The next chapter in the MandoVerse is due early next year when The Mandalorian returns for a third season, bringing Din Djarin and Grogu back to TV screens worldwide. Having both appeared in crucial episodes of The Book of Boba Fett, the lead characters are poised for an adventure that will finally lead them to Mandalore.
With Grogu's Jedi business temporarily resolved, the show is expected to shift focus solely to Mando's effort to reclaim his world. The shattered remains of Sundari were seen briefly in exclusive footage for Season 3 shown to Star Wars Celebration attendees, the aftermath of the Night of a Thousand Tears depicted in Boba Fett. With various factions in hiding across the galaxy after the Empire's purge, Din's destiny as the owner of the Darksaber is to bring his people together and free their home.
But the road ahead is difficult. Mando has amassed an impressive group of allies through three seasons of TV, but key friends in The Armorer and Bo-Katan Kryze will make his quest difficult. While the end goal may be to free Mandalore, the first task for Din is to do right by his creed and transgress for removing his helmet. This process will lead to a journey that, according to series showrunner Jon Favreau, will serve as a redemptive arc for the titular character.
Favreau & Filoni Tease MandoVerse Future
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly on the Dagobah Dispatch Podcast, executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni sat down at Star Wars Celebration to discuss the things to come in The Mandalorian's timeline.
Favreau touched on the need for Din Djarin to "redeem" himself for removing his helmet in The Book of Boba Fett, opening the door for an exciting opportunity to explore Mandalore and its culture in The Mandalorian Season 3:
“Well, we established in The Book of Boba Fett that there was an opportunity for The Mandalorian to be redeemed, because he had transgressed against the Creed by removing his helmet. And among his group of Mandalorians, that is something that’s not permitted. Now, we know that there are other groups of Mandalorians where they have different sets of rules. In the Clone Wars, we saw with Dave and also with the character that I voiced that the Mandalorians are very different there. And so these different groups are coming together and we’re going to figure out… the Nexus point for all of those communities, of course, is their homeworld from which they’re exiled, which is Mandalore.”
Pedro Pascal was met with thunderous applause upon joining the "Mando+" panel at Celebration, something "that blew [Filoni's] mind" as Mando has "become such an iconic character" since being introduced at the previous convention in Chicago:
“What’s it like to see Pedro Pascal grow and become such an iconic character? That blew my mind today when he came out. I mean, again, we haven’t been at [Celebration] like this in several years now and you see that the love of this character has grown on its own outside. We haven’t been at a Comic-Con or a Celebration, you know, and it was amazing and, I think, probably really rewarding for him to feel the acknowledgement."
Most rewarding to Filoni was seeing Pascal introduce Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder to acknowledge the full "trio that performs this wonderful character:"
"And the special moment for all of us was him bringing Brendan and Lateef out as well, and acknowledging this trio that performs this wonderful character.”
Filoni described working on Ahsoka as "awesome," marveling at the unique chance he has to "lend a consistency to the character that's very uncommon" across different mediums of storytelling:
“Oh, it’s fantastic. I mean, it’s everything I could hope for. I never dreamed of it as I was learning over the years. But to have a character that’s just come up over the years with a lot of fans as they’ve grown up and now she’s at the point where we can do this, it’s wonderful to be this same person guiding it across the different mediums, I think lends a consistency to the character that’s very uncommon. A lot of times when you’re an animator, you watch your creation kind of spin-off and it’s taken by other people, you never know. And you want to take care of these characters because you know them so well and it’s a really unique situation we’re in, but it’s awesome. There’s no other way to put it. The simple answer is just, ’Yeah, it’s awesome.’”
Will Mando Redeem Himself?
Given Mando's religious adherence to The Way of Mandalore, seeking out redemption is the natural starting point for the character. But his growing attachment to Grogu has shown that he's willing to bend the rules of his creed as he sees necessary, something that may eventually win out as he refines his moral compass. He displays desperation to repent in The Book of Boba Fett, though there's a good bet that desire will relinquish over time.
Meeting other Mandalorians like Bo-Katan Kryze and Boba Fett who remove their helmets freely has opened Mando's eyes to a much larger world. It's a choice undoubtedly intended to make him consider why he's as strict about following the helmet rule as someone like The Armorer, as Kryze and Fett are no less Mandalorian than the Children of the Watch are. When Natasha Liu Bordizzo's Sabine Wren inevitably crosses paths with Din, he'll have even more to consider - including if he needs to redeem himself at all.
The Mandalorian has been portrayed with great nuance through body language, an incredible feat for three separate actors to pull off. Din's choices will only become more difficult as his responsibilities grow, making the work of Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder critical to the success of selling the character when Pedro Pascal is unavailable. The reception all three received at Celebration was tremendous, a testament to the popularity of Mando and the recognition fans have for the trio's work.
Once the third installment in Mando's journey concludes, the Star Wars faithful can expect to catch up with Ahsoka Tano as she and Sabine embark on their own journey to find Ezra Bridger and Thrawn. Filoni is in rare company as a creator who gets to see Ahsoka's journey evolve across animation and live-action, blending the mediums in a way that binds the galaxy together. Ahsoka is a little further out, but it's a passion project for Filoni, so fans can expect something deeply rooted in the lore with new ways of understanding the Force.
The Mandalorian Season 3 debuts on Disney+ in February 2023. Ahsoka premieres later in 2023.