It’s been a long time since we saw the implacable Mandalorian warrior Din Djarin stride across our TV screens. Well, kind of–he made a pretty noticeable appearance in the 2021 series The Book of Boba Fett. He hijacked the middle act of that series, which unofficially became The Mandalorian Season 2.5, offering a bridge between the second and third seasons.
The third season of The Mandalorian will land on Disney+ sometime in February 2023. That means there are only a few months between now and the return of one of the most popular TV series of all time. In the meantime, you’ve got plenty of time to catch up on the excellent Star Wars series in case you missed the first two seasons.
If you’re ready to dive into the next season already and want a sneak peek at what’s in store for Din, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going over everything you need to know going into The Mandalorian Season 3, and what you can expect to see on the small screen when the indomitable bounty hunter and his small green pal return next year. Filming on the new series started in October 2021 and wrapped in March 2022, so the series is now undergoing post-production to nail down the computer effects.
What’s Happened So Far?
First, let’s recap what happened in the first two seasons of the show. Naturally, spoilers for The Mandalorian follow, as do spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett and Star Wars: Rebels.
In the first season of The Mandalorian, we meet our laconic hero, Din Djarin. Of course, we don’t learn that name until later, but it beats calling him “The Mandalorian” throughout this recap.
The galaxy is still reeling from the Empire’s defeat in Return of the Jedi, but the show takes place before the formation of the First Order and the events of The Force Awakens. Bounty hunters like Din operate in the fringes of space, far from New Republic oversight. Djarin himself prefers to stick to the Outer Rim and makes his home base on a backwater planet named Navarro.
Our story kicks off when Din takes a bounty from his handler, Greef Karga, to bring in a mysterious person. All Din knows about the target is that he’s 50 years old and located on the distant desert planet Tattooine. He heads to the planet and finds his target, but learns that the individual is an infant member of Yoda’s species–50 years old is nothing to an individual who will live to be 900.
Returning The Child
Din brought the infant alien back to the Imperial remnant on Navarro, turning him over to the base’s scientists so he could receive his bounty payment. However, he quickly felt pangs of guilt for leaving a small child in the hands of a surviving branch of a former totalitarian government and stormed back into the base to rescue his diminutive pal.
Throughout this adventure, we learn that Din is a member of the Children of the Watch, a bizarre Mandalorian cult that believes it’s against their people’s creed to ever remove their helmets in the presence of other people. This is a stark contrast to Mandalorians like Gar Saxon, Pre Vizsla, and Sabine Wren featured in The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels.
Some casual viewers might have not initially realized how bizarre Din’s religion is in the wider Star Wars setting since the only Mando seen on the big screen is Boba Fett. Throughout his appearances in Empire and Jedi, Fett never removes his helmet. Of course, this isn’t some religious choice–the opportunity to do so just never arises.
Traveling With the Foundling
Audiences learn that Din was rescued from a Battle Droid invasion at a young age and introduced into the Children of the Watch as a Foundling. The Watch, which is likely an offshoot of Pre Vizsla’s dangerous Deathwatch organization, takes in children who have lost their homes and families and outfits them with Mandalorian armor and training. Din takes in the Child in much the same way, protecting him from a pitiless galaxy.
As he adventures with the little one, who Din eventually learns is named Grogu, the bounty hunter teaches him how to act in a way that follows the Mandalorian code of honor. Meanwhile, Grogu showcases impressive mastery over the Force, and Din makes it his goal to reconnect him with his people, the Jedi.
Din also battles the Imperial Remnant, led by Imperial Security Bureau Agent Moff Gideon. Gideon possesses the Darksaber, a legendary relic that belongs to the Mandalorian people. Whoever wields that sacred blade has the right to rule the planet Mandalore, and Gideon has made himself an enemy of their warrior culture by stealing it.
Meeting Familiar Faces
Throughout his journeys, Din meets and befriends familiar characters like Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka Tano. Ahsoka will soon star in her own Disney+ series, which will air after the third season of The Mandalorian. Bo-Katan, meanwhile, is a returning character from Rebels and The Clone Wars, the sister of Mandalore’s former Duchess, Satine, and the rightful heir to the planet’s throne.
Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren gave Bo-Katan the Darksaber in Rebels, but she somehow lost it to Moff Gideon in the intervening years. While Din searches for a Jedi to train Grogu, Moff Gideon tracks them down and destroys the duo’s iconic ship, the Razor Crest. Bo-Katan teams up with Din to help him defeat Moff Gideon after the Empire manages to kidnap Grogu and hold him aboard a starship.
Din narrowly survives a duel with Gideon aboard his ship, becoming the rightful owner of the Darksaber. He also meets legendary Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, who offers to train Grogu. The two tearfully depart, but Din removes his helmet before Grogu for the first time so he can look upon his adoptive son with his own eyes, mirroring a similar scene from Return of the Jedi.
Getting Grogu Back
Grogu spends some time training with Luke at his up-and-coming Jedi temple. However, fans who have seen The Last Jedi know that this temple is doomed. Luke’s nephew, Ben Solo, will eventually destroy it and send Luke into a deep depression. Thankfully, Grogu’s time with Luke is short. Din visits the planet where he’s training and brings him a chain shirt made from Beskar, a metal that is sacred to Mandalorians.
Luke offers Grogu a choice between a small lightsaber or the chain shirt, essentially telling him that he can choose to be a Jedi or he can return to his adoptive Mandalorian father. Grogu opts to return to Din, and Luke’s droid, R2-D2, pilots Luke’s X-Wing ship to Tattooine, where Din has accepted a job from Boba Fett.
Din, meanwhile, has been on a quest for self-discovery. He learns that he’s an exile from the Children of the Watch, as he’s shown his face to other people. In order to purge himself of this sin, he needs to return to Mandalore and seek forgiveness in an ancient ritual. He also battles off a challenger who wants to lay claim to the Darksaber before helping Boba Fett secure his spot as a crime lord on Tattooine.
Setting the Stage
Throughout The Book of Boba Fett, Din learns how to control the Darksaber in combat and turns to his longtime friend Pelli Moto to create a new ship for himself. The two salvage an old N1 Starfighter, the same kind that the Naboo Royal Guard used in The Phantom Menace. Longtime fans might recognize the N1 as the same ship a young Anakin Skywalker used in that film to destroy the Trade Federation’s command center in the climactic battle over Naboo!
Din’s N1 features a unique spin on the original design–Pelli Moto removes the droid port and replaces it with a second seat for Grogu. The ship is much faster than the sluggish Razor Crest, but it’s also significantly smaller. The Razor Crest essentially functioned as a mobile base of operations for the duo, while the Royal Starfighter will be exclusively for transportation.
After the events of The Book of Boba Fett, the Din is free to explore the galaxy at his leisure. However, his clan has set him on a mission to redeem himself so he can be worthy of the Darksaber. Now, he’s got his sights set on one destination…
What’s Next for ‘The Mandalorian’?
There’s only one place that Din could be headed next. It’s time for The Mandalorian to finally head to Mandalore, a planet we’ve only seen in passing during arcs of The Clone Wars and Rebels. Armed with the Darksaber and reunited with Grogu, Din is ready for his next adventure.
Will Ahsoka make more cameo appearances during the series, or will Lucasfilm hold off on her until her solo series debuts? Likewise, can we expect to see Sabine show up? After all, her family, Clan Wren, is one of the biggest political powers on Mandalore. All we can do is wait until February to find out!