The Mandalorian season 3: everything we know

Mando and Grogu, a key part of The Mandalorian season 3
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)
Audio player loading…
The Mandalorian season 3: key info

- Season 3 will debut on Disney Plus in 2023.

- Filming wrapped in March 2022.

- Baby Yoda will return.

- The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau continues as showrunner and writer.

- Will feature Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) and lots of Mandalorians, including Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff).

It was the series that launched Star Wars’ live-action assault on the big screen, and The Mandalorian season 3 is now arguably the most hotly anticipated show in that galaxy far, far away.

Luckily (spoilers ahead!), spin-off The Book of Boba Fett picked up some of the parent show’s loose ends, reuniting Mando and his young companion Grogu (you probably know him as Baby Yoda) a lot sooner than we were expecting. But even beyond their "clan of two", The Mandalorian season 3 has some big questions to answer, mostly concerning the fate of the Mandalorian people.

Mando inadvertently ended up wielding the fabled Darksaber, the ceremonial weapon traditionally carried by the leader of the Mandalorians. Not everyone is happy about this, however, particularly Bo-Katan Kryze, who sees herself as the warrior planet's heir apparent. Mando will also have to deal with the repercussions of removing his helmet in the season 2 finale, a big no-no in the Children of the Watch.

The Mandalorian season 2 episode 8 recap

The news that everybody wanted: Grogu is back! (Image credit: Lucasfilm/screengrab)

Production on The Mandalorian season 3 wrapped in March this year, and Disney Plus have confirmed the show will be back on our screens in 2023. So, ahead of the return of everyone's favorite bounty hunter/cute kid double act, here's everything we know about The Mandalorian season 3 story, cast, trailer and more.

Release date: Hopefully there’s not too much longer to wait, as Disney have confirmed the show will return in 2023. As for specifics, we're not sure beyond that, though a tweet from Star Wars Celebration in May suggested a February debut.

Cast: Pedro Pascal will return as the titular Mandalorian, Din Djarin, alongside Carl Weathers as Greef Karga, Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon, Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze and Amy Sedaris as Peli Motto.

Story: The fate of the Darksaber weapon and the future of the Mandalorian people will be key plotlines in season 3. Luckily, The Book of Boba Fett has already reunited Mando and Grogu, so that's one less thing to worry about.

The Mandalorian season 3 release date

Disney Plus is yet to confirm a specific The Mandalorian season 3 release date, but we do know that Mando and Baby Yoda will return some time in 2023 – confirmed by the trailer (see below) that debuted at September’s D23 event in Anaheim, California. 

Bizarrely, that's less information than we were given at May’s Star Wars Celebration event, when the official Star Wars twitter account gave a February 2023 launch date. It’s unclear whether Disney has abandoned that original February window or simply chose not to mention it in the trailer, but at least we know we'll be seeing the show some time next year. 

Star Carl Weathers (Greef Karga) confirmed that filming wrapped on The Mandalorian season 3 on Tuesday, March 29, meaning the effects-heavy show will have spent nearly a year in post-production by the time it streams on Disney Plus. It'll also be well over two years since the previous episode aired in late 2020 – unless you count Din Djarin and Grogu's much talked about outings in The Book of Boba Fett.

The Mandalorian season 3 trailer

While attendees at Star Wars Celebration in May 2022 got to see footage from Din Djarin’s continuing adventures, the rest of us had to wait a bit longer  The Mandalorian season 3 trailer debuted at D23 on September 10, and strongly hints that Bo-Katan Kryze and her quest to restore Mandalore will be pivotal to the new season.

We get glimpses of Mando’s new, heavily modded Naboo starfighter, numerous Mandalorians in flight and the returning Greef Karga. There are also deeper Star Wars cuts courtesy of a tree full of Kowakian monkey lizards (possibly relatives of Jabba the Hutt’s court jester, Salacious B Crumb), and The Rise of Skywalker’s Babu Frik.

We'll dive further into what The Mandalorian season 3 trailer means for the story below.

The Mandalorian season 3 story

Spoilers follow for The Mandalorian season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett. Don't go any further unless you want those series ruined for you.

The final episode of the show’s second year left behind two major plot points that The Mandalorian season 3 would have to pay off. First, there was the question of who would wield the ceremonial Darksaber and become ruler of the Mandalorian people – more on that later. And, second, we were all desperate to find out if Din Djarin and Grogu ever be reunited, after the kid had gone off to train as a Jedi with the one-and-only Luke Skywalker? Mando promised he’d see Grogu again, but when? 

As it turned out, the answer to the second question was "a lot sooner than we thought", as The Book of Boba Fett’s fifth and sixth episodes, "The Return of the Mandalorian" and "From The Desert Comes A Stranger", proved to be The Mandalorian season 2.5 in all but name. 

In the Book of Boba Fett, Mando paid Grogu (or, rather, Luke) a visit, bearing a beskar chainmail shirt he’d asked the Armorer to make for for Baby Yoda as a gift. Aware that Grogu might turn his back on his training if he saw Mando again – the Jedi have always taken a dim view of attachments – Luke declined to let his padawan see his adoptive dad. Instead, he told Mando that he'd pass the present onto Grogu.

Despite Luke's best efforts, however, Grogu decided not to continue with his training in the ways of the Force. When Luke presented him with a choice between Mando's gift or Yoda's old lightsaber – a cruel decision to ask an infant to make – Baby Yoda opted for the former. Realizing that Grogu longed to be reunited with the Mandalorian, Luke sent Grogu back to Tatooine in his famous “Red 5” X-wing, where they enjoyed a heart warming reunion during The Book of Boba Fett's finale. The pair were last seen blasting off from Tatooine in the custom Naboo starfighter Mando had renovated with Peli Motto, a replacement for the Razor Crest that had been destroyed by Moff Gideon’s Imperial remnant in season 2 episode “The Tragedy". 

Now that Grogu’s back with his surrogate dad – and with some time at Jedi school behind him – The Mandalorian season 3 may see the kid flex even more Force-based powers than we’ve seen before. "This child has magic powers, [is] 50 years old, and can see the future,” Giancarlo Esposito (who plays Gideon) told a young fan at GalaxyCon (via SlashFilm), “and we want everyone to know, eventually on this show, that [Grogu] could save our universe."

So, in addition to levitating, choking and looking implausibly cute, Baby Yoda can apparently see the future – which is an ability we’ve come across before in the troubled visions of Anakin and Luke Skywalker. 

That possibly explains why Imperial officers have been so keen to get his hands on the implausibly cute green kid, though Esposito did add that Gideon’s pursuit of Grogu is “for a very different reason than many people think”. Maybe the Child’s clairvoyant abilities are part of Gideon’s nefarious plans to take control of a resurgent post-Emperor Empire...

Grand Admiral Thrawn stands proud in an episode of Star Wars: Rebels

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

Speaking of which, Moff Gideon's ship is just one small part of the Imperial remnant forces out there waiting to be dealt with by the New Republic – indeed, we know that Imperial leader Grand Admiral Thrawn is alive and being hunted by Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice, 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 likely 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 plot point or not. (A cloning subplot could also tie into The Bad Batch season 2, where we encountered an Imperial scientist wearing a uniform very similar to that of the show's resident Imperial geneticist, Dr Pershing – who, by coincidence, is also back in The Mandalorian season 3.)

The Mandalorian season 2

Din Djarin meets Bo-Katan Kryze and learns that not all Mandalorians wear helmets. (Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

And then there’s the aforementioned story of the Mandalorians and the Darksaber, which was also significantly advanced by the events of The Book of Boba Fett.

At the end of season 2, Mando won the Darksaber weapon – the Mandalorian blade highly coveted by Bo-Katan Kryze in her journey to reclaim the throne of Mandalore – from Moff Gideon . 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. s 

Things got more complicated in The Book of Boba Fett when Mando tracked down his old cohorts from the “Tribe” on the spectacular Glavis Ringworld. Although the Armorer agreed to fashion Grogu’s new beskar undershirt, Mando faced a challenge from Paz Vizsla (another member of the Children of the Watch) for possession of the Darksaber. Mando won the fight, of course, but he’s still got a lot to learn about wielding the weapon.

Unfortunately, he’ll have to do it without guidance from the Armorer who – as well as providing some helpful exposition about the Great Purge, in which the Empire laid waste to Mandalore – also cast him out of the order. Mando’s crime? Removing his helmet in front of another – namely Grogu. According to creed, the only way  Djarin can redeem himself is by visiting the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore, which may prove problematic seeing as – as Mando points out – the mines have been destroyed.

Mando also has unfinished business with Kryze, who – as we've seen before – has no issue with removing helmets. She also claims that Mando's “cult" (aka the Children of the Watch) "fractured our people", and pointedly asks, "Where were you then?" In other words, it seems the future of the Mandalorian people is going to be a major plot point in season 3.

“As you witnessed in the trailer there are a lot more Mandalorians in the season and with that many Mandalorians in one room, things are bound to go wrong,” Bo-Katan actor Katee Sakhhoff told Yahoo Entertainment. “I think this season is different, I think that it is The Mandalorian, it's everything that people have come to love and know about the show, but I do believe that this season is a little faster paced and I do believe that tonally it’s like a moving train – you’ve just gotta get on.”

The Mandalorian season 3 cast

Moff Gideon smiles alongside two Stormtroopers in The Mandalorian season 2

It seems likely that Moff Gideon will return in The Mandalorian season 3. (Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)
  • Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin/the Mandalorian
  • Grogu as himself
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon
  • Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze
  • Emily Swallow as the Armorer
  • Omid Abtahi as Dr Pershing
  • Amy Sedaris as Peli Motto
  • Christopher Lloyd as TBC
  • Tim Meadows as TBC

It always seemed inevitable that Pedro Pascal would return as Din Djarin, aka The Mandalorian – at least some of the time.

Why some of the time? In addition to Mando duties, Pascal is committed to HBO's live-action series based on Naughty Dog's critically acclaimed videogame The Last of Us, where he’s starring as Joel Miller. Pascal's contract with HBO says that The Last of Us is in "first position", which – in Hollywood speak – means it takes precedence over any other shows the actor might work on, including The Mandalorian.

The Last of Us didn’t mean big problems for The Mandalorian, however, simply because Pascal isn’t always the actor inside that iconic helmet, as season 1 director Bryce Dallas Howard revealed to Vulture in 2019. Besides, as Giancarlo Esposito (who plays Moff Gideon) pointed out at GalaxyCon Raleigh (via WRAL.com), “We never have to wait for Pedro”. 

Back in October 2021, Rocky star Carl Weathers tweeted to confirm his return as Greef Karga, Bounty Hunter's Guild representative turned magistrate, and ally to Djarin, while Giancarlo Esposito has been teasing Moff Gideon's (now-confirmed) comeback since late 2020.

Katee Sackhoff’s return as Mandalorian noble Bo-Katan Kryze – and claimant to the throne of her people – was confirmed at Star Wars Celebration. It looks like she won't be joined by her Mandalorian colleague Koska Reeves, however, as Mercedes Varnado (better known as WWE star Sasha Banks) told Bleacher Report, “I'm not on next season”.

The Mandalorian season 3 trailer, meanwhile, confirms returns for Emily Swallow as the Armorer, Omid Abtahi as Dr Pershing – perhaps we'll learn more about his dodgy experiments? – and Amy Sedaris as mechanic/Grogu's #1 fan Peli Motto. The trailer also features a brief appearance from The Rise of Skywalker's breakout star Babu Frik, which suggests Shirley Henderson might be back to provide the diminutive engineer’s voice.

Having appeared in the Back to the Future and Star Trek franchises, Christopher “Doc Brown" Lloyd will make his Star Wars debut in a yet-to-be-confirmed role (as confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter), while Saturday Night Live vet Tim Meadows is also reported to be playing a part.

The one key player who definitely won't be returning is Gina Carano, who played former Rebel Shock Trooper Cara Dune in the show's first two seasons. After an offensive social media post, Carano was removed from all future Lucasfilm projects back in early 2021. "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. Carano has since fired back over her dismissal, with the actor 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.

Greef Karga and Cara Dune walk towards the camera in an episode of The Mandalorian season 2

Cara Dune won't be back for season 3, but Greef Carga will. (Image credit: DIsney/Lucasfilm)

Behind the camera, the Hollywood Reporter  has confirmed that Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard will direct an episode of The Mandalorian season 3, having previously directed three standout chapters for Mando and The Book of Boba Fett. Rick Famuyiwa also returns (see Collider) having also earned a promotion to executive producer.

The show's creator/showrunner Jon Favreau is once again expected to write most of the episodes.

Luke Skywalker arrives in The Mandalorian season 2 finale on Disney Plus

Will Mando and Grogu cross paths with Luke Skywalker again? (Image credit: Lucasfilm/screengrab)

Esposito also added that Moff Gideon’s pursuit of Grogu is “for a very different reason than many people think”. Could Grogu's clairvoyant abilities be part of Gideon's plans to take control of a resurgent post-Emperor Empire?

Speaking of which, 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. (A cloning subplot could also tie into The Bad Batch season 2, where we encountered an Imperial scientist wearing a uniform very similar to that of The Mandalorian's Dr Pershing.)

Some members of the cast do at least have an idea of where the show is heading. In an interview with IndieWire (opens in new tab) in January, Pascal teased that he's aware of "what the plan is" for The Mandalorian 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.”

The Mandalorian season 3 spin-offs explained

There were two spin-offs in the works, but The Book of Boba Fett has come and gone on Disney Plus now. While that limited series is over, the Ahsoka spin-off is currently in production, with Clone Wars/Rebels veteran (and Star Wars lore expert) Dave Filoni at the helm.

Regardless of that, both shows are set to take place in the timeframe of the main show, around five years after Return of the Jedi. According to Variety,  the new Jude Law-starring Skeleton Crew (announced at Star Wars Celebration) is also set in the New Republic era, so there may be some potential for overlap there, as well.  (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...

Richard is a freelance journalist specialising in movies and TV, primarily of the sci-fi and fantasy variety. An early encounter with a certain galaxy far, far away started a lifelong love affair with outer space, and these days Richard's happiest geeking out about Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and other long-running pop culture franchises. In a previous life he was editor of legendary sci-fi magazine SFX, where he got to interview many of the biggest names in the business – though he'll always have a soft spot for Jeff Goldblum who (somewhat bizarrely) thought Richard's name was Winter.

With contributions from