The third season of Disney’s “The Mandalorian” drops tomorrow, and “Star Wars” fans can’t control their excitement any longer. It’s been close to two years since Season 2 of the beloved franchise arrived, and fans have been starved to watch more of Baby Yoda — perhaps the cutest character in all of TV history (probably besides Boo from “Monsters, Inc.”) — and Mando moments. Pedro Pascal has already garnered global fame in his role as Joel, the surrogate dad to Ellie in HBO’s “The Last of Us,” and with Season 3 arriving tomorrow, we can hardly wait to see the father-son duo together again. So, here’s a complete recap of the two previous seasons along with the spin-off series for all you fans to revise because “This is the Way.”
Season 1 Recap: The Child And The Mandalorian
The first time we see the long rifle-toting, flamethrower-wielding titular Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) arrive on the scene, he grabs a Mythrol, his bounty target from the Maldo Kreis planet, and drags him back to Nevarro to collect his bounty. At Nevarro’s bounty hunter guild, his handler Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) offers him a job where he needs to retrieve an unknown target from the obscure planet of Arvala-7 in exchange for a huge payload of pure Beskar steel. A former official of The Empire, “The Client” (Warner Herzog), as he’s known, informs the bounty hunter that the target is 50 years old and has a tracking signal. He also gives Mando a single Beskar as advance payment, and when his guild’s leader, The Armorer, forges the steel into a shoulder plate, Mando’s childhood flashes before his eyes. Mando’s planet was attacked by droids who killed his parents, and he would’ve shared the same fate if not for the Mandalorians who destroyed the droids and took Mando in. Thus, we now know why he hates droids so much.
Upon reaching the planet inhabited by Blurrgs and an Ugnaught named Kuiil, the Mandalorian is directed to the location where the target is being kept, and he’s also joined by a droid named IG-11. The two blast the bandits guarding the area before discovering their bounty is but a baby, the precious subject of all the internet memes—a Baby Yoda. After blowing the droid’s circuit for wanting to kill the baby, Mando—as he’s called by his peers—is bringing the Child back to his ship, the Razor Crest, but notices his ship being picked apart by a group of Jawas. Kuiil helps Mando strike a deal with the little thieves, and they agree to return the parts in exchange for an egg from a creature. Thus, Mando goes to retrieve the egg but lands on his back more times than he can count because the egg belongs to a massive rhino-like creature called the mudhorn. It almost stomps Mando to death before Baby Yoda—or the Child, as he’s addressed as—uses the power of the Force to defeat it and save his temporary guardian’s life. After retrieving the parts from the Jawas, Kuiil and Mando fix the Crest as the child snacks on a frog and goes to sleep. Upon arriving on Nevarro, Mando reluctantly delivers the baby to The Client and takes his payment of Beskar to the Armorer, who forges him a beautiful armor of pure Beskar. However, by the time Mando wants to fly to his next mission, he realizes he misses the Child and storms the Empire stronghold, massacres the Stormtroopers, and takes Baby Yoda back. This act, however, triggers a massive bounty on Mando and the Child, and every bounty hunter, including Karga, attacks Mando. At the last moment, however, a horde of other Mandalorians arrive—a few of them brandishing cool jetpacks—to rescue their brother. Mando and the Child escape Nevarro to lay low for a while.
To get away from the heat for the moment, the Mandalorian and his alien son, the Child, enter the peaceful planet of Sorgan, where they are at a clearing deep inside the forest. However, the small settlement near Mando’s location, upon being plagued by raiders, asks the Mandalorian for help, and he’s forced to agree, but he needs the help of a former Rebel shock trooper named Cara Dune (Gina Carano). Mando, Cara, and the villagers—armed with Mando’s weapons—defeat the raiders, and they find a safe space amidst the villagers, but bounty hunters find them still, so they need to leave again. Upon landing on Tatooine to get his damaged Razor Crest repaired, he entrusts Baby Yoda with the repair lady, Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris), and takes on the job of hunting down an elite assassin named Fennec Shand with Toro Calican. The plan goes sideways after Calican kills Fennec, and as a result, Mando shoots him dead before flying away to Tatooine. Mando accepts a jailbreak job for an old colleague named Ran, but the crew members betray him after the mission is completed. However, the clever protagonist defeats his foes and flies away in the Razor Crest with the Child.
At the Crest, Mando is contacted by Karga once more, who asks him to bury the hatchet and come aid him in taking down The Client and his Stormtroopers, but Mando is suspicious of his former handler and asks Cara and Kuiil for help. Interestingly, Kuiil has reprogrammed the murderous droid IG-11 into a nurse, and its sole goal is protecting the Child. At Nevarro, after Mando and his team meet with Karga and his men, the group is attacked by a bunch of Mynocks, leaving Karga poisoned. However, when Baby Yoda uses the Force to heal Karga, his perspective changes and he decides not to betray Mando. Instead, he kills his henchmen, and they head to the town while Kuiil and the Child wait in the desert. The Client receives a communication from Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) that the whole place will be blown up by the Stormtroopers he has gathered, and the Client himself is the first to fall while two Stormtroopers murder Kuiil and capture the Child. In the season 1 finale, as Mando and his team are trapped inside the small cabin with Gideon and his men outside, the IG-11 droid comes to their aid and levels the playing field. However, when Gideon promises to use the E-web blaster, Mando—whose real name is Din Djarin, as Gideon addresses him—suggests escaping through the sewers. While escaping, Mando is heavily wounded, and the droid treats his wounds, and the team finds the Armorer – the sole survivor of Mando’s guild – in the sewers. She entrusts the Child as Djarin’s Foundling and entrusts him the responsibility to reunite Baby Yoda with his clan, and also gives him a jetpack. As she holds off the Stormtroopers, the group escapes through a river of lava, but the Stormtroopers are waiting outside. So the droid sacrifices itself, killing all the Stormtroopers and saving our heroes. Immediately though, Gideon flies in in a TIE fighter, but Djarin uses his jetpack to chase after him and blows his fighter up with a bomb before leaving with his surrogate son. The threat isn’t over, though, and Gideon steps out of the destroyed fighter with a glowing Darksaber in his hand.
Season 2 Recap: The Child Learns About The Force
The second season begins with The Mandalorian heading back to Tatooine to find other members of the species of the Child, or Baby Yoda, as we love calling him, and he learns that there’s a Mandalorian in town. However, this man who called himself the Marshal (Timothy Olyphant) isn’t a real Mandalorian, and instead had simply found the armor of Boba Fett, and when Din Djarin – our Mando – asks for the armor, the Marshal asks for Djarin’s help in killing the Krayt Dragon – a gigantic desert snake. Djarin manages to kill the Dragon – he had help – and the Marshal returns the armor to him, and the father-son duo of Mando and the Child leave. However, they’re being spied on by the real Boba Fett! In the next mission, Mando agrees to transport a Frog Woman and her eggs to Trask—Baby Yoda can’t stop eating these eggs. At Trask, when betrayed and left for dead, Mando is aided by the people of Mandalore, including the famous Bo’Katan, Mandalore’s rightful queen from the animated series “Clone Wars.” Mando learns from Bo’Katan and her team that the Force the Child can use is something exclusive to the Jedis, and if the Mandalorians are to help Djarin, they need help stealing an Empire rocket ship. With the end goal of reclaiming Mandalore, Bo’Katan and her crew—along with Djarin—attack the ship while also looking for Moff Gideon, who wields the Darksaber, because it allows the wielder the right to rule Mandalore.
Mando and the Child will be going to find a Jedi, but before that, he meets his friends at Nevarro and takes on a job that goes sideways, although Mando obviously comes out victorious. They arrive at the planet Corvus, where Mando meets the Jedi Ahsoka Tano, and the two fight until she spots Baby Yoda. She uses the Force to learn the Child’s name is Grogu, but she asks Mando to help her overthrow the tyrannical Magistrate of Calodan, who wields a spear made of pure Beskar. With Mando’s help, Ahsoka defeats the Magistrate and orders him to reveal Grand Admiral Thrawn’s location. She gifts Mando the Beskar spear and sends them to the Jedi Rock, where Grogu meditates while Mando encounters Boba Fett and Fennec Shand – his sidekick – whom Fett had saved. Fett asks for his armor, and Mando returns it to him, but the Stormtroopers arrive, and a battle ensues while Moff Gideon shoots a laser at Razor Crest, blowing it to bits. Things turn worse when the elite Stormtroopers—the Darktroopers—swoop in and capture Grogu. Mando asks Boba Fett, Cara, and Bo’Katan for help, although she lays down the condition that she’ll defeat Gideon and take the Darksaber herself.
In the explosive finale for the second season, the entire team bursts into Moff Gideon’s ship and clears house, but the primary antagonist is nowhere to be found. Mando does find him holding the Darksaber to the handcuffed Grogu, and a battle ensues between the foe and Grogu’s adoptive dad. Mando defeats Gideon and drags him back to where the rest of the Mandalorians are, but Bo’Katan is shocked to find Mando wielding the Darksaber, which means he’s now the new ruler of Mandalore. However, this problem has to be shelved for the moment because rows upon rows of Darktroopers arrive, and things look bad until a sole X-Wing flies in. Out comes a Jedi wielding a green lightsaber who slices through the Darktroopers like a hot knife through butter before removing his mask. “Star Wars” fans collectively lose their minds when they find Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill digitally de-aged) to be the Jedi who has come to take Grogu back to train. Before leaving, Grogu wants to hug Mando, and he finally breaks the most sacred oath of his guild and removes his helmet to let his adopted son touch his face. Season 2 ends with Luke walking away with Grogu, who looks back at his dad with sadness in his eyes.
In the spin-off series “The Book of Boba Fett,” the eponymous Mandalorian becomes the newest crime boss of Tatooine, with Fennec Shand as his assistant, while Din Djarin trains with the Armorer to improve his skills with the Darksaber. However, Mando is disowned by his guild for having taken off his helmet, and he goes to the planet where Luke Skywalker is training Grogu and watches his son from afar. Upon learning of Mando’s arrival, Luke offers Grogu a choice between a Mandalorian chain mail vest and a lightsaber, and Baby Yoda chooses the latter. Mando and his beloved alien Child are reunited at the end of the series, and for Season 3, the two will surely be going on more adventures as Grogu keeps melting our hearts with his unbelievable cuteness.