The Mandalorian Season 3 Finale Almost Introduced Boba Fett's Super Trooper Prototype Armor

This post contains spoilers for the season 3 finale of "The Mandalorian," "The Return."

Season 3 of "The Mandalorian" just came to a thrilling conclusion that should go down as one of the best episodes in the series and one of the most accomplished finales Star Wars has ever produced, animated or otherwise. Chapter 24, "The Return," showed Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and The Armorer (Emily Swallow) battling Imperial Super Commandos in mid-air, a final showdown (perhaps) between Din Djarin and Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), and Grogu Force pushing a fireball just like Kanan Jarrus in "Star Wars Rebels." What more could you possibly want?

More Mandalorian armor, perhaps? Sure! The ending of "The Return" lives up to its name when the true inhabitants of Mandalore restore their home planet and reignite the Great Forge, ensuring that the ancient craftsmanship of molding and forging beskar armor will hopefully be preserved for a new generation. The lighting of the Great Forge restores the spirit of Mandalore and it serves as a life force for the entire covert. It's another memorable moment for the Mandalorian people and a continuation of what is now a vast mythology. 

It's a testament to the artists and storytellers of Star Wars that all of this, incredibly, began with one idea by George Lucas and one design by visual effects director Joe Johnston and legendary concept artist Ralph McQuarrie that created the look of Boba Fett for "The Empire Strikes Back." The legacy of the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy began with an all-white prototype armor, a design that looks to have made an appearance during the closing credits of "The Mandalorian" season 3 finale. 

Did that armor make a stealth cameo?

Showing the concept art at the end of each episode of "The Mandalorian" is always beautiful to watch, and it offers a glimpse at just how close the live-action series comes at times to matching these original images. It can also give some insight into what some of the earliest ideas were that didn't make it from the canvas onto the screen. All of the concept art pieces shown at the end of "The Return" are incredibly accomplished, but one image in particular seems to indicate that fans almost got a chance to see Boba Fett's original prototype armor used as the armor for Moff Gideon's Imperial Super Commandos. (Artists Ryan Church, Anton Grandert and Richard Lim have done incredible concept art for "The Mandalorian" in the past, but we're unsure of the exact artist at the time of this writing.)

Considering that Lucas' original idea was to create an entirely new trooper design for "The Empire Strikes Back," the appearance of the prototype design in "The Mandalorian" is decidedly poetic, rhyming back to the early days of the uniform when Boba Fett hadn't quite been invented yet. "The original idea behind Boba Fett was that he was going to be an army of super troopers. There was going to be 40,000 of these guys," Joe Johnston revealed to

Over 40 years later, the history of Boba Fett is still being written, and Lucas' original vision to have an army of new Imperial Super Commandos has been revisited multiple times in "Star Wars Rebels." Now, the season 3 finale of "The Mandalorian" has gone full circle once again, showing Moff Gideon's hidden army emerge from a secret base on Mandalore with the intent of wiping out the remaining Mandalorians once and for all. 

Using Boba Fett's prototype armor may have been confusing

In the penultimate episode of season 3, "The Spies," directed by Rick Fukuyama (who also helmed the finale), Bo-Katan leads a scouting party down to the surface of Mandalore in hopes of securing a perimeter so the remaining Mandalorian fleet (ironically made up of Imperial ships) can land safely. When they encounter another group donning Mandalorian armor and jetpacks, at first it seems safe to assume they might be another clan coming to join the fight. But Bo-Katan suddenly warns everyone the squadron flying towards them aren't Mandalorians, they're Imperials. Understandably, even the head of the Night Owls and the wielder of the Darksaber is a little confused by the similar appearance of their attackers. 

This confusion visually may have been a factor in deciding not to have Boba Fett's prototype armor serve as the template for the entire army of Moff Gideon's Super Commandos. The concept art at the end of the season finale does have an incredibly similar look to McQuarrie's design shown in the cockpit of a TIE Fighter, which could have helped differentiate it enough from the rest of Gideon's army doing battle on the surface. But considering all of the incredible aerial battle scenes in Chapter 24, "The Return," it could have been a little too much to process for audiences trying to make sense of the characters and the choreography. Besides, the last thing the Mandalorians would want is to fall victim to a tragic bit of friendly fire.

Nevertheless, the more sleek redesign of the Imperial Super Commandos looks incredible, and their appearance may be a visual connection to the rise of the New Order, further connecting all of the saga together. With season 4 of "The Mandalorian" already written, perhaps there will be another way to give Boba's O.G. look a quick cameo and officially introduce it into Star Wars canon.