Everything You Need to Know Ahead of The Mandalorian Season 3
Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett.
As we welcome Baby Yoda—ahem, Grogu—back into our arms, it’s worth noting that Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin (a.k.a “Mando”) has already done exactly that. If you haven’t paid attention to the larger Star Wars universe since season 2 of The Mandalorian arrived in 2020, prepare for a surprise when season 3 arrives March 1. The last time Mando viewers witnessed Din and Grogu in the same room together, they were heading their separate ways, Din to atone for the sin of removing his helmet and Grogu to train as a Jedi with CGI Luke Skywalker. Come season 3, the two BFFs have been wondrously reunited—and Mando fans didn’t get to see any of it.
That is, they didn’t if they ignored the other Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett, which served as an unanticipated bridge between Mando seasons 2 and 3. The final three episodes of the limited series added essential developments to the Din-Grogu canon, essential enough that even Mando showrunner Jon Favreau questions if fans won’t feel betrayed come March. (“It’s going to be interesting to see how this unfolds for people who may not have seen The Book Of Boba Fett,” he recently told Empire.)
So, to re-immerse you in the Mando universe without triggering a serious case of hibernation sickness, it’s best we catch you up. (There’s no need to muster through the lackluster blip that was Boba Fett, praise be.) Ahead, enjoy a complete pre-season 3 primer, breaking down the important details to remember from The Mandalorian season 2—and those pesky new developments from The Book of Boba Fett.
What happened in The Mandalorian season 2?
In season 2, new pals Din and Grogu (a.k.a “The Child”) enjoy a long, winding journey in pursuit of the latter’s long-lost family. To locate them, Din needs to find more of his own people, the Mandalorians of the planet Mandalore, led by a figure known as the Mand’alor. (Deep breaths.)
After numerous adventures and frog-egg feasts, Din and The Child cross paths with a group of Mandalorians headed up by the great Bo-Katan, who informs Din that, by the way, he’s actually a cultist. How can she make such a speedy diagnosis? It’s because Din ascribes to the old-fashioned Mandalorian notion of never, ever removing his helmet in front of others. That’s a practice Bo-Katan and her crew associate with the ancient (and, apparently, misguided) Mandalorian subgroup known as The Children of the Watch. Din, in turn, is distrustful of Bo’s eagerness to remove her own headgear, but he collaborates with her crew long enough to learn of a Jedi named Ahsoka Tano.
When Din and Ahsoka eventually cross paths, Ahsoka (once a trainee under Anakin Skywalker, you might recall) reveals via Force telepathy that The Child has a real name: Grogu. The little tyke was once a student of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, and he only narrowly escaped the Jedi mass-execution known as Order 66 many years ago. He has since diminished his own powers in order to survive, which means he’ll require training to restore his full Force abilities. Ahsoka refuses to coach him herself—she’s fearful of the tiny dude’s emotions, which is understandable given her experience with Anakin—but shares that Din can perhaps discover other living Jedi, if Grogu communes with the Force at the ruins of a Jedi Temple.
Grogu proceeds to do just that. But nothing can ever be easy in a show like The Mandalorian, and as Grogu meditates, Din and his new pals—Boba Fett and Fennec Shand—must repel the incoming warriors of the Empire, who’ve been tracking Din’s starship for a few episodes now. The battle ends with the nefarious Moff Gideon whisking Grogu away from his psuedo-dad, forced to imagine the dangers awaiting Grogu as Gideon determines the green guy’s a suitable blood donor. Such an evil plan might seem bizarre, but for one important detail: Grogu’s itty bitty veins are chock full of midi-chlorians, the cellular stuff that makes him Force-susceptible. A valuable resource, in other words.
Din gathers his forces to rescue Grogu, and after a series of schemes that lead him to Gideon’s ship, the team is on the cusp of victory. But a wounded Gideon has a couple tactics left to try: The first is to convince Bo-Katan, now reunited with Din, to attack her new ally. After all, Din defeated Gideon, who wielded the stolen Darksaber that once belonged to Bo herself. The Darksaber, by way of battle, is now rightfully Din’s, making him a sort of heir to the role of Mand’alor. Still, Bo chooses not to fight Din, no matter how little she cares for his helmet.
And so Gideon must depend on tactic No. 2: deadly force. A swarm of Dark Troopers surround Grogu’s would-be saviors. All certainly seems lost…that is, until a deus ex machina in the form of Luke Skywalker arrives right in time. (I sound cynical here, but I cried with the best of them when that silly floating hood revealed Luke’s face.) Mark Hamill of the Uncanny Valley wipes out the remaining baddies, and Gideon is carted away, presumably to stand trial. But Luke’s arrival is more than just a search-and-rescue mission: He’s there to take Grogu with him, to become a rightful Jedi recruit within Luke’s fledgling Temple.
Removing his helmet once again, Din delivers a tearful goodbye. He promises that the two friends will see each other again soon.
What happened to Grogu and Din in The Book of Boba Fett? What do I need to know for The Mandalorian season 3?
I bet you didn’t think the reunion would happen this soon! In the fifth episode of Boba Fett, we witness Din get his beskar spear shaped into chainmail, which he hopes to bestow upon Grogu. (Even from afar, dad’s gonna dad.) He also learns a bit more about his new Darksaber, and the kingly legacy it promises. Ruling won’t come easy, though: The Mandalorian Armorer informs Din that he won’t be accepted as Mand’alor, given his recent crime of, y’know, taking off his helmet. To atone, he must be “redeemed in the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore.”
But more on that when season 3 premieres. In the remaining episodes of Boba Fett, Din attempts to give his chainmail Christmas present to Grogu, but Ahsoka stops him. Instead, she delivers the armor to Luke herself; that way, Grogu—already struggling to focus in Jedi School—won’t be distracted by the arrival of his erstwhile father figure. At the University of Skywalker, we take our studies seriously.
Still, Grogu’s unhappy. He’s just a baby! Luke, never the most emotionally perceptive banana in the bunch, finally realizes that perhaps he should allow the kid the chance to choose his path himself. Lightsaber or chainmail? Jedi or Mandalorian?
Grogu, unsurprisingly, is like, “I’d prefer Pedro Pascal, please.” Luke, like all of us, can understand the impulse.
And so, by the end of the season, Grogu and Mando are attached at the hip, riding off into the sunset in a newly remodeled starfighter. What their reunion means for Din’s redemption arc—or Grogu’s dormant Jedi skills, for that matter—remains to be seen. But expect many more viral moments! For one thing we can confidently prepare: That precious little puppet will again dominate the discourse.
Lauren Puckett-Pope is a staff culture writer at ELLE, where she primarily covers film, television and books. She was previously an associate editor at ELLE.