Serial Consumer celebrates and interrogates Evan’s relationship to franchised media and his addiction to purchasing its licensed products.

We get a lot of forward momentum in The Pirate, which sees the climax of the pirate storyline introduced in The Apostate and Din’s first major act as a leader of his covert. The plant-faced pirate Captain Gorian Shard attacks Nevarro — forcing High Magistrate Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) to seek the help of the New Republic, which refuses his requests. It’s a nice extension of what seen this season with the New Republic, a bureaucracy drowning in the sheer scope and responsibility of governance. “This isn’t a rebellion anymore,” says Captain Tuttle (Tim Meadows). “We have a structure now.” As our old friend Captain Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) warns, the New Republic is desperately unprepared for the forces gathering amid the chaos. We know the First Order eventually attacks and destroys their capitol plant in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but this all feels like it is clearly leading to some major wars in the 30-year interim between Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. I’m pretty excited to see if it truly becomes a reimagining of the Thrawn trilogy in some way. We’ll see.

Where the New Republic won’t step in, Din Djarin and his Mandalorian covert do. Taking Karga up on the earlier offer for a tract of land in exchange for protection, the Mandos battle and destroy Shard’s Cumulus-class Corsair ship and his band of pirates. They’re now able to operate in the open and thus start bringing together disparate tribes to retake Mandalore. Seems like Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) will leave the show for a few episodes to gather her former followers for the forthcoming battle with Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), who, as the closing moments suggest, seems to have Mandalorians of his own.

This tracks. Mandalorians have always had factions of good and evil, and the show thus far has only shown us variations of good. There was a time when an entire faction followed Darth Maul to take over the planet, and we also know Mandalorian supercommandos helped serve the Empire before and after Mandalore was razed. So we’re going to get some Mando v. Mando action this season or next. I’m pretty down for it.

I’m really, really happy with Season 3 so far. I think it’s the strongest the show has ever been. The episodic storytelling hasn’t overshadowed each episode standing alone as a showcase for cool action, likable characters, lore building and good humor. With Bo-Katan and the additional returning characters, we finally have an ensemble that allows Din Djarin and Grogu to occasionally take a backseat for an episode, which makes their special moments even more exciting. The cameos this time around feel more organic (Zeb isn’t even named; he’s just another pilot unless you know who he is), and the plotline — retaking Mandalore — is much more intriguing than the fake drama of Din leaving Grogu with the Jedi.

I also never tire of watching N-1 or X-Wing Starfighters flying around, even if they’re not blowing shit up (but especially if they are). This is just pure joy week to week for me, and I hope it never ends.

Consumer Report

A pretty light week on the collecting front. I’m excited about the newly-announced Luke Skywalker + Grogu Deluxe pack from their Book of Boba Fett episode, but $45 is a steep price. I spent that on the similar Luke + Yoda set in 2020, and it dropped to $30 soon after, so I’m just going to wait this one out. I’m also clearance-waiting that new Star Wars: The Rebellion Omnibus because none of those stories excite me and it will be purely a collecting purchase. No rush.

I started working through War of the Bounty Hunters, which I’m enjoying more in print than when I read through the whole thing on my phone a few years back. I like Marvel Unlimited a lot, but it’s not an ideal way to really read this stuff, at least for me.

What I’d Buy

A few things struck my eye in this episode. Karga without his bulky robes is a figure I’d actually like to find (on clearance). His Season 1 and Season 2 costumes are both clearance fodder, though, so I’m not holding my breath.

A good Carson Teva seems overdue, given his importance these last two seasons. I probably wouldn’t buy a new Zeb, but it was neat to see him in fatigues. I never purchased Trapper Wolf when he was a limited-edition figure, but maybe a new one that includes the cowboy hat is due? I’ll also admit: I like Shard and his weird, mossy species, but I’m not holding out hope we’ll actually see a figure of him anytime soon.