The Mandalorian season 3 is officially on the way – but you'll have to wait a little while for its release date. Another Star Wars TV show is coming first. Back in December 2020, Mando creator Jon Favreau confirmed what the season 2 finale had already confirmed: that a spin-off show called The Book of Boba Fett will precede the third season of the Disney Plus flagship Star Wars TV show. That means we're 99% sure we'll see The Mandalorian season 3 release date set for 2022.
Below, you'll find everything we know about The Mandalorian season 3 so far, including what we know about its release window, where we expect the story to go, and how Mando tie-in to other projects coming to the Star Wars universe. Spoilers for season 2 are ahead, in case you somehow haven't watched the show yet.
Let's get excited about the third season of this phenomenal TV show.
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- When is The Mandalorian set in the Star Wars timeline?
The Mandalorian season 3 release date: 2022
The Mandalorian season 3 doesn't have a confirmed release date yet. We do know that the show is going into production after The Book of Boba Fett has finished filming, however – and the latter show already began production as of December 2020, according to creator Jon Favreau. That means filming on the Mandalorian season 3 will commence at some point in 2021.
Some worried that there would be no third season of The Mandalorian, and that The Book of Boba Fett was taking its place. But that's not true: Favreau has confirmed that The Mandalorian season 3 will follow the same main character, and continue the story of Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal).
"What we didn't say in that announcement is the next show coming up – [Kathleen Kennedy] said the next chapter – that's gonna be The Book of Boba Fett," Favreau told Good Morning America in December 2020, referring to Lucasfilm's announcement of numerous new Star Wars projects. "And then we go into production right after that on season 3 of The Mandalorian, back with the main character that we all have known and loved. That will be pretty soon following [Boba Fett]. We're working on that pre-production now while we're in production on Boba Fett."
With The Book of Boba Fett officially arriving in December 2021, that makes The Mandalorian season 3's release date a dead cert for 2022. We'd expect to see it in the first half of that year.
The Mandalorian season 3 story: what happens next?
We think there are two big plot threads from season 2 that The Mandalorian season 3 has to pay off: who will wield the Darksaber? And when will Grogu – also known as The Child, also known as Baby Yoda – return to Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) from his time training with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker?
At the end of season 2, Mando won the Darksaber weapon from Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) – the Mandalorian blade highly coveted by Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), in her journey to reclaim the throne of Mandalore. It became clear, however, that 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. This is surely going to be picked up again in The Mandalorian season 3 – any developments on this front were scuppered by the impromptu appearance of Luke Skywalker in season 2, episode 8.
Speaking of Luke, that's the other big thread we expect to be picked up in season 3: Grogu went off with Luke to be trained in the ways of the Force. "He is strong with the Force, but talent without training is nothing. I will give my life to protect the Child... but he will not be safe until he masters his abilities." Mando promises he'll see Grogu again. But when?
We would be shocked not to see the little green guy again next season – though we did see in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 7 that the show is capable of having great adventures without Grogu. Still, the adventures of Mando and Baby Yoda are the heart of the show, and we don't expect that to change despite the big cliffhanger.
Then, of course, there's the rise of the Empire to deal with. Moff Gideon's ship is just one small part of the Imperial remnant forces out there waiting to be dealt with – we know that Imperial leader Grand Admiral Thrawn is alive, too, 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 sequel trilogy 'villain' Snoke, and the eventual return of Emperor Palpatine that would make us sigh with disappointment in 2019's The Rise of Skywalker.
The Mandalorian season 3 cast: who we expect to return
Catch up on the action in that galaxy far, far away with our recaps of The Mandalorian season 2 episode 1, The Mandalorian season 2 episode 2, The Mandalorian season 2 episode 3, The Mandalorian season 2 episode 4, The Mandalorian season 2 episode 5, The Mandalorian season 2 episode 6, The Mandalorian season 2 episode 7 and The Mandalorian season 2 episode 8.
While there's no officially confirmed cast for The Mandalorian season 3 yet, Pedro Pascal is bound to return as Din Djarin, the show's leading star. We saw the actor without his helmet twice this season, and boy, it was a nice reminder of how good-looking he is.
Other actors returning next season are unclear – but the show now has a big ensemble to pick and choose from. We fully expect to see Katee Sackhoff's Bo-Katan appear again – perhaps season 3 will dig further into her quest to restore Mandalore, bringing Mando along for the ride. Carl Weathers (Greef Karga) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) are surely going to pop up again in the next set of episodes.
Giancarlo Esposito seems fairly confident he'll turn up again as Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian season 3. "I have a feeling you'll see more of me next season," the actor told EW. With his life spared by Mando in the season 2 finale, why ditch a perfectly good Imperial villain?
It's possible that Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) will appear again after their starring roles in the upcoming The Book of Boba Fett, but not certain.
An earlier Deadline report – which correctly reported a Boba Fett show was happening – suggested that it's possible actress Sophie Thatcher will appear in season 3 of the show.
We'll just have to wait a while for a confirmed cast list.
The Mandalorian season 3 trailer: when will we see one?
We don't expect to see a trailer for The Mandalorian season 3 until late 2021, possibly around the time The Book of Boba Fett releases on Disney Plus.
The Mandalorian season 3 and its spin-offs are heading for a 'climactic story event'
The Mandalorian has three spin-offs in the works now: The Book of Boba Fett, which we've talked about already, and Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic. All three take place in the same timeframe of the main show, which is set five years after Return of the Jedi.
The intriguing part is, there's a plan for this sub-universe of shows to converge in a larger story – it sounds a little like what Netflix did in uniting its various Marvel superhero TV shows in the miniseries The Defenders.
"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.