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The Mandalorian season 3 debuts with surprise returns from Rebels, Rise of Skywalker, and Mando season 1 characters

Let's give a warm welcome back to The Mandalorian as we cover notable points from the season three premiere.

the mandalorian season 3 din djarin and greef karga
Image credit: Photo: Lucasfilm

After a lengthy wait of over two years, The Mandalorian makes its proper return to Disney+. Much has happened to the members of Clan Mudhorn since we last left the series, especially since their story picked up in the latter half of The Book of Boba Fett (It is peculiar you had to watch a separate show to catch up for the new season, isn't it?).

In season 3, the Mandalorian finds himself trying to make amends for his past transgressions of breaking the code of The Way of Mandalore. On his new personal quest, Mando will cross paths with allies and foes alike both familiar and new.

So much has occurred in the jam packed first episode back. We cross paths with old characters, see creatures and alien species from other shows and films, and more. Here are some notable points from the season three premiere as Mando sets out on a new adventure.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

A Sneaky Misdirect

the mandalorian season 3 tribe
Image credit: Photo: Lucasfilm

The episode opening begins with the Armorer, Din Djarin's former leader, forging a new helmet inside a cave. When she is done, the Armorer heads outside and is greeted by a large group of Mandalorians, much larger than the group of one, Paz Viszla, that the tribe had when we last saw them. The recipient of the newly crafted piece of armor is a youngling who could pass as a younger version of our hero.

Is this all a flashback? No. We find out soon enough that this is current day when Djarin's new N-1 starfighter swoops in to save the day and rescue his old tribe from a giant croc-turtle creature. The entire sequence is an action packed way to tell viewers about the Mandalorian's standing with the tribe and about his quest to bathe in the Living Waters beneath the mines of his people's home planet, catching up fans who did not watch The Book of Boba Fett to where Mando is now.

Majestic Space Beasts

star wars purrgil
Image credit: Photo:

During this episode, we see little Grogu staring out of his astromech compartment and watching the silhouettes of some whale-like creatures. These creatures are the purrgil, which have a bluish-purple color and propel themselves using their four hind tentacles. One the purrgil's distinct characteristics is their ability to travel through hyperspace.

We first saw purrgil in the animated series Star Wars Rebels. The Jedi padawan Ezra Bridger was able to establish connections with the animals and later used them to help drive Grand Admiral Thrawn into deep space. Although he would later sacrifice himself and be lost with them.

We've seen mention of Admiral Thrawn in The Mandalorian before. In 'Chapter 13: The Jedi,' Ahsoka Tano confronts Imperial Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth specifically to obtain intel on Grand Admiral Thrawn. Many fans speculate she was doing so in search of her missing friend Ezra. It's difficult to not think of Bridger and Thrawn when seeing a purrgil. Could their appearance foreshadow something later in the season or is it a nice Easter egg and callback? We'll have to wait and see.

The Mandalorian and Old Friends

the mandalorian season 3 bo katan kryze
Image credit: Photo: Lucasfilm

During this episode, Mando heads back to Nevarro, where the series began and reconnects with some familiar faces. He is greeted by the now High Magistrate, Greef Karga (Make sure not to forget the "High" or he will correct you). Karga's come a long way since being the leader of the Bounty Hunter's Guild. In a scene we Karga, we learn that he needs a new marshal. His previous one, Cara Dune, was recruited by special forces. These lines serve as a quick way to write the character off the series (actress Gina Carano was fired from the series after a number of controversial social media posts).

Another season one character to reappear in this first episode of The Mandalorian is IG-11. Djarin wants the former bounty hunter turned nurse/protector droid to accompany him-- most likely because IG-11 could function in the possible poisonous atmosphere of Mandalore. Though for this to happen, Mando will have to fix IG-11 up first, since the IG unit self-destructed in season one to save the Child. We see here that Din shows real growth in overcoming the trauma from his youth to be able to trust a droid.

The end of the episode sees Mando and Grogu going to Kavela, a planet in the Mandalorian system where they meet with a disgruntled Bo-Katan Kryze who has clearly fallen on dark times. In the season two finale of The Mandalorian, Bo-Katan's inability to obtain the Darksaber, a symbol of leadership to Mandalorians, caused her followers to abandon her. Now she wallows away by herself in her castle.

Let's Hear It for the Little Guy

star wars babu frik
Image credit: Photo:

The Mandalorian's most famous little guy is Grogu, but this episode saw a few more diminutive scene-stealing characters who Djarin enlists to help repair IG-11. The Anzellans' most well-known member is Babu Frik, who appeared in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. These little guys are technologically adept and have floating corneal micro-lenses in their eyes to see microscopic details. As a result, they usually are employed as droidsmiths.

A tiny pair of new characters that have a less desirable job are the droids who serve as Karga's personal entourage. They accompany him everywhere and lift the tails of the High Magistrate's robe so it doesn't drag onto the ground. Karga has a lofty title and Nevarro has seen an influx of wealth come in the recent years, so why not indulge and show off a little bit?

The Game of Thrones Connection

During this episode, Djarin and Karga come into conflict with pirates who used to frequent Nevarro. When they plan a retaliatory assault on the Mandalorian, we meet their leader Gorian Shard the Pirate King, who has the resemblance of a less hulky Swamp Thing. It looks as though Shard and his crew will be a thorn in the side of Mando for parts of this season.

The character portraying the Pirate King is Nonso Anozie. He has strong comic adaptation roots playing the role of Tommy Jepperd in Sweet Tooth and providing the voice of Wyvern in The Sandman. Anozie also had a recurring role in the second season of Game of Thrones as the merchant prince Xaro Xhoan Daxos who tried to court Daenarys Targaryen. The Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal also starred in the fantasy series as Oberyn Martell. However, he didn't appear until season four so the two actors never shared the screen together.

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