The Mandalorian Season 3 Will Be The 'Culmination' Of The Series Thus Far

This article contains spoilers for "The Mandalorian."

"The Mandalorian" season 3 has been going pleasantly strong so far, and while there has been no shortage of our favorite duo, Din (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu, it also has been an effective vehicle and character study for Bo-Katan Kreez (Katee Sackhoff). Focusing a lot more on Mandalore, the displacement of the Mandalorian people, and the Children of the Watch's religious way of life, this season has largely hit the reset button on the show's formula. We haven't seen any Jedi or huge legacy characters, and episode 3, "The Convert," served as a great standalone showing us the post-"Return of the Jedi" ride of the New Republic.

In a perplexing decision for casual "Star Wars" fans, Grogu and Din actually reunited with each other in an episode of the spin-off series "The Book of Boba Fett," which played much more like a "Mando" season 2.5 interlude. Creator Jon Favreau explained that his motivation for plotting this beat across two shows was to make sure the main focus of his series was always centered on Din and Grogu. As a result, this season has stepped away from the epic, huge promises laid behind by Luke Skywalker's memorable, de-aged appearance in the season 2 finale. Or has it?

Rick Famuyiwa, a director and now executive producer on "The Mandalorian" spoke with Collider about what to expect from the remainder of season 3, compared to what we've seen from Din's adventures with Grogu so far. In the interview, Famuyiwa teased that the overall endpoint of season 3 will ultimately be the culmination of the entire series so far and that the show has consistently been building up to one larger picture.

'A culmination of stories'

It seems as though we're being given mixed signals on the show's direction by the creatives and overall content of the season itself, which appears to be completely focused on Mandalore. However, Famuyiwa has been responsible for some of the more exciting episodes of the series thus far and has graduated to an executive producer role this season, so we trust he has the show's best interests in mind. When remarking on how season 3 will develop, Famuyiwa told Collider:

"I mean, it's interesting because I think what we've been doing with the storytelling in the first two seasons, and then with ['The Book of Boba Fett'], has led us to this point. So I think on one level there is a sense of things coming together, a culmination of stories that have been built for a very long time, but I also think there are seeds that are going to get planted throughout the season, that point the way forward in terms of where the story could continue to go."

That's right, despite the extremely sharp change of pace the newest season has opened on, we're bound to see some threads from previous seasons pay off. Famuyiwa personally sees it as a bookend to where the show initially started. "I do think there's something, at least for me, that feels like we've reached a kind of a chapter, and we're ending a chapter in the storytelling by the end of season 3 that's been built since we first met these two characters [in] the first season," Famuyiwa explained. "[...] I hope you're still screaming at the TV about where we're going next."

Weaving the Skywalker Saga tapestry

It might seem as though he's talking in circles, so what does Famuyiwa mean by all of this? What exactly has "The Mandalorian" been building up to since the first season? There are multiple perspectives.

In my opinion, one of the main functions of this show is to channel the "Star Wars" expanded universe and create a stronger relationship between the three film trilogies that make up the Skywalker Saga. The aesthetic of "The Mandalorian" echoes back to the dirty, dusty grime of the original trilogy, and explicitly shows us the aftershocks of the Empire's downfall. But, "The Mandalorian" also doesn't mind utilizing elements and deep cuts from the prequel trilogy as well as foreshadowing what is to come in the sequels.

The standout episode of season 3 so far, "The Convert," is a perfect example of this — the episode gives us an "Andor" style glimpse of what daily life on Coruscant is like under the control of the New Republic. Following Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) and Elia Kane (Katy O'Brian), "reformed" members of Moff Gideon's crew, we've gradually gotten more insight into Pershing's "special cloning technology" research that has been hinted at in previous episodes. It's mostly speculation, but we could be seeing the beginnings of the First Order in this series. "The Mandalorian" could be doing for the Skywalker Saga what "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" animated series set out to do for the Prequels, tying up loose ends and making everything feel much more cohesive.

Blending the animated canon into live-action

Another function of "The Mandalorian" has also been to blend the animated "Star Wars" extended canon into the live-action film canon. Season 2 was quite successful with this in particular, perfectly introducing us to a live-action Bo-Katan as well as a live-action Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) with very little resistance from casual audiences that might not have known these characters before.

We also know that the "Ahsoka" spin-off series will be premiering on Disney+ this year, and will potentially be serving as a follow-up to the animated "Star Wars: Rebels" series. Behind the scenes, both Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren have been quietly cast, but even in canon, the premiere of season 3 of "Mando" made its first hint towards Ezra's whereabouts. In a lightspeed sequence, Grogu watches the outlines of Puurgils in the stars, which we can safely assume will pay off later in the "MandoVerse."

Though "The Mandalorian" season 3 has mostly remained focused on its core characters, the clues for the future of the show are there if you are paying enough attention. Famuyiwa's comments seem vague, but he's right that the series has always been slowly building into something big for "Star Wars." Love it, or hate it — that might mean "The Mandalorian" is going to be the connective tissue for the rest of the franchise.

New episodes of "The Mandalorian" stream Wednesdays on Disney+.