The Mandalorian season 3 ending explained: Where do we go from here?

(L-R): Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu in Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season 3
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The Mandalorian season 3's ending will probably be argued about, since many may have wanted more. But after a notably uneven season, it feels as if the finale served up exactly what the series needed: a reboot. 

The only real problem is that it felt more like a series finale than a season finale. We'll get to all the details below, so you better watch The Mandalorian season 3 before you continue.

And, yes, this is one episode you'll be glad you watched. There are no celebrity cameos, and there's a lot of good Grogu moments, too. Let's dive into everything that happened in The Mandalorian season 3 finale after the perfunctory spoiler warning!

An image indicating spoilers are ahead.

The following article covers the events of The Mandalorian season 3 finale episode, "Chapter 24: The Return."

The Mandalorian season 3 finale felt like closure

I'll get to the final shot of the episode below, but let's provide context. The episode began just as Chapter 23 ended: Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) was captured by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and the Dark Troopers, while Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) is on the run with her fellow Mandalorians. 

Fortunately, Din escapes, as he's helped by Grogu in his IG-12 mech suit. Bo-Katan, Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado) and the other Mandalorians find shelter in secret farms under the surface of Mandalore. Then, Mando and Grogu find a bay of Moff Gideon clones, which they (thankfully) destroy. 

(Center, L-R): Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in The Mandalorian

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Bo-Katan, armed with the Darksaber, leads her soldiers into battle, and Gideon reveals to Djarin his plan was to meld The Force with his Dark Troopers. In one of the rare moments of actual peril, Grogu squares off with the Praetorian Guards — those red-caped troopers working with Gideon. They knock his IG-12 armor down, but he giggles and Forces his way up and into the air. 

Then, Bo-Katan comes to Djarin's aide so Mando can rescue Grogu right as the lil dude is trapped under some fallen debris. The two survive, as Grogu uses the force to fight, and Mando tells him, "You did good, kid."

(Center): Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) with Imperial armored commandos in The Mandalorian

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

This is when Mandalorian Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides), piloting one of their ships in the sky, warns our heroes that he's going to crash the dang thing into Moff Gideon's Mandalore base. Here, we have our first kind-of important moment of the episode: Gideon breaks the Darksaber with his fist while fighting Bo-Katan. 

And while Bo-Katan is in jeopardy for a brief moment, Din comes to her rescue, prompting her to say "Mandalorians are stronger together." Grogu and Mando work together to fight Gideon, with the little one using The Force to knock his weapon away into a chasm. Then, Woves' ship crashes through the base, spreading fire everywhere. While the flames seem to consume Gideon (no dead body is found), Grogu uses a Force-based forcefield to protect himself, Bo-Katan and Mando.

The Mandalorian season 3's ending is a reboot for a potential season 4

(L to R) Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Grogu and Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) in The Mandalorian season 3

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Time has passed when we see a new Mandalorian induction ceremony where The Armorer is talking Ragnar (Wesley Kimmel) through the ceremony. Mando asks if Grogu can go next, but the Armorer says his inability to talk means he can't be an apprentice. 

Din finds a compromise, offering to adopt Grogu, so he's able to provide verbal consent. Now, Mando and Grogu are officially adoptive father and son. The Armorer says "This is the way." And Mando's told that they now need to leave and "take [Grogu] on his journeys." Grogu looks into the waters, and we see another glimpse of the mythosaur opening its eye.

At the Great Forge, The Armorer hands Kryze the torch to relight the flames, and the rows of Mandalorians — including members of both factions — provide clanging applause. Woves, Reeves and Ragnar are among those saluting. Mandalore is basically restored, or on its way there.

(L to R) New Republic pilots including Trapper Wolf (Dave Filoni, wearing hat), Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, in center) with Bartender (Misty Rojas) from The Mandalorian

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

And our story gets its last pieces set up back at Carson Teva's base of New Republic pilots. There, Grogu notices an IG droid head as Mando asks if he can freelance for the New Republic, but on a secret case-by-case basis. In return, they get the IG head, which is used to restore IG-11, who becomes the new marshal of Nevarro.

And The Mandalorian season 3 ends anti-climactically, as all seems peaceful with Grogu using the force on a frog as Mando chills nearby.

Outlook: Is The Mandalorian's story over?

Grogu in Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season 3

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

As we've learned at Star Wars Celebration 2023, The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, The Book of Boba Fett and other shows will end in a big movie. The ending of this season of The Mandalorian almost suggests that our heroes' main story is finished, saving them for a role to play in this massive cross-over film.

That said, The Mandalorian season 3 episode 7 teased what's next in the overall story. The remnants of the Empire still have Project Necromancer up their sleeves, and Grand Admiral Thrawn is coming in Ahsoka. But, for now, it seems like Mando and Grogu will just be adventurers. 

Their story doesn't need to be "over," and they will have more adventures as Mando shows Grogu the galaxy, as the Armorer told him to. We just pray that their lives aren't just dedicated to stopping space pirates.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.