Warning: This article contains major spoilers for The Mandalorian season 3 finale.
Love it or hate it, The Mandalorian season 3 is officially at an end.
The latest season of the Star Wars epic has well and truly divided fans, as has the finale episode itself, with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Grogu and co battling Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), as he attempted to wipe out the Mandalorians once and for all.
Long story short, he wasn't exactly successful and ended up being engulfed by flames in the middle of an explosion, with our heroes, thankfully, making it out alive. No one was sure that was going to happen, especially after actor and stuntman Brendan Wayne, who's part of the team bringing Djarin to life, promised the finale was "going to hurt".
So, what happened at the end of The Mandalorian season 3 and what does it mean for the future of the show?
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The Mandalorian season 3 ending explained
After escaping his captors, Djarin decides that he needs to take down Gideon once and for all. Meanwhile, Gideon has vowed to rid the world of the Mandalorians.
He and Grogu head to the Command Center, where they believe Gideon to be hiding out. However, what they find isn't Gideon himself – it's the army of clones he's created. Din's not having any of it, flooding the room and presumably killing the clones.
Gideon finds Din and Grogu and, in a very melodramtic, villainous moment, declares: "My clones were finally going to be perfect.
"The best parts of me, but improved by adding the one thing I never had: The Force. I was isolating the potential to wield The Force, and incorporating it into an unstoppable army. And you smothered them before they could take their first breath.”
Bo-Katan arrives in the nick of time while Djarin is fighting Moff Gideon, and faces him while wielding the Darksaber. However, in a turn of events that has both shocked and confused fans, Gideon, wearing his Dark Trooper armour, manages to crush the Darksaber in the palm of his hand.
However, Gideon's luck has soon run out – the world literally falls apart around them in an explosion as Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides) crashes the Mandalorian cruiser into his base. While Grogu is able to protect Bo and Din using The Force, Gideon is engulfed by the flames and (presumably) dies once and for all.
In a sequence that harkens back to episode 1, Paz Viszla's son Ragnar speaks the Creed, with Djarin telling the armorer that Grogu is now his apprentice and no longer a foundling. She says that he's too young to speak the Creed, but Djarin argues that, if his parent permits it, he should become an apprentice.
After the armorer points out that Grogu's parents are nowhere to be seen, Din goes full dad and says he'll adopt Grogu as his own. Grogu officially becomes a Mandalorian and the armorer sends them on their way for more adventures.
Before the episode ends, Djarin pays Greef Karga a visit in Nevarro and says he and Grogu will take on select missions for the New Republic, also revealing that IG-11 has been fixed.
One final scene shows Din taking his dad duties seriously, watching over Grogu as he uses the Force to suspend a frog in the air. The pair are at peace before they head off on more escapades.
How does The Mandalorian finale set up season 4?
Showrunner Jon Favreau previously revealed that The Mandalorian season 4 has been written for a while.
He told BFMTV earlier this year: "Season 4, yeah I’ve written it already. We have to know where we’re going to tell a fully formed story. We had mapped it out, Dave [Filoni] and I, and slowly you start to write each episode. I was writing it during post-production. All of it has to feel like a continuation and one full story.”
While there's no solid information about what exactly will happen in The Mandalorian season 4, the season 3 finale does give us some clues.
It looks as though there will be less of a focus on Mando and Grogu as they continue their adventures for the New Republic. We're sure they won't disappear completely from the story – after all, they're the reason many of us fell in love with the show – but the season 3 finale did seem to close out their main story in a satisfying way.
But there are also other stories to tell, especially after Bo-Katan united the Mandalorians. Our guess is season 4 will flit between Mandalore and Din and Grogu's adventures.
In terms of what the Mandalorians will face, there are a fair few possibilities. Some fans have suggested that Gideon still isn't truly gone, and that the person who died in the explosion was one of his clones. We wouldn't put it past him, but we're hoping that future seasons don't tell the same story over and over.
Of course, there are other big bads scattered across the galaxy, not least Grand Admiral Thrawn, who will be making his live-action debut in Ahsoka (played by Lars Mikkelsen). Could he play into future seasons?
Only time will tell...
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