The Mandalorian season 3: key info
– Season 3 launches in March 2023
– First trailer released in September 2022
– Key cast members all returning
– Picks up events after The Book of Boba Fett
– No announcement on fourth season yet
– Might impact stories in other Star Wars TV shows
At long last, The Mandalorian season 3 has a release date. The next installment in the hugely popular Star Wars TV show is heading back to a galaxy far, far away in March 2023. So, finally, the countdown is on to being reunited with Din Djarin and Grogu.
In our view, The Mandalorian is one of the best Disney Plus shows around, so it’s high time that its third season received an official launch date. Thankfully, we know when that is now, so we’ll be getting some new Star Wars content in the next few months.
That’s not the only major news about The Mandalorian season 3 we’ve learned since its predecessor – and The Book of Boba Fett, which has strong ties to the Disney Plus show – ended. Below, you’ll find more information on its first trailer, cast, plot details, and more. So, if you’re after a one stop shop on the sci-fi series, we’ve got you covered.
Major spoilers follow for The Mandalorian season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett. Use the navigation bar on the left of this page to skip a section if you’re not caught up on certain aspects yet.
The Mandalorian season 3 release date
The Mandalorian and Grogu return March 1 only on @DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/TArlFDw9ETDecember 1, 2022
The Mandalorian season 3 will be released on Disney Plus on March 1, 2023. The announcement was made during a Star Wars panel at Brazil Comic-Con 2022, which was then relayed to the rest of the world via Star Wars’ multiple social media accounts.
It’s unclear if the series will premiere with a single episode, or if it’ll follow other recent Star Wars TV shows, including Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and receive multi-episodes premieres. We’ll update this section once we know more.
The Mandalorian season 3 trailer
Star Wars Celebration 2022 attendees got to see footage from Din Djarin’s continuing adventures, but the rest of us had to wait a bit longer.
Thankfully, The Mandalorian season 3 trailer eventually debuted at D23 2022 in September, before being released online soon after, and strongly hints that Bo-Katan Kryze and her quest to restore Mandalore will be pivotal to the new season.
We get glimpses of Mando’s new and heavily modded Naboo starfighter, numerous Mandalorians in flight, and the returning Greef Karga. There are also deeper Star Wars cuts courtesy of a tree full of Kowakian monkey lizards (possibly relatives of Jabba the Hutt’s court jester, Salacious B Crumb), and The Rise of Skywalker’s Babu Frik.
The Mandalorian season 3 story
Spoilers follow for The Mandalorian season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett.
The final episode of the show’s second year left behind two major plot points that The Mandalorian season 3 has to pay off.
First, there’s the question of who will wield the ceremonial Darksaber and become ruler of the Mandalorian people – more on that later. Secondly, we were all desperate to find out if Din Djarin and Grogu ever reunite That’s after the kid went to train as a Jedi with the one-and-only Luke Skywalker. Mando promised he’d see Grogu again, but when?
As it turned out, the answer to the second question was sooner than we thought, with The Book of Boba Fett’s fifth and sixth episodes, “The Return of the Mandalorian” and “From The Desert Comes A Stranger”, proving to be The Mandalorian season 2.5 in all but name.
Heret, Mando paid Grogu (or, rather, Luke) a visit, bearing a beskar chainmail shirt he’d asked the Armorer to make for for Baby Yoda as a gift. Aware that Grogu might turn his back on his training if he saw Mando again – the Jedi have always taken a dim view of attachments – Luke declined to let his padawan see his adoptive dad. Instead, he told Mando that he’d pass the present on.
Despite Luke’s best efforts, however, Grogu decided not to continue training in the ways of the Force. When Luke presented him with a choice between Mando’s gift or Yoda’s old lightsaber – a cruel decision to ask an infant to make – Baby Yoda opted for the former. Realizing that Grogu longed to be reunited with Din, Luke sent Grogu back to Tatooine in his famous Red 5 X-wing, where they enjoyed a heart warming reunion during The Book of Boba Fett’s finale. The pair were last seen blasting off from Tatooine in the custom Naboo starfighter Mando had renovated with Peli Motto, a replacement for the Razor Crest that had been destroyed by Moff Gideon’s Imperial remnant in season 2 episode “The Tragedy”.
Now that Grogu’s back with his surrogate dad – and with some time at Jedi schooling behind him – The Mandalorian season 3 may see the kid flex even more Force-based powers than before. “This child has magic powers, [is] 50 years old, and can see the future,” Giancarlo Esposito (who plays Gideon) told a young fan at GalaxyCon (via SlashFilm (opens in new tab)). “And we want everyone to know, eventually on this show, that [Grogu] could save our universe.”
So, in addition to levitating, choking, and looking implausibly cute, Baby Yoda can apparently see the future – which is an ability we’ve come across before in the troubled visions of Anakin and Luke Skywalker.
That possibly explains why Imperial officers have been so keen to get his hands on the implausibly cute green kid, though Esposito did add that Gideon’s pursuit of Grogu is “for a very different reason than many people think”. Maybe the Child’s clairvoyant abilities are part of Gideon’s nefarious plans to take control of a resurgent post-Emperor Empire.
Speaking of which, Moff Gideon’s ship is just one small part of the Imperial remnant forces out there waiting to be dealt with by the New Republic – indeed, we know that Imperial leader Grand Admiral Thrawn is alive and being hunted by Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice, Ahsoka Tano. We expect the Thrawn story to form the basis of the upcoming Ahsoka live-action show, but it’s possible we’ll see it picked up again in The Mandalorian, too.
It’s also likely that we’ll see more hints at what Grogu’s blood is being used for by the Empire. It seemed plausible that the show was pointing at the cloned origins of the sequel trilogy’s puppet villain Supreme Leader Snoke, and the eventual return of Emperor Palpatine that would make us sigh with disappointment in 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker. We’ll have to see if season 3 addresses this plot point or not.
Additionally, a cloning subplot could also tie into The Bad Batch season 2, where we encountered an Imperial scientist wearing a uniform very similar to that of the show’s resident Imperial geneticist, Dr Pershing – who, by coincidence, is also back in The Mandalorian season 3.
Then there’s the aforementioned story of the Mandalorians and the Darksaber, which was also significantly advanced by the events of The Book of Boba Fett.
At the end of season 2, Mando won the Darksaber weapon – the Mandalorian blade highly coveted by Bo-Katan Kryze in her journey to reclaim the throne of Mandalore – from Moff Gideon . However, he couldn’t simply hand it over to Bo-Katan, and tensions mounted as it became clear that she and Mando were going to have to duel in order for her to claim the weapon.
Things got more complicated in The Book of Boba Fett when Mando tracked down his old cohorts from the “Tribe” on the spectacular Glavis Ringworld. Although the Armorer agreed to fashion Grogu’s new beskar undershirt, Mando faced a challenge from Paz Vizsla (another member of the Children of the Watch) for possession of the Darksaber. Mando won the fight, but he’s still got a lot to learn about wielding the weapon.
Unfortunately, he’ll have to do it without guidance from the Armorer who – as well as providing some helpful exposition about the Great Purge, in which the Empire laid waste to Mandalore – also cast him out of the order. Mando’s crime? Removing his helmet in front of Grogu. According to Mandalorian creed, the only way Din can redeem himself is by visiting the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore, which may prove problematic seeing as – as Mando points out – the mines have been destroyed.
Mando also has unfinished business with Kryze who, as we’ve seen before,– has no issue with removing helmets. She also claims that Mando’s “cult” (aka the Children of the Watch) “fractured our people” in the first season 3 teaser, before pointedly asking, “Where were you then?”. In other words, it seems the future of Mandalore’s people is going to be a major plot point.
“As you witnessed in the trailer there are a lot more Mandalorians in the season and with that many Mandalorians in one room, things are bound to go wrong,” Bo-Katan actor Katee Sakhhoff told Yahoo Entertainment (opens in new tab): “I think this season is different, I think that it is The Mandalorian, it’s everything that people have come to love and know about the show, but I do believe that this season is a little faster paced and I do believe that tonally it’s like a moving train – you’ve just gotta get on.”
The Mandalorian season 3 cast
Here’s the confirmed cast for The Mandalorian season 3 so far:
- Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin/the Mandalorian
- Grogu as himself
- Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon
- Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze
- Emily Swallow as the Armorer
- Omid Abtahi as Dr Pershing
- Amy Sedaris as Peli Motto
- Christopher Lloyd as TBC
- Tim Meadows as TBC
It’s inevitable that Pedro Pascal would return as Din Djarin, aka The Mandalorian – at least some of the time.
Why some of the time? In addition to Mando duties, Pascal has been committed to HBO’s live-action series based on Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed videogame The Last of Us, where he’s starring as Joel Miller. Pascal’s contract with HBO says that The Last of Us is in “first position”, which – in Hollywood terms – means it takes precedence over any other shows the actor might work on, including The Mandalorian.
The Last of Us didn’t mean big problems for The Mandalorian, however, simply because Pascal isn’t always the actor inside that iconic helmet, as season 1 director Bryce Dallas Howard revealed to Vulture (opens in new tab) in 2019. Besides, as Giancarlo Esposito (who plays Moff Gideon) pointed out at GalaxyCon Raleigh (via WRAL.com (opens in new tab)): “We never have to wait for Pedro.”
Back in October 2021, Carl Weathers tweeted (opens in new tab) to confirm his return as Greef Karga, Bounty Hunter’s Guild representative turned magistrate, and ally to Din, while Giancarlo Esposito has been teasing Moff Gideon’s comeback (now confirmed) since late 2020 (opens in new tab).
Katee Sackhoff’s return as Mandalorian noble Bo-Katan Kryze – and claimant to the throne of her people – was confirmed at Star Wars Celebration. It looks like she won’t be joined by her Mandalorian colleague Koska Reeves, however, as Mercedes Varnado (better known as WWE star Sasha Banks) told Bleacher Report (opens in new tab): “I’m not on next season.”
The Mandalorian season 3 trailer confirms returns for Emily Swallow as the Armorer, Omid Abtahi as Dr Pershing – perhaps we’ll learn more about his dodgy experiments? – and Amy Sedaris as mechanic/Grogu’s number one fan Peli Motto. The trailer also features a brief appearance from The Rise of Skywalker’s breakout star Babu Frik, which suggests Shirley Henderson might be back to provide the diminutive engineer’s voice.
Having appeared in the Back to the Future and Star Trek franchises, Christopher Lloyd will make his Star Wars debut in a yet-to-be-confirmed role (as confirmed by the The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)), while Saturday Night Live vet Tim Meadows is also reported playing a part.
The one key player who definitely won’t be returning is Gina Carano, who played former Rebel Shock Trooper Cara Dune in the first two seasons. After an offensive social media post, Carano was removed from all future Lucasfilm projects back in early 2021. “Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” the company said in a statement. Carano has since fired back over her dismissal, with the actor claiming she’d been “bullied (opens in new tab)” by Disney and Lucasfilm – accusations that both companies have strenuously denied (via the BBC (opens in new tab)).
It’s unclear if this means Cara Dune is being retired or recast. The Mandalorian’s showrunners could easily find a way to kill her off-screen but we’ll wait to see what creator Jon Favreau and company decide to do. The fact that the Rangers of the New Republic spin-off – widely rumored to focus on Dune – has been mothballed by Lucasfilm suggests we may have seen the last of her.
Behind the camera, The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) confirmed that Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard will direct an episode, having previously directed three standout chapters for Mando and The Book of Boba Fett. Rick Famuyiwa also returns (per Collider (opens in new tab)) having also earned a promotion to executive producer. Favreau is once again expected to write most of the episodes.
Esposito also added that Moff Gideon’s pursuit of Grogu is “for a very different reason than many people think”. Could Grogu’s clairvoyant abilities be part of Gideon’s plans to take control of a resurgent post-Emperor Empire?
Some members of the cast do at least have an idea of where the show is heading. In an interview with IndieWire (opens in new tab) in January, Pascal teased that he’s aware of “what the plan is” for The Mandalorian season 3 and beyond, but obviously couldn’t elaborate on it due to spoilers and NDA agreements in his contract.
“I can’t share it (the plot),” he said. “They’re in the expansion of this world, where there are so many unexpected surprises and timelines that are going to be dealt with. If the character were to cross over into these worlds, it will be utilized in a way that isn’t meant to be expected. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise of whether or not characters from the show we already know are crossing over.”
The Mandalorian season 3 spin-offs explained
There were two spin-offs in the works, but The Book of Boba Fett has come and gone on Disney Plus now. While that limited series is over, the Ahsoka spin-off is currently in production, with Clone Wars/Rebels veteran (and Star Wars lore expert) Dave Filoni at the helm.
Both shows are set to take place in the timeframe as The Mandalorian, around five years after Return of the Jedi. Per Variety (opens in new tab), the new Jude Law-starring Skeleton Crew (announced at Star Wars Celebration 2022) is also set in the New Republic era, so there may be some potential for overlap there. The previously mentioned Rangers of the New Republic would also have been set during the same period, until Lucasfilm and Disney put it in carbonite.
Most intriguingly, there’s a plan for this sub-universe of shows to converge into a larger story. It sounds a little like what Netflix did in uniting its various Marvel superhero TV shows in the miniseries The Defenders, but we’d expect Disney and Lucasfilm’s plans to be better received than the Netflix crossover series was.
“These interconnected shows, along with future stories, will excite new audiences embrace our most passionate fans, and culminate in a climactic story event,” explained Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy during Disney’s Investor Day stream in late 2020.
It sounds to us, then, that we’re going to see either a miniseries or movie-length episode that brings these stories together – though we wouldn’t expect to see that for a few years from now.