The Mandalorian season 3 primer (for fans who skipped The Book of Boba Fett)

Image: The Mandalorian/Disney+
Image: The Mandalorian/Disney+ /

The third season of The Mandalorian is almost upon us! It’s high time for us to catch up with the events so far. The end of season 2 saw Mandalorian warrior Din Djarin remove his helmet and say goodbye to Grogu, who went off with Luke Skywalker to train in the ways of a Jedi. That was in 2020, and we haven’t had a new episode of The Mandalorian since.

However, a lot has still happened. That’s because Mando and Grogu both showed up in the Disney+ show The Book of Boba Fett, which wrapped up in early 2022. If you tune in to The Mandalorian season 3 without watching The Book of Boba Fett, you may be confused. We’re here to fill in the gaps.

What happened between The Mandalorian season 2 and 3?

The Book of Boba Fett starred Temuera Morrison as Fett and Ming-Na Wen as his lieutenant Fennec Shand. Mando returned in the fifth episode, which is literally titled “Return of the Mandalorian.” That episode begins with Din Djarin collecting a bounty at a slaughterhouse in return for information on the location of his Mandalorian covert, the Children of the Watch. Din reveals to the Armorer and Paz Vizsla that he is in possession of the Darksaber.

The Armorer narrates the story of Bo-Katan Kryze and the demise of the planet Mandalore. She does this while forging a piece of armor for Grogu out of the Beskar spear that Din got from Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian season 2. Here we see flashbacks of The Night of the Thousand Tears, the tragic event when the Galactic Empire purged Mandalore.

The Armorer also gives the Mandalorian a lesson about the history of the Darksaber, and later teaches him how to wield it. “You’re too weak to fight the Darksaber,” she says. “It will win if you fight against it. You cannot control it with your strength.”

At this point, another of Din’s fellow Mandalorians — Pre Vizsla — challenges him for control of the weapon; remember, it needs to be won in combat for the person who holds it to have authority over other Mandalorians. Din wins the battle, but his joy is short-lived, as he soonafter reveals that he has removed his helmet in the presence of others.

The Armorer casts him out of the covert for violating the Mandalorian way with a heart-piercing sentence: “You are a Mandalorian no more.” A saddened Mando shows up at Tatooine, as one does in Star Wars, and visits Peli Motto. The chatterbox mechanic shows off a salvaged N-1 starfighter straight out of Naboo, which repleaces his demolished Razor Crest. This was a nostalgic reference to The Phantom Menace; this starfighter may even be the same one a young Anakin Skywalker safely landed after blowing up a Trade Federation ship. Episode I gets another nod as Din tests out the starfighter by flying through the canyons of Tatooine following the same route as Anakin did while podracing.

The episode ends with Fennec Shand approaching Din and asking him to help Boba Fett fight the Pyke syndicate, which he agrees to do.

The Mandalorian reunites with Grogu in The Book of Boba Fett

In Episode 6, Din finally gets to see Grogu, who’s training at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi academy on the planet Ossus.

Long-time fans get another reference here as Mando is greeted by R2-D2 upon landing. We see Grogu deeply focused (or not) on Jedi training with CGI Mark Hamill. We get the obvious and much-anticipated mention of Yoda and throwbacks to Luke’s training days with him at Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back. Amid the light-heartedness of the episode, Grogu remembering the Imperial attack on his home planet is memorably grim.

Din is greeted by Ahsoka. A tiny moment of affection between her and R2-D2 hits Clone Wars fans in the feels.

Ahsoka leads Mando to where Grogu is training with Luke, but dissuades the Mandalorian from visiting him as the attachment could complicate his future as a Jedi. Mando entrusts Ahsoka to deliver to Grogu the armor that the Armorer had forged.

The sixth episode ends with Luke giving Grogu a choice between a Jedi lightsaber and the armor. We don’t get to see what everyone’s favorite “baby Yoda” chooses, but in the following episode, he winds up on Tatooine in an R2-D2-piloted ship. Grogu and Mando reunite, and they play a crucial role in helping Boba defeat the Pyke syndicate. In a significant scene, Grogu dismantles a giant droid using the Force, thus showing that his training with Luke has not gone entirely to waste.

The Book of Boba Fett addresses a couple of other Star Wars storylines as well, such as the death of notorious bounty hunter Cad Bane and what becomes of Tatooine after Jabba the Hutt’s death in the hands of Leia Organa.

Given that Boba Fett is set to appear on The Mandalorian in season 3, his show merits a rewatch. There’s still some time before the third season of the Mandalorian premieres on March 1 on Disney+.

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