The Mandalorian

Season 3 of ‘The Mandalorian’ is unlikely to make sense unless you’ve seen ‘The Book of Boba Fett.’

Mando (Pedro Pascal) bids a heartfelt farewell to Grogu in the Season 2 conclusion of “The Mandalorian,” which first aired on Disney+ on December 18, 2020, over two years ago, handing off his charmingly little charge to Grogu’s new Jedi teacher, Luke Skywalker (played by a digitally de-aged Mark Hamill). The closing scene was heartbreaking, with Mando removing his helmet — a violation of Mandalorian doctrine — so Grogu could see his face for the first time. It felt like the final chapter in a two-season journey painstakingly designed by executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni to reboot the show and launch it into a new storytelling cosmos.

 

But, as the promos for Season 3 of “The Mandalorian” have already revealed, the next season will begin on March 1 with Mando and Grogu reunited. It’s almost as if the events of the Season 2 finale never took place.

 

If you haven’t seen “The Book of Boba Fett,” that is.

That show, which played mostly in January and February 2022, chronicled the Tatooine-based escapades of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) following their experiences with Mando in Season 2. The fifth and sixth episodes of “The Book of Boba Fett” switched the focus fully to find out what happened to Mando and Grogu. It was startling, as if “The Book of Boba Fett” had lost interest in its lead character’s story and opted to become Season 2.5 of “The Mandalorian” instead.

 

These Mando-centric episodes of “The Book of Boba Fett” weren’t just amusing, one-off interludes; they were hugely consequential, laying the groundwork for what’s to come in Season 3 of “The Mandalorian”: what Mando needs to do, where he needs to do it, and how he’ll get there. Here’s what you should know.

 

The Darksaber Is More Than Just a Weapon

Mando defeated Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) in battle at the end of Season 2 and gained his weapon, the Darksaber. In “The Book of Boba Fett,” we witness Mando attempting and failing to use the Darksaber in combat, injuring himself with the blade. Later, he complains to the Armorer (Emily Swallow) that the Darksaber feels heavier with each strike; she responds that he’s battling the sword because his thoughts is too preoccupied with his sadness over losing Grogu.

 

The Armorer also informs Mando that whoever wins the Darksaber in combat will be cursed and bring disaster to the planet. That is exactly what happened in the “Star Wars” animated series “The Clone Wars” when Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) was handed the Darksaber and then attempted to take control of Mandalore. Instead, the Empire destroyed the entire planet, reducing it to ruins – an offensive depicted in “The Book of Boba Fett.”

 

Isn’t this vital information that viewers who have just seen “The Mandalorian” would want to know in order to grasp what’s going on? There’s even more!

 

Mando must return to Mandalore.

Mando discovers the Darksaber’s history when visiting the Armorer under the depths of Glavis Ringworld, a space station contained within an enormous ringed structure that revolves around a minor star – one of the most aesthetically stunning new locales portrayed in the Disney era of “Star Wars.” The Armorer has set up a new Covert for their Mandalorian tribe, and she asks Mando if he’s ever taken off his helmet. Mando admits it, and the Armorer’s decision is fast and devastating: “Then you are no longer a Mandalorian.”

 

To reclaim his place in the only family Mando has ever known, the Armorer advises him his only option is to be washed in “the living waters underneath Mandalore’s mines” – a daunting feat since the planet has been reduced to rubble.

 

Mando Has Purchased a New Ship

The destruction of Mando’s spacecraft, the Razor Crest, was another major challenge at the end of Season 2. Mando travels to Tatooine to replace it, but not to meet Boba Fett, but to see mechanic extraordinaire Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris), who reassembles an ancient Naboo N-1 Starfighter from 1999’s “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” into Mando’s blisteringly fast new vehicle. It’s a charming scenario that “Mandalorian” fans would have loved to see on the show but instead played out on “The Book of Boba Fett,” despite having nothing to do with Boba Fett’s story.

 

However, Mando’s svelte new aircraft has no place for housing or much storage, but Peli was able to swap out the droid slot with a second cockpit seat just big enough for a little passenger. She almost seemed to know where Mando was going next.

 

Grogu’s Force abilities have improved, although he is no longer studying Jedi techniques.

 

The sixth episode of “The Book of Boba Fett” took place on the sun-dappled planet Ossus, where Luke is teaching Grogu the ways of the Jedi. As Mando arrives, he is met by Jedi warrior Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), who informs him that his presence will only interfere with Grogu’s training. Mando decides to go, but not before handing along a gift for Grogu to Ahsoka: bear chainmail armor fashioned specifically for young Grogu.

 

Grogu, Luke observes, is also suffering from a scattered mind as a result of his separation from the only parent he’s ever known. (We also learn that Grogu was on Coruscant during the catastrophic Jedi purge known as Order 66, a suppressed memory that Luke assists Grogu in unlocking.) As a result, Luke offers Grogu a choice between two possible gifts: Grogu will stop training and return to Mando if he picks the bear armour; if he chooses Yoda’s lightsaber (! ), he will commit to becoming a Jedi.

 

Grogu, of course, chooses the armor. He returns to Mando in the “Book of Boba Fett” Season 1 finale, a very emotional event that meant little to Boba Fett but everything to Mando, Grogu, and “The Mandalorian” fans.

 

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