The Mandalorian season 2 may have ended weeks ago but, come on, we can’t stop thinking about it. It was a surprisingly definitive ending, with Din and Grogu parting ways, but a new quest is on the horizon. With the Darksaber in hand after a fateful duel with Moff Gideon, the consequences of such an action will play out as Mando finds himself with newfound power and responsibility. Will he unite Mandalorians across the galaxy to retake their homeland? Who will stand in their way? Will we ever see Dr Mandible again?! Let’s explore my nine hopes for the third season of The Mandalorian.
The Phantom Grogu
The show’s second season ended in shocking fashion with the cute merchandising machine Baby Yoda, or Grogu as he’s now known, leaving the series. At least, I hope that’s what’s happened. Din letting go of the child is an emotional gut punch, and both we the audience and Din as a character need to sit with that decision. There need to be consequences and so Grogu should remain with Luke for at least a full season, hopefully longer. While I do want Din to keep his promise and see them reunite eventually, their separation needs to be meaningful. They rescued each other: Grogu from imprisonment and trauma and Din from the emotional cage his armour represents. Let’s now see this developed Din on a new mission and return to the Grogu storyline when he’s changed yet again.
Attack of the Clans
The eponymous hero now has a new mission after acquiring the Darksaber: lead. He’s the rightful heir to the throne of Mandalore, albeit begrudgingly. I hope we see him adopt Bo-Katan’s quest to unite the disparate clans of Mandalorians spread across the galaxy and retake their homeworld. Mandalorians have a penchant for infighting so the conflict could be between different houses and clans, of which there is a complex system, before an alliance that Din has to earn rallies them to a common goal. Whereas the second season expanded the Jedi aspects of the show, I hope the third does the same for Mandalorian culture and society.
Revenge of the Kryze
This Mando infighting shouldn’t just be restricted to squabbling houses but the leadership too. The Darksaber was Bo-Katan’s prize yet Din inadvertently snatched it out from under her. After a season of trying to aid Din and shape him into a leader – that’s right, Katee Sackhoff should be a series regular – I think Bo-Katan will challenge Din. A fight to the death for Mandalore. I love the character of Bo-Katan Kryze and her journey across three different Star Wars series has been wonderful to behold. She’s gone from being a villain, a terrorist in fact, to a much more heroic figure wanting to free her people. Yet her dangerous obsession and belief in her birthright remain and I’d love to see her once again become more of an antagonistic figure.
A New Fight Choreographer
Now I’m not calling for anyone to be fired or anything as the subtitle may suggest – as you can see, I’m far too deep into a naming convention to give it up and this is the best I can come up with – but I would love an overhaul when it comes to the action in the show. Some of it is fantastic, like Boba’s re-emergence, but so much of season 2 was seeing our heroes slowly jog down a corridor, blasting Stormtroopers who can’t hit anything in return. As we reached the second season finale, I was so incredibly bored with the firefights in the show. Hopefully we’ll see less of the same Imperial corridor next season and a greater diversity of action scenes.
The Empire Sits Back
The face of the Imperial Remnant in the show – Moff Gideon – has been captured and so it’s hard to resist using that opportunity for some Hannibal Lector-style emotional manipulation. He could be a resource with an agenda that our heroes could question – before his inevitable escape that is. While Giancarlo Esposito is the go-to actor for TV baddies, I am disappointed in Gideon as a villain. I think it largely comes down to still not knowing his intentions. What is his plan? Is he on the Empire’s top rung or just a lackey? I want to learn more about him and his Midichlorian-manipulating machinations but is that part of the plot over? It seems to me that the Empire now should take a back seat in this show. With Grogu gone and a likely focus on Mandalorians incoming, is Gideon old news? While he is connected with Mandalore somehow, and seemingly won the Darksaber himself, I wouldn’t be surprised if his story continues in Rangers of the New Republic rather than The Mandalorian.
Return of the Armourer
If Din is to unite Mandalorians under a common goal, it makes sense for him to return to the Armourer. Given what he has discovered in season 2, I think Din’s relationship with his former leader/mentor/blacksmith will have greatly changed. He’s learnt he grew up in a cult and the creed he lived by was an extremist contortion. With the help of Grogu, Din has changed so much from the cold killer he began the show as, and I can’t wait for his confrontation with the Armourer. The audience’s perception of her too has changed, from honourable figurehead to cult leader. She could even become a villain in the series; someone Din has to fight as a representation of him triumphing over his past. Perhaps even killing it.
The Force Doesn’t Awaken
No more Force users! With Grogu removed from the show for the time being so too should CGI Luke Skywalker, thank goodness, and Ahsoka has no need to return in season 3 if her own series is on the way. The Jedi were important steps on Din’s journey with Grogu, but with that story over I hope there is less emphasis on the Force. The series can now feature more boots-on-the-ground, realistic heroes. Well, maybe not boots-on-the-ground considering all the jetpacks but you know what I mean. I love Jedi stories but not every story needs to be one. I’m getting my fill of that from The High Republic.
The Last Siege
It’s quite simple. If Mandalore is in a story then someone is laying siege to it. The Clone Wars ended with the phenomenal ‘Siege of Mandalore’ arc, and another siege has been mentioned in the first season of The Mandalorian, when the Empire destroyed the resistant Mandalorians some time after Rebels. It’s time then for a third and final siege of Mandalore, this time led by Din, against whoever currently holds the planet. I don’t know who controls Mandalore but I’d guess at an Imperial faction – who knows, maybe Thrawn – but I think it’s time to finally see the planet in live action. Boba’s line in the second season finale where he describes that the planet has been turned to glass has really stuck with me. He’s probably just suggesting that Mandalore and its people are shattered and fragile but I’d love for it to be somewhat literal. Mandalore is covered in rock and fine sand and when lightning hits sand it transforms it into twisted towers of black glass. Maybe huge blasters do the same thing and Mandalore’s surface is a hauntingly beautiful landscape of literal glass.
The Rise of the Sequels
The sequels are controversial. Some people like them, others don’t. But one thing’s for certain: they exist. They’re canon. I’m so tired of seeing rumours about how Favreau and Filoni want to ‘decanonise’ the sequels and create an alternate timeline. To put this nonsense to bed, I would love for The Mandalorian to make a definitive link with sequel trilogy. It doesn’t have to be a major character appearance but just an acknowledgment they exist in the same galaxy. Maybe Grogu’s blood is used to grow Snoke or help Palpatine survive, which has been speculated since Chapter 12, or maybe Din makes a pit stop at Maz’s Castle in an episode. I couldn’t care less if Favreau does indeed hate the sequels, they’re canon and they don’t hold The Mandalorian back in any way. You clearly don’t need to eliminate one for another to succeed. Hell, despite what some people would have you believe, the Luke we see in the show matches up perfectly with how he describes himself in The Last Jedi.
What, did you expect me to come up with hopes with plays on the titles of Rogue One and Solo? Those are my nine hopes for the third season of The Mandalorian. What are yours? Let me know in the comments and be sure to geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.