The Mandalorian season 3 promises to be one epic adventure. Following the events of The Book of Boba Fett, Mando (Pedro Pascal) and his little green charge Grogu (AKA Baby Yoda) have been reunited, with the trailers teasing an action-packed season that will delve deep into Mandalorian culture as Din Djarin seeks absolution after removing his helmet.
Inside Total Film podcast sat down with series creator Jon Favreau to talk all things The Mandalorian season 3, and our conversation touched on whether Grogu's Jedi journey could continue, visiting live-action Mandalore for the first time, and if we're nearing the end of the story – and Favreau also discussed upcoming Star Wars shows Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew.
Check out our full interview below, edited for length and clarity. This is the way…
Total Film: It really looks like this is going to be the biggest season yet, with so much going on. There's Mando and Grogu reunited, there's the Darksaber, there's Mandalore, there's Mando seeking redemption – how are you balancing all of this in season 3? How would you say it all comes together?
Jon Favreau: What started off as just new characters going to new planets and we were introducing the audience to a smaller story – we've gotten to know a lot of different Mandalorians along the way, we found out that not all of them are seeing eye-to-eye. There's a lot of questions that have to be answered and hopefully all of it comes together in this season as they return to Mandalore and we figure out how this Mandalorian culture evolves past this critical point in their history.
And from the trailers, it also looks like Grogu has a much better handle on his Force powers now after we saw him training with Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett. Are we going to see Grogu more comfortable with his abilities in season 3?
We know he's trained with Luke Skywalker. Thanks to The Book of Boba Fett, we've been able to have some time pass between the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3. And a big part of that time period was time spent with Luke Skywalker and the training that Grogu received. And so although he's always had a lot of Force potential, it takes the training to bring it to a useful ability that he could engage when they find themselves in sticky situations.
Do you think Grogu's journey as a Jedi has come to an end? It feels like he's the perfect bridge between the Jedi and the Mandalorians, who historically have not been the best of friends.
I think that that's a really astute observation. You have a character, you have two different cultures that – a lot of how the Mandalorian armour was described to me, as I talked to the people at Lucasfilm and Dave Filoni, is that one of the theories is that technology was developed in order to combat the abilities of the Jedi, that they don't have these natural abilities but have to fight these in an asymmetric battle, and you have to be able to make up for what your deficiencies are. The armour was the thing that made up the deficiencies against the Force users. And yes, they were at war, but they also did cooperate from time to time, as we've seen. And then there were also characters like Tarre Vizsla that was both. Grogu seems to have the potential to have a lot of significance in bridging these two cultures and maybe he's a character that can walk both those worlds. We will find out.
We're also going to see live-action Mandalore for the first time after it played such a huge part in The Clone Wars – and the character that you voiced in that show was a part of that storyline. How did you and Dave Filoni go about developing Mandalore for The Mandalorian after you were involved with it in animation?
Dave and his team from The Clone Wars did a lot of the heavy lifting when it came to the development of Mandalore. I found it very compelling that this planet was very desolate, not because that's the ecosystem that had existed historically, but because there had been so many wars and civil wars and conflict between the tribes. And you have this warrior culture that couldn't stop fighting amongst themselves, and so the planet was turned into a wasteland long before the Purge and the Empire. And of course, when you're fighting amongst yourselves, it makes it that much more difficult to face an outside threat. And so, it's sort of a tragic history that this planet has, but also a romantic vision of what once was. We inherited the designs from Dave and his team, and then we wanted to show what happened and we make some allusions to the Purge of Mandalore; in The Book of Boba Fett we show a montage of the destruction. And now when we return to the planet we get to see in the stark sunlight what the aftermath of all of that destruction was.
The Mandalorian season 4 has also been confirmed, and I know you've said that you've written it. Are we getting close to an endpoint now, do you have an ending in mind?
No, I don't – I think the beauty of this is that it's a middle chapter of a much larger story. And though we'll have resolution over time with these characters, I think that how these characters fit into the larger scope and scale, but it's not like there's a finale that we're building to that I have in mind. Quite the contrary, I love for these stories to go on and on. And so these characters potentially could be with us for a while, and I really love telling stories in their voice, and I love the way the adventures unfold and I'm looking forward to doing much more.
The Mandalorian also has a bit of a reputation now for these big, jaw-dropping moments. I know you're not going to tell me any spoilers, but do you think season 3 will break the internet again?
I hope that – that's the goal. The goal is – I don't know about breaking the internet – but the goal is that we have enough things happen each episode that everybody wants to jump around the digital kitchen table and talk about, and argue about, and guess to what is going to happen next. So, I think the fun part of it is that it's a big conversation and people are excited. And that's part of what you get to do in television that you don't get to do in movies; with movies, you build up to it, everybody sees it, everybody talks about it, and then they wait. And maybe another one [is released] a few years later. Here every week another one's hitting. I like that we're on Disney Plus where it's each week is another episode, it's not all dropped at once, so it allows for a back and forth. And I love to see if we guessed right, I love to see which ones the people react to better, and ultimately get the report card if we're doing our job well.
Talking about this as one part of a bigger story, we saw The Book of Boba Fett was essential viewing for The Mandalorian season 3, and now Ahsoka is around the corner. Is this season part of the setup for that? Is this how interconnected things are becoming now?
We try to not make it completely interwoven to the point that, hopefully, these stories and adventures could stand alone. But inevitably, you have these crossover with characters. And the time that takes place in one, the events that take place in one, will affect the other. So they're not completely standalone, they do have a continuity to them, and we definitely do discuss and talk about how we flip these cards over and what's available to us as storytellers from season to season. So I have to – even though we're still refining and working on Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew and post-production, as I wrote season four, I have to have an understanding of where those cuts are going to get to and what they're going to be like. And so that's a lot of conversation between myself and Dave Filoni and Jon Watts.
Speaking of Skeleton Crew, with the young cast and the Amblin feel, this feels like a very unique entry in the Star Wars canon. Would you agree with that?
Yeah. It's unique, in a way. But it also feels very consistent. If you know Jon Watts's work, and having been in the Spider-Man movies and seeing his other work like Cop Car, he really connects with storytelling from the perspective of children, or young adults. Him and Chris Ford and the whole team are very good at putting together a great cast and personality. But at the end of the day, these are people who all love Star Wars. And so the primary goal is to make sure that we stay consistent within what people have come to expect. We stretch it here and there. We try to not just repeat ourselves, but in the way props are built, sets are designed, costumes are designed. And to show it on the backdrop of what it's like for young people living in this world is very different than what we've seen from, let's say, Luke Skywalker's childhood and such. So there's a lot of uniqueness to it, but it's thoroughly delightful and enjoyable. It's still in process, but I've seen enough of it to say that I think people are going to really, really connect with what they're doing.
The Mandalorian season 3 premieres on Disney Plus on March 1. You can also listen to our interview with Jon Favreau in the latest episode of the Inside Total Film podcast, available on:
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For more on season 3, see what Pedro Pascal had to say about Mando and Grogu's bond as well as exploring Mandalorian culture in the "epic" new episodes.
Check out our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows for everything else coming soon from the galaxy far, far away.