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Bryce Dallas Howard is one of The Mandalorian’s most exciting directors
Just before the credits of any particularly good episode of The Mandalorian my wife says, “I bet Bryce Dallas Howard directed this one;” a running joke in our house after Howard’s, “Sanctuary” became an instant favorite of ours.
Howard directed an episode in each of the first two seasons of The Mandalorian; both season standouts. She then helmed one of the best episodes of The Book to Boba Fett. Now, her latest episode for Season 3 is set to air April 5th, 2023 and expectations are high for what this fan favorite Director has in store.
The Mandalorian: Chapter 4, “Sanctuary”
After a strong start to the series that introduced the world to Din Djarin and Grogu, “Sanctuary” was a refreshing detour from the main narrative. Instead of another shoot out on Nevarro or team-up with Kuill on Arvala-7, Bryce Dallas Howard takes us to the lush forest planet, Sorgan, for an self-contained adventure that felt like a film of its own.
This, her first foray into the Star Wars Universe, was a fantastic homage to both westerns and samurai movies. Din Djarin played the role of the mysterious stranger who wanders into town, falls in love, and leads the locals in a courageous battle against violent invaders; part Seven Samurai, part High Plains Drifter. The romance in this episode between Din and Omera is significant as well; we never see anything like it for the rest of the series.
The Mandalorian: Chapter 11, “The Heiress”
In Season Two, Bryce Dallas Howard had the honor of directing the first live-action appearance of Bo-Katan Kryze, a beloved character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She debuts in all her blue-armored glory, saving Din and Grogu from certain doom; trapped in a cage with a sea monster called a mamacore.
We discover from her that Din Djarin isn’t just a Mandalorian, but, specifically, a follower of an orthodox religion called the Children of the Watch. We also learn that Din wasn’t even aware of this distinction or much else more about Mandalore than was taught to him by The Tribe.
The centerpiece of the episode is a action-packed heist on an Imperial Gozanti-Class Cruiser. Bo-Katan is seeking information on the location of the Dark Saber, and Din is promised to be led to the Jedi in return for his help. Through excellent direction, the spectacular battle unfolds and the two characters form a mutual respect for each other by episode’s end.
The Book of Boba Fett: “Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian”
Fans and critics were mixed about The Book of Boba Fett. So, when Bryce Dallas Howard’s episode ignored the main character and gave us a bonus chapter of The Mandalorian instead, few Star Wars fans were upset.
Djarin dramatically takes out the boss of a meat-packing plant with the Darksaber, replaces the Razor Crest with a N-1 Naboo Starfighter, is excommunicated by The Tribe, and heads off to reunite with Grogu. A lot goes down. A cynic might call it a discredit to The Book of Boba Fett and a cheap way to set up Season 3 of The Mandalorian, but regardless, it’s an exiting and well directed episode of television.
The Mandalorian: “Chapter 22, (Title Unknown)”
All which leads us to Episode 6 of Season Three, airing April 5th, 2023. The title is still to be determined, but we can expect something great based on the track record of the show and this director so far.