Can the Mandalorian survive with out Child Yoda?
We’re in no man’s land for Star Wars fans, especially those who have come to love The Mandalorian. Season 2 has ended and we may have to wait a long time for season 3. But that gives us enough time to think about what’s to come. What we know for sure is that when the show comes back it will be radically different and there is a key question; Can it survive without Baby Yoda?
Warning: This post contains massive spoilers for Mandalorian Season 2. Proceed with caution. Since the end of the first episode of the series, The Mandalorian has mainly been about the adventures of Mando and Baby Yoda. We now know that the lovable little alien creature has a name, Grogu, but it is still fondly mentioned by its title given on the internet. In any case, the season two finale in many ways closed that pivotal journey and set a big change in store when the series returns for its next round of adventure. Namely, it appears that Pedro Pascal’s bounty hunter will traverse the galaxy without his trustworthy, force-sensitive buddy.
To recap, in the season two finale, Mando and his crew broke into Moff Gideon’s ship to get Grogu back after he was kidnapped. After a harrowing fight, they had the child secured and Moff Gideon was tied up on the bridge. But a legion of Dark Troopers would ruin the whole thing as they prepared to tear down the door and kill the lot of them. Then a lone X-Wing appeared, none other than Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing. Luke ripped through the Dark Troopers the Jedi way. Then he makes his way to Grogu and offers to train the young (relatively speaking) alien in the ways of power. In the end, Mando saw that it was the right thing to do, and Grogu set off with Luke.
It was a fitting and logical step for Grogu’s journey. He is strong with the force. During this period, roughly five years after the events of the Return of the Jedi, there are few Jedi left in the galaxy. At this point, Luke was trying to rebuild a new generation of Jedi. Din Djarin, as much as he loves Grogu, cannot train him properly. As heartbreaking as it was, it was the right narrative choice for fans and characters.
But that leaves us in an interesting place on season 3 of The Mandalorian. There’s no question that Baby Yoda’s surprise reveal and instant popularity helped make the show bigger than expected. It strengthened Disney + as a streaming service and brought the Star Wars fan base under one roof. This little green alien almost single-handedly paved the way for the future of the franchise. That might sound dramatic, but it’s hard to imagine the show would be so successful without its secret weapon.
Executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have cemented themselves as brilliant Star Wars storytellers. There was tremendous pressure to develop the first live-action Star Wars series, especially one that wouldn’t rely on legacy characters. It’s hard to argue with results. They did it in a big way, not least through creating Baby Yoda. But The Mandalorian has also done well because its stories have forced the fan base and appeal to both casual viewers and hardcore fans. Still, it’s hard not to wonder if the show can be successful on the same level without the ace up its sleeve. Will fans be forced to see how Din deals with his life without protecting the child? Or will some of them lose interest in Grogu? To quote Yoda, “Impossible to see the future is.”
What we know for sure is that Disney and Lucasfilm are doubling up with Star Wars on the small screen. The success of this show caused her to expand on television over the next several years. As the movies continue, streaming is the immediate future. Dozens of new shows will be featured on Disney + including The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, Rangers of the New Republic, The Acolyte, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and more. Several of these shows will take place on the same timeline as The Mandalorian and are slated to build an “event” series later. What exactly that will be remains to be seen. Although there is at least one reason to believe it will be Grand Admiral Thrawn, given the season 2 name loss.
The key point is that war of stars found a new way thanks to The Mandalorian. Baby Yoda helped unite a divided fan base. Another key to the show’s success is that it really felt like something new in a galaxy far, far away, while weaving in elements that felt familiar. Grogu himself is known to be of Yoda’s species, but new in that we have never seen a younger version of that species. These shows have the opportunity to break new ground. Likewise, the Mandalorian Season 3 can reinvent itself in bold new ways that viewers might never expect. A new plot or character that none of us can fathom could fill that void. It is very possible that this show would be successful without Baby Yoda. Difficult? Yes. But possible. Favreau and Filoni seem to be up to the challenge.
It’s also important to remember that even if he’s not on season three of The Mandalorian, we almost certainly haven’t seen Grogu’s last. This is a creature that could live another 700 years. Disney and Lucasfilm will no doubt use this to their advantage in the future, be it in some of these upcoming Disney + shows or elsewhere. Even if the show that introduced him to the franchise has to go on without him, Grogu is likely to be an important part of Star Wars in the years to come. But in the meantime, Mando has to find a new companion and a new search. Mandalorian seasons 1 and 2 are available now on the Disney + streaming app. The release date for the 3rd season of Mandalorian is set for Christmas 2021.
Subjects: The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda