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The Mandalorian S3 Ch 23: Grogu's Upgrade Tramples On A Big Theme In Ch 22

Contains spoilers for The Mandalorian, Season 3, Episode 7 – "Chapter 23: The Spies"

"The Mandalorian" Season 3 took Grogu's story in a really interesting direction with its penultimate episode, strapping the little bundle of joy inside IG-11's corpse to create an IG-12 mech. While the upgrade gives fans a fun little bit as Grogu mashes that "yes" button over and over, we can't help but notice how it directly impedes all the work "Chapter 22" did for droid representation.

In "Chapter 22," the robotic barkeep of The Resistor explains to Din Djarin and Bo-Katan that they just want a peaceful life on Plazir-15, and the recent attacks have endangered their safety. Many droids have received a second chance on the planet and want to work without the threat of replacement. It was a drastic step forward for "Star Wars," showcasing droid sentience in a franchise that has constantly looked down on its robotic allies.

Unfortunately, "Chapter 23" undoes all of that by giving Grogu IG-11's corpse to use as a tool. It's a surprising turn of events, as just a week earlier, Din learned the value of respecting droid lives, but now he doesn't see an issue with manipulating his old friend's body.

The creation of IG-12 is disrespectful to IG-11's legacy

Din Djarin spent most of "The Mandalorian" hating droids, insisting on never working with them. We see him grow throughout the series, learning that the robotic companions aren't all that bad, and IG-11 (Taika Waititi) plays a massive role in that. At the end of Season 1, his heroics and his willingness to protect Grogu at all costs show Din that some droids are worth trusting. Season 3 even opens with the reveal that Nevarro has erected a statue in IG's honor, cementing him as a hero for the planet. 

Then "Chapter 23" comes along, showing that the Anzellans hollowed out IG-11's body for Grogu to use as a mech. If Din really learned to respect droids, not to mention one that was his friend, he would've immediately seen the issues from this decision. Not only is it weird to have Grogu walking around in the corpse of a former friend, but after what Din learned on Plazir-15, it's disrespectful to IG-11 and droids across the galaxy. "The Mandalorian" already divided the fanbase on bringing back IG-11, so it didn't take long for them to recognize the issues with the show's latest decision. U/Tusken_raider69 called it "horrifying that they'd be okay with [Grogu] driving around in the skeleton of their dead friend." 

It's a shame that just as "The Mandalorian" looked like it was giving droids their long overdue respect, "Star Wars" falls back into its usual way of things, casting aside the droids that are the backbone of the franchise.