Very much. Phase 1 was a collection of okay to kind of good movies, but the promise of Avengers, and the known characters, kept everyone invested.
Fast forward to Phase 4, where they tried doing a new branch of character intros, but (a) nobody knows them going in, and (b) they’re burdened trying to tie new characters to existing sequels, thus dragging them down. They’ve also had some bad luck - Chadwick Boseman absolutely would have been the centerpiece going forward.
ETA: and the character after that, Spider-Man, best equipped to be their tent pole, they pressed hard reset in the last film because they didn’t know if they could keep his rights.
You have much deeper knowledge of the broader universe, so I am sure I am missing something. But, so far, to me, it’s just been a series of treasure hunt missions with the occasional mid-level boss to defeat.
He goes to Tatooine to get parts for IG-11, leaves with R5, goes back to Mandalore, gets captured but R5 is able to pilot Grogu back to Bo Katan so that she can rescue Din and lead him to the living waters.
But he only needed IG-11 to test the air on Mandalore, which R5 could do, so why all the fuss about getting IG-11 and only IG-11 for this mission?
When Din enters the living waters, Bo watches him go without a word of warning. When he suddenly disappears below the water, she jumps in and jets through the underwater caves to find Din already all the way at the bottom somehow.
It’s never explained why he dropped so suddenly and how he got all the way to the bottom before Bo could get there under jet power. Bo knew all about the history and the rituals of Mandalore, but doesn’t know about the deadly riptide three steps into the water?
Seems like that all happened just so they could foreshadow the giant creature that gave Bo a pass.
I feel pretty certain that this was an edit when they decided to shorten the premiere. If you look at the logical progression, it would have been:
Din wants a robot, tries to fix IG-11. Wanting that exact robot is consistent with his previous distrust of droids.
Goes to Tattoine for the memory card, can’t get it, gets our precious droid from A New Hope.
… premiere would have ended on her waving goodbye
… Ep2 would have started with Bo Katan. That would have made it a solidly all-Mandalore episode.
As to 2:
He wasn’t supposed to sink. The assumption is the creature took him. She went for the bottom because he was wearing a suit of armor in water. (Shout out to Jamie Lannister)
Keep in mind for this season that Mandalore and its history are entirely a creation of Favreau and Filoni. They made this whole mythology, they created the Way, and I suspect the real drive of the season is between his worldview and hers.