These days, with multi-platform universes, series, sequels, and spin-offs being greenlit at a breakneck pace, and characters bleeding over from property to property, keeping up with your favorite characters now feels like a full-time job. The latest victim of this phenomenon appears to be The Mandalorian, which unveiled the trailer for its highly anticipated third season during the NFL playoffs this weekend—but ultimately left some fans wondering what they’d missed.
“Our people are scattered like stars in a galaxy. What are we? What do we stand for?” Mando (a.k.a. Din Djarin) narrates over the trailer’s opening shots. “Being a Mandalorian is not just learning about how to fight. You also have to know how to navigate the galaxy. That way, you’ll never be lost.” The trailer teases the title character’s return to Mandalore, which will be the first time we actually see his home planet, though it has been referenced in several episodes.
The trailer puts Pedro Pascal’s Mandalorian front and center with Grogu, the breakout character—better known as Baby Yoda—who has become an object of cultural fascination since the show’s 2019 premiere. At the end of The Mandalorian’s second season, Grogu and Mando said goodbye, with the little green guy going off to train with Luke Skywalker (a clear nod to his connection to Yoda).
Now, here’s where things get funky. Mando appeared in three episodes of the Book of Boba Fett, a spin-off series, centered around the beloved bounty hunter from the OG Star Wars films, that failed to earn the critical praise and cultural foothold of its predecessor. Grogu also showed up in two of those episodes, and the first season of Boba Fett ends with him choosing between joining the Jedi and reuniting with the Mandalorian. He ultimately uses the Force to help Mando, Boba, and the gang, before reuniting with his behelmed friend and caretaker and flying off for new adventures.
Someone who opted not to watch The Book of Boba Fett will have virtually no idea how Grogu and The Mandalorian reunited—a fact that’s drawing the ire of fans online. This is a problem unique to our age of interconnected fictional universes, where knowing what’s going on in one program requires familiarity with one or more other different shows. (It’s a criticism that has been levied against Marvel, particularly as the MCU has grown in size and scope with the run of Disney+ shows beginning in 2021, where for example, watching the TV series WandaVision was key to understanding the broad plot beats of the film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.)
The first episode of The Mandalorian’s third season arrives on March 1, while the fate of The Book of Boba Fett remains unknown. There are still a great many mysteries to explore at the center of The Mandalorian. Let’s just hope that the answers can be found in…The Mandalorian.