All the biggest questions are raised in the new The Mandalorian season 3 trailer.
Of course, there’s 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 further adventures of Dean Djarin and little Grog.
Like any good trailer, this new footage leaves us with Corlett Corvette questions. Let’s break down what we’re learning in these new footage and the key questions they raise ahead of the Season 3 premiere on March 1st, starting with the mysterious Jedi Knights.
Mystery Jedi: Will we get to see Grog’s origin story?
We’re seeing quite a bit of Grog in the new trailer, which shows the pint-sized Jedi enjoying a reunion with his father and testing the limits of his Force powers. But two frames stand out in particular, as they both suggest we’ll finally get some answers about Grog’s mysterious past.
In one shot, we see Omid Abtahi’s character Dr. Pershing riding through the crowded sky of Coruscant. It’s hard to tell if this is a flashback scene set during the rise of the Empire or after its fall. But anyway, 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 Jedi with lightsabers preparing to take on an invisible enemy cutting through the door. This scene is almost certainly a flashback, probably to the events of Order 66, as it’s too early for Luke’s academy to have many students. There’s a good chance we’re seeing Jedi tasked with protecting Grog from the attacking cloners, who likely received special orders from Emperor Palpatine to preserve this important specimen. This scene is almost certainly a flashback, likely to the events of Order 66.
At this point, all we know about Grog’s early life is that he survived the Jedi Purge, but went through many hardships along the way. We hope that by the end of Season 3, many of these gaps will finally be filled.
Who are the new Mandalorians?
We’ve known since the penultimate episode of The Book of Boba Fett that a trip to Mandalore is in Din Djarin’s near future. Even though Dean managed to win the Dark Saber in an honorable fight (a feat that eluded the planet’s current ruler, Bo-Katan Kryze), he also dishonored himself in the eyes of his fanatical cohort. He took off his helmet in front of others, and the only way to be cleansed of his “sin” was to bathe in the sacred pools beneath the surface of Mandalore.
The big question is whether this pilgrimage will also force Dean to take on the responsibility that has been placed on his armored shoulders. Like it or not, he is now the rightful leader of Mandalore. If the voice-over at the beginning of the trailer is any indication, it would seem he is finally starting to come to terms with that truth. It even looks like he’s starting to attract some followers.
But who are these other Mandalorians? The trailer shows a motley crew, all in different colors and armor forms. Are they loners like Dean, or are they members of other clans? And will any of these characters turn out to be familiar faces from The Clone Wars or other Star Wars titles?
We know that Natasha Liu Bordizzo has been cast as Sabine Wren for the upcoming Ahsoka series, meaning another Star Wars Rebels character is moving into live action. Is it possible that Sabina will appear early in The Mandalorian? Considering how eclectically colored some of these armored suits are, we wouldn’t be surprised if these new Mandalorians serve under her command.
What mysterious threat to expect?
We’ve seen several skirmishes between Dean and New Republic pilots fighting an uphill battle to patrol the lawless regions of space. Usually, the series treats these encounters as a joke, where Mando stays one step ahead of the law. But the trailer shows a reunion between Dean and Paul Sun Hyun Lee’s character Carson Teva, suggesting that the New Republic may be turning to the Mandalorians for help.
Carson refers to “something dangerous” – a threat steadily growing in strength even as the world returns to the civilized galaxy. What exactly does he mean?
The simplest explanation is that the Empire isn’t quite finished, even after Moff Gideon’s defeat and arrest. Thanks to Ahsoka, we know that Grand Admiral Thrawn is still out there somewhere. If this series is meant to set up Ahsoka’s show as directly as The Book of Boba Fett, then could this teaser be referring to Thrawn himself? Maybe we’ll get a taste of just how much firepower the Empire still has left under the control of its most ruthless commander. We see one scene where Mando dodges Imperial fire in the trailer, so they haven’t been defeated yet.
It is also possible that Carson is referring to the First Order, or any version of it currently in existence. We’re still far from the events of the sequel trilogy, but we do know that the remnants of the Empire will eventually retreat into the Unknown Regions and evolve into this new form. The Mandalorian has already made some connections between the original trilogy and the sequels, and that will likely continue into Season 3.
That said, there’s always the possibility that the trailer is teasing another conflict unrelated to the Empire or its successor. What if Thrawn controls not the remnants of the Empire, but the mighty fleet of his people, the Expansionary Defensive Fleet of the Chiss? Or what if the series takes inspiration from the classic Expanded Universe and features some version of the Yuuzhan Vong? What if Thrawn controls not the remnants of the Empire, but the mighty fleet of his people, the Chiss Expansionary Defensive Fleet?
Is that the Mandalorian helmet?
Some of the most memorable stories from the Expanded Universe involved the long, devastating war between the Jedi Order and the ancient Mandalorians, thousands of years before the movies. While the EU may have been omitted from the continuity, shows like The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian have established that the foundations of this conflict are still true to the new canon.
One of the changes made to these shows is the idea that the Darksaber is an artifact that signifies the right to control Mandalore. In the EU, it was the helmet of an ancient warlord known as Mandalore the Indomitable. This helmet has been passed down from generation to generation, with each new wearer wearing the mantle and legacy of the original Mandalore. As we learned in the Knights of the Old Republic games, Jedi General Revan defeated Mandalore 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 Dean dusting off a very ancient helmet. Is that the Mandalore helmet? And if so, are Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau trying to create a single version of the Mandalore mythology that combines the Darksaber and helmet? With a Knights of the Old Republic remake in the works, now would definitely be the time.
What’s the deal with the Babu freaks?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker can be extremely controversial, but just about everyone can agree that Babu Freak was pretty neat. That’s why we’re so excited to see more of Babu’s people – the Anzellans – in the Mando Season 3 trailers.
We can’t help but wonder what role these characters should play in the new season. Are they just colorful background characters, or will these technologically savvy little Muppets play an important role in Dean’s quest? And given that everyone in Star Wars seems to be connected to someone famous, will we find out that these Anzellans are members of the extended Freak family?
The series has already gotten a good run from familiar Star Wars creatures and droids, and we’re guessing that trend will continue into season 3. The new trailer also teases what looks like a close relative of Return of the Jedi’s Salacious Crumb and all the astromechs and protocol droids you could ever ask for. Heck, we even see a handful of Separatist battle droids in the trailer.