5 things we need to see in The Mandalorian & Grogu Star Wars movie

Din Djarin flying while holding onto Grogu.

It’s not hard to see why Lucasfilm gave the green light to the upcoming Mandalorian & Grogu movie. No new characters from the new Disney era are as widely beloved as they are. In a time when so many Star Wars films have been announced and subsequently abandoned, a movie based on The Mandalorian feels like a surefire hit.

And yet, everything else about this film remains a mystery. What’s the story? When does it even take place? None of that is known. But I think we can agree that the following five things need to be addressed in the upcoming film.

1. The right epic feel and scope

Din Djarin and co. meeting Captain Teva about saving Karga's settlement.

The Mandalorian started as a small story, and that was always part of its charm. It’s what made the connection between the characters feel genuine and fresh, especially in the first season. Since then, the show grew in ambition over its three seasons, which is largely why a feature-length movie feels more fitting now than it would have in the past.

But as the first Star Wars film since The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian & Grogu really needs to nail the tone. We need to be shown why this story needed to be a film and not just the next season of the show. That’s especially true since it’s still unclear at this point if it is just a reworked version of those episodic story ideas. We all know the shift back to theatrical releases is a strategic decision for Disney, but that’s the last thing I want to be thinking about while experiencing the story.

The visuals play an important role in this, too. We’ve all been both impressed and disappointed by what the set called the Volume was able to do (and not do) over the years, and season 3 of The Mandalorian was a great example of it being used well. The Volume will reportedly be used in the film, but hopefully the creators know to mix in enough on-location shooting to give the film some more realism and depth. Just think of the way Andor approached its world, for example, as that series found a way to balance the shooting techniques without relying too heavily on the Volume.

2. More attention on Grogu

Grogu standing in the sand from an episode of The Mandalorian.

There’s very little all Star Wars fans can agree on, but this might be the one unifying statement we can all get behind: We all love Grogu. He had relatively little to do in season 3, and given his awkward reunition with Mando in The Book of Boba Fett, I really hope the story zeroes in on him a bit more. Given the name of the film, I think we’re right to expect more of a sharing of the spotlight in the film.

More than that, I hope that it’s their relationship that really comes into focus. Hopefully, series creator Jon Favreau can find new aspects of the relationship to explore and evolve. Perhaps he can even smooth over the clumsiness of the decision to have Grogu reject his Jedi roots.

What does it mean for Grogu to have chosen to be a Mandalorian? Will he start to wear a miniature cute helmet that he can’t take off? Will he suddenly become a ruthless killer? We got bits and pieces of the journey in season 3, but with the events of the finale in place, it seems like the definition of the Mandalorian identity is still unclear.

Grogu sits inside his Jedi pod in The Mandalorian season 3 episode 4.

Getting to see more of Grogu’s past could be interesting as well. Obviously, we got the backstory of his escape from Order 66 in season 3, but setting up some future developments with more flashbacks could be juicy — especially if it could mean seeing more of Ahmed Best’s Kelleran Beq character. Either way, Lucasfilm would be smart to make Grogu’s role as big as Din Djarin’s this time around.

3. Something conclusive in the characters’ story

A screenshot from the first episode of The Mandalorian, showing the Mandalorian when he first sees Grogu.

The Mandalorian has been episodic in nature from its origin. It’s a key ingredient in the overall feel of the show and what made it stand out. The characters move from episode to episode relatively unchanged, much like the old serials George Lucas was inspired by when he created the original trilogy.

Yet, what worked on the small screen won’t work in a feature film. Not only do theatrical movies have a different pacing and rhythm, but there’s also a difference in expectation. Even in the most connected stories, a film needs to feel like a completed story. The characters and plot need to start in one place and journey somewhere new. This can’t just feel like another season of the show.

In many ways, season 3 of the show left the characters in the perfect place to do just this. They’re back together, on a new adventure working for the New Republic, as both father and son and master and apprentice. It’s a bit of a reset, with the politics of Mandalore and the apparent hunt for Moff Gideon in their rearview window.

Bo-Katan, Grogu, and Din arrive on the planet Plazir-15.

For me, I’d love to see the film end in a new place for these characters. I’m not saying the pair need to part ways (again) or that Din Djarin needs to abandon his helmet for good or anything like that — especially since Pedro Pascal’s involvement has always been tenuous with the series. But a conclusion that feels substantial will really help this film feel like a turning point (or even endpoint?) for these characters. Favreau has been very open-ended about how long the series (or films?) will run for, so it’s anyone’s guess how definitive the film will be.

4. Appropriate cameos

Mark Hamill and Grogu in The Mandalorian season 2 finale.

It’s hard to imagine this movie without tons of cameos in it. There is a wealth of Mandalorian-era characters available to use, whether that’s Migs Mayfeld, Bo-Katan, Cobb Vanth, Boba Fett, Carson Teva, or dozens of others. I’d be shocked if we didn’t see some of them pop up – they could even join the titular duo on a mission.

But there’s also the wider cast of characters in the Star Wars galaxy running around at this point in the timeline. That includes characters from Ahsoka, as well as the upcoming Skeleton Crew show.

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano aboard her shuttle in "Ahsoka."
Lucasfilm / Lucasfilm

And, of course, the beginnings of the sequel trilogy timeline are coming into view. Could we see another return of Luke Skywalker on the big screen? How about more exploration of the beginnings of the First Order? If Djarin and Grogu are embarking on an adventure across the Outer Rim, it’s not hard to imagine that they stumble upon the conspiracy to kick-start the next era of evil empires.

All that is fun to imagine in theory, but it needs to be done with a light touch. As much as we all love seeing crossover characters when it makes sense, it’d be all too tempting to lean too heavily on big-name characters. I’m not one to frown upon inclusions of known characters, especially if they play into the story in a way that makes sense. When done well, it’s what makes the Star Wars universe feel connected. But these characters must stand on their own as much as possible.

5. Some building blocks toward the Dave Filoni movie

Grand Admiral Thrawn as seen in an episode of Ahsoka.

I just got done telling you that the characters of The Mandalorian & Grogu need to stand on their own. But we also know that the film will likely tie into the other building plotlines that are developing in this time period. We’ve already been told that Dave Filoni’s currently untitled film will be an endpoint for the New Republic and Grand Admiral Thrawn, meaning The Mandalorian & Grogu will be a part of the buildup to that final showdown — at least in some way.

As the first feature-length film since 2019, I expect it to have some touchpoints in the larger timeline rather than just being presented as a sidequest for the duo. Assuming Moff Gideon doesn’t return (again), it’s anyone’s guess as to who the villain be and what they will represent in the larger threat to the galaxy.

A woman gives a speech in Andor.

However, there are lots of timeline questions about this film that remain up in the air. Many of the projects that were scheduled for 2025 have been moved to 2026 (including The Mandalorian & Grogu film), leaving just Andor season 2 on the schedule for 2025. So, whether Ahsoka season 2 will play into The Mandalorian & Grogu in some way feels up in the air. It’s also worth considering the fact that Dave Filoni’s film will likely come out just a year or two later. There’s a Rey movie starring Daisy Ridley placed in between them (in December 2026) — but setting up a more direct connection between Favreau’s and Filoni’s films seems inevitable.

But that’s a good thing. There’s a lot of hype in the fan base around Filoni’s film being an interpretation of the beloved Heir to the Empire novels from the early 1990s. Lucasfilm would be smart to find more ways to lean into it and build anticipation for the grand conclusion to this whole saga. That doesn’t mean this needs to be a prequel or a part one, but I think we all want to see a meaningful foundation being built to set up that film.

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