Warning, this contains spoilers for Chapter 23 of Season 4 of The Mandalorian. Read at your own risk.
Took Long Enough
So it took us 7 episodes (and about 7 hours) to finally get to the point of this thing. Seriously? Take away all the side-quests and distractions, and this should have been the third episode of this season, not the seventh. It could have even been the second episode. We didn’t need to know what was happening with Dr. Pershing. They could have left it as mysterious. A two-minute holo comms sequence with Moff Gideon and Kane, the “His research is lost” line in the holo-Zoom staff meeting, and leave it at that. The “let’s fight pirates” bit. The useless “have to fix IG-11” and it turns out it wasn’t necessary. The rescue, the droid behaviour mystery. Seriously, none of this advanced the narrative.
Too much of this season feels like padding, like fan service and not story telling. It’s like they don’t actually know what story they want to tell, or maybe don’t have a story to tell. I mean, cool, we get some great cameos from some great performers. But we don’t have to try to jam every character the series has presented (that’s still alive) into the season. That’s just not necessary.
Grogu’s New Toy
I was so worried they had pulled a deus ex machine with IG-11 when he came strolling in. But when it was clear he’s just a mech, okay, maybe that’s something that can work. At least Grogu has a bit more mobility, and can do more than make baby noises and Force Grip stuff. It was funny watching him stumble around a bit while he figured the machine out, and pounding away on the “yes” and “no” buttons.
The only concern I would have might be budget. It’s way cheaper to digitally composite a floating egg (which can be closed, reducing detail and fidelity requirements) than an intricate machine. But whatever, not my problem. At least Grogu can be a more active participant in things.
Expect It To Feel Rushed Or Incomplete
There’s only one episode left in the season. That can mean one of two things. First, that they’re going to rush the final conflict between the Mandalorians and Gideon. Don’t be surprised if the New Republic just happens to show up, riding to the rescue. Given how sloppy the story telling as been so far, that wouldn’t be surprising at all. But it would also be a massive disappointment.
The other alternative is that the Mandalorians are chased off “for now” in a lame attempt to set up the next season. Assuming there is one. I have not seen a lot of positive comments or reviews so far, and I see a lot more “glad I skipped this season” instead.
And that leads to the question: will there be a fourth season? With poor reviews, what appears to be a disappointed (and possibly shrinking) audience, this could very well be it for this story line. It could live on in comics and novels. But these aren’t cheap to make, and Disney’s pockets aren’t infinitely deep. I’d rather see the budget put toward ensuring Andor retains it’s high standards and quality. Money spent making another disappointing season like this would be a waste.