With the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy wrapping up, Lucasfilm and Disney turned their attention to streaming in 2019. Suffice to say, they came out of the gate swinging with the Disney+ exclusive "The Mandalorian," which swiftly took the television world by storm. Not only were audiences interested in learning more about the mysterious Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), but they couldn’t get enough of his lovable sidekick Grogu. Therefore, it only made sense that the following year, a second batch of episodes arrived — one that would really take "Star Wars" fans for a ride.
For "The Mandalorian" Season 2, series creator Jon Favreau went above and beyond for "Star Wars" fans. Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) returned from the grave, Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) jumped from print to TV, and animated icon Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) finally appeared in a live-action production. He even snuck in Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill and Max Lloyd-Jones) — green lightsaber and all — for good measure. The bar is set incredibly high for Season 3, to say the least, but nevertheless, the "Mandalorian" team seeks to once again have viewers glued to their screens.
In memory of IG-11
A locale we get quite familiar with throughout the first season of "The Mandalorian" is Nevarro. A new planet in the "Star Wars" galaxy, it serves as a refuge for bounty hunters, thieves, and general miscreants, and it shows. The town is riddled with run-down buildings and takes on a generally gloomy appearance. It improves a bit in the second season, thanks in large part to its magistrate, Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), who seems to have only kept that trend going by the time of Season 3. Much like his clothes, it oozes wealth and prosperity, but that’s not to say it forgot where it came from.
Before Nevarro became a sprawling metropolis-in-the-making, remnants of the Galactic Empire tore it up in pursuit of Din Djarin and Grogu. They and their allies did a great job running them out of town, with one of them making the ultimate sacrifice. To save our heroes in "Chapter 8: Redemption," the IG unit identified as IG-11 (Taika Waititi) used his self-destruct capability to annihilate many of the Imperial troops, sending the survivors packing. To honor the assassin droid’s memory, we see in the latest Season 3 trailer that Karga has erected a statue of IG-11 in the square, with his foot placed firmly on a stormtrooper helmet.
Trouble on the horizon
At the same time, just because Nevarro is thriving doesn’t mean that the entire galaxy is. In fact, as the "Mandalorian" Season 3 teaser continues, we’re informed that there’s trouble on the horizon in some form. Seemingly speaking to Din Djarin, "Mandalorian" and "Book of Boba Fett" favorite Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) of the New Republic says, "There’s something dangerous happening out there, and by the time it becomes big enough for you to act, it’ll be too late." So, what could the X-wing pilot be alluding to with this incredibly ominous, concerning line?
Bearing in mind the events of the two previous "Mandalorian" seasons, he’s likely talking about the Imperial remnant. Between Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) desire to use Grogu for unspecified experiments to his development of the Darktroopers, it’s apparent there’s still a lot to be worried about on that front. Not to mention, based on what the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy and various other pieces of media have shared, the rise of the First Order, the introduction of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), and the return of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) are close at hand. Teva has every reason to be on his toes.
A jaunt through Coruscant?
Speaking of the Empire’s potentially devious plans for Grogu, the "Mandalorian" Season 3 trailer gives us a glimpse of one of the individuals behind them: Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi). As we hear Carson Teva’s bleak voiceover, we see him sitting in a ship next to a droid. They seem to be on a planet dominated by large buildings and blinding lights, not unlike a real-life city. While there’s no way to know for sure until the next set of "Mandalorian" episodes hits Disney+, at first glance, this location looks incredibly similar to Coruscant — one of the most storied "Star Wars" planets out there.
As the capital of the Galactic Republic and the home of the Galactic Senate as well as the Jedi Temple, Coruscant was a key location throughout the prequel "Star Wars" trilogy. It also featured quite prominently on the animated shows "Star Wars: Clone Wars" and "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" (yes, they are different), in addition to popping up in various books, video games, and more. Most recently, it made a brief cameo on the Disney+ series "Andor," where Rebel leaders Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) work to undermine the Empire from right under its nose.
As Din Djarin attempts to reconnect with his Mandalorian roots, it should come as no surprise that "The Mandalorian" Season 3 is set to include a bunch of Mandos. Throughout this teaser alone, we see a few unrecognizable folks and some we’ve seen before, such as Paz Vizsla (Jon Favreau and Tait Fletcher), who has appeared on the program here and there since Season 1. In fact, the number of Mandalorians is rivaled only by the number of droids we see, which range from your run-of-the-mill astromechs to protocol droids of varying color and make. Even a few more militaristic droids stop by for a quick shot.
Of course, we’re talking about the now-iconic B1 battle droids. A handful of them can be seen in a shot that seems to depict a bunch of droids hanging out in a bar or mechanic shop of some kind. These flimsy robots were staples of the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, being dispatched in droves by clones and Jedi alike at the command of Separatist leaders. Their misfortune has also been put on display in animation via both "Clone Wars" titles, "Star Wars: The Bad Batch," and even "Star Wars Rebels." These shows leaned into their ineffectiveness, using them for comedic relief, while Droidekas and B2 super battle droids largely did the heavy lifting.
"The Mandalorian" Season 3 premieres on March 1, 2023, and when it does, expect to have to keep your eyes peeled for plenty more nods, Easter eggs, and small details.