The very first episode of The Mandalorian ended with the surprising reveal of the target Mando was after: a child of the same species as the legendary Jedi Master Yoda.
This child, whom we later learned is named Grogu, immediately captured the hearts of viewers and quickly became one of the show’s central figures. Only Grogu and the Mandalorian, Din Djarin, have appeared in every episode of the series so far through two seasons, and the relationship between the two of them has been the primary narrative driver of the first two seasons of the show.
But all of that seemed to come to a close at the end of season two, when Djarin’s quest to return Grogu to his people apparently ended with the arrival of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, who showed up to rescue Grogu and departed with the child. Many viewers picked up on this, wondering about what the future of the show looked like. And in the recent Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian episode looking at the epic finale, showrunner Jon Favreau acknowledged as much.
“When you have those feelings where it feels really compelling, you know that you’re on to something,” Favreau said about bringing back Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. “And we knew that if we could pull this off it would represent so much to so many people. And especially to Mark. To let him come in there and show Luke at this moment, and let it be a celebration, and also a culmination of a two-season arc about the journey of this little child.”
Notice that Favreau mentioned this being the culmination of a two-season arc, which confirms the perception that fans had about this. In other words this isn’t groundbreaking information, since we figured as much, but it’s still worth noting since it’s coming from Favreau here. It seems that The Mandalorian as we’ve known it for the past two seasons is done, at least for now. And that leads to all sorts of questions.
One such question is on a more practical level, but it’s about how – and how much – this show is going to move on without its central figure, the one who became a widespread cultural sensation. On that front, I have two thoughts. (1) Firstly, the fact that Grogu was one of the two main characters of the first two seasons helped to establish this show, but I think that now The Mandalorian is established enough to still draw in viewers even without Grogu. So I think having Grogu helped this show take off very rapidly beyond what it otherwise would have, but even if he’s not a main character moving forward I think this show still has enough momentum to keep going strong. (2) And second, I don’t think we’re done with Grogu. Din tells him as much, saying that he’ll see him again. I very much think that we’ll be seeing Grogu show up again – I’m just not convinced that Grogu is going to be a central player moving forward right now.
So what might the next season of The Mandalorian be about? Well, I think that too is foreshadowed in various moments of the show already. There’s mention of the fact that Mandalore has been devastated by the Empire. Bo-Katan Kryze wants the darksaber in an effort to re-take their homeworld. Bo-Katan wants Din Djarin to join her in this quest. Moff Gideon has a history with what happened on Mandalore. And Din Djarin winds up winning the darksaber in combat against Gideon. All of this, to me, seems to be setting in motion a shift in direction for the series; the quest to return Grogu to his people has finished, and now the quest to re-take Mandalore can begin. That’s where I’m expecting season three to go, and I think that would make for some fantastic storylines.
None of this is new; we’ve been thinking as much for months. But Jon Favreau directly saying that this was viewed as the end of a two-season arc gives much more credibility to this being the direction the showrunners are going as well.