This Star Wars: The Mandalorian article contains spoilers.
The Mandalorian season 2 closed in exciting fashion with “The Rescue,” an episode that brings Mando and all of his friends face to face with the formidable Imperial forces of Moff Gideon. But after blasting through stormtroopers, only just avoiding a platoon of angry dark troopers (with the help of a very special guest), and capturing Gideon, the crew complete their mission to save Grogu. By the end of the episode, it seems clear that the group’s next objective is to take back Mandalore.
But that might not be where The Mandalorian season 3 picks up the story. In a surprise post-credits sequence, we watch as Boba Fett and Fennec Shand march into Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine, guns blazing and taking no prisoners. Even Return of the Jedi‘s Bib Fortuna, who is played by Star Wars sound editor and General Grievous voice actor Matthew Wood, bites the dust in the scene, which ends with Boba sitting on Jabba’s old throne before the scene cuts to black.
The words The Book of Boba Fett appear on screen followed by confirmation that it’s “Coming December 2021.” Is this a new spin-off series? It certainly could be. After all, rumors of a Boba Fett Disney+ series have been floating around the internet for the last few weeks. Deadline even reported that Disney was planning to film a Boba Fett series before shooting the next season of The Mandalorian.
But what if The Book of Boba Fett is The Mandalorian season 3? It would make sense for several reasons. For one, the dates for The Book of Boba Fett and a third season of The Mandalorian line up. During the Disney Investors Day presentation, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that The Mandalorian season 3 would arrive in December 2021. Does this mean that Disney plans to have two Star Wars shows running concurrently on Disney+ next December when there’s a whole entertainment calendar to fill and likely another 6 months of theater lockdowns to suffer through? No way.
It seems more likely that The Mandalorian is going the Avatar: The Last Airbender route — and it would make sense since executive producer Dave Filoni, one of the chief storytellers on the show and Star Wars as a whole, cut his teeth on Avatar before going on to work with George Lucas on The Clone Wars. The fact that the episodes, like in Avatar, are called “Chapters” also lends itself to the idea that The Mandalorian has always followed the format of a book — and by the way season 2 ends, it does seem like “The Book of Din Djarin” is over…for now.
It’s also no secret that “The Mandalorian” title can also apply to Boba. It almost seems more suitable now that Boba has asserted his status as a true Mandalorian after years of people wondering and claiming he wasn’t one. While it doesn’t seem like Boba is very interested in reclaiming his Mandalorian heritage beyond the armor his foundling father Jango left for him, it’s clear that he does care about where he comes from and what his armor represents, no matter how Bo-Katan or other natural-born Mandos think. Maybe The Book of Boba Fett will explore this aspect of the character more fully…or it’ll just move on to more killing.
Okay, but why would the show just move on from Din Djarin after telling his story for the past two years? Well, for one thing, Din has completed his mission, not only rescuing Grogu from the Empire but safely handing him off to Luke Skywalker, a Jedi who can train him properly in the ways of the Force. While the beloved duo’s farewell doesn’t necessarily have to be final, it does seem like it’s farewell for now. This doesn’t mean that Din’s story needs to necessarily end. And there’s zero chance it is.
Din made a deal with Bo-Katan at the start of “The Rescue,” allying himself with the faction that plans to take back Mandalore from the Empire. Now that Bo-Katan and Din have the darksaber in hand and an Imperial light cruiser to blast TIE fighters and Imperial holdouts with, it’s very likely their next stop is the Mandalorian home world for a big battle. The problem is that Covid-19 restrictions would make filming a battle full of actors, stunt people, and extras in close quarters combat pretty difficult.
Remember that The Mandalorian season 2 wrapped production last March, just as real-world lockdowns and studio shutdowns were beginning. The show got lucky that time, but fortune isn’t on Disney’s side this time, especially if it wants to film fights of the same scale as what’s in season 2 (or bigger).
Instead, The Book of Boba Fett could lend itself to a more intimate approach, a story about bounty hunter first surviving his fate inside the sarlacc and then making his way through the scorching Tatooine desert, maybe befriending some helpful Tusken Raiders, finding Fennec, and tracking down his armor. Maybe those would be flashbacks or opening episode before picking up where the post-credits sequence left off.
Why did Boba need to obliterate the remaining survivors of Return of the Jedi? What does it mean that he’s sitting on Jabba’s throne at the end of the episode? We’ll just have to wait for The Book of Boba Fett to answer all of our questions next December.