Anticipation is sky high with just few days remaining until the release of The Mandalorian season 3. The Star Wars series has been a cultural phenomenon since it first debuted on Disney Plus in November 2019, thanks to the winning combination of a gruff bounty hunter and an adorable green child that came to be known as Baby Yoda.
Over the course of two seasons, fans have come to learn that the bounty hunter has a soft heart and the tyke's name is Grogu. The most recent finale separated Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) from Grogu, as the latter departed to train in the Force with the one and only Luke Skywalker. But they have since reunited (see more in our Mandalorian season 3 explainer) and are ready to tackle new adventures in the galaxy far, far away.
Yet, as season 3 prepares to enter hyperdrive, I've been pondering the show's future. My colleague Henry T. Casey is worried about The Mandalorian season 3, and I am, too.
On the Inside Total Film podcast, creator Jon Favreau recently described season 3 as "a middle chapter of a much larger story," adding, "I love for these stories to go on and on. And so these characters potentially could be with us for a while."
As cute as Grogu is, The Mandalorian needs more than that to keep my attention. Here are a few key questions I need answered in this next batch of episodes (speaking of which we've got the full The Mandalorian season 3 release schedule for every episode).
1. Where are Grogu's people?
From the very beginning of The Mandalorian, everything about Grogu has been a mystery. First, there was his name — Mando referred to him as "The Child," while we all dubbed him Baby Yoda. Even after that was cleared up, we still don't know much about Grogu's origins.
Obviously, he is of the same species as Yoda, the venerated Jedi master introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, and Yaddle, a Jedi council member who made a cameo in The Phantom Menace.
Almost nothing is known about the species. Where is their home world and what is it called? Are all of this unnamed species Force-sensitive or just a select few? Have any others survived the Empire's harsh rule?
Grogu's origins and people have been question marks since he was first revealed in that floating crib in the first episode. Sure, Din Djarin has anointed him a Mandalorian foundling, complete with a beskar chainmail shirt, but the show cannot possibly expect fans to be content with leaving those question marks unanswered. Why introduce another member of Yoda's species if not to explore their history?
2. Why is Mandalore so important?
The Mandalorian season 2 finale and events of The Book of Boba Fett make it clear that Din Djarin is determined to visit the planet Mandalore to seek redemption. The Armorer declared that he is "a Mandalorian no more" due to removing his helmet (and not just once!). Moreover, he held onto the Darksaber after winning a duel with Paz Vizla.
The Darksaber is considered the rightful property of the leader of Mandalore, which is why Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) covets it. As a member of one of the planet's noble houses, she hopes to reunite her people.
So, Mandalore looks to loom even larger in season 3, yet I am curious as to why it's become such an important place. Is it simply because they have cool armor and jet packs? Because Boba Fett was (briefly) a badass in The Empire Strikes Back? Because "this is the way" is a very repeatable motto?
I can only hope that the show explains why this planet is so special within the canon of Star Wars. Tatooine, at least, is understandable as the birthplace of Anakin Skywalker and the childhood home of Luke Skywalker (though it's still way overused as a setting). If we're going to spend possibly most of season 3 there, I want a sense of Mandalore's importance.
3. Will Grogu ever get more Jedi training to master The Force?
If you didn't watch The Book of Boba Fett, you're not alone but you did miss out on seeing Grogu training with Luke. He was just starting to figure out the Force, when he chose to end his lessons and reunite with his foster father.
When Grogu arrived on Tatooine, his proficiency with the Force was good enough to get Din Djarin, Boba Fett and friends out of a real jam. Yet, it was also clear that the little one has a long way to go to become a true master. Over time, perhaps repeated use will give him enough experience to use the Force to move bigger objects and defeat some enemies.
But what exactly is Grogu's future? Clearly, he won't become a Jedi. Yet, following in Din's footsteps as a bounty hunter seems a waste. Let's hope The Mandalorian season 3 starts to lay the groundwork for Grogu's growing-up.