Despite a few bright spots — namely Rogue One and Andor — Disney’s take on Star Wars has largely lacked the immense appeal of the original trilogy, or even the prequels, for that matter, and seemingly bottomed out with the disappointing one-two punch of The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Now we have The Mandalorian Season 3, which looks to build on the success of Season 2 and, to a lesser extent, plot points established during that random episode in The Book of Boba Fett. While I’m still not entirely sold on the need for more Mando adventures, I’m still fascinated by the character. I remain invested enough to continue watching if only to see how he and Grogu fit into the larger Star Wars narrative.
That said, let’s dive into the new The Mandalorian Season 3 trailer, examine some of its more enticing beats, and see if we can’t wrangle up a few absurd theories on the way.
Grogu initially started as a mysterious being the internet aptly dubbed Baby Yoda (for obvious reasons) whose shadowy backstory served as the focal point of the overarching story. What is he? Where does he come from? What is his purpose? Is he a reincarnated Yoda, back from the dead, to aid in the upcoming war? Or a powerful being destined for a greater (or more dangerous) purpose?
As it turns out, he’s none of those things. In fact, from what I gathered in Season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett, Grogu is your typical Jedi youngling in dire need of training — and that’s about it.
That doesn’t mean The Mandolorian won’t give the lad more opportunities to flaunt his stuff. In the trailer, the green tike uses his force powers to kick the bejesus out of an alien monster while cruising in his Professor X hover chair. It’s a fun little bit that teases Grogu’s newfound abilities, which should come in handy whenever he and Mando get in a tight spot.
The question is: how powerful will the kid become? Will something — anything — lure him to the dark side? Will he turn on Mando at some point after discovering more about his past? Will he decide to kill Luke Skywalker after learning about Anakin/Darth Vader? Will he ever speak, and if he does, will he talk like Yoda? This season must let the kid do more than serve as a cute and cuddly side character. At some point, he needs to grow up and accomplish something beyond marketing plush toys.
More Order 66
As we all know, Grogu is a survivor of Anakin Skywalker’s death march on the Jedi Temple during the famed Order 66. The Book of Boba Fett gave us a brief snippet of Grogu’s experiences on that fateful night. The Mandalorian Season 3 trailer ups the ante by showing four Jedi with lightsabers ignited, waiting by a door seemingly on the verge of being kicked in by Stormtroopers.
Color me intrigued, if only because we have yet to get a decent glimpse of Anakin’s massacre outside of some cheesy holograms in Episode III and the goofy, shaky cam-plagued prologue that kicked off Obi-Wan Kenobi. So why not kick Mando’s next adventure off on the right foot, Jon Favreau? Give the fans what they’ve wanted to see since 2005!
Mando plans to return to Mandalore to beg for forgiveness for his past transgressions, which should be a fun side trip for him and Grogu — or a weekend of hell!
In the Season 2 finale, Mando pissed off Bo-Katan when he beat Moff Gideon and unexpectedly inherited the legendary Darksaber — a weapon she had coveted ever since Gideon stole it from her. Bo-Katan wants to rule Mandalore but cannot do so without the Darksaber … or something. There’s a bunch of info jam-packed into Rebels Season 3 that details the weapon’s origins and how Bo-Katan acquired it in the first place if you want to know the backstory; or watch one of a billion YouTube videos on the subject.
At any rate, I imagine Mando will head to Mandalore and bump into Bo-Katan, leading to an all-out brawl over the Dark Saber that will determine the planet’s fate and its people. The big money shot of the trailer sees a group of Mandalorians leaping out of a ship onto a city, seemingly to join a massive ground battle. Are they uniting behind King Mando, or is this a separate incident that has no bearing on the plot? Time will tell.
Snoke doesn’t appear in The Mandalorian trailer, but plenty of online chatter suggests the crackhead might appear in Season 3. Some have speculated that those cloning tanks in Season 2, Episode 4 contained Snoke clones, a theory punctuated by John Williams’ Snoke theme playing over the soundtrack during the creepy scene.
Now, the weird organisms in those tanks could be Dark Troopers or some all-new powerful soldier. So why would Dr. Pershing require Grogu’s midi-chlorian blood if that were the case?
Mysteries abound, but it will be interesting to see if and how Favreau and Co. incorporate Snoke into the Mandalorian series and whether or not fans enjoy seeing the pointless entity once more. Will Favreau’s series eventually give more weight to the sequel trilogy in the same way The Clone Wars aided the prequels?
Also, at the tail end of the trailer, we see some Babu Frik-ish aliens watching the Mandalorian battle. Is this another hint that the new season will connect with plot points established in the Rise of Skywalker?
Uniting the Clans
At the trailer’s beginning, Mando notes that his people are spread all over the galaxy. “What are we,” he asks. “What do we stand for?” As mentioned above, will he use the Dark Saber to unite the clans and take on, er, whoever the bad guy is head-on? Or will his appearance cause more disarray between the various Mandalorian factions?
One thing’s for damn sure: Mando’s helmet is 110% better than the clunky armor his brothers and sisters are wearing. Time for an upgrade, people!
In the worst VFX shot of the trailer, we see Dr. Pershing (I think?) cruising about Coruscant in a speeder. This marks the second time we’ve returned to the old capital following its appearance in Andor, and I’m curious to see how its politics have changed since the fall of the Empire.
Pershing’s presence suggests evil still lurks within the vibrant city, which has evidently remained a popular attraction despite serving as the Emperor’s main headquarters.
An interesting tidbit is that the Republic set up shop in the Hosnian system, where it was eventually destroyed by Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens. So, what happened to Coruscant? Did it fall into disarray after the Emperor’s demise? Was it overtaken by death stick-addicted aliens? Does Mon Mothma still own an apartment there? Will we see Luthen Rael?
Boba Fett Cameo
Another shot in the trailer sees Mando taking off from Mos Eisley while Peli Motto waves goodbye. Naturally, I assume our heroes will return to the overused desert planet of Tatooine and bump into everyone’s favorite former badass, Boba Fett. Since Mando all but stole the bounty hunter’s limelight in his own series, it makes sense for the poor guy to get a few scenes in The Mandalorian, if only to bring balance to the Star Wars universe.
It’d be hilarious if Mando finds Mos Eisley overrun by that goofy biker gang.
Finally, the last bit that caught my attention was a cantina populated by droids. No, really. Like, every Star Wars droid is packed in one shot, including Battle droids, some R2 units, and that creepy RA-7 droid seen in A New Hope. Clearly, the droid uprising produced good results for our battery-operated friends, which should make L3-37 happy.
There are plenty of other mysteries surrounding the trailer, like, what is Carl Weathers doing? What’s with the fireworks and the buried Mandalorian armor? Why do we keep going back to Tatooine? Why do most Disney Star Wars locals look like Galaxy’s Edge? At any rate, I’m cautiously optimistic Mando will deliver in round three.