The ending of The Mandalorian season 3 shocked me. Not because of a twist or a death or a cameo. It shocked me because it featured none of these; because of how un-shocking it was. The season concludes by wrapping up all the major story threads with a fairly satisfying, yet perhaps overly clean, and wholesome ending. But the ‘Mandoverse’ is just getting started. We have Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew coming later this year and a big climatic movie in a few years. This mini Star Wars universe in the middle of the wider saga will continue, which made that fact that The Mandalorian’s recent episode felt like a series finale rather than just a season finale incredibly surprising.
Instead of a cameo by Thrawn or a post-credits scene setting up Ahsoka, the season concludes with Gideon seemingly dead, Mandalore retaken by a united force, and the eponymous hero formally adopting Grogu and settling down on Navarro with a new home and job. It could easily end there and I’d be fine with it. But while it’s an ending, it’s not the ending. The show, at time of writing, has yet to be officially renewed for a fourth season but showrunner Jon Favreau has stated that he has already written another season, with production gearing up to begin. So, with so many storylines concluding in the third season, what story is left to tell with these characters in a fourth?
The finale featured the first mention of an important person in Din Djarin’s life who I hope makes an appearance moving forward: his mentor. As Din (or should I refer to him as Djarin now that it seems like Din is his family/clan name?) pledges himself to being Grogu’s father, we briefly learn someone did the same to him when he first joined the covert. This parenting, mentoring, and generational learning could be at the heart of the fourth season because it links Din Djarin and Din Grogu. We learned of Kelleran Beq saving Grogu and I’m sure we’ll see more of this relationship moving forward. Kelleran is likely dead at the present time but Din’s mentor doesn’t have to be. Maybe they have shirked the creed, or now subscribe to a different denomination, and Djarin could seek them out. They could be brought back into the fold or perhaps could persuade Djarin of their new way of thinking. With both of the show’s protagonists having these mysterious mentor figures, I want them to reckon with their relationships with them and bring what they have learnt to their own relationship, bonding ever deeper.
If Djarin’s old mentor has left the cult (rather than being The Armorer, the woman at the centre of it, which I have seen theorised) then that could be the final push in him rejecting them. I loved seeing the different sects of Mandalorians learn to work together but while the Children of the Watch have softened and become a little more lax in some regards, I still want them brought to task over how they operate. They are an extremist group that have forced Din into an emotional cage for most of his life, with only now Grogu softening him. I want the show itself, through Din Djarin, to acknowledge that the helmet rule is antediluvian and should be forgotten. While season 3 ended with what felt like a series finale, this is what was missing: Djarin whipping his helmet off, denouncing the rule, and the rest of the Mandalorians following suit. That should be what happens when the show truly concludes. Din Djarin, like the audience, doesn’t want to have Grogu put on a helmet so we can never see his cute little face again, and this will be the final straw in the group changing their ways. We’ll finally see Pedro Pascal’s face again and he can be helmetless for Dave Filoni’s movie.
Mandalorians have now conquered Mandalore from Gideon’s forces but the recovery of the planet is just the beginning. Without a common enemy, can the different sects stay united? Can the culture grow and thrive? I would love to see this explored, and I was honestly expecting there to be a post-credits scene announcing The Book of Bo-Katan coming soon. But a fourth season of the core series can still tackle these questions and reveal what a resurgent Mandalore actually looks like. Just how important will the loss of the Darksaber be? I felt the weapon was underutilised and its importance underplayed in season 3 but the lore still runs deep. I would love to see its destruction be a turning point and representative of Bo’s rule. Sometimes the old ways have to die and new traditions created. Bo may have been a great warrior but I’m curious to see what sort of ruler she is. How much of her sister Satine is inside her, or is she more of a Robert Baratheon figure who can win the realm but not rule it?
As much as the focus on retaking Mandalore has been fun, I did enjoy the implied return to smaller missions in the future, with Djarin returning to bounty hunting at the end of the season. But he has changed: thanks to three seasons of development, he’s no longer working for criminals or the Imperial Remnant. Now he’s affiliated with the New Republic and I wonder whether elements from the cancelled Rangers of the New Republic series will find their way into this show. Djarin and Grogu could be hunting down the other imperial warlords seen in Chapter 23 as a way to continue that plot and inch towards both Filoni’s movie and the sequel trilogy. Thrawn doesn’t necessarily have to be the big bad of The Mandalorian going forward but I would be shocked if he didn’t appear next season. I would prefer is Gideon is gone for good though, his story feels completed. But this is Star Wars after all and we did just see several clones of him.
Those are the substantial story elements I could see being the focus of a fourth season of The Mandalorian, but there are some smaller pieces still on the table. I have to imagine we’ll see Boba Fett again at some point, Elia Kane is still embedded in the New Republic but is now adrift without her handler Gideon, and was the Mythosaur just a symbol or will it play a vital role? I feel the ending implied a connection between it and Grogu – a hint to what is to come. However long this story continues, across whichever shows or movies, I think it is driving towards one specific thing: Din Grogu will become ruler of Mandalore and is The Mandalorian of the show’s title.
What do you think will happen in The Mandalorian season 4? Let me know in the comments and be sure to geek out with me about TV, movies, and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.