When does The Mandalorian take place in the Star Wars timeline?

The Mandalorian season 3
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

When does The Mandalorian take place in the Star Wars timeline? It's a fair question, because familiar faces like Luke Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano pop up in the first two seasons, and The Book of Boba Fett also features a major Mando crossover. Now that The Mandalorian season 3 has come to a close, it's worth taking a look at the specifics of the chronology. 

Luckily, The Mandalorian timeline isn't too tricky to unravel. The show is set between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy (that's The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker) so it's fairly easy to figure out what goes where. With the likes of Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew coming up soon and a "cinematic event" on the way, understanding when The Mandalorian takes place is looking essential to understanding the franchise going forward. 

Fair warning, there are spoilers ahead for the entirety of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.  

When does The Mandalorian take place in the Star Wars timeline?

The Mandalorian

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Before anything else, it’s worth knowing that – like our Gregorian calendars in the painfully lightsaber-free real world – the timeline revolves around a single event. In this case, it’s the Battle of Yavin (otherwise known as the first assault on the Death Star in A New Hope). That’s referred to at 0 BBY – Before the Battle of Yavin.

The Mandalorian's first two seasons, more or less, takes place in 9 ABY – nine years after A New Hope and, interestingly, five years after the Emperor’s defeat in Return of the Jedi

Time has passed since then, however. Jon Favreau revealed in a roundtable interview (via Skytalkers) that Grogu spent two years training with Luke. That would mean The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian season 3 are set in 11 ABY.

Here is the full picture of where The Mandalorian takes place in the Star Wars timeline – as per current canon.

The Mandalorian timeline: what does that mean for the show and The Book of Boba Fett?

The Mandalorian takes place in a period of time that's been relatively untouched by Star Wars media. There have been books about the events between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy, but few have told major stories about well-known characters. That means we're treading on fertile ground for cameos – as we have already seen with appearances from Boba Fett, Ahsoka Tano, and Luke Skywalker. Leia, Han, Lando, and Chewie are all out there somewhere and could make an appearance in the show.

There's another quarter-of-a-century gap between The Mandalorian and the sequel trilogy, which means there's room for a few longer stories to be told. We can expect The Mandalorian to tie in with a few other Star Wars spin-offs, and Mando's appearance in The Book of Boba Fett shows that the writers are not afraid of a crossover. Boba Fett's series picks up directly after the Mandalorian season 2 finale, with Din Djarin wielding the Darksaber and without Baby Yoda, real name Grogu, by his side. The Mandalorian season 3 picks up after the events of Boba Fett's show.

Other events worth noting: Grogu was born roughly 50 years prior to The Mandalorian, which means the creature is basically the same age as Anakin Skywalker. We also know that 30 years before the show, Grogu was training at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. That means we now know his location during the prequels, specifically Revenge of the Sith.

There are also more potential tie-ins with the animated show Rebels ahead. We've already seen Ahsoka, and she mentioned Thrawn, but there's a key scene in the series that will be addressed at some stage in the Star Wars shows. Rebels, while predominantly taking place before the Battle of Yavin, has an epilogue that takes place at an undetermined time in the future. 

As explained to Vanity Fair, Mandalorian writer and Rebels creator Dave Filoni said: "When you look at the epilogue of Rebels you don't really know how much time has passed. So, it's possible that the story I'm telling in The Mandalorian actually takes place prior to that. Possible. I'm saying it's possible."

For now, though, The Way is clear for Mando to forge out his own path on the Star Wars timeline. For more on the franchise's future, check out all the upcoming Star Wars movies and shows coming our way soon.

If you're yet to start watching The Mandalorian, be sure to check out the latest Disney Plus bundles. Because the Disney Plus free trial doesn't exist anymore, that's your best bet if you want to get a Disney Plus sign-up deal for less.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.

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