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‘The Mandalorian’ season finale: Baby Yoda finally gets a dad

ByTeam BB

Apr 19, 2023

This article contains spoilers for the Season 3 finale of “The Mandalorian.”

You couldn’t fault Star Wars fans for hoping they might get a peek at the much-hyped Grand Admiral Thrawn in the finale of the third season of “The Mandalorian.”

The title of the 24th chapter of the Star Wars streaming series was “The Return.” And given Thrawn was mentioned by name in this season’s penultimate episode, an appearance before his big debut on “Ahsoka” in August would have been … well … grand.

Thrawn didn’t show up, though. If you want to see the blue-skinned, red-eyed military genius, you’ll have to stream his arrival on Disney Plus later this summer.

Instead, “The Return” refers to a return to Mandalore, as Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and the Armorer (Emily Swallow) lead their two Mandalorian tribes (one who removes their helmets, the other who doesn’t) in a unified assault against longtime series foe Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), in an attempt to reclaim their home planet.

This episode’s biggest reveal is Moff Gideon’s master plan. Not only did his Moffness build his own fleet of Mandalorian-esque troopers equipped with beskar armor and jetpacks, including his own all-black Darth Vader-like helmet and armor for himself, but he was secretly planning an army of clones of himself. The kicker: He planned on those clones being able to wield the Force, thus explaining his initial interest in Grogu.

But those plans, the clones and Moff Gideon himself are destroyed by a joint Mandalorian effort and some much-needed Force mastery from Grogu, to take back the planet.

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With both tribes now united on Mandalore, titular Mandalorian Din Djarin asks for Grogu to be declared his official apprentice. But the Armorer (who was not revealed as a spy, as many fans had speculated) says because Grogu still can’t speak, he’s too young for the title and must remain a foundling.

That’s when Din Djarin becomes Dad Djarin, asking for permission to adopt Grogu and thus gaining the parental authority to declare him an apprentice who can be on his way to becoming a Mandalorian. Grogu is also officially given a new name by the Armorer: Din Grogu. Perhaps DG will catch on? Or maybe he’ll just always be Baby Yoda to us.

This official adoption now opens up the window of possibility for Din Djarin to look at Din Grogu, point and say, “I am your father,” while wearing a helmet that slightly modulates his voice, but then again, that’s already been done in this universe.

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Din Djarin is told he must leave Mandalore and take Din Grogu on multiple journeys just as he once did as an apprentice in his youth. The scene ends with Din Grogu looking down in the Mandalorian waters that secretly contain the Mythosaur that Bo-Katan laid eyes on at the beginning of this season. It’s unclear whether the two could sense each other, but they both seem destined to come in contact. Perhaps that moment is being saved for Dave Filoni’s Star Wars movie that will conclude the connective tale being told by “The Mandalorian,” “The Book of Boba Fett” and “Ahsoka.”

Din Djarin and son end the finale on Nevarro after being gifted a home and a nice slab of land on the planet from their friend, the always cool High Magistrate Greef Karga. Din Djarin has offered his services as a bounty hunter to the New Republic as a means to earn money and make sure Grogu is getting three square meals a day.

The heartbeat of this show remains this beskar-clad duo. And although “Andor” remains the Star Wars streaming champion, father and son could have something to say about that in “The Mandalorian” seasons to come.

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