It’s been a very long wait, but the time has almost come. Din Djarin and Grogu will return in The Mandalorian season 3 after an almost three-year hiatus that saw Lucasfilm premiere other Disney+ live-action series. But now that The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi have come and gone, and Andor is set to bow this fall, it’s finally time for the return of this TV juggernaut, arguably the flagship of Star Wars programming in this post-Skywalker Saga era.
As you might expect, season 3 will see Mando and his little Force-sensitive pal trying to tie up quite a few loose ends from season 2 and Boba Fett. In fact, the latter spinoff series is vital to understanding what the heck is even going on in the season 3 trailer released during D23 studio showcase today.
We’ll get to all that Mandalorian and Jedi baggage in our trailer breakdown, but first, if you’ve yet to watch the video, you can check it out below:
Okay, now that you’ve watched it, here are a few things we spotted in the trailer and what they might mean for The Mandalorian season 3…
The Armorer Sends Din Djarin on a Quest
So, remember that Mandalorian and Jedi baggage I mentioned? Well, one of the big cliffhangers from The Mandalorian season 2 finale was actually resolved a year later in The Book of Boba Fett. Despite leaving with Luke Skywalker to complete his Jedi training, in the spinoff series, Grogu decides that his heart’s not really in it, especially not when his Mandalorian dad is flying around looking all sad and lonely. By the end of Boba Fett, Grogu has rejoined Din, just in time to help him take down a baby rancor that’s rampaging through the streets of Mos Espa on Tatooine.
But there’s of course another big ongoing thread that season 3 will have to address. At the end of season 2, Din became the wielder of the Darksaber by winning it from Moff Gideon, making him the rightful leader of the Mandalorian people by tradition. That not only puts him at odds with Bo-Katan, who had spent years searching for the blade she needed to reunite the tribes of Mandalore, but it also leaves Din in a weird place with his own clan of religious zealots, the Children of the Watch.
You see, even though Din can now technically ascend to the role of Mand’alor, he first has to deal with the consequences of his “crimes” in season 2. What crimes, exactly? Taking off his helmet, first to hack a computer in an Imperial facility, and then when saying goodbye to Grogu. This is a big no-no for Din’s particularly extremist group of Mandalorian warriors. So, in The Book of Boba Fett, the Armorer (pictured above) expels him from their clan and declares that he is no longer a Mandalorian at all. And the only way to fix this is to make a pilgrimage back to their home planet and “bathe in the living waters of the mines of Mandalore.”
Which is convenient since Din has some unfinished business there, anyway…
We always knew Katee Sackhoff would be back as Bo-Katan Kryze in season 3, and not just because there’s plenty of unresolved Darksaber beef to squash. Remember when she agreed to help rescue Grogu from the Empire at the end of season 2? It was under one condition: after Grogu was safe, Din would have to help her and the Nite Owls take back Mandalore. Since Din is a mercenary with a strict code of honor, he’ll have no choice but to make good on that promise.
Yet, in the trailer, we see that Bo-Katan isn’t particularly happy to see him as he arrives in her throne room. “Your cult fractured our people,” Bo-Katan presumably says to Din during this reunion. “Where were you then?” She’s probably referencing the events of the Night of a Thousand Tears — which is what Mandalorians call the destruction of their civilization at the hands of the Empire — and how the Children of the Watch avoided it because they all lived on Concordia, Mandalore’s moon.
Bo-Katan made it clear in season 2 that she has no love for Din’s group, and perhaps even less so now that he holds the weapon she covets. Assuming that in this scene Din is asking Bo-Katan for help with his quest to reclaim his Mandalorian citizenship, it’s likely he’ll have to convince her that they’re better off working together than as rivals. Either way, if Bo-Katan wants the Darksaber, she’ll have to fight him for it eventually.
And where exactly is this throne room, anyway? It’s still standing so we have to assume this fortress isn’t on Mandalore, which is in ruins after the Empire’s siege of the planet. Could this be Bo-Katan’s seat on the Mandalorian-adjacent planet Concord Dawn? It would be very cool to see this location in live-action!
But rest assured, we will also see Mandalore itself some point this season, as confirmed by a shot of the ruins of what looks like the domed capital city of Sundari. In the trailer, we watch a ship fly over the wasteland, although it is not Din’s ship…
Lots of New Mandalorians!!!
And if you still aren’t sure how much of a focus season 3 is putting on Mandalorian drama, the trailer also introduces us to basically every other Mandalorian warrior in the galaxy. It’s so incredibly cool to see all of these soldiers, mercenaries, and bounty hunters dressed in armor of different colors and shapes. Is the shot above teasing a team up between Bo-Katan’s Nite Owls on the left and Din’s Children of the Watch on the right?
Whatever the case, the trailer makes it very clear we’re going to see plenty of Mandalorians in action in season 3, flying down with their jetpacks, guns blazing.
At some point, there’s going to be a big ground battle between Mandalorians and some unknown enemy. But where is all this going down? It kind of looks like the same place where Din meets Greef earlier in the trailer. This looks a little too lavish to be Nevarro, though.
Greef Karga Is Back, But Don’t Expect Cara Dune
Speaking of which, Carl Weathers returns as Nevarro magistrate Greef Karga, and he’s looking better than ever in his new, much more regal robes. In the trailer, we see Greef once again welcoming Din before (we assume) joining him on another mission.
In another shot, Greef flashes his blaster at a group of thugs, which includes some Niktos, a Trandoshan, and a Klatooinian. It kind of looks like Greef’s about to duel the Nikto at the center who’s clearly the gang’s leader. No idea what this is all about.
While it was expected that Weathers would return to the show, we know for a fact we won’t be seeing Gina Carano’s Marshal Cara Dune by his side. Carano was not asked to return by Disney after several controversies engulfed the actor in the lead up and aftermath of season 2.
Din Djarin’s N-1 Starfighter and a Space Battle
Season 3 will flex its CGI muscles quite a bit during a space battle sequence that will see Din’s newly acquired and modified N-1 Starfighter (like the ones from The Phantom Menace) in a dog fight with enemy fighters within an asteroid field. It’s hard to tell what faction the enemy ships belong to, but they don’t look Imperial.
Not sure if this is part of the same battle, but we also see the starfighter destroying some kind of facility on one of the asteroids. All of these shots in space look so good!
What Is Doctor Pershing Up to This Time?
Omid Abtahi returns as the mysterious Doctor Pershing, the Imperial scientist who worked for Moff Gideon in seasons 1 and 2. The trailer confirms that, even if the Moff has been captured, Pershing is still out there, undoubtedly continuing his grotesque cloning experiments.
Peli Motto, R5-D4, and…Babu Frik?!
Amy Sedaris is back as Mos Eisley mechanic Peli Motto! We see her here with Grogu and R5-D4 — yes, the astromech with a bad motivator from A New Hope.
Later, in the trailer, we also see this little droid flying on Din’s N-1. Maybe this legendary droid is becoming part of Clan Mudhorn in season 3! And what if the show reveals this droid was actually a Jedi all along? (If you know, you know.)
Meanwhile, Babu Frik (or another Anzellan droidsmith) seems to be back, too. The Rise of Skywalker fans will be happy about this one.
We just couldn’t ignore the tree full of Kowakian monkey-lizards. Look at how adorable and ugly they are!
Fireworks, But What Are They Celebrating?
The trailer ends on a high note, with Din and Grogu flying over a city engulfed in fireworks. But what exactly is this place celebrating? If they’re like us, they’re just happy to have Din and Grogu back!
10 Fascinating Facts About The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian, Disney+’s spin-off series, was watched for 1.336 billion minutes in the U.S. the week of December 14 to December 20, 2020, according to Insider. It’s an amazing feat, considering that this was the second season of the show all about Mando, an intergalactic bounty hunter who becomes the caretaker for an odd green alien. You know who we’re talking about—cue all the awwws—Baby Yoda (a.k.a. The Child, real name Grogu).
Under the direction of Jon Favreau, the space opera vibe of other Star Wars films endured—which was a non-negotiable for the showrunner, who told ABC News he chose to focus on the story of the Mandalorian because it “hearkened back to the Westerns and samurai films that had originally influenced [George] Lucas.”
It paid off, and not just in terms of hours watched: On September 12, 2020, the series won seven Emmy Awards—for Music Composition, Prosthetic Makeup, Cinematography, Stunt Performance, Stunt Coordination, Special Visual Effects, and Sound Mixing. Of course, awards aren’t what made fans fall in love with Mando. Here are some wild and wonderful facts about The Mandalorian, from the making of to the series’ future.
1. Baby Yoda is more real than you think.
Today, most fantasy film and TV characters are the work of special effects wizards and complicated computer graphics. Not so with The Mandalorian‘s beloved Grogu. “The Child,” as he’s otherwise known, is actually a puppet. Or, more specifically, an animatronic creation operated by a team of puppeteers—and a pricey one at that. Favreau said Baby Yoda cost around $5 million. Or, as Yoda might say, “$5 million it cost.”
2. The Mandalorian cost $13 million per 30-minute episode.
Speaking of big spending: The Mandalorian, which so far has released two seasons totaling 16 episodes, is estimated to have cost $13 million per episode for season 1 alone, according to Dork Side of the Force. That’s due to each episode having the look and feel of a feature film with stunning visual effects, big-name stars like Pedro Pascal, and a cameo from none other than famed director Werner Herzog.
3. The Mandalorian employed an impressive team of directors.
Show creator, executive producer, and writer Jon Favreau could have easily taken the director’s seat for the entirety of The Mandalorian‘s run. Instead, he called in the likes of Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Taika Waititi.
Favreau allowed each director to bring their own flavor to their episodes. In addition to voicing droid IG-11 in a handful of episodes, Waititi directed “Redemption,” which features the momentous moment where Mando removes his mask to reveal his face (a verboten move within Mandalorian society). “It struck me at that moment that we haven’t seen the main character’s face and you have to create an emotional bond with the character and the baby,” Waititi told Deadline.
4. The Mandalorian‘s composer got the gig because of Donald Glover.
A great series’ buzz is built around its theme song, and that rule holds true for The Mandalorian. But how it all came together might come as a surprise. According to d23, it was Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, who tipped Favreau off to composer Ludwig Göransson. The Swedish conductor and record producer is best known for Gambino’s song “This is America.” But he has also worked extensively in film, and won a Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for Black Panther. He has since won two Emmys for The Mandalorian.
5. Two stuntmen doubled for Pedro Pascal on The Mandalorian.
Pascal, who plays the helmeted Mando, is no slouch, but even he needed some backup. In this case, making Mando the brave bounty hunter he is required the work of three men. According to ScreenRant, Pascal was responsible for all the straight dialogue scenes; stuntman and gun expert Brendan Wayne took care of the shoot ‘em up moments; and Lateef Crowder donned the suit of armor for all the hand-to-hand combat.
6. Baby Yoda isn’t a baby at all.
He may look like he needs a diaper change and a pacifier, but it turns out that Baby Yoda is actually nearing retirement. The cute and relatively cuddly Grogu is actually 50 years old. How does that math work out? Well, if you consider that Yoda—the real Yoda—lived to 900 years of age, “The Child” is actually, well, a child.
7. Casting Werner Herzog in The Mandalorian required some arm-twisting.
“Is that … is that Werner Herzog?” was surely heard in more than a few living rooms when The Mandalorian premiered. Why on Earth would one of arguably the greatest directors of all time make a cameo in a Star Wars TV series? Because Favreau twisted his arm, that’s why.
“Let’s face it, it’s Jon Favreau who got me into the mess,” Herzog said. “I knew within less than 60 seconds that this was going to be big, because I saw the universe, I saw the costumes and I saw the spacecraft.”
Of course, Herzog couldn’t just say his lines and be on his way. The man behind Fireball and Grizzly Man had to dial up his directorial bona fides as well, and on Baby Yoda of all characters. “It was one of the weirdest and best things that happened with Werner,” Deborah Chow, who directed the episode “The Client,” told The Hollywood Reporter. “He was acting against the baby and he started directing the baby directly. I’m trying to direct Werner, who’s now directing the puppet. He would tell us we need to commit to the magic.”
8. The Mandalorian‘s most surprising cameo was a blast from the past—and a deep fake.
Making sense of The Mandalorian timeline can be confusing, especially for those new to the Star Wars universe. Put it this way: The show is supposed to take place five years after the Emperor’s defeat in Return of the Jedi (hint: that’s the one with the Ewoks and where Luke Skywalker defeated Darth Vader).
Even so, it came as a surprise to many viewers when The Mandalorian brought Luke Skywalker into the series finale to collect Grogu for more training. More impressive was the fact that Luke (Mark Hamill) was back to the looks of his youth. The A.I. facelift was the work of Industrial Light and Magic’s digital de-aging technology, according to Den of Geek.
In order to keep the reveal a secret, the script was hand-delivered to Hamill by Favreau himself, according to Polygon. Then, once filming began, no one was allowed to use the words Luke Skywalker on set, and the set and editing rooms were kept on lockdown. The result was a deep fake for the ages.
9. The Mandalorian helped Boba Fett get a spin-off.
For fans that love The New Republic era in which The Mandalorian is set, there’s some good news: A Boba Fett spin-off is coming. The standalone series will be called The Book of Boba Fett and will star Temuera Morrison as the eponymous character and Ming-Na Wen as bounty hunter Fennec Shand. It’s scheduled to premiere on December 29, 2021.
10. The Mandalorian fans could be waiting a while for season 3.
It might be a while before Mando returns. Recent reports from CNET suggest that season three will begin filming soon, but an air date has yet to be released. Best guesses suggest binge-watching will have to wait until 2022 at the earliest. Not great news for fans, but this is the way.