Pedro Pascal is back as our titular Mando in the hit Star Wars series, while his journey across the Outer Rim continues with Grogu, the Child, Baby Yoda, or whatever you want to call him.
Jon Favreau returns as showrunner, and once again, will be joined by the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and series star Carl Weathers as director. Following Season 2’s dramatic clash with Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and a jaw-dropping cameo from a de-aged Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, there’s plenty to catch up on ahead of Season 3.
As we get ready for The Mandalorian Season 3, here's what you might’ve missed in Season 2 and a segue into The Book of Boba Fett.
What happened in The Mandalorian Season 2 finale?
Airing in December 2020, The Mandalorian Season 2 finale was aptly titled “The Rescue” and featured Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) snatching Grogu back from the clutches of Moff Gideon. Although it’s unclear what Moff wants with Grogu, it has something to do with the Force-sensitive child’s powers and the work of Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi).
It was a who’s who of Mando favourites, as Djarin recruited Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), Kosha Reeves (Mercedes Varnado), and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) to take on Gideon. Bo-Katan agreed to help, but only if she could claim the mythical Darksaber from the villainous Moff. In the complicated world of Star Wars lore, whoever wields the Darksaber is supposed to be the one to lead Mandalore.
Rebuilding the Mandalorian homeworld might be a little tough these days because it was largely destroyed in the “Great Purge.” Gideon took part in the mass genocide of the Mandalorian race, and after he took the Darksaber from Bo-Katan, her group and other splinter factions managed to escape.
The Mandalorian Season 2 finale saw Djarin accidentally best Gideon in combat and take the Darksaber. Although he tried to hand it to Bo-Katan because he didn’t want the power than comes with it, it’s not that simple.
Read more: Star Wars: Visions episodes ranked
While arguing over the Darksaber, Gideon’s Dark Troopers tried to breach the bridge but were stopped by a hooded figure who landed in an X-Wing. This mysterious Jedi was revealed as Luke Skywalker, who agrees to take Grogu under his wing and train the Jedi protégé.
Away from Josh Trank’s Boba Fett solo movie that never happened, The Mandalorian Season 2 also set up The Book of Boba Fett in a post-credit scene. Here, Fett and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) stormed Jabba the Hutt’s old palace, slayed current overlord Bib Fortuna, and took it for themselves.
What happened in The Book of Boba Fett?
Described more as The Mandalorian Season 2.5, The Book of Boba Fett picked up with Djarin missing his tiny travelling companion and tracking down the Mandalorian covert. After locating the Armorer (Emily Swallow) and Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher), the latter challenged Djarin to a duel, citing his ancestral claim to Mandalore.
Despite Mando winning, he revealed to the Armorer how he’d willingly taken his helmet off. She solemnly said that until he bathes in the living waters under the mines of Mandalore, he can’t be considered a Mandalorian. The Armorer also reforged a piece of his beskar spear to create beskar chainmail for Grogu.
Fennec Shand asked for Djarin’s help defending Mos Espa from the Pyke Syndicate, and while he agreed to do it for free, it was only if they could pay a visit to a “little friend” first.
Read more: Every upcoming MCU movie and TV show
Djarin found Grogu under the care of Luke Skywalker, but when Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) warned that meeting the Child would disrupt his Jedi training, an emotional Mando handed over his gift and promptly left. Still, Ahsoka said that Grogu misses him greatly.
Grogu was left with a Sophie’s Choice of taking Master Yoda’s old lightsaber and following the way of the Force or the beskar chainmail to return to his life with our Mando. During a final stand against the Pykes, Grogu rejoined Djarin and used his newfound Force abilities to subdue an angry rancor.
With the Mandalorian happy to have his ward back by his side, the pair hopped into the N-1 starfighter and jumped into lightspeed for Season 3.
What’s happening in The Mandalorian Season 3?
The trailers have given us a who’s who of returning favourites for The Mandalorian Season 3. Alongside Greef Karga (Carl Weather) enjoying his new position of power, there’s also more from Amy Sedaris’ comedic Peli Motto.
Importantly, there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Dr. Pershing. We left Pershing under arrest by the New Republic, but here, we’re returning to Coruscant for the first time since the prequel trilogy.
Even though Mandalorian numbers are quite facing execution levels akin to the Jedi, their forces are scattered across the galaxy. Another potential mystery we’ll see answered in Season 3 is who is under the guise of the Armorer.
Read more: How Andor's finale sets up second season
Although she’s portrayed by Swallow, there’s a prominent theory the Armorer is actually the second-in-command of Darth Maul's Shadow Collective, Rook Cast.
Following that big Season 2 cameo, could we see more from Luke Skywalker, or what about Rosario Dawson to set up her upcoming turn leading Ahsoka?
Watch a trailer for The Mandalorian S3
As for villains, we know Esposito is back as Gideon. Djarin guessed that he’d face execution at the hands of the New Republic, but the Armorer doubts it’ll happen. With this high-ranking member of the Empire wanting to reclaim the Darksaber and now on a mission of vengeance, we guess a prison break could be on the cards.
Speaking of the Darksaber, fans think Bo-Katan will take on a more antagonistic role. Brooding shots of her atop a throne suggest she believes she’s the rightful heir to Mandalore. If she wants the Darksaber though, she’ll have to beat Djarin in battle. The Mandalorians have never been very good at stopping civil wars, and just like Bo-Katan spun off from the general population, her forces could go up against Team Mando to claim the ruins of Mandalore for themselves.
We’ll be heading to the Mandalorian homeworld for the first time in live-action Star Wars, but from what little we’ve seen, there isn't much left that’s worth fighting for. When not trying to wash away his sins in the living waters, Djarin is warned, "There’s something dangerous out there.”
With Season 2 featuring Pershing at a cloning facility and a potential connection to The Last Jedi’s Supreme Leader Snoke, we could get our first hint of why, “Somehow, Palpatine returned.”
There’s one last mystery that’s teased in Season 3, and with the trailers confirming another flashback to Order 66 at the Jedi Temple, we might finally learn who saved Grogu from the Emperor’s near-extinction of the Jedi.
Whether Christopher Lloyd’s mysterious newcomer is playing Grogu’s saviour, or Samuel L. Jackson finally gets his wish to bring back Mace Windu, The Mandalorian Season 3 looks like it’ll continue the show’s legacy as Disney+’s most-watched series.
The galaxy far, far away is expanding quicker than a clone army, and with upcoming shows including Ahsoka and The Skeleton Crew set in the same timeframe, Tatooine’s twin suns are not setting on this era of the franchise just yet.
The Mandalorian Season 3 premieres on Disney+ on 1 March.