Ever since Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (CGI Mark Hamill) made his triumphant return to the Star Wars universe in director Peyton Reed’s The Mandalorian Season 2 finale episode (“Chapter 16: The Rescue”), fans of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s hit series have been waiting for news about Season 3 — and it has been a test of patience for even the most dedicated Star Wars fans.
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Initially, per Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s 2020 Disney Investor Day announcement, it sounded as if Mandalorian viewers could expect Season 3 of the hit series — and two spinoffs titled Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic — to air concurrently by December 2021.
Then, a third spinoff series, Robert Rodriguez’s The Book of Boba Fett, was surprisingly announced following the Season 2 finale post credits scene — this occurred just days after the Investor Day presentation.
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Then, as most fans already know, Cara Dune actress Gina Carano was fired from the Star Wars franchise amid ongoing social media controversy. This led to the cancelation of Dune’s spinoff, Rangers of the New Republic, and, presumably threw plans for the future of the “Mando-verse” into flux.
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This brings us to the present, at which time The Mandalorian Season 3 hasn’t even started filming yet — though reports indicate it should begin shooting at The Volume soundstage this month — and leading man Pedro Pascal (Din Djarin) has taken another role in HBO’s The Last of Us, a video game adaptation.
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Now, another Mandalorian fan-favorite, proverbial “bad guy” Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon), has landed another major role, this time in a Netflix series.
Per The Hollywood Reporter:
The streamer [Netflix] has ordered a thriller called Jigsaw to series, tracking the planning an execution of a massive heist from decades before to a year after it happens. Giancarlo Esposito, Paz Vega and Rufus Sewell head the cast for the eight-episode drama, created by Eric Garcia (Repo Men, Matchstick Men).
Jigsaw will tell its story in nonlinear fashion, although it won’t be a choose-your-own-adventure interactive show a la Black Mirror‘s “Bandersnatch” or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘s “Kimmy vs. the Reverend.” Instead, sources say viewers will be able to choose in which order they watch episodes leading up to a finale that wraps up the story (Paramount+’s series Interrogation, released in 2020, used a similar format).
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Although Esposito has not officially spoken out about whether or not his involvement in this new series will impact The Mandalorian Season 3, it is unlikely. Despite the fact that the Imperial sympathizer’s presence looms large in most Mandalorian episodes, Moff Gideon himself generally only appears in a handful of episodes each season, meaning filming should be able to take place without Esposito on set daily.
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When we last saw the Moff, he had lost the Darksaber to Djarin — who had boarded the former’s Imperial cruiser with Carano’s Dune, Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), and Nite Owl warrior Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks) to rescue Grogu (AKA “Baby Yoda”).
Just when it seemed all was lost and the Dark Trooper droids would win, Skywalker made his aforementioned return, saving the day in true Jedi fashion.
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Although Moff Gideon’s story arc for the third season of Djarin’s adventures has not been confirmed, it is likely that the Darksaber story arc will continue — and we are likely to continue learning more about how cloning is integral to the Star Wars story, a plot Dave Filoni will likely link back to his most recent animated series, Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for more on The Mandalorian Season 3, including its official 2022 debut date.