his own actions – leveled up a whole bunch since we last saw it and now even houses some very skilled droid smiths, which enable Mando to revive a fallen companion. That sure sounds like a game mechanic. As an aside, whoever put that self-destruct mode into IG-11 sucked at their job. You’re telling us this droid, which stood in a river of lava at the time, exploded itself and yet people still managed to salvage its entire head and torso intact?

Anyway, after a quick chat with a former companion about reviving the other one, which in turn led to an additional side quest to fetch some rare material, Mando is off again and encounters some pirates on the way, which is totally going to be relevant later on in the season. The pirate frigate reminded me of Empire at War’s Keldabe-class capital ships when I first saw it, and those were actually built on Mandalore back in the Star Wars Legends canon, but after further comparison I don’t think this is a deliberate nod to Petroglyph’s real-time strategy game from the showrunners.

We also get a little cockpit tour of Mando's N-1 starfighter, which is basically heaven for anyone who's played the old X-Wing and TIE-Fighter games – or the more recent Star Wars Squadrons.

Bo Katan in The Mandalorian S3.

All that's missing is a glowing exclamation mark above her head.

Having escaped the pirates, Din Djarin pays a visit to a depressed Bo Katan, who might as well be one of the Jarls from Skyrim – seriously, she’s just sitting in this empty throne room in her full gear, making a cool pose, waiting for the protagonist to come around for a chat.

When he speaks to the former Deathwatch member, he finds out that his choice to keep a sword doomed her to losing her army. Bo Katan will remember that. We also get a glimpse of how his main quest to redeem himself might actually branch out into another where he has to retake his homeworld.

It may just have been about 30 minutes long, but it sure was another enjoyable ride – and I’m really hoping that the untitled Star Wars open-world game currently in development at Ubisoft Massive can at least be half as good a video game as this show is.