Less than a month remains before the premiere of The Mandalorian season 3. If it feels like eons since the Star Wars show last streamed on Disney Plus, that's because the Mando season 2 finale aired (checks notes) over two years ago. Basically another lifetime (and a lot of Beskar steel) ago.
Finally, we're reuniting with the titular bounty hunter, Din Djarin, and his adorable adoptee, Grogu (aka Baby Yoda). They've already reunited, which may surprise viewers who didn't watch spinoff series The Book of Boba Fett. But we'll get to that in a moment.
Since The Mandalorian has been on such a long hiatus, all will be excused if their memories have grown a bit fuzzy about everything that's gone down so far. So, we've compiled this handy refresher to bring everyone back up to light speed, as well as dig into news, leaks, rumors and theories that are helpful to know before The Mandalorian season 3.
Previously on The Mandalorian ...
The second season finale of The Mandalorian, titled "Chapter 16: The Rescue," was released way back in mid-December 2020. In it, Grogu had been kidnapped by Moff Gideon, so Din Djarin and his new allies, Boba Fett and Fennec Shand, set out to rescue him. They enlist the help of Bo-Katan and Koska Reeves, after Djarin promises to give Bo-Katan the Darksaber that Gideon currently holds.
The team tracks down Gideon's ship, where Din faces off against the nefarious war criminal. He gets Grogu, but they're all trapped on the bridge by Dark Troopers.
Help arrives in the form of the one and only Luke Skywalker. After taking out the Dark Troopers, Luke invites Grogu to leave with him. The little one hesitates, but Din encourages him to complete his training. They bid each other a tender farewell.
The Book of Boba Fett's connections to The Mandalorian
Considering how things left off on The Mandalorian, you might be surprised that Din Djarin and Grogu are together again when season 3 kicks off. That's because they reunited in The Book of Boba Fett, a 1-season series from 2021.
It was a strange choice to have such a significant event for the main characters of The Mandalorian occur on a completely different show. If you didn't watch Book of Boba Fett, here are the highlights you need to know.
When Din returned to Tatooine to get a new ship, Fennec asked him to help her and Boba against the Pyke Syndicate. He agreed, but first wanted to check up on Grogu and deliver a gift: a Beskar chain mail tunic.
Grogu is on an unnamed planet with Luke Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. When Din arrives, Ahsoka says that his presence will hinder Grogu's progress, so he flies off again. Luke places the chain mail and Yoda's old lightsaber in front of Grogu, to give a choice between returning to Din Djarin or continuing training.
Grogu chooses the chain mail and heads off to Tatooine, where he uses the Force to help defeat the Pykes. Din and Grogu fly off in their new starfighter, ready to take on new adventures together.
The Mandalorian season 3 characters: Who's back and who's new
The two main characters of The Mandalorian will obviously be back in season 3: Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu (puppet/CGI).
Disney has also confirmed the returns of several key supporting characters. Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) is down but not out, and the wily former Empire operative should never be underestimated.
Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) is still running things as the magistrate on the planet Nevarro, while Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) is her usual wacky self as a spaceport mechanic on Tatooine.
With Din looking to atone for past transgressions on Mandalore, it's no surprise that season 3 will feature appearances by Mandalorian fighter Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and The Armorer (Emily Swallow).
Evil scientist Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) and New Republic captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) have been spotted in various trailers/footage.
A few new faces will be introduced, too, as is usual every season. Back to the Future icon Christopher Lloyd has a guest starring role, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Saturday Night Live alum Tim Meadows was seen in a teaser video. Neither of their characters have been revealed or described.
The Mandalorian season 3 episodes: Writers and directors
Like the first two seasons, The Mandalorian season 3 will consist of eight episodes. This time around, creator Jon Favreau is the writer or co-writer on all of them. Noah Kloor is also credited on the third episode, while Dave Filoni (Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch) helped pen the scripts for episodes four and seven.
According to Disney, The Mandalorian season 3's directors are Rick Famuyiwa, Rachel Morrison, Lee Isaac Chung, Carl Weathers, Peter Ramsey and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Famuyiwa, Weathers, and Howard have all previously directed Mandalorian episodes. Morrison (cinematographer on Black Panther), Chung (Minari) and Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) are newcomers to the series.
The episode titles have not been released (and likely won't be until day of air).
What to know about Mandalore
A major storyline in season 3 will involve Din Djarin visiting the planet Mandalore to find redemption and become a true Mandalorian again. The Armorer declared, "You are a Mandalorian no more" because Din admitted to removing his helmet (several times!). However, he did get to keep the Darksaber, after winning the challenge posed by Paz Vizla.
Since Mandalore will be such a significant setting, it's good to get a rundown on its history. Thousands of years before the "current" time, the planet's people united under the warrior Tarre Viszla, the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi. He created a unique lightsaber with a black blade and a hilt made of beskar. It was known as the Darksaber and wielding it essentially crowned someone as the leader of Mandalore.
Tarre Viszla's death led to a conflict with the Jedi that devastated the planet and left it a barren wasteland. A faction arose that embraced pacifism; the New Mandalorians were led by Duchess Satine Kryze. But a terrorist movement wanted things to go back to the way they were; the Death Watch was led by Pre Vizsla, Tarre's descendent and the wielder of the Darksaber.
While Satine decided to keep Mandalore neutral during the Clone Wars, the Death Watchers took advantage of the chaos, partnered with Darth Maul and carried out a coup. Disapproving of Maul's influence, Pre Vizsla's lieutenant Bo-Katan Kryze (Satine's sister) splintered off into a separate group and started a civil war.
Bo-Katan eventually became regent of the planet and wielder of the Darksaber, but was ousted when the Republic fell and the Empire was formed. When Bo-Katan and other loyalists fought back, the Empire launched "the Great Purge" (aka "the Night of a Thousand Tears") which was essentially a genocide campaign. Moff Gideon was part of it and took the Darksaber from Bo-Katan. She and some Mandalorians survived, but were scattered across the galaxy.
Now, Bo-Katan wants to reclaim Mandalore. Her efforts are hampered by the fact that Din Djarin currently wields the Darksaber. He is planning to go to the planet to atone for his transgressions against the Mandalorian way. While they're not exactly enemies, they're also not really friends. Their goals and purposes may clash. Plus, to gain true legitimacy as Mandalore's leader, Bo-Katan needs to get back the Darksaber — which can only happen if she wins it in a duel.
Potential Star Wars crossovers
The Mandalorian has already featured quite a few crossovers from other Star Wars properties. Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka Tano were both prominent characters in the animated Clone Wars series. Boba Fett was the most famous Mandalorian before Din Djarin, as part of the original trilogy of movies. And of course, Luke Skywalker (played by a digitally de-aged Mark Hamill) made appearances in the season 2 finale and in an episode of Book of Boba Fett.
With Bo-Katan's continuing involvement, The Mandalorian season 3 may bring in more characters from The Clone Wars. Ezra Bridger, a Force-sensitive Rebel, will be played by Eman Esfandi in the spinoff Ahsoka. Perhaps the live-action Ezra will be introduced first in The Mandalorian.
Jon Favreau has also teased a possible crossover with the upcoming new series Skeleton Crew, which stars Jude Law.
As he said, "To have this young, Amblin-feeling movie with young people seeing it for the first time, who grew up in the Star Wars world, and are exposed to adventure, the puppets, the costumes, the visuals, the world that’s being expanded upon. And now, I get to write the next season of The Mandalorian with all these new characters, and new locations, and new creatures, so it just keeps adding more and more, and so, where there’s this cohesive group of stories that are being told thanks to all these filmmakers that are contributing."
Is The Mandalorian season 3 the final season?
More Grogu for everybody! The Mandalorian season 4 is already in the works. Last year, Favreau confirmed to CinemaBlend that he was already writing the scripts.
"With television, we're very lucky that we don't have to rush things through into an hour-and-a-half, two hours. We get to tell stories slowly,” he explained. “So now, as Dave [Filoni]'s doing Ahsoka, it's very much informing the writing that I'm doing for [The Mandalorian] Season 4. It becomes – how should I put it – more precise.”
For now, we'll just follow along by planning our weeks aroung The Mandalorian season 3 release schedule.
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Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.