Breaking down the second trailer for The Mandalorian season 3!

The second trailer for The Mandalorian season 3 is here, debuting during Monday Night Football yesterday on ABC and ESPN!

The trailer gives us a ton of new shots that we hadn’t seen before without really giving away anything by way of spoilers. But it does set up some of the main storylines that the season is likely to explore, and in doing so it lets audiences know what to expect from a series that is branching off in some new directions from the first two seasons. This season will see a bunch of Mandalorians who are scattered and divided, it will feature Djarin returning to Mandalore, and it will explore the New Republic and the growing threat that lurks just beyond their grasp. In short: it sounds awesome.

We’re going to break the trailer down here and I’ll share my thoughts on what we learned. Let’s dive in.

The trailer opens with several shots of Mandalorians. The first is a group walking on a desert planet, and then we see them up-close (seemingly on the same planet), with Din Djarin walking amidst them. As we see this, we hear a voiceover from Djarin saying, “Our people are scattered like stars in the galaxy. What are we? What do we stand for?” Right from the start, then, the trailer seems to be hinting at something hugely important that could be at the center of the whole season: an attempt to reunite the shattered and scattered Mandalorian clans. By my count we’ve already seen at least three different Mandalorian clans that are going to be included, and there is one figure at the center of all of it: Djarin, who just so happens to be wielding the darksaber, the symbol that can unite Mandalore once more under the one who possesses it. I could see that being a significant end-goal for this series, showing how this fledgling foundling comes to be the one to reunite the Mandalorian people and reclaim their home.

To the surprise of no one, the trailer is filled with great moments of Djarin and Grogu together, including in the cockpit of Mando’s new starfighter. All of this might come as a big surprise to those who didn’t watch The Book of Boba Fett, but I wouldn’t be shocked if that’s why both the ship and the child play such a big part of this trailer. They’re making sure that audiences are caught up on where the story is by the time the season starts.

And we hear Djarin saying that, “Being a Mandalorian’s not just about learning about how to fight. You also have to know how to navigate the galaxy. That way, you’ll never be lost.”

Note to self: if you’re a struggling planet needing solid leadership, call up Greef Karga. Mando and Grogu return to Nevarro, which just continues to grow and thrive. It’s almost unrecognizable now from the planet and city we saw in season one, and it seems that Greef has had a major part in that. It’ll be good to see them team up with Greef again, and there’s a Kowakian monkey hanging out in the tree too. Who doesn’t love that?

I wasn’t kidding about the N1 starfighter being featured in this trailer. Mando pilots it into a cloudy storm, not really able to see where he’s going (so we don’t learn much), but you can tell that there’s a droid in the slot behind the cockpit. Later in the trailer we’ll see that it’s the R4 unit from Peli Motto’s shop, but presumably the astromech being part of the mission is why Grogu rides on Djarin’s lap in the cockpit.

The Armorer shows up, and Djarin tells her, “I’m going to Mandalore so that I may be forgiven for my transgressions.” And, whether by a clever bit of editing or an actual reaction, Grogu looks up at his “dad” with a surprised look. But this statement is a huge one, even if we already knew that it was happening. Djarin’s going to Mandalore. The transgression he speaks of is having removed his helmet in the presence of others, so he’s still set in his ways, and in The Book of Boba Fett the Armorer told him that such a sin can only be forgiven in the pools underneath Mandalore – which have been destroyed. I’m pumped to see this storyline play out.

And speaking of Mandalore, here it is! This is the capital city of Sundari… but it looks quite different than we’ve seen it before. It’s a far cry from the domed city seen in The Clone Wars and Rebels; instead, it’s a destroyed shell of a city after the devastation of the Night of a Thousand Tears (an Imperial occupation on Mandalore that Moff Gideon had something to do with). Aside from a brief flashback in The Book of Boba Fett this will be our first time seeing Mandalore in live-action, and I absolutely can’t wait.

I mentioned R4 earlier, and here the droid leaves with Djarin and Grogu from Peli’s shop on Tatooine. As they leave, Peli cries out “may the Force be with you,” so it’s good that there are still believers in the galaxy in this post-Empire period.

Grogu again, being adorable. He’s fascinated by fireworks, and then in a different shot he flips the switch for the turbo thrusters on the ship, taking them for a ride.

CORUSCANT IS BACK. I was thrilled to see the planet show up in the trailer, and this will be the very first time we’ve seen the planet in the post-Return of the Jedi period. It’s no longer the capital of the galactic government (the New Republic government is believed to be stationed on Chandrila during this period). But after seeing the planet in Andor I’m pumped to see it again here, and particularly at this point in the timeline.

Interestingly, there’s only one shot on the Disney+ of the trailer that doesn’t appear on the Youtube version, and it’s a brief glimpse of a number of Star Destroyers lined up in a row on the planet, presumably being scrapped for parts. I have no idea why this one shot was exluded from the other trailer, and it’s very weird, but it’s a great shot nonetheless.

But the significance of showing us Coruscant is also to see Doctor Pershing, being driven in a speeder, reminding us of the intrigue with the doctor and his mysterious work. He’s been after Grogu’s blood for some cloning experiments, but what’s the sinister secrets behind all of this? Does it connect to the First Order and Palpatine? Maybe the thing I’m most excited about this season, at least right now, is the chance to explore this post-Civil War galaxy, with the New Republic and the growing threats…

And it’s Carson Teva who fills us in on that side of things. “There’s something dangerous happening out there,” he says, “and by the time it becomes big enough for you to act… it will be too late.” I’m so excited to get more about this, as we know that people in the New Republic (notably Leia Organa) were aware of lurking darkness in the outer reaches, but the New Republic as a whole was tired of a fight and didn’t take it seriously… so much so that Leia wound up forming the Resistance many years later. Teva is obviously concerned about what’s happening, but I wonder just how much support he’s going to get from the New Republic on it. Will they believe him?

Also, let’s talk about his jacket. The Rancor patch is epic, and does that mean there’s a Rancor Squadron in the Republic military? That would be amazing. But additionally, his jacket looks almost identical to the one Poe Dameron wears during The Last Jedi – just subtract the Rancor patch and replace the New Republic insignia with the Resistance one (they’re very similar) and you have it. Is that a clue to Teva’s loyalties, or is that just more coincidental? It does seem like the Rangers of the New Republic series might have been folded into this series, with Teva taking on a more prominent role. And if that’s the case, I think it’ll actually be better than the original plans anyway.

And let’s not miss the fact that, as Teva talks about something dangerous out there, it opens up two different threads: for one, Jon Favreau has long promised that this series will explore the origins of the First Order, and that’s presumably what’s in mind here. But there’s the additional thread that we all know is looming out there to appear before long: Thrawn. I’m not convinced he’ll show up in this series (his debut might be in Ahsoka instead), but he’s coming nonetheless.

Are these the caves under Mandalore where the pools lie? It’s a cave somewhere, and Djarin finds an old dusty Mandalorian helmet. Is this aftermath from the Night of a Thousand Tears?

Because Star Wars just loves bringing up this painful moment for fans over and over, we get what looks like a flashback glimpse of Order 66. The Jedi are defending something – surely it’s Grogu – and someone is breaking through the door. I suppose we’re going to learn about how Grogu survived the Order and who it was that rescued him, but I’m also wondering whether we’ll see Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker again in this series, during the assault on the Jedi Temple.

One other thought is that the Jedi second from the left sure does look like Cin Drallig from behind. He was a protector of the Temple during the Clone Wars who was killed by Anakin on that fateful night, so it all could add up.

There’s a dogfight above a water planet between TIEs and a gauntlet fighter, and it looks amazing. It seems that Djarin might arrive to fight as well, but that’s a little less clear. Either way, to see the gauntlet fighter (perhaps piloted by Bo-Katan?) in action like this, against Imperial forces, is a dream come true. And it looks great.

There’s a droid bar, and Mando needs help from the bartender on something, but let’s not miss the real takeaway here: there are B1 battle droids at this droid bar, socializing it up. And that’s simply awesome.

On Nevarro, Djarin’s clan of Mandalorians arrives and fights against some thugs. Remember that this is their old stomping grounds, so it makes sense for them to come back for some reason. Also of note (perhaps) is that the statue of IG-11 that stands in the city square has been removed, for whatever reason…

And as the Mandalorians fight the thugs, we see two Anzellans looking on! It’s unclear whether one of them is Babu Frik or whether these are just two new members of his species, but either way they’re sure to be a hit, just like Babu was in The Rise of Skywalker.

The trailer ends with Grogu riding his trolley alone through a cave, only to be met by a thug who jumps in front of the entrance. Cut to the outside of the cave and the thug goes flying, Force pushed by Grogu out of the way. It’s a great moment to end the trailer with, because it hints at Grogu’s growing powers. And it hints at the question Pedro Pascal teased last year about Djarin’s growing relationship with Grogu: “who will be protecting who?”

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