This Star Wars: The Mandalorian article contains spoilers.
Baby Yoda has a big adventure ahead of him. In Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian, “The Jedi,” the audience and Din Djarin both learn two important pieces of information. First, the kid’s name is Grogu. Perhaps it’ll catch on as well as Baby Yoda did? Second, Ahsoka Tano tells Din to take the Force-sensitive toddler to the old Jedi Temple on the planet Tython, where he’ll be able to reach out to other Jedi across the galaxy.
Din Djarin has plenty of reason to continue this journey with the baby. He’s grown to love Grogu, who at first reminded the Mandalorian of himself when he discovered the kid as an orphan on Arvala-7. But when it comes to the Force, Din doesn’t understand what the kid is feeling. It would take a Jedi teacher to foster his powers, and if he doesn’t get one, the powers could fade away.
The Empire tried to purge the Jedi, but it’s well-known in the Star Wars universe that they didn’t totally succeed. Luke Skywalker is the most well-known of the Force users still active at the time The Mandalorian takes place, but he isn’t the only one. Five years after Return of the Jedi, who is still around to find Grogu on Tython?
The quintessential Jedi is alive and well in this era. What Luke’s up to is pretty much unknown, however, as his adventures after the Battle of Endor have rarely been explored in Disney canon. One thing we do know is that he’s on his way to building the Jedi academy where he trained Ben Solo, who later destroyed the school and killed most of his uncle’s students. This doesn’t bode well for Grogu if Luke does find him and decides to take him on as a student.
Luke is probably the most powerful Force user in the galaxy and would undoubtedly be happy to find another one of Yoda’s species he could train. Because the toddler can’t talk yet, and takes such a long time to grow, there wouldn’t be any continuity snafus where Baby Yoda might reveal something Luke shouldn’t know. And there would be some poetic justice in Luke training a child who also lived in the main Jedi Temple of the Old Republic.
Given how timid Disney has been about exploring Luke’s story between the Original and Sequel Trilogies, Luke showing up on The Mandalorian seems like a real long shot. And it seems even less likely that Luke would take Grogu as a student and break up The Mandalorian‘s main duo, the emotional core of the series.
After “The Jedi” revealed that Ahsoka was still looking for Grand Admiral Thrawn, pieces might have clicked into place for Ezra Bridger. The star of the Rebels animated series, he was trained as a Jedi shortly before A New Hope. He even met Leia when she was still working for the Rebellion undercover as the daughter of an Imperial senator. But in the series finale of Rebels, Ezra disappeared along with his nemesis Thrawn and a whole lot of space whales. (Ezra has a special Force affinity for animals.)
Over a decade later, Ezra could be anywhere. He might have wound up with Thrawn in the former’s home region, the Unknown Territories, an uncharted part of the galaxy that was very difficult to navigate even after the Galactic Civil War. It’s also possible Ahsoka already found Ezra but Thrawn got away again.
Either way, there’s a good chance that Ezra might be the Jedi to answer Grogu’s call on Tython. After all, The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni, who also produced The Clone Wars and Rebels, have already re-introduced several elements from the animated series in live action for Disney+, the Darksaber, Death Watch, Bo-Katan Kryze, and Ahsoka being the most notable. Bringing the Rebels protagonist to live action would help tie up a major cliffhanger from that show’s finale while pushing the story forward for another beloved Star Wars character.
Interestingly enough, The Haunting of Bly Manor actor Rahul Kohli has been teasing for months that he’d love to play Ezra Bridger in live action. If Favreau and Filoni managed to cast the actor in secret, Tython would be the perfect time to make the reveal.
Cal Kestis, the hero of the Jedi: Fallen Order played by Cameron Monaghan, is yet another Order 66 survivor like Grogu. If The Mandalorian wants to address the question of whether any other Jedi from the Prequel era found each other after the Galactic Civil War, Cal meeting Grogu might be a good way to do this.
There isn’t much precedence for a video game character being elevated to a show as mainstream as The Mandalorian, but it’s possible. As far as we know at the moment, Cal is still alive, and determined to restart the Jedi Order the same way Luke is. But that was 23 years before The Mandalorian. Is it possible that Cal did manage to start his own academy, unaware that Luke Skywalker was out there? That would certainly be an interesting development.
Cal’s unofficial Jedi Master, Junda is in the same boat as Cal (literally the same ship). Like Cal and Ezra’s master Kanan Jarrus, she went into hiding after the Jedi Purge. But she was caught by the Empire and recruited to become a dark side Inquisitor. Needless to say, Cere knows exactly what to tell prospective Jedi students to avoid, and helps Cal progress on the path toward the light.
Her drive to restart the Jedi Order is as strong as Cal’s, so they would both have a very good reason to find Grogu, if they’re still alive. It’s also possible that several of the previously mentioned Jedi characters have already found one another and are working together to build the new academy.
A Dark Jedi
Now, let’s venture into the realm of speculation. Even though Tython is a bastion for the Jedi, it’s possible the person who hears Grogu’s call through the Force won’t be on the light side of the Force at all. What if there are also Dark Jedi in the galaxy as in the old Legends continuity and one of them learns of Grogu’s existence?
The Imperial remnant may not have any Force-sensitive Inquisitors the way the Empire proper did. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t have to do all of that experimenting in order to create potentially Force-sensitive dark troopers. So it’s more likely that a Dark Jedi in the time of The Mandalorian would be operating independently from the Empire or had once worked for the Emperor before his fall. Legends characters like fan favorites Joruus C’baoth and Mara Jade come to mind as possible inspirations for this new Dark Jedi.
Or, if Ahsoka alluding to Thrawn in “The Jedi” is any indication that Favreau and Filoni are interested in bringing back more elements from Heir to the Empire, the person who answers Grogu’s call may very well be C’baoth or Mara Jade! Again, pure speculation, and very unlikely at that.
Here’s another Legends long shot. The dark troopers evoke the Jedi Knight/Dark Forces video games from the Legends continuity, and the Jedi of those titles was Kyle Katarn. While he rarely appeared outside of the games, Katarn was one of the key Jedi in the post-Return of the Jedi timeline. In fact, he helped Luke defend his Jedi Academy from the Imperial remnant at one point in Legends, and was key to finding the Valley of the Jedi, a mystical location powerful in the Force not unlike Tython.
Kyle was generally an all-around competent protagonist, as good with a blaster as with a lightsaber. His down-to-earth attitude wouldn’t be totally out of place in The Mandalorian‘s space western vibes, either. Katarn doesn’t have nearly as much of an enduring legacy as Thrawn, but it’s not impossible that he might be the one to answer the call.
The Mandalorian is set closer to the Original Trilogy than the Sequels. As much as the live action series has avoided touching anything from newest trilogy, those characters still do exist in the same continuity. This is why one possible contender who could pick up on a Force-sensitive signal is Maz Kanata.
The pirate queen was one of the first characters we met in the Sequels who pushed back on the idea of what being a Jedi means. She isn’t part of an established order, but clearly has enough of a spiritual connection to the Force to sense Rey’s destiny and provide the young Jedi some initial guidance. Maybe she could do the same for Grogu?
Keep up with all of The Mandalorian season 2 news here.