With season 3 completed, ET is looking ahead to see where things go from here.
As early as 2022, long before The Mandalorian season 3 was released a year later, creator Jon Favreau confirmed that a fourth installment in the Star Wars series was a go. And not only that, but he's "written it already," he has since revealed.
With Chapters 17 through 24 that made up season 3 officially behind us, what's next for the titular bounty hunter played by Pedro Pascal and his newly adopted son, Din Grogu? That all certainly remains a mystery, but here's everything ET knows about the future of The Mandalorian and what's to come in season 4.
How Did Season 3 End?
After the season kicked off with Din Djarin in search of the Living Waters and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) simmering over her failed plans to reclaim Mandalore, the final few episodes brought the story back around to where things started.
"This entire season has been about building up to something bigger and I think that for the fans that have been watching weekly, I think they can sense that episodes seven and eight are the payoff," Sackhoff told ET.
And in the final chapters, a mostly absent Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) returns in an attempt to prevent the Mandorlians from returning and reclaiming their rightful place on Mandalore. And while Gideon and Bo-Katan engage in battle, Djarin and Grogu discover that Gideon has harnessed Dr. Pershing's technology and started cloning himself with hopes of creating his own Force-sensitive army.
During the fiery battle that ensues, Bo-Katan loses the Darksaber for good after Gideon destroys it. However, he's eventually outnumbered and defeated by Bo, Djarin and Grogu, who all make it out alive and get their own respective happy endings.
"This season, you know, we've seen her in a change and I think that, you know, she finally got to a point where she realized that she didn't need the Darksaber and that's when she gets it," Sackhoff said.
Despite a bumpy reception, one thing that was certainly true about season 3 was that it was "larger than ever," just as Esposito previously promised. And not only was it "an expansion, in many ways, of last season," given Favreau has already been hard at work producing season 4, the latest installment delivered "great ideas, great teasings and great tips for the future."
What's to Come in Season 4?
"A lot was set up in the beginning of episode seven, so there's definitely implications for where the story goes beyond [that] and we're still very excited about what Dave [Filoni] is doing with the series," executive producer and director Rick Famuyiwa said.
Of course, for many, that will be learning how Djarin and Grogu's relationship continues to evolve now that they are officially father and son and Baby Yoda now Mando's apprentice. As Pascal mentioned before, "Grogu is discovering more and more of his powers. And it’s very important for Mando to nurture it and to also make sure it’s harnessed in the right way."
And beyond that, there's the fate of Mandalore under Bo-Katan's rule and what the cloning technology means for the Empire -- and those who've attempted to stay out of the larger fight.
"There are bigger things happening in the galaxy as well. We have the resurgent Empire and we have the Mandalorians, who are scattered, and there's lots of different factions that are all over the galaxy," Favreau teased.
"There's plenty of room for development for these characters and we've established a really interesting dynamic and room for growth," the executive producer continued. "There's a lot of things happening outside of these characters that will affect things. And there are characters that are on the horizon that are going to enter, and going to take the stage."
He added, "We're constantly thinking about where this can go and how this can play out, and how all these pieces can fit together… But at the end of the day, it's about people and about relationships. That's the template that George [Lucas] laid out and we try to aspire to those same principles."
Who Will Return?
While there's no doubt our titular bounty hunter will be back, Pascal has addressed his future as Din, revealing how long he'll stay on the series. The actor said "as long as they keep writing it," he'll keep playing him. "And even if I can't fit into the suit, somebody can," he continued, joking about possibly growing out of the character's tightfitting armor.
Pascal is not the only one ready to stick around, with Sackhoff wanting to explore even more as Bo-Katan. "I absolutely would," she said of staying for season 4 and beyond. "That's one of the joys of being able to wear a helmet but, you know, if there's a stunt person that is outside of my skill set, you just put someone else in there so I can play Bo when I'm 90."
As for the other recurring players, that remains to be seen. Although Gideon is seemingly dead, the character did clone himself – and Esposito too great to pass up if there's a chance to bring him back on screen. Additionally, we know that other familiar faces – The Armorer (Emily Swallow), Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) – are not only alive and well, but have continuously had interactions with Djarin and Grogu.
What's the Release Date?
No official release date or announcement beyond Favreau's comments about season 4 have been made in terms of when new episodes will begin production or even debut on Disney+. That said, season 1 was released in December 2019 with season 2 arriving less than a year later in October 2020. But then there was a large gap until the third season, with The Book of Boba Fett debuting in December 2021 and running through February 2022.
With Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew, two spin-offs with ties to The Mandalorian, slated for 2023, it's safe to assume that the main series won't return until late 2024 or possibly 2025, especially given that there are a few other series -- The Acolyte and Andor season 2 -- that still have to roll out on the streaming platform.
Additional reporting by Ash Crossan.