If you’ve been watching Season Three of the Mandalorian, you’ve probably noticed that things are a bit — off about the show this season. In fact, even though episode 7 felt like the best episode, it was also a massive exposition dump. It was if the show’s creators filmed six episodes, got to seven and realized, oh shit, we should probably come up with a story for the season. Then, they dumped everything into one episode so they can quickly resolve everything in the finale.
There’s so much that’s wrong about this show and the Star Wars universe in general right now that it can’t be covered in a single post. More to come on that point later.
Instead, the internet has been abuzz the last couple of days because supposedly Dave Filoni, one of the Mandalorian’s co-creators, dropped a hint that the season finale will be “heart-wrenching.”
And, you know what that means? Someone’s gonna kick the bucket! And, it’s likely going to be someone the audience cares about, i.e. a major character.
So, let’s join in a death watch (not that Death Watch), and place some bets on who might die in the season three finale of the Mandalorian.
NOTE: I’m not going to be shy about spoilers, so if you’re not up to date with the Mandalorian, you should probably stop reading now. This is your one and only warning!!!
Let’s start with the obvious one. Disney is not about to let their little money making machine die when there’s still plenty of money to squeeze out of the green cash cow. After this last episode, we now have Grogu in a new IG-12 suit?, body?, armor? Whatever, it means all new toys for the House of Mouse. Basically, everyone else on the show could die before Grogu would. Even if the show ended, Disney would probably make him a “Disney Princess” or something to keep the money rolling in.
If you have been paying attention, ol’ Din (aka the Mandalorian or Mando) has been taking a back seat on his own show to a newer character. If you haven’t watched the Star Wars animated shows, Bo-Katan was a princess of Mandalore before the Empire took over the planet. She even ruled it for a short time, uniting some of the clans with the Darksaber, before (as we learned) the Empire laid waste to the planet in the “Night of a Thousand Tears.” She has longed to regain the Darksaber and try to unite the various Mandalorian factions again in order to try re-take her homeworld.
As we’ve seen this season, she’s basically gotten everything she’s ever wanted. Din Djarin’s mission for this season inexplicably became let’s re-take Mandalore, even though he’d never been there and wasn’t raised there. But, Bo-Katan was, and so, over the course of this season, we’ve quickly seen Din and Bo-Katan rally the group of Mandalorians that Din came from, then unite with the remnants of Bo-Katan’s group. Bo-Katan also, via a very lazy means, got the Darksaber back. And, now, in episode 7, we’ve seen all of these Mandalorians return to their homeworld in search of the Great Forge (for reasons). Bo-Katan has effectively become the main character, sidelining Din and Grogu in the process.
So, why kill her? Because, things have been going her way all season. She’s getting everything she’s ever wanted. She now has a chance to seek revenge against Moff Gideon, who has escaped the New Republic and we learn has set up a base on Mandalore, and re-take her planet. However, the Mandalorians may also attempt to rescue Din Djarin, who was captured by Gideon, so it makes sense that maybe Bo-Katan has to sacrifice herself to save him. Plus, narratively, it leads to an interesting set up for season 4. Who will lead the Mandalorians if they’ve lost their newly re-established leader, and the one who was most likely most qualified to do exactly that? Would they follow Din Djarin? Would the Mandalorians simply fracture again and scatter?
On the other hand, if you’ve also been paying attention to Disney Star Wars, you’re also well aware of Kathleen Kennedy and her “the Force is female” agenda. She has long been set on setting up strong female characters as the primary characters of the Star Wars universe (But, you ask, there are already strong female characters in Star Wars — I know, right?) — but Kennedy also is dead set on destroying the legacy of the male characters that fans have loved for decades. It’s a whole thing, worthy of a discussion of it’s own.
Needless to say, Kennedy would absolutely lose her shit if Bo-Katan died, especially if it meant some man might take over that leadership role. So, she’s probably safe on that alone.
Din Djarin: 66.6666%
Let’s face it, the showrunners have had no clue what to do with their main character this season. Din had a pretty strong arc for both of the previous seasons. But, the season two finale really resolved his story. Din finally found a Jedi (none other than Luke friggin Skywalker) that could train Grogu in the ways of the Force as well as protect him. Din was basically free to go back to being a bounty hunter or whatever he wanted.
Of course, if you’ve seen all of the Disney Star Wars shows, you’re aware that Disney undid this, and Grogu chose to leave his training and return to Din. If you didn’t, then you probably had questions at the beginning of season three.
Initially, it looked like Din was going on an arc to bathe in the waters of Mandalore to redeem himself in the eyes of his faction for the sin of removing his helmet. He also wanted to restore IG-11, but I forget why (I think it was related to Mandalore). Anyway, that was quickly resolved, so Din was left without a mission. So, the show had him hop on the Bo-Katan bus and help her return the Mandalorians to their home.
As I’ve mentioned, over the episodes, Bo-Katan has slowly been taking over screen time on the show and has really become the main character. In episode 6, she even had Grogu sitting in her lap while she piloted the ship. With a whole bunch of Mandalorians to follow, except for his connection to Grogu, Din has become pretty redundant.
There have also been some outside factors at work. Lucasfilm leadership has been dropping hints recently that “The Mandalorian” title isn’t just about a single character, but about all Mandalorians. There have long been rumors of actor Pedro Pascal being unhappy with the show, and frustrated that he’s simply doing voiceover work for much of the show. Supposedly, outside of a couple of episodes, he’s not even in the suit. (There are now rumors that the original rumors were sort of true, but have since been resolved).
Narratively, though, Din’s arc has been complete. You could argue that he should be the one to train Grogu in “the way” of the Mandalorian. Only, as I’ve said, there’s a whole bunch of them now, and arguably, Bo-Katan’s crew – true Mandalorians – are really better suited to teach him about their culture.
So, much like Bo-Katan’s story, they could go on a mission to save Din, but Din ultimately chooses to sacrifice himself to protect Bo-Katan or even Grogu from Moff Gideon. We would have a gut-wrenching moment where Din removes his helmet one final time so he can look upon the face of his son (hmm, where have we seen that before?)
So, yes, if anyone’s going to kick the bucket, Din is the most likely to go.
Yeah, there’s also the big old fake-out option, too. Disney hasn’t pulled this card yet, but they could easily do it. The “heart-wrenching” comment could be a ploy to simply lure fans into watching the finale.
OR — They could pull a “Walking Not-Dead-Yet” fake-out. One of the above characters could not have a death scene, but instead, merely “appear” to be dead or left for dead. Then, they’d miraculously recover in the first episode of season four, and then there could be an episode or two of them trying to make their way back to the others, who believe that they’re dead. This would be great for the writers, because it means they have something to do in season four and they can keep fan interest around at least for a couple of episodes.
As lazy as the writing has been for season three, I can totally see this happening.
OR — In order to avoid angering their fans (Sorry — had to pause to stop laughing at that thought — Disney Star Wars caring about their fans), everybody has a couple of “close calls” but, in the end, everyone makes it out more or less okay. If fans get mad at Filoni, he’d simply say the “heart-wrenching” moments were the close calls — person X “almost” died, after all.
Let’s not forget that Filoni has a Star Wars movie to make with all of these characters, so he may simply wait and not kill anyone off until the BIG BIG finale of the film. Besides, the odds of any of this year’s Star Wars movie announcements actually making it into a theater are probably worth a separate post.
And… that’s it. Sure, someone else could die, but there’s really nobody else that I’d argue is a main character of the show at this point. Maybe the Armorer? dies, or Greef Karga dies. Maybe there are a couple of huge Moff Gideon fans who would be upset if he goes?
Obviously, this is a time-sensitive post and isn’t going to age well (since we have — what — maybe 72 hours — before the finale is released on Disney+?), but those are my thoughts on someone dying in the Mandalorian’s season finale.