Editorial: Grogu Will Become ‘The Mandalorian’
The second season of The Mandalorian ended with Grogu leaving Din Djarin to train as a Jedi with Luke Skywalker. But his ultimate destiny is likely something much more unique.
Fans are probably still picking their jaws up off the floor from the season finale of The Mandalorian. Not only was the return of Luke Skywalker shocking and thrilling, but the entire premise of the series – Din Djarin traveling through a galaxy far, far away with his young companion – was completely blown up. To some, it even felt like a natural ending point. But it’s far from over.
The instant Luke Skywalker arrived into the narrative of The Mandalorian, Grogu’s fate seemed to collapse to only one of two possibilities. 1) He becomes a Jedi, but dies in the calamity at Luke’s temple many years in the future, or 2) Grogu returns to Din Djarin at some point, and his powers diminish. Neither future is going to come to pass, at least not quite. Grogu won’t die at the hands of another Skywalker disciple, but he will become a Jedi. Fans likely won’t see him construct a lightsaber of his own. His weapon already exists.
It’s the Darksaber.
Two major narrative threads emerged in the second season of The Mandalorian. One is the future of Grogu. Will he become a Jedi? The other is who will claim the Darksaber and Mandalore. The two are inextricably connected, and in fundamental ways, the Jedi and Mandalorians have been ever since the inception of the unique lightsaber.
Luke intends to train Grogu. Ahsoka Tano demured from training him, with her own bitter experience illuminating the attachment between Din and Grogu. Ahsoka’s journey as a knight of the Force, outside the traditional confines of the Jedi Order, is instructive. Ahsoka doesn’t necessarily see danger in Grogu’s path as a Jedi, but she does see pitfalls. They’re pitfalls that aren’t entirely associated with Anakin Skywalker, but another Jedi, much more ancient but as legendary.
Tarre Vizsla, a Mandalorian Jedi, the first of his kind, crafted the Darksaber. The super-soldiers and ‘wizards’ have been linked ever since. The Darksaber became the emblem of House Vizsla, powerful into the prequel era, and the symbol of power on Mandalore. Whoever wielded it ruled the planet. It didn’t start off that way. The Darksaber initially resided in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant after Vizsa’s death. House Vizsla stole the saber during the fall of the Old Republic and set off an age of discord between the Jedi and Mandalore.
The ancient enmity between the Jedi and Mandalorians is something the series hopefully explores in more detail. There are fascinating implications for why this long-standing feud exists. The Jedi are traditionally devoted to divesting from the idea of personal identity. Who they are, where they came from, and their connections in blood to their origins are generally denied in favor of a strong connection to the Force. This is a conflict between the self and the whole has been at the center of some of the order’s worst moments.
The Jedi also achieve this by identifying and taking young potentials from their families and raising them in the order. This practice is controversial, to say the least, and to the Mandalorians, who prize the self and family nearly above all else, it had to have been unacceptable. Nevertheless, Mandalorians have their own system of indoctrination in the Foundlings. In many ways, Din Djarin is like any young Padawan. He doesn’t know any different, and The Way is for all intents and purposes the ‘dogmatic view’ of the Jedi Anakin Skywalker criticized.
The concept of identity is at the heart of The Mandalorian. It’s at the heart of the Jedi Order and the Mandalorian people, both struggling to preserve their respective houses and unify. The different paths of all the characters in the series – Din, Grogu, Ahsoka, Boba Fett, and Luke Skywalker – speak to the myriad ways identity is crucial to the outcome of the show and Grogu’s fate.
The Darksaber debuted in the Clone Wars as a fascinating bit of ancient Star Wars lore. Since then, it has steadily emerged as one of the most critical aspects of the growing Star Wars galaxy. In very important ways, the trilogy of Clone Wars, Rebels, and now The Mandalorian is not about Jedi, Sith, or bounty hunters. These series together are about the fate of the Darksaber, and consequently, Mandalore. The sword fell to Darth Maul in the Clone Wars. Sabine Wren, and then Bo-Katan during the reign of the Empire. After the Battle of Endor, the weapon belonged to Moff Gideon.
Now it belongs to Din Djarin.
The final moments of the second season set up a conflict between Din and Bo-Katan, who has been zealously pursuing the Darksaber for years. It’s not clear how she lost it or why she can’t simply accept it from him (he offered it to her willingly, as Sabine once did), but it’s obvious the third season will deal with who will end up with the weapon. Neither of them will, in the long run. Bo-Katan’s moment has passed. She had her chance and lost it, somehow. Din Djarin has no ambition for the throne, though he may actually unite the disparate factions of his people.
In the end, the Darksaber will belong to a Mandalorian Jedi, as it did in the beginning.
The Mandalorian, like the larger Star Wars saga, rhymes and repeats. Masks are a major theme in the series, and so is the question of identity. Din Djarin is a Foundling, a child adopted and raised into the Mandalorian culture. The same was true of Jango Fett, and in ways that aren’t yet explicit but clear to Ahsoka Tano, is also true of Grogu. Din Djarin has effectively adopted Grogu by the end of season two, and Grogu is a Foundling of a Mandalorian sect and family of two beings orphaned and stranded into a world where they have to create their own identity.
Grogu will likely become a Jedi under the tutelage of Luke Skywalker. He will explore his powers and may even teach Luke a thing or two. He won’t become part of Luke’s nascent order though, and won’t become a victim of Ben Solo. His fate lies on a different path. Some event – perhaps the retaking of Mandalore itself, given the trajectory of the story with Bo-Katan and her movement – will bring Grogu back to Din Djarin. And as Mandalore fights to resolve itself, Grogu’s ultimate identity will resolve as well.
Grogu will become a Mandalorian, as Din Djarin did. He will be a Jedi, as Luke is. He will be both, as Tarre Vizsla was, and he will hold the Darksaber at the end of the series. He will complete the ‘Mandalorian trilogy’ begun in Clone Wars, carried through Rebels, and completed in The Mandalorian.
His story isn’t likely to end there. The beauty of Grogu is that his species lives for nearly a thousand years. His story, and his claiming the saber and Mandalore, is only the beginning. A whole new saga is developing within the larger Star Wars universe, one that reaches all the way back to its beginning and stretches into the far, unseen future.
Someday, fans will speculate and theorize about the heirs of Grogu. Someday, a 900 year-old Grogu will pass along wisdom he learned at the side of his father, a simple man just trying to make his way in the universe. The story will continue, on and on, passed down in talismans like the Darksaber for generations.
Darby Harn is a contributor for Screenrant, CBR.com, Star Wars News Net, and Movie News Net. He is the author of the sci-fi superhero novel EVER THE HERO. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, and other venues.