- Hasn't officially been announced
- Might have been replaced by The Mandalorian and Grogu movie
- Contrasting reports about whether it will be made
- Scripts reportedly completed before season 3 was released
- Was reportedly set to start filming last September before the 2023 Hollywood strikes halted production
- Expected to continue the story of Din Djarin and Grogu if it's greenlit
- Could lead into a prestige movie event helmed by Dave Filoni if it's officially unveiled
What is going on with The Mandalorian season 4? That's the question on everyone's lips after a bombshell announcement from Lucasfilm and Disney.
The reveal in question? That the hit Star Wars show is getting a movie sequel – and it won't be on Disney Plus. That's right, Din Djarin and Baby Yoda are heading to the big screen in The Mandalorian and Grogu, which will be the first Star Wars film to fly into theaters since The Rise of Skywalker.
Understandably, The Mandalorian and Grogu's forthcoming flick leaves a big question mark hanging over season 4's development. We've attempted to answer what the future holds for the popular Disney Plus series in this guide's release date section, so read on to find out more. If you do, you'll also learn plenty about the show's likely cast, possible story details (if they haven't been reworked for Mando and Grogu's movie), and other important information.
The Mandalorian season 4 release date: what we know
The Mandalorian and Grogu are headed to the big screen. Directed by Jon Favreau, and produced by Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy, and Dave Filoni, The Mandalorian & Grogu will go into production later this year. This is the Way.https://t.co/necB6lUOat pic.twitter.com/U0VtxFRBbtJanuary 9, 2024
The Mandalorian season 4 hasn't been officially announced, and it might not do so if it's been replaced by The Mandalorian and Grogu.
Making Star Wars was the first to report on the fourth season making way for a film, with the outlet claiming as much in July 2023. Official confirmation came from Lucasfilm and Disney in January, with industry insider Jeff Sneider saying they pivoted away from a fourth season on one of the world's best streaming services in favor of a big-screen adventure last November. That decision was taken in light of the 2023 Hollywood strikes, which delayed season 4's production despite showrunner Jon Favreau telling French TV station BFM TV (via Entertainment Weekly (EW)) he'd already penned its scripts prior to season 3's launch.
Now, there are contrasting reports about whether The Mandalorian season 4's will get made. The Hollywood Reporter suggests its status is up in the air, whereas Deadline claims it's still on the way. Credible leak-based website The Bespin Bulletin backed up Deadline's article, but indicated that The Mandalorian and Grogu would act as the season finale to the fourth installment's six-episode run.
The Bespin Bulletin also claims season 4 will start filming in February 2024, but that seems highly unlikely. As mentioned, Lucasfilm hasn't confirmed if it's still in development and, with Mando and Baby Yoda's film due to enter production sometime in 2024 (per StarWars.com), we're erring on the side of caution and don't expect principal photography to begin on season 4 any time soon.
The Mandalorian season 4 cast speculation
Here's who we'd expect to see in The Mandalorian season 4 if it's still in development:
- Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin/The Mandalorian (voice role)
- Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder as Din Djarin/The Mandalorian (physical performance)
- Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze
- Emily Swallow as the Armorer
- Carl Weathers as Greef Karga
- Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Carson Teva
- Amy Sedaris as Peli Motto
- Katy M. O’Brian as Elia Kane
- Taika Waititi as IG-11
- Din Grogu as himself
The constants in The Mandalorian cast are Grogu/Baby Yoda and Din Djarin, the eponymous Mandalorian – although, with star Pedro Pascal now tied up with HBO's The Last of Us TV show (and potentially playing Reed Richards in Marvel's Fantastic Four movie), much of his performance is limited to voice work. We’d expect that to remain the case, with Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder continuing to wear the iconic beskar armor on set for a hefty proportion of scenes. Not that Pascal is confirming anything...
"There’s such preciousness around even saying that I’m signed up for season 4 if it’s already written," he told RadioTimes.com in March 2023. "I’m naturally a blabbermouth, but I really get protective of it, because I get a thrill out of the surprises that are in store for the audience."
With Mando and Grogu making a home on Nevarro, we'd expect them to regularly cross paths with High Magistrate Greef Karga (Weathers) and assassin droid-turned-marshal IG-11 (Waititi). They'd also likely to pay yet another visit to Mos Eisley-based engineer Peli Motto (Sedaris) who's been repairing Mando's ships since season 1.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of #TheMandalorian on their Creative Arts Emmy® Awards win for Outstanding Stunt Performance! #Emmys pic.twitter.com/QmsZaqshYYJanuary 7, 2024
Despite the Mandalorians reclaiming their homeworld from Imperial invaders, Bo-Katan Kryze (Sackhoff), the Armorer (Swallow), Koska Reeves (Valdano) and Axe Woves (Kassianides) will still surely have a part to play. We can also expect X-wing pilot Carson Teva (Lee) and Moff Gideon ally Elia Kane (O’Brian) to continue representing the New Republic and the Empire respectively.
Beyond that, things get a lot more speculative. Over three seasons of The Mandalorian, plus The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka, Favreau and Filoni have established a large cast of ensemble players, pretty much any of whom could appear at any time.
As the TV shows in this sector of the Star Wars timeline (find out how to watch the Star Wars movies and shows in order while you're here) build up to Dave Filoni’s climactic movie (more on this later), we can expect the Empire’s presence to ramp up considerably. Indeed, now that Ahsoka has brought the infamous Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) back from exile in a galaxy even more far away, he’s bound to start throwing his weight around. There’s a good chance we’ll see more of the Imperial bigwigs who debuted in The Mandalorian season 3 episode 'The Spies', such as Gilad Pellaeon (Xander Berkeley) and Brendol Hux (Brian Gleeson), if The Mandalorian 4 sees the light of day.
We suspect reports of the demise of The Mandalorian's long-running Big Bad Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) may also be greatly exaggerated. Whether his bespoke beskar armor allowed him to survive events in the season 3 finale, or he’s resurrected himself via a clone (he had plenty), we surely haven’t seen the last of this particularly persistent thorn in Mando’s side.
If the Empire is rising once again, the New Republic will surely rise up to match it, meaning appearances from Chancellor Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly), and Ahsoka’s Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) are all feasible. However, we don't expect to see Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) as they're currently trapped on the world of Peridea in another galaxy. Meanwhile, fellow Rebels vet Zeb Orrelios (voiced by Steve Blum) may follow up his appearance in season 3.
Temuera Morrison could add to his growing list of Star Wars appearances (the latest came in Ahsoka) – whether it’s as Boba Fett or a clone, such as The Clone Wars/Rebels veteran Rex. According to The Bespin Bulletin, it's possible Boba could make an appearance in any possible season 4. Wherever Boba Fett goes, Fennec Shand tends to follow, so Ming-Na Wen’s agent may also be receiving a call.
As with the third season – where Jack Black, Lizzo and Christopher Lloyd all appeared – we’d expect to see some high-profile guest stars among The Mandalorian season 4's possible cast. Lucasfilm tends to be incredibly cagey about such things, so don’t bank on casting rumors to be confirmed until you see the actors with your own eyes. One possible character to watch out for, however, is Ahmed Best's Kelleran Beq, the Jedi who saved Grogu from Order 66 (as revealed in season 3 episode 4's flashback sequence), with EW carrying quotes from Best stating his desire to show up again.
The Mandalorian season 4 plot rumors
There are no details on The Mandalorian season 4 because it status is unknown, but we have a vague idea of how it could begin if another entry is incoming before or after The Mandalorian and Grogu.
The most surprising aspect of last season was Din Djarin no longer felt like the most important Mandalorian in town. That honor fell to Princess Bo-Katan Kryze, who reclaimed the ceremonial darksaber and reunited her people – both her own Nite Owl faction and the more hardline Children of the Watch – to take back Mandalore. They also relit the symbolic Great Forge, i.e. the beating heart of Mandalorian society.
After aiding Bo-Katan in her efforts – and atoning for the indiscretion of removing his helmet in front of Baby Yoda – Din Djarin adopted the newly named Din Grogu as his son and apprentice. Now operating out of Nevarro and with a child in tow, Din Djarin approached sympathetic New Republic pilot/space cop Carson Teva with an offer: doing off-the-books freelance work for the Republic, tracking down rogue Imperials still active on the Outer Rim on a "case by case basis". This potential storyline sounds a lot like the Rangers of the New Republic spin-off that was canned after Gina Carano (who played former Rebel shock trooper Cara Dune) was reportedly fired from the series for some offensive tweets in 2021.
The New Republic will need all the help it can muster, too, given what transpired in Star Wars: Ahsoka's final entry (read our Star Wars: Ahsoka ending explained article for more). Indeed, it’s established in canon (via Ahsoka and various Star Wars comics and novels) that the New Republic will be spectacularly slow to respond to the threat of these Imperial remnants who – despite lacking the military might of the Empire at its height – pose a clear and present danger.
"It’s actually the Empire that’s acting more like the Rebels [did in the original Star Wars trilogy], because their resources are on the downside," Filoni told Empire magazine. "But the New Republic is struggling because, while they’re all trying to work together, they have different ideas about how to be effective. That was an interesting story, and I think it creates a big piece of history where you can tell all kinds of stories."
While a few outspoken voices, such as General Hera Syndulla and Leia Organa (who establishes the Resistance in Claudia Gray’s novel Bloodline), realize that trouble is brewing on the Rim, the New Republic's complacency will eventually clear the way for Imperial super-fans the First Order to wreak havoc in the sequel trilogy. In other words, the Imperials Din Djarin encounters in his new role as a New Republic contractor could have pivotal roles to play in shaping the future Star Wars galaxy.
Although Moff Gideon’s trusted lieutenant Elia Kane has been content to pull strings in the background – most notably erasing Dr Pershing’s mind, and with it his knowledge of Gideon’s experiments on Baby Yoda – the Imperium's remnants are becoming bolder in their mission to initiate the New Republic's downfall. 'The Spies' provided a hint of what’s to come, as the so-called Shadow Council (a group of senior Imperial officers) met to prepare for the imminent return of Grand Admiral Thrawn and discuss their mysterious Project Necromancer.
What the latter plan involves remains unclear, but seeing as necromancy tends to involve communication with the dead, we reckon it’ll have something to do with the return of the (supposedly) late Emperor Palpatine, who made a famous comeback more than two decades later in Star Wars Episode IX. This could also tie into Gideon’s efforts to make multiple clones of himself, and Pershing’s experiments with Grogu’s Midichlorian-rich blood.
Of course, some of these story points could be carried over into The Mandalorian and Grogu. Without Lucasfilm telling us if season 4 is a thing or not, though, we aren't sure when or where next season's plot could pick up.
The Mandalorian season 4 trailer: is there one?
No, and there won't be one if The Mandalorian and Grogu has replaced season 4. We'll update this section if one is released, however.
The Mandalorian season 4: building to Dave Filoni’s crossover movie
The Mandalorian season 4 was believed to be part of a wider tapestry of new Star Wars TV shows (read our guide on all of the new Star Wars movies and TV shows for more) set in the aftermath of Return of the Jedi.
Indeed, they're all building up to a climactic theatrical movie that'll be directed by The Clone Wars and Rebels veteran Dave Filoni, who is the iconic sci-fi franchise's new chief creative officer (per Vanity Fair). It's likely now, though, that The Mandalorian and Grogu will carry the torch for Filoni's crossover flick, rather than season 4.
Regardless, with various shows intersecting more and more, The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, The Book of Boba Fett and (presumably) Skeleton Crew should now be viewed as components in a Marvel-like shared universe; their own plotlines increasingly subservient to setting up the Avengers-style cinematic event.
The release date for Filoni's flick is currently TBA, making it difficult to estimate how many seasons of The Mandalorian, its fellow Disney Plus offerings, and The Mandalorian and Grogu will be able cram in before it lands in theaters. What we do know is it'll tell the story of the "escalating war between the Imperial Remnant and the fledgling New Republic". In other words, it'll presumably plug any remaining narrative gaps between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and explain how the Empire's scattered forces evolve into the First Order.
Add #TheMandalorian to your Star Wars collection!Own Seasons 1 & 2 on 4K UHD & Blu-ray and see exclusive never-before-seen bonus features today: https://t.co/yoXpCdYBgU pic.twitter.com/M0bY9odd5hDecember 20, 2023
"Growing up with the original [films], Return of the Jedi [released in 1983] was the end," Filoni told EW. "But then you're always like: ‘But what happens next?’ And then when Episode VII was set so many years later, when I was a kid, I never would've thought it would’ve been that much later, but it made sense. It created an opening where you go 'Wow, so a lot of the things that we knew before are probably in there. How do we excavate that?'"
As was the case with Thrawn – who first appeared in Timothy Zahn’s 'Heir to the Empire' book trilogy back in the ’90s – that could mean plundering more stories and ideas from the no-longer-canon books and comics of the pre-Disney Star Wars Legends Expanded Universe.
"When I was younger, we didn’t have movies, but there were comic books, there were novels, things that are encompassed in the [expanded universe] or Legends," Favreau added. "Clearly, there are decisions that have to be made to fit it all together, but for us, I think one thing we're in agreement about is that the characters – as special as they are – the story has to drive what characters are."
No matter if The Mandalorian season 4 is made, then, there'll be plenty more Star Wars to come – and we, for one, are excited.
For more Disney-based coverage, read up on what we know about Andor season 2 and Star Wars: The Acolyte. Alternatively, find out what the best Disney Plus movies are, and which new Disney Plus movies have recently landed on the service.
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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.
- Tom PowerSenior Entertainment Reporter