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The Mandalorian season 3: everything we know right now

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The Mandalorian season 3: key info

– Season 3 is confirmed and in the works
– Will release after The Book of Boba Fett
– Won’t feature Gina Carano
– Expected to feature Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito)
– Getting a spin-off called Ahsoka
– May not film until late 2021, according to a report

The Mandalorian season 3 is confirmed – you just might be waiting a while for a release date. Disney Plus is stepping up its Star Wars content big time over the next few years, with multiple Mando spin-offs rolling out alongside shows focused on the Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor characters. 

First up is December’s The Book of Boba Fett, with the Rosario Dawson show Ahsoka also coming at some point in the future. But the show that started it all isn’t going anywhere, with Mando and Grogu’s story continuing on the small screen on Disney’s streamer. 

What we know so far is that The Mandalorian season 3 will likely have a release date some time in 2022. The exact timing, though, remains a mystery, because the show’s filming date has seemingly been pushed back – it was originally meant to film back-to-back with the Boba Fett show. Now, that doesn’t seem to be the case. 

Is season 3 happening? Yes. The show was reportedly renewed before The Mandalorian season 2 even released, but The Mandalorian’s future was confirmed by creator Jon Favreau in December 2020.

Release date: The Mandalorian season 3 is expected to launch in 2022, but the exact timing is unknown. All that’s been revealed officially is that it was planned to go into production ‘right after’ The Book of Boba Fett – but it’s since been reported that season 3 won’t film until late 2021 or early 2022. Lucasfilm hasn’t said anything either way, and Pedro Pascal confirmed in June that season 3 hadn’t filmed yet.

Cast: Pascal will return as the titular Mandalorian, Din Djarin, but other cast members haven’t been confirmed yet. Gina Carano won’t return as Cara Dune. Giancarlo Esposito has hinted his character, Moff Gideon, may return in future.

Story: The fate of the Darksaber weapon, and whether Grogu will return to Din after being trained by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), are the plot threads we expect to be picked up in The Mandalorian season 3. 

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The Mandalorian season 3 release date

The Mandalorian season 3 release date

Back when The Book of Boba Fett was announced at the end of The Mandalorian season 2 finale, Grogu fans were concerned that the new show was taking the place of a third season of The Mandalorian. But that’s definitely not the case: Favreau has confirmed that The Mandalorian season 3 will continue the story of Din Djarin.

“What we didn’t say in [the Disney Investor Day announcement about upcoming Star Wars TV] is the next show coming up – [Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy] said the next chapter – that’s gonna be The Book of Boba Fett,” Favreau told Good Morning America in December 2020. “And then we go into production right after that on season 3 of The Mandalorian, back with the main character that we all have known and loved.” 

With The Book of Boba Fett coming in December 2021, The Mandalorian season 3 will release in 2022 at the earliest. But when, exactly, seems more complicated. 

A production listing for The Mandalorian season 3 by the Film and Television Industry Alliance says filming was scheduled to begin on April 5, 2021. Lucasfilm hasn’t said anything to that effect just yet, however. And Collider reported in June 2021 that season 3 isn’t set to film until late 2021 or early 2022 – with a late 2022 release date planned. The Obi-Wan Kenobi series is reportedly taking up the stages in LA where the show is shot at the moment. 

Adding to the confusion, Pedro Pascal – the man beneath Mando’s helmet – suggested in an appearance on Variety’s Actors on Actors series that, as of early June 2021, production was still yet to get underway. When fellow Star Wars star Ewan McGregor asked if principal photography had begun for The Mandalorian season 3, Pascal responded: “We haven’t shot a third season so, confidentially… actually, maybe I shouldn’t say…”

Pascal has another commitment that may further delay Mando’s return. He’s been cast as Joel Miller in HBO’s live-action series based on Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed videogame The Last of Us. Production got under way on the new show in early July, and Pascal’s contract with HBO means The Last of Us is in “first position” – in Hollywood speak, that means it takes precedence over any other shows the actor might work on, including The Mandalorian.

The Last of Us doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world for Mando, however – especially as he’s not always the actor inside that famous helmet, as season 1 director Bryce Dallas Howard revealed to Vulture in 2019. That could make filming easier.

We’ll update this section once we have confirmation on an official launch date. 

The Mandalorian season 3 cast

The Mandalorian season 3 cast

The Mandalorian season 3 cast

Mando and Boba Fett compare tailors. (Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Spoilers follow for The Mandalorian season 2. Don’t go any further unless you want the series ruined for you.

While there’s no officially confirmed supporting cast for season 3 yet, Pedro Pascal will return (at least some of the time) as Din Djarin, aka The Mandalorian. 

Other actors returning next season are unclear – no surprise, seeing as Lucasfilm tend to enjoy keeping guest stars secret until new episodes debut on Disney Plus – but the show now has a big ensemble to pick and choose from. 

We fully expect to see Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan Kryze appear again – perhaps season 3 will dig further into her quest to restore Mandalore – while Carl Weathers (Greef Karga) is likely to pop up at some point.

Gina Carano, however, isn’t returning as former Rebel Shock Trooper Cara Dune. We’ve touched on this further down, so jump ahead if you want to know why.

Giancarlo Esposito seems fairly confident he’ll turn up again as rogue Imperial Moff Gideon in season 3. “I have a feeling you’ll see more of me next season. More than likely you’re going to see a lot of Moff Gideon,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly. With his life spared by Mando in the season 2 finale, the Imperial bigwig clearly has a bigger part to play in the post-Return of the Jedi universe. And besides, why ditch a perfectly good villain?

It’s also possible that Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) will appear again after their starring roles in the upcoming The Book of Boba Fett, but that’s by no means certain. The events of that show will probably shed light on that. 

“I don’t know, you’ll probably find out before I do,” said Ming-Na when Digital Spy asked her about a possible appearance in The Mandalorian season 3. “You guys have your feelers out on everything. I mean, come on, I didn’t even know I was shooting The Book of Boba Fett, so you’re asking the wrong person. 

“We’re so secretive about everything, right?” she added. “We don’t call the shows, the shows. The contracts are always under different names. The show is under different names. When I was told I was going to become a season regular, I just automatically assumed it was for The Mandalorian season 3. So for two weeks, while I was working with Tem [Temuera Morrison] and Robert [Rodriguez, The Book of Boba Fett executive producer], I had no idea that I was actually shooting the spin-off!”

Additionally, rumors surrounding an appearance from the Wookiees have emerged recently. According to the Bespin Bulletin podcast, sources close to season 3’s production have suggested that a Wookiee will be making an appearance in the show. Naturally, there’s no confirmation as to whether this is true, so we’re staying skeptical for now. If you’re interested in viewing the rumor yourself, though, check out the Instagram post below:

A post shared by Bespin Bulletin (@bespinbulletin)

A photo posted by on

The Mandalorian season 3 story

The Mandalorian season 3 story: what we expect

Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian season 2

What will happen to Grogu now he’s in the care of Luke Skywalker? (Image credit: Lucasfilm/screengrab)

We think there are two big plot threads from season 2 that The Mandalorian season 3 has to pay off. First, who will wield the Darksaber? And, second, when will Grogu – also known as The Child/Baby Yoda – return to Din Djarin’s care following his time training with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker?  

At the end of season 2, Mando won the Darksaber weapon – the Mandalorian blade highly coveted by Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in her journey to reclaim the throne of Mandalore – from Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). However, he couldn’t simply hand it over to Bo-Katan, and tensions mounted as it became clear that she and Mando were going to have to duel in order for her to claim the weapon. This plot thread should be picked up again in The Mandalorian season 3, as any further developments were scuppered by the impromptu appearance of Luke Skywalker in the season finale.

Speaking of Luke, the other big plot point we expect to be picked up in season 3 is the fate of Grogu after the artist formerly known as Baby Yoda went off with Luke to be trained in the ways of the Force. “He is strong with the Force, but talent without training is nothing,” said Skywalker. “I will give my life to protect the Child… but he will not be safe until he masters his abilities.” 

Mando promises he’ll see Grogu again, but when? We would be shocked not to see the little green guy again next season. 

Then, of course, there’s the resurgent Empire to deal with. Moff Gideon’s ship is just one small part of the Imperial remnant forces out there waiting to be dealt with, and we know that Imperial leader Grand Admiral Thrawn is alive and being hunted by Ahsoka Tano.

We expect the Thrawn story to form the basis of the upcoming Ahsoka live-action show, but it’s possible we’ll see it picked up again in The Mandalorian, too. 

It’s also likely that we’ll see more hints at what Grogu’s blood is being used for by the Empire. It seemed fairly obvious the show was pointing at the cloned origins of the sequel trilogy’s puppet villain Supreme Leader Snoke, and the eventual return of Emperor Palpatine that would make us sigh with disappointment in 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker. We’ll have to see if season 3 addresses this or not.

Some members of the cast do at least have an idea of where the show is heading. In an interview with IndieWire in January, Pascal teased that he’s aware of “what the plan is” for season 3 and beyond, but obviously couldn’t elaborate on it due to spoilers and NDA agreements in his contract.

“I can’t share it (the plot), he said. “They’re in the expansion of this world, where there are so many unexpected surprises and timelines that are going to be dealt with. If the character were to cross over into these worlds, it will be utilized in a way that isn’t meant to be expected. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise of whether or not characters from the show we already know are crossing over.”

Grand Admiral Thrawn

Could Grand Admiral Thrawn make an appearance in The Mandalorian season 3? (Image credit: StarWars.com)

The Mandalorian season 3: Gina Carano won’t return

Due to an offensive social media post, Gina Carano was removed from all future Lucasfilm projects. “Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” the company said in a statement. That means you won’t see her in future Star Wars shows, including The Mandalorian season 3. Carano has since fired back over her removal from the show, with the actress claiming that she had been “bullied” by Disney and LucasFilm – accusations that both companies have strenuously denied (h/t BBC).

It’s unclear if this means the Cara Dune character is being retired or if she’ll be recast. The Mandalorian’s showrunners could easily find a way to kill her off-screen but, until we know for sure, we’ll wait to see what Favreau and company decide to do with Cara Dune. The fact that the Rangers of the New Republic spin-off – widely rumored to focus on Dune – has been mothballed by Lucasfilm suggests we may have seen the last of the character.

The Mandalorian season 3 spin-offs explained

The Mandalorian has two spin-offs in the works: The Book of Boba Fett, which we’ve talked about already, and Ahsoka. Both are set to take place in the timeframe of the main show, around five years after Return of the Jedi. (The previously mentioned Rangers of the New Republic would also have been set during the same period, until Lucasfilm and Disney put it on ice – or should that be carbonite?)

Most intriguingly, there’s a plan for this sub-universe of shows to converge into a larger story. It sounds a little like what Netflix did in uniting its various Marvel superhero TV shows in the miniseries The Defenders, but we’d expect Disney and Lucasfilm’s plans to be better received than the Netflix crossover series was.

“These interconnected shows, along with future stories, will excite new audiences embrace our most passionate fans, and culminate in a climactic story event,” explained Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy during Disney’s Investor Day stream in late 2020. 

It sounds to us, then, that we’re going to see either a miniseries or movie-length episode that brings these stories together – though we wouldn’t expect to see that for a few years from now. 

First, let’s get The Mandalorian season 3 out of the way…

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