Briefing

What to know before The Mandalorian season 3 if you didn't watch The Book of Boba Fett

Catch up before the new season premieres

The Mandalorian is finally back on Disney+ this week, though if you don't watch every Star Wars show, there's quite a lot you missed during the hiatus. Indeed, the second season's cliffhanger was entirely resolved in a different series. So for those who skipped The Book of Boba Fett or are unfamiliar with the lore introduced in the animated shows, here's what you should know before diving into the new season: 

Wait, how did the Mandalorian and Grogu reunite?

The Mandalorian's second season ended with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu parting ways, as Grogu went off to be trained as a Jedi by Luke Skywalker. So casual fans may be shocked to find they have seemingly reunited off-screen when the third season begins. Well, it did happen on screen, just not in this show, as a crucial story arc played out in the spinoff, The Book of Boba Fett

Beginning in Boba Fett's fifth episode, "Return of the Mandalorian," we see that Din has returned to bounty hunting after completing his quest by bringing Grogu to his own kind. He quickly begins missing Grogu, though, and wants to make sure he's okay. Din goes to visit him and Luke Skywalker, having forged his beskar spear into armor for the little guy to wear. But Din first runs into Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), who convinces him to leave without seeing Grogu because Jedi can't have attachments, and a reunion would only make things more difficult. Din leaves, but not before dropping the armor off with Ahsoka, who gives it to Luke.

Meanwhile, Luke is having doubts during the training, feeling Grogu's heart may not be in it. So he gives Grogu a choice, laying out the beskar armor next to (adult) Yoda's lightsaber and telling him he can decide to either stay and continue training to become a Jedi (but likely never see Din again), or go back to the Mandalorian and give into his attachments. If he chooses to return to Din, he will be abandoning the Jedi life. 

After Din leaves Grogu, he heads to Tatooine to help Boba Fett in a war against a crime syndicate. But as their climactic battle is happening, Grogu arrives on the planet in a ship piloted by R2-D2, and it's revealed he chose the armor and decided to return to the Mandalorian. Grogu and Din reunite during the battle on Tatooine, and The Book of Boba Fett ends with them flying away together. For the first time, Din is no longer searching for a home for Grogu and seems to have essentially adopted him. 

What else happened with the Mandalorian in 'The Book of Boba Fett'?

Outside of the Grogu reunion, Din also caught up with the Armorer (Emily Swallow) and Paz Vizsla (Jon Favreau) in The Book of Boba Fett, members of his Mandalorian tribe who he hadn't seen since they fled their covert on Nevarro in The Mandalorian's first season. But he is forced to reveal that he removed his helmet since he last saw them, violating their creed that dictates one's helmet must never be taken off. "Then you are a Mandalorian no more," the Armorer tells him, and Din is declared an apostate. (The rule that Mandalorains must never remove their helmet is specific to the cult of religious zealots Din grew up with, as pretty much every other Mandalorian we've met is fine with showing their face. His religion is known as the Children of the Watch.)

Din begs for forgiveness, and we learn that according to the creed, a Mandalorian can only be redeemed "in the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore." But these mines were destroyed, so he may be out of luck. 

After being banished by the Armorer and Paz Vizsla, the Mandalorian checks in with Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) on Tatooine, who helps him get a new ship. She provides him with an N-1 starfighter (from the Star Wars prequels), which they fix up and modify. That's the ship Din will be using in the third season, and it even has a little port where a droid would normally go for Grogu to sit. 

We also learned in The Book of Boba Fett that Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) was "sent off to the New Republic for interrogation" and "will face justice for his crimes" after the events of season 2. 

What do we know about Grogu's past? 

The season 3 trailer suggested we could soon find out who rescued Grogu during the events of Revenge of the Sith. Season 2 established that Grogu was raised at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. But he somehow survived Order 66, the massacre that killed almost all the Jedi, because "someone took him from the temple" and hid him, according to Ahsoka Tano. In The Book of Boba Fett, Luke also looked into Grogu's thoughts and saw Jedi fighting to protect him during Order 66, and it seems we may get a flashback to that this season. 

What do we know about Mandalore? 

The Mandalorian season 3 will see Din Djarin head to Mandalore to be forgiven for his transgression of removing his helmet, so it's also worth brushing up a bit on the planet's history. Mandalorians, as a reminder, are legendary warriors who go back thousands of years to when they developed their armor to fight the Jedi. Their homeworld is Mandalore, but by the time of the Star Wars prequel films, war had decimated the planet, so it essentially became a desert where people live in dome cities.  

In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we learned about the birth of a pacifist movement known as the New Mandalorians, who were led by Duchess Satine Kryze. There were some, though, who wanted to maintain the Mandalorians' traditional warrior ways. This led to a civil war, which ended with the New Mandalorians winning, and the violent Mandalorian warriors were exiled to the moon of Concordia. But these exiles then formed a terrorist group called Death Watch, which was led by Pre Vizsla. Vizsla eventually took over the planet thanks to an alliance with Darth Maul, only to be killed by the former Sith Lord. Maul also murdered Satine Kryze.

Notably, Kryze was the sister of Bo-Katan Kryze, Katee Sackhoff's character in The Mandalorian. Bo-Katan was a member of Death Watch but rebelled against Maul and briefly became regent of Mandalore after he was defeated with help from the Republic. The Empire later took control of Mandalore, but Bo-Katan fought back against them and helped overthrow the planet's new Imperial governor. After gaining the weapon known as the Darksaber, Bo-Katan planned to use it to unite the Mandalorian people once again. 

After that, there's a gap of time we don't know too much about except that Bo-Katan's effort failed and the Empire decimated Mandalore, killing most of the Mandalorians and sending the others into hiding after a massacre known as the Great Purge. That's why there are so few of them by The Mandalorian, which takes place years later. According to the Armorer, members of Din's sect survived the purge by being cloistered on the moon of Concordia, where Death Watch was previously exiled. 

What do we know about Darksaber? 

As of the end of season 2, Din Djarin now possesses the Darksaber, a weapon that has played an important role in Mandalorian history.

The short version is that it's a lightsaber created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian inducted into the Jedi Order, thousands of years ago. It was passed down over the years before making its way to Pre Vizsla, leader of Death Watch. The weapon was a symbol that House Vizsla used to unite the Mandalorians, and it's said that whoever wields it can lead Mandalore. But crucially, the person who wields the Darksaber must win it in battle to be the rightful owner. In The Book of Boba Fett, the Armorer explains this is why Bo-Katan's previous attempt to unite the Mandalorians with the Darksaber failed, as she was simply handed the weapon. If the Darksaber "is not won in combat and falls into the hands of the undeserving, it will be a curse onto the nation," the Armorer says. 

In the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, Bo-Katan wants the weapon back from Moff Gideon so she can unite the Mandalorians again. But then Din Djarin defeats Gideon in a duel, accidentally becoming the new wielder of the Darksaber. He has no interest in ruling Mandalore, so he quickly offers to just give the weapon to Bo-Katan. But that's the problem she ran into last time, and she realizes she can't take possession of the Darksaber, and be seen as the true Mandalorian leader, without defeating Din in combat. Bo-Katan previously invited Din to join her in an effort to retake Mandalore after he completed his quest with Grogu, setting the stage for The Mandalorian season 3. But squabbling over the Darksaber, which Din still has, could pit these allies against one another.  

Given the way The Mandalorian has previously incorporated established Star Wars lore, expect to hear names like Death Watch and potentially Satine Kryze and Pre Vizsla tossed around liberally in season 3. This is the way ... to leave everyone who didn't watch The Clone Wars confused.

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