t’s almost time to head back to a galaxy far, far away as The Mandalorian season three gets ready to launch.
The critically-acclaimed show has been a smash hit for Disney+ since it launched all the way back in 2019 (arguably kickstarting the Star Wars TV universe in the process).
Starring Pedro Pascal as the titular Mandalorian (inhabitant of the planet Mandalore), it has spanned galaxies, spawned countless memes (Baby Yoda, anybody?) and kept us glued to the edge of our seats.
So what’s next for the pair? We break down what’s on the horizon.
What’s been the plot so far?
Much of The Mandalorian has focused on the exploits of Mandalorian Din Djarin (Pascal). He’s a survivor of a huge war that has destroyed his home planet, Mandalore, and scattered its people across the galaxy.
When we meet him – five years after the Empire has fallen, and before the arrival of the equally sinister First Order – Djarin is making a living as a bounty hunter for hire, and is accordingly hired by Imperial Forces to capture the child Grogu (aka Baby Yoda), a Force-sensitive infant. Instead, Djarin forms a bond with Grogu and goes on the run with him.
Djarin is looking to reunite Grogu with the rest of his people, but as might be expected, this is trickier than it looks – the pair are being pursued by Moff Gideon, a former lawmaker in the Empire who wants to use Grogu’s connection to the Force for nefarious means.
Gideon does actually capture Grogu at one point, and ends up being rescued by Luke Skywalker (yes, played by a de-aged Mark Hamill). Though Grogu ends up learning the ways of the Force at Luke’s new Jedi temple, he ultimately opts to leave in order to reunite with Djarin.
Speaking about the show, showrunner Jon Favreau has said the concept followed “the archetypes that influenced George Lucas whether it was the Western, the samurai film, the World War II film, earlier space operas, cliffhangers, Flash Gordon—looking at the films and the archetypes that influenced George was a way for us to make a smaller story that would work for the scale of the small screen and get back to the basics.”
What’s the plot for season three?
Details about season three have thus far been scarce, but what has been revealed in the trailers is enough to get us excited.
From the looks of things, we’ll finally be heading to the planet Mandalore as Din Djarin seeks to make amends for taking off his helmet at the end of season two: in the words of the Armourer (Emily Swallow), “you have removed your helmet, and you are a Mandalorian no more”.
Djarin belongs to a very specific sect of Mandalorians, dubbed Children of the Watch, who never remove their helmets – something for which he will seek to atone for by washing away his sins in a holy pool of water. Showrunner Rick Famuyiwa has said this will be an ongoing plot point in season three in an interview with IGN.
“There are obviously repercussions that come from the decisions we make,” he said. “He made a decision for the Child which will continue to reverberate. So part of that is gonna be explored during the season. But a father will do anything for their child.”
It also looks as though Grogu will be getting a little bit more of a Jedi education: Djarin asks him if he doesn’t want to learn “more of that Jedi stuff”, and there are clips of Jedi warriors wielding Lightsabers – seemingly to defend themselves – in the trailer.
To make things even more complicated, Djarin is also in possession of legendary weapon the Darksaber, which Mandalorian leader Bo-Katan Kryze wants to get their hands on. And that’s all on top of the New Republic’s attempts to “lead the galaxy away from its dark history.” Phew.
Who’ll be starring?
Season three will see the return of Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin, or Mando himself, but there are a whole host of familiar faces to get excited for too.
These include Giancarlo Esposito as Mando’s enemy Moff Gideon, Carl Weathers as Greef Karga (he’ll also be directing an episode this season) and Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze.
However, there will also be some new faces – most interestingly, Christopher Lloyd will be appearing as a guest star, as well as comedian Tim Meadows.
The show also has a strong tradition of bringing on board starry directors to direct episodes – past contributors include Taika Waititi (who is rumoured to make a cameo acting appearance) and Robert Rodriguez.
In that spirit, actor Bryce Dallas Howard will be directing one episode of season three, alongside the show’s main director (and now showrunner) Rick Famuyiwa.
When does it start?
Season three of The Mandalorian will be dropping on Disney+ on March 1, 2023.