The Mandalorian Season 3 Has a Book of Boba Fett Problem

After a long wait, The Mandalorian finally returns to Disney+. But viewers who missed The Book of Boba Fett might be a bit confused.

Din and Grogu in The Star Wars: Mandalorian Season 3
Photo: Lucasfilm

This Star Wars article contains spoilers for The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

The Mandalorian became a pop culture sensation for several reasons, but few were as potent as Grogu aka the Child aka Baby Yoda. The beautifully articulated animatronic puppet quickly grabbed the attention of the public, and more and more fans tuned in to follow the Lone Wolf and Cub style adventures of Mando and Grogu. So when the finale of The Mandalorian season 2 ended with Luke Skywalker taking Grogu away to train him in the Force, fans wondered how season 3 would bring the beloved duo back together again.

And yet, as the new trailer for the upcoming season of The Mandalorian shows, Din Djarin and Grogu are together again, flying in their ship and getting up to all kinds of galactic shenanigans as if nothing ever happened. For devoted Star Wars fans, this plot point isn’t a problem, as they saw the duo reunite in episode 7 of The Book of Boba Fett, a spinoff that followed the legendary bounty hunter’s rise to power on Tatooine and wasn’t initially marketed as the continuation of Din and Grogu’s story. For those who skipped that series, seeing Din and Grogu together again after The Mandalorian season 2 cliffhanger has been a disorienting experience.

Unsurprisingly, the internet is not happy. A cursory glance at Twitter reveals a bit of confusion — if not outright anger — that a big story element from The Mandalorian concluded in a completely different show.

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There’s no question that Disney has seen plenty of success with shared universes in the past, especially with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Viewers regularly catch up on the first Black Panther or Avengers: Endgame before watching Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The approach has been particularly successful for the franchise’s television shows on Disney+, as people tune into WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier for its larger universe stakes.

But as fans begin to show signs of franchise fatigue, with some specifically resenting the “homework” of watching prerequisite movies and shows to enjoy an upcoming entry, The Mandalorian season 3 reveals the problems with the approach. From a corporate standpoint, crossovers make sense, as it encourages viewers of The Mandalorian to watch a spinoff they might otherwise skip. But this particular reaction to the trailer suggests the opposite effect. Some Mando fans have been left feeling like they were robbed of a major dramatic beat that should have rightfully happened on the main show. Instead, they’ll have to tune into the inevitable recap at the start of season 3 or turn back and watch episodes 5-7 of Boba Fett to catch up.

And there’s a season they might have skipped The Book of Boba Fett in the first place. While the spinoff certainly has its defenders, many decried the show’s slow pacing and focus on tangential characters that don’t have the same fan appeal. It also committed the cardinal sin of virtually pushing its protagonist, one of the most beloved characters in all of Star Wars, to the supporting cast of his own show, forced to sit on the sidelines while the Din and Grogu story played out midway through the season. It was an odd creative choice, to say the least.

Of course, all of this might be much ado about nothing. The Book of Boba Fett episodes fans will need to go back and watch are readily available to stream on Disney+ right now, and most casual viewers will likely just be happy to see Din and Grogu back together from the start of season 3, without wasting screentime on building to a return that we all knew was coming.

Still, it’s not surprising to see some negative fan feedback on this. Unlike with the MCU, Star Wars properties don’t normally cross over so directly as to resolve one show’s cliffhanger in a completely different series or movie. Fans of the franchise just aren’t used to experiencing this universe onscreen with same level of interconnectedness the MCU regularly relishes. So, for frustrated Mandalorian fans, the question will remain whether this major plot point should have been Boba Fett‘s story to tell at all.

The Mandalorian season 3 hits Disney+ on March 1. While you wait, check out the full schedule of upcoming Star Wars movies and TV series here.

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