In the first episode of The Mandalorian, we met IG-11, a ruthless droid bounty hunter whose mission was to destroy Grogu, the Force-sensitive child whom Din Djarin, the Mandalorian, was tasked with retrieving. Although Din and IG-11 joined forces, Din betrayed the droid, shooting him down. However, in a surprising twist, vapor farmer Kuiil retrieved the destroyed droid and rebuilt him with new directives, turning him into a kind helping hand. IG-11 joined the fight against Moff Gideon and his Stormtrooper battalion, protecting Grogu at all costs. IG-11 eventually sacrificed himself, activating his self-destruction protocol in a lava river in Nevarro during the final fight against Moff Gideon, thus ending his redemption story.
In season three, Din decides to go back to Mandalore to bathe in the sacred waters of the home planet of Mandalore culture, and he needs backup to explore the ruins of Mandalore, preferably a non-organic ally that could survive the miasma that spreads through Mandalore. Din goes to lengths to rebuild IG-11 from the few parts left behind by his self-destruction, stating that IG-11 is the only droid he can trust. However, this decision goes against the logic and internal logic established in season one. The first season explained how droids could be reprogrammed and develop distinct personalities, which makes it unnecessary for Din to bring a specific droid back instead of enlisting a new ally.
Furthermore, after reviving IG-11 as a villain, season three takes it a step further in storytelling sacrilege by definitely destroying the droid’s memory chip, which goes against IG-11’s character arc in season one. Din decides to acquire a new chip so that the Anzellans can put IG-11 back together, but the new IG-11 will have a blank memory. So, why is a bounty hunter survivalist spending so much time and energy on a task that goes against common sense? The answer seems to be fan service. By bringing a beloved character back, The Mandalorian’s Season 3 seems to think it will please fans and reward the people following the series since 2019.
In conclusion, bringing back IG-11 in season three is a colossal mistake that destroys IG-11’s previous arc and erases his sacrifice, ignoring the internal logic established in the show’s previous seasons. The decision seems to be a desperate attempt to please fans, and it ignores the emotional weight and storytelling stakes. It remains to be seen how the show will handle IG-11’s return and whether the writers will bring back his character arc and redemption story.