When several new Star Wars series were announced in December 2019, it was officially confirmed that The Mandalorian was just the first step into a much larger world. Among the shows that Lucasfilm revealed were Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic, though all indicators suggest the latter has been shelved until further notice
The Book of Boba Fett was a surprise announcement following the credits of The Mandalorian Season 2's finale and is finally in the midst of streaming - with the first true evidence of a MandoVerse having just dropped.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett.
For all intents and purposes, "Chapter 5" of The Book of Boba Fett may as well have been "Chapter 17" of The Mandalorian.
Titled "Return of The Mandalorian," the episode never once featured the titular character of the series and instead caught audiences up with Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin, effectively serving as the beginning of The Mandalorian Season 3. The focus will certainly return to Boba Fett, but it was important to show viewers what Mando has been up to before dropping him into the middle of the crime lord's coming conflict with the Pykes.
As it turns out, the galaxy far, far away's newest icon has been up to quite a bit.
Following Season 2, Mando returned to his bounty hunting work in the hopes of making deals that could help him locate his old covert, which he was able to do successfully. Unfortunately, the majority of the group were wiped out in Season 1, leaving just The Armorer and Paz Vizsla around to continue their ways. "Chapter 5" of The Book of Boba Fett wastes no time in making it clear that Mando is struggling.
Though the amount of time that's elapsed is unclear, it's made obvious that Din is still reeling from the emotional hit of letting Grogu go with Luke Skywalker. That attachment is on his mind when he asks for his beskar spear to be forged into a gift for the little one, and it's even more burdensome as he attempts to learn how to wield the Darksaber. Though he's physically strong and a capable warrior, Mando struggles to connect physically with the weapon, as his emotions leave him clouded.
The Darksaber has a storied past, one of the many iconic entities created in animation that has now carried over into live-action. Originally introduced in The Clone Wars, the weapon was wielded by Pre Vizsla, the leader of Death Watch, before falling into the hands of Maul as the Mandalorian terrorist died by its blade. Eventually, the Darksaber returned in Star Wars Rebels, which has direct implications on its role in The Mandalorian's story.
When Mando bumps into her in Season 2, Bo-Katan Kryze is searching for Moff Gideon, as he's in possession of the mighty weapon. Her aim is to reclaim it and return Mandalore to its former glory - but that plan is disrupted when Din unwittingly becomes the rightful owner of the weapon after defeating Gideon in combat. Kryze had accepted the Darksaber as a gift in Rebels from Sabine Wren, and The Book of Boba Fett's latest episode explains that doing so fulfilled a prophesied curse that led to Mandalore's destruction.
Seemingly now the focal point of the story going forward, the Darksaber will undoubtedly be a highly sought-after relic that should force Din into many conflicts he'd rather avoid. While he knows the history of the weapon, he doesn't yet understand how to use it - and there are likely to be many times when he wishes he never had it. Owning it seems to be less a blessing and more a curse, but it seems that Mando is destined to one day take charge and assume the mantle as ruler of Mandalore.
But he's going to need help. The seeds have been planted in Boba Fett and will surely be expanding when The Mandalorian Season 3 drops later in the year, but it will be an uphill battle. The MandoVerse will only grow from there, and it's in Ahsoka where Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin will finally be set on his path to becoming a leader.
Enter: Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren
It seems a bit early to be predicting elements of Ahsoka when The Book of Boba Fett hasn't finished and The Mandalorian Season 3 doesn't come until the back end of the year, but there's enough information available to start piecing together the bigger picture.
The key thing to keep in mind is that Dave Filoni is involved in each of these projects, serving as the writer in Ahsoka's case. Filoni, of course, is beloved by fans for his work on the Star Wars animated series and is responsible for creating the lore around the Darksaber that George Lucas created. Ahsoka will serve as the sequel to Star Wars Rebels, which will require the live-action return (or debut) of several major characters.
Among them is Sabine Wren, last seen embarking on the journey to find Ezra Bridger and Thrawn with Ahsoka during Rebels' epilogue. Reports indicate that actress Natasha Liu Bordizzo has been cast to play Sabine, and she should be bringing the character to life within the next month when cameras start rolling - if they haven't already.
In many ways, Sabine and Din Djarin live parallel lives. Both lost Mandalore at roughly the same age but took up bounty hunting work to make ends meet (though that was short-lived for Wren). They're also two in a select group who can claim they had ownership of the Darksaber, and each tried to hand it, and the symbol it represented, off to Bo-Katan Kryze. Unfortunately for Mando, Bo-Katan has learned from accepting the weapon from Sabine and refuses to take possession of it if not won in combat.
Bo-Katan is spiteful, arrogant, and greedy. She's not a particularly good person, having been a top lieutenant for Death Watch, though her ideals are aligned with the greater good of Mandalore. Katee Sackhoff has frequently teased that she's in the middle of filming for The Mandalorian Season 3, and it should be assumed that Bo-Katan will be making a move to win the Darksaber back from Din to continue her crusade for rule over Mandalore.
It seems unlikely that she'll recover the weapon, however. There may come a moment where she challenges Din for the blade, and if he's improved his skills with it to a respectable degree, he'll probably win.
The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett have done a meticulous job of starting to break down the shell of fanaticism that he abides by as a member of the Children of the Watch. He's violated the helmet policy to rescue Grogu and look on him with his own eyes, and encounters with others have shown that removing one's helmet makes someone no less than Mandalorian than one who follows The Way.
And what good did it do him? He was promptly excommunicated from the now cult of two by The Armorer.
And that's where Ahsoka comes into play. By the time The Mandalorian Season 3 has concluded, Din Djarin will likely have doubts over his ability to lead but will have even less faith in Bo-Katan doing so. This will force him to come out of his shell and learn what it will take to be responsible for a large group of followers if he wishes to restore Mandalore to its former glory. He'll need teachers - and there are no better instructors for this task than Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren.
Having established a relationship in The Mandalorian Season 2, Pedro Pascal's Din and Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka will get along just fine. It seems more likely that he'll seek her out, as opposed to bumping into her by happenstance. Should this be the case, he's probably looking for a lightsaber wielder to help him refine his skills with the Darksaber. Ahsoka has already demonstrated an ability to give guidance through her interactions with Mando and Grogu, something Din may feel comfortable pursuing as his world becomes more difficult to navigate.
What he'll also get is Sabine, something that he probably won't have bargained for. Fortunately for him, Sabine has wizened since she herself learned to use the Darksaber, and there's perhaps no living being who can better relate to the struggles of owning the sword than she can.
In Rebels, the same mentions of the blade being heavy are made by Sabine. As Mando is distracted by missing Grogu, the weight of confronting her family was something Sabine had to overcome to connect with the Darksaber. She, too, screws up and slices herself with the weapon, though she lucked out and hit one of her gauntlets as opposed to her leg. Is there anyone more qualified to advise someone who's been cast out of their Mandalorian family than Sabine Wren?
When he encounters the two women on their quest, there's every chance Din will be dragged into the search for Ezra and Thrawn as well. It could be willingly, a way of repaying the debt he feels he owes for their assistance, or something may transpire that forces his hand. Whatever it may be, the events of Ahsoka will close out the story of locating the missing Jedi while also opening the door for The Mandalorian Season 4 - and possibly the threat that Thrawn or, more likely, something connected with the Chiss, will pose.
It's always possible that Sabine and Ahsoka will actually appear in The Mandalorian Season 3 first. Rosario Dawson returned to a Star Wars set in December, well ahead of the scheduled February start time for Ahsoka. Maybe Mando encounters the two of them in his titular show, and after fulfilling his task in Season 3 he travels across the galaxy to find his friends for the help he needs.
There are countless ways everything could go down, but Ahsoka should prove to be a huge piece of the narrative in the MandoVerse for all participants. As The Book of Boba Fett closes out and the story moves forward, Din Djarin will make significant strides - not just as a Mandalorian, but as a ruler.
The Book of Boba Fett streams new episodes on Wednesdays on Disney+. The Mandalorian Season 3 will debut in late 2022, with Ahsoka to follow in Spring 2023.