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In the Star Wars universe, ships freely enter and depart hyperspace in the vicinity of planets.

But in The Mandalorian season 3 opener, Chapter 17: The Apostate

Mando decides to

Take a detour through a large asteroid field when leaving Navarro, on the way to meet Bo-Katan at Kalevala. Which leads to a dogfighting scene inside said asteroid field with the colleagues of the pirates that he dispatched on Navarro, (and of whom, he dispatches some more).

Why did Mando do this? Why didn't he just

Fly directly from Navarro to Kalevala?

Or this only explained by

Star Wars shows having to have a mandatory ship chasing, asteroid scene, regardless of any other established plot mechanics that would makes sense?

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    "It is at this point it became clear that the writers had run out of ideas and had simply started to recycle scenes from prior shows." - future critic, probably. :)
    – DavidW
    Mar 6, 2023 at 14:12
  • @DavidW That doesn't bode well for the start of season 3
    – Peter M
    Mar 6, 2023 at 14:14
  • Maybe because of the hyperspace route Mando was taking he needed to navigate through the asteroid belt to the other side first before he could jump. Mar 6, 2023 at 17:57
  • I haven't seen the show. But I think it might have to do with refreshing one of his persistent stacking buffs. The stack goes up by one every time there is combat. But no combat in 24 hours and it resets to 0 stacks.
    – Daron
    Mar 7, 2023 at 14:51
  • @knightwatch IMHO asteroid belts are just that - belts. So it is trivial to skip over them if you need to get to the other side to take a hyperspace route. It's not as if the hyperspace route he took started in the asteroid belt.
    – Peter M
    Mar 8, 2023 at 1:06

2 Answers 2

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Immediately before the pirates attacked, Mando had been teaching Grogu about how to navigate in space. From the episode's transcript:

MANDO: Being a Mandalorian's not just learning about how to fight, you also have to know how to navigate the galaxy, because you never know where you might be headed next.

Presumably, the detour through the asteroid field was for the purpose of that lesson. I suppose you could ask why he took the detour at that precise moment, but... why not? Bo-Katan isn't going anywhere, and neither is his primary objective for Season 3, the Mines of Mandalore. He has plenty of time to teach Grogu along the way.

The following episode shows Mando continuing the navigational lessons on his approach to Mandalore,

which comes in handy when he is captured by a weird cyborg thing living in the Mandalorian ruins and Grogu has to fly back to Kalevala to ask Bo-Katan for help.

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    I took that statement as a philosophical, rather than practical lesson. But you may be right, because after that Mando is pointing out individual instruments, and their uses, to Grogu
    – Peter M
    Mar 6, 2023 at 15:01
  • As Mando was pointing out the individual instruments to Grogu (and us, btw), he also mentioned their range by looking at the fuel indicator just before he was interrupted by the threat indicator. Perhaps he was planning on saving fuel until the need arose to punch it. Mar 7, 2023 at 18:48
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The asteroid field appears to be very close to Navarro; the planet is still very much visible and large in the background. Maybe even close enough to count as a ring system as with Geonosis. So it's not a detour so much as something one simply must fly through to get to safe coordinates and calculate a jump.

The local asteroid belt itself, and the ongoing mining operation seen during the dogfight is even mentioned by Greef Karga as being part of the recent boom on the planet, so it's well established ahead of time. Add to that the fact that Din was taking the opportunity to teach Grogu a little bit about flying and it's clear he wasn't exactly in a massive hurry.

Of course the out-of-universe reason is that they wanted to have an exciting dogfight with the N-1 doing sneaky hit-and-run attacks on the pirates. That requires 1) something to hide behind, because: space!, and 2) a credible way to hide the main pirate ship for the dramatic reveal.

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  • Is it possible you could dig up a shot of the planet in the background of the asteroids?
    – Peter M
    Mar 8, 2023 at 1:03

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