There’s certainly no shortage of great Star Wars content to look forward to in the early months of 2023, and that includes the highly anticipated third season of The Mandalorian. Disney has just released a new trailer giving us a closer look at Season 3 and the subsequent adventures of Din Djarin and little Grogu.
Like any good trailer, this new footage leaves us with the questions of a Corellian Corvette. Let’s break down what we learn in this new video and the key questions it raises ahead of the Season 3 premiere on March 1, starting with the mysterious Jedi Knights.
The Mandalorian Season 3: Official Trailer #2 Screenshots
The Mystery Jedi: Will we see Grogu’s origin story?
We get to see a lot of Grogu in the new trailer, which shows the little Jedi enjoying being reunited with his father and testing the limits of his Force abilities. But two shots in particular stand out, as both suggest we’ll finally get some answers about Grogu’s mysterious past.
In a single shot, we see Dr. Pershing, Omid Abtahi’s character, riding through the crowded skies of Coruscant. It’s hard to tell if this is a flashback scene set during the Empire’s heyday or after its fall. But either way, whenever Pershing shows up, we usually get more information about the Empire’s efforts to study “The Asset.”
In another shot, we see a group of lightsaber-wielding Jedi preparing to fight an unseen enemy coming through a door. This scene is almost certainly a flashback, likely to the events of Order 66, as it is too early in the timeline for Luke’s academy to have many students. We are most likely looking at the Jedi tasked with protecting Grogu from attacking Clonetroopers, who likely received special orders from Emperor Palpatine to preserve this crucial specimen.
At this point, all we know about Grogu’s early life is that he survived the Jedi Purge but endured many hardships along the way. Here’s hoping that by the season 3 finale, a lot of those blank spaces will finally be filled.
Who are the new Mandalorians?
We know from the penultimate episode of The Book of Boba Fett that a trip to Mandalore is in Din Djarin’s immediate future. Although Din managed to win the Darksaber in honorable combat (a feat that eluded the planet’s current ruler, Bo-Katan Kryze), he also disgraced himself in the eyes of his fanatical cohort. He removed his helmet in front of the others, and the only way to cleanse himself of his “sin” is to bathe in the sacred pools below the surface of Mandalore.
The big question is whether this pilgrimage will also force Din to accept the responsibility that has been placed on his armored shoulders. Whether he likes it or not, he is now the rightful leader of Mandalore. If the voiceover at the beginning of the trailer is any indication, it sounds like he’s finally starting to come to terms with this truth. It even looks like he’s starting to attract a few followers.
But who exactly are these other Mandalorians? The trailer shows a motley crew, all dressed in different colors and shapes of armor. Are they loners like Din or are they representatives of other clans? And will any of these characters turn out to be familiar faces from The Clone Wars or other pieces of Star Wars lore?
We know that Natasha Liu Bordizzo has been cast as Sabine Wren for the upcoming Ahsoka series, which means another Star Wars Rebels character is making the leap into live action. Is it possible for Sabine to make an early appearance in The Mandalorian first? Given how eclectically painted some of these armored suits are, we wouldn’t be surprised if these new Mandalorians are serving under her.
What mysterious threat is being teased?
We have seen several encounters between Din and New Republic pilots waging an uphill battle to patrol the lawless regions of space. Typically, the series treats such meetings as a running joke, where Mando stays one step ahead of the law. But the trailer features a meeting between Din and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee’s character Carson Teva, suggesting that the New Republic may be turning to the Mandalorians for help.
Carson references “something dangerous,” a threat that steadily grows in power even as peace returns to the civilized galaxy. What do you mean exactly?
The simplest explanation is that the Empire isn’t quite finished, even after Moff Gideon’s defeat and arrest. We know from Ahsoka that Grand Admiral Thrawn is still out there somewhere. If this series is meant to set up Ahsoka’s show as directly as he did with The Book of Boba Fett, could this tease refer to Thrawn himself? Perhaps we get an idea of how much firepower the Empire has left under the control of its most ruthless commander. We see a scene of Mando dodging Imperial fire in the trailer, so they haven’t been defeated yet.
It’s also possible that Carson is alluding to the First Order, or whatever version exists at the moment. We’re still decades away from the events of the sequel trilogy here, but we do know that the remnants of the Empire eventually retreat into the Unknown Regions and evolve into that new form. The Mandalorian has already forged some links between the original trilogy and the sequels, and that will likely continue with Season 3.
That said, there’s always a chance the trailer could tease a different conflict that isn’t related to the Empire or its successor. What if Thrawn isn’t controlling the remnants of the Empire, but his people’s mighty armada, the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet? Or what if the series takes inspiration from the classic Expanded Universe and introduces some version of the Yuuzhan Vong?
Is that the Mandalore helmet?
Some of the most memorable stories in the Expanded Universe deal with the long and destructive war between the Jedi Order and the ancient Mandalorians, thousands of years before the movies. While the EU may have been removed from continuity, shows like The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian have established that the basics of that conflict still hold true in the new canon.
One of the changes introduced to these shows is the idea that the Darksaber is the artifact that signifies the right to rule Mandalore. In the EU, instead, it was the helmet of an ancient warlord known as Mandalore the Indomitable. That helmet was passed down through the generations, with each new owner carrying the mantle and legacy of the original Mandalore. As we learned in the Knights of the Old Republic games, Jedi General Revan defeated Mandalore the Ultimate in one-on-one combat and hid the helmet, effectively crippling the Mandalorians for years to come.
The new trailer features a quick shot of Din dusting off a very old looking helmet. Is this Mandalore’s helmet? And if so, are Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau trying to create a unified version of the Mandalore mythology that combines the Darksaber and the helmet? With a remake of Knights of the Old Republic in the works, now would definitely be the time.
What’s the deal with the Babu Friks?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker can be extremely divisive, but almost everyone can agree that Babu Frik was pretty good. That’s why we’re so excited to see more of Babu’s people, the Anzellans, in previews for Mando Season 3.
We can’t help but wonder what role these characters will have to play in the new season. Are they just colorful background characters, or will these technologically-savvy little Muppets play a big part in Din’s search? And since everyone in Star Wars seems to be related to someone famous, will we find out that these Anzellans are members of the extended Frik family?
The series has already made good use of familiar Star Wars creatures and droids, and we assume that trend will continue in Season 3. The new trailer also shows off what appears to be a close cousin of Return of the Jedi’s Salacious Crumb and all the protocol and astromech droids you could ask for. Heck, we even see a handful of Separatist battle droids in the trailer.
Those are our burning questions from the new Mando trailer. Let us know your thoughts and theories in the comments, and be sure to check out our full breakdown of what to expect from Star Wars in 2023 and every Star Wars movie and series in development.
Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Let him lend his intellectual thicket a machete following @jschedeen on Twitter.
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