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Things Only Adults Notice In The Mandalorian Season 3

From the moment Season 1 aired in 2019, Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin aka Mando and Grogu have been a fan-favorite pairing among "The Mandalorian" viewers. The show, created by Jon Favreau, continues to fill in the gaps of the years between the original and sequel film trilogies, while its unique style pays homage to Clint Eastwood's classic westerns. The first two seasons focus on Mando's mission to reunite Grogu with the Jedi — which he does in Chapter 16 when Mark Hamill reprises his iconic character, Luke Skywalker. But, with the duo reuniting for good in "The Book of Boba Fett," Season 3 has to take the show in a new direction. Now it's diving deeper into Mandalorian history, complete with cameos from some of the biggest names in Hollywood like Lizzo and Jack Black.

Season 3 of "The Mandalorian" continues to appeal to a broad audience, including children, as George Lucas always intended. Favreau's series does all those things. But, the family-friendly nature of the series means that adults (who may be fans of the original films or new viewers) are watching, too. And there are some things, like seeing an actor in an unexpected role, the subtle romantic chemistry between two characters, or blink-and-you'll-miss-it details that go over the head of the show's younger viewers. Here are things only adults notice in "The Mandalorian" Season 3.

Jimmy Kimmel's nephew opens Season 3

At the beginning of Season 3, Episode 1 ("Chapter 17: The Apostate"), a group of Mandalorians take center stage. Having made a home for themselves on an unknown planet, the Mandalorians have continued to expand their ranks in the years since the Purge, and the season kicks off with a ceremony to officially welcome a young apprentice becoming a fully-fledged Mandalorian after he takes the Creed. That apprentice is Ragnar, the son of Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher), who recurs throughout the season and is later rescued by Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in Episode 4 ("Chapter 20: The Foundling").

It's unlikely that younger viewers watching "The Mandalorian" will recognize the actor playing Ragnar as Wesley Kimmel, the nephew of Jimmy Kimmel. Adult viewers may also know him from some of his bigger roles, including Tim in the crime comedy-drama, "Good Girls," and as Jack, Reese Witherspoon's son in the Netflix rom-com, "Your Place or Mine."

Appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," Favreau explained that Wesley got the part after a brief appearance as another character in "The Book of Boba Fett." "Robert Rodriguez cast him when we were doing 'Book of Boba Fett' and there was a little kid that was a Tuscan Raider.," Favreau explained. So, covered completely with bandages, no dialogue, and we cast him ... and he did such a great job for us there we figured he should be allowed to show his face this year."

Din Djarin's new Naboo Starfighter ship is totally impractical

For the first two seasons of "The Mandalorian," Din Djarin flew the Razor Crest, a spacious assault ship that served the bounty hunter well. That is until it was destroyed by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) in the skirmish on Tython in Season 2. But at the beginning of Season 3, he and Grogu fly into the first episode in a new, much smaller craft, which viewers who are up-to-date with "The Book of Boba Fett" will know was built by Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris).

Keen "Star Wars" fans will recognize the ship as a Naboo N-1 Starfighter which was last seen in the final battle of Naboo in "Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace" (although, in terms of the timeline, that battle is yet to take place). Adult viewers will be quick to notice that this ship probably isn't the best choice for Mando and Grogu. The Razor Crest was a spacious vessel with sleeping quarters and a cargo hold. However, with only a cockpit and a Droid port, the N-1 has minimal storage and functionality besides flying and fighting — so it's not going to be particularly helpful for his future missions.

In the finale, Mando strikes a deal with Captain Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) to become an independent contractor for the New Republic with a focus on protecting the Outer Rim, so it doesn't seem like his ship is going to be well suited to hunting down imperial remnants.

A scene from the finale also harks back to the prequel trilogy

Din Djarin's new ship isn't the only thing linking "The Mandalorian" to the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy. In the season finale ("Chapter 24: The Return"), Mando fights his way down a corridor full of barrier shields, fighting off stormtroopers in Beskar-alloy armor, while his R5 droid opens each section one by one. The scene is reminiscent of the end of "The Phantom Menace" where Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) fight the Sith apprentice, Darth Maul (Ray Park).

The Jedi outnumber Darth Maul and their chances look good, but when Obi-Wan falls behind, Qui-Gon takes on Darth Maul alone. With Obi-Wan racing to catch up, they go through a corridor of red barrier shields, similar to the one Mando faces. Fans will recall that the shields separate the three characters and lead to Qui-Gon's death at the hands of Darth Maul. Obi-Wan, delayed by the last barrier, must wait for it to open before he can exact his revenge and mourn his Master.

Although critics and fans have a lot of negative feelings about the movie, Qui-Gon's death is a devastating blow and Obi-Wan fighting to avenge him is emotional. The stakes are just as high in "The Mandalorian," as, like Obi-Wan, Mando is also racing toward his enemy. So, although the motives of the scene are different, the Season 3 finale of "The Mandalorian" is clearly paying homage to the "Star Wars" legacy.

Mean Girls meets The Mandalorian

"The Mandalorian" has never shied away from celebrity cameos, with Bill Burr, Jason Sudeikis, and Jon Favreau himself appearing in Seasons 1 and 2. Season 3 follows a similar fashion, with stars like Lizzo and Jack Black gracing the screen in Episode 6 ("Chapter 22: Guns for Hire"). The previous episode ("Chapter 21: The Pirate") welcomes another celebrated comedian to the "Star Wars" universe: Tim Meadows, who plays Colonel Tuttle. Viewers briefly meet him midway through the episode when Captain Teva flies to Coruscant to petition the New Republic to send help to Nevarro, which is being overrun by Gorian Shard's (Nonso Anozie) pirates.

Adult viewers and "Mean Girls" fans will immediately recognize Colonel Tuttle as Northshore High's principal, Ron Duvall. Younger viewers might not be privy to Tina Fey's cult classic comedy, but it is burned into the minds of most people who grew up in the mid-noughts. And, although Meadows has done much since "Mean Girls," it's this connection that adult viewers can't help but notice as Principal Duvall remains one of his most notable characters. He even reprised the role for the less successful sequel, "Mean Girls 2," and the Broadway musical.

Bo-Katan knew Mando was Grogu's dad before he did

Din Djarin and Grogu have a special bond. Viewers have known this since Season 1, but it seems to have taken a little longer for Mando to catch on. Their bond is really highlighted in Season 2 when Mando has second thoughts about reuniting Grogu with other Jedi. It's even the reason that Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) doesn't agree to train him herself. Even then, though, Din Djarin continues to push down his feelings and ultimately encourages Grogu to go and learn from Luke Skywalker in the Season 2 finale.

This seems like it will mark the end of Din Djarin and Grogu's story, but Season 3 shows them firmly reunited (thanks to events in "The Book of Boba Fett"). Despite this, it still takes a while for Mando to acknowledge himself as Grogu's parent, which he eventually does in the Season 3 finale. It's actually Bo-Katan who first explicitly highlights the parental relationship between Din Djarin and Grogu. She does this twice throughout the season, first in Episode 2 ("Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore") and again in Episode 4 ("Chapter 20: The Foundling"). In both instances, Bo-Katan offers Grogu calming words of reassurance and refers to Din as his "dad." Even then, Mando prefers to refer to Grogu as "the kid," his "ward," or a "foundling." It isn't until the finale that he officially adopts him and acknowledges the relationship that everyone else has seen blossom.

The chemistry between Din Djarin and Bo-Katan Kryze

Bo-Katan has been spending a lot of time with Din Djarin in Season 3 of "The Mandalorian." They're clearly friends and allies, but adult viewers might be noticing something more between them, too. Mando's near-death experience while bathing in the Living Waters of Mandalore in Episode 2 ("Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore") seems to solidify the bond between them. And as the season progresses, it becomes clear how in sync they are. They work well together in battle, fight in unison, and make a great team. Plus, Bo-Katan has made her affection for Grogu clear.

This all culminates with Mando's passionate speech in Episode 7 ("Chapter 23: The Spies"). He reassures Bo-Katan that she can be a leader, even without relying on the Darksaber. He says: "I only know of this weapon what you taught me. To be honest, it means nothing to me or my people, nor does station or bloodline. What means more to me is honor and loyalty and character. These are the reasons I serve you, Lady Kryze. Your song is not yet written. I will serve you until it is."

Pascal delivering this supportive monologue in a gentler tone than usual is just another indicator of the deep connection between them. Of course, "The Mandalorian" hasn't made much time for romance in the past, and with Din Djarin and Grogu off on new adventures and Bo-Katan leading the Mandalorians, they might be seeing less of each other in Season 4.

Romeo and Juliet in space

Season 3, Episode 6 ("Chapter 22: Guns for Hire") kicks off with Bo-Katan's old crew working a new job. In the aptly titled episode, the hired bounty hunters are tasked with returning a Mon Calamari prince to his family, after he stowed away on a Quarren ship. The Mon Cal (who is voiced by Tom Holland's younger brother, Harry Holland) is in love with the Quarren captain (Christine Adams) and puts up a fight before agreeing to leave to spare everyone else's lives.

Hardcore "Star Wars" fans might know some of the backgrounds of these two sapient cephalopods species, which are native to the planet Mon Cala. They have a long-lasting rivalry, much like the Montagues and Capulets in "Romeo and Juliet," while the prince and captain are equivalent to the titular star-crossed lovers.

This literary reference will go over the heads of some younger viewers but is perfectly evident to adult fans. There's one major difference between this scene and the Shakespeare text, though, since the Quarren captain sees the damage that their relationship is causing and sends her prince away. "We knew fate was not on our side," she tells him. Although they're both heartbroken, no blood is shed over their relationships.

Christopher Lloyd is a sci-fi legend

Lizzo and Jack Black, who guest-star as Duchess and Captain Bombardier, the elected royals of the Outer Rim's Plazir-15, take center stage in Episode 6 ("Chapter 6: Guns for Hire"). But, they aren't the only famous faces to appear in the episode — film legend Christopher Lloyd appears as Commissioner Helgait, who is in charge of controlling the droid the planet uses for all of its menial tasks.

He briefly meets with Din Djarin and Bo-Katan Kryze, who are looking into the droid problem and he steers them in the wrong direction. It's not long before they realize he's the culprit they're looking for and when they hand him over to Dutchess and Captain Bombardier, he's banished to the moon of Paraquaat.

With viewers so focused on the presence of Lizzo and Black in this episode, it's perhaps only adults who notice that Commissioner Helgait is being played by a true sci-fi legend. Lloyd is of course best known for starring as Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown in the "Back to the Future" movies, and it's not surprising to see Lloyd in this kind of role, given his proclivity for all things sci-fi, but the character of Plazir-15's stern and serious head of security is a far cry from his most famous role. For one, he turns out to be a double agent, a supporter of Count Dooku's Confederacy of Independent Systems — or, as he puts it, a supporter of democracy.

Din Djarin has been getting less screen time in Season 3

Ask any "Mandalorian" fan who the titular character of the show is during the first two seasons and they'll tell you it's Din Djarin. However, Season 3 marks a change in the style of the show. With Mando no longer having the promise of returning Grogu to the Jedi hanging over him, his storyline has less urgency. This has made room for the series to really dig into storylines about Bo-Katan and other Mandalorians. It's been a subtle transition that younger viewers might not have picked up on, but Bo-Katan has been around a lot more. Adult viewers will have noticed that she's been taking the lead in missions (even before she got the Darksaber) and she's become increasingly integral to the show's main plotlines.

So, it seems like Pascal's character is no longer the sole focus of the show. Executive producer Rick Famuyiwa spoke to IGN about this shift, saying that with the journey the show has been on for the last two seasons, things have definitely changed. "Who is the Mandalorian at this point? And so I think it could be anyone. And I think that's what they're trying to define in many ways, is what does that mean to be Mandalorian?" he teased.

Shirley Henderson brings the Anzellans to the small screen

Shirley Henderson is a household name for most adult movie and TV fans. The Scottish actor has appeared in everything from the "Harry Potter" franchise to the "Bridget Jones" trilogy, to "Wild Child," to "T2 Trainspotting." However, these roles all featured the actor playing a female character, albeit sometimes much younger than herself. So, young "Star Wars" fans might not know that it was the voice of Moaning Myrtle who brought the Anzellan, Babu Frik, to life in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." In the film, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) meet Babu on the planet Kijimi, where he helps translate a Sith clue hidden in C-3P0's memory bank.

Viewers loved the little Anzellan, and thankfully, "The Mandalorian" has introduced another group of the creatures, appearing in the timeline 25 years earlier than Babu. High Magistrate Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) introduces them to Din Djarin in Season 3, Episode 1 ("Chapter 17: The Apostate"), hoping they can help him restore IG-11 to his former nurse droid glory. Of course, they initially can't, but they do succeed in building IG-12 for Grogu and then eventually a new version of IG-11 which becomes the Marshall of Navarro.

The Anzellans are a small but important part of Season 3, and "Star Wars" fans of all ages will easily note the connection to the sequel trilogy, But adult viewers will have noticed that it's Henderson who's returned to a galaxy far, far away to bring them to the small screen.

IG-12 signals Grogu going from baby to toddler

For viewers of all ages, Grogu is one of the most appealing things about "The Mandalorian." Although he doesn't say much (or anything for that matter), you understand a lot from his big eyes and the soft cooing sounds he makes. This has continued into Season 3, but adults watching closely this season might have also picked up on the slight changes in his behavior. There have been subtle signs indicating that he's starting to grow up, like the babbling noises he's been making and Peli Motto's comment about him saying his first word during Episode 1.

This is made clearer in Episode 7 ("Chapter 23: The Spies") when Greef Karga gives him the IG-12 droid which has been modified by the Anzellans so he can control it. This gives the little guy more autonomy than he's ever had before and becomes a way for Grogu to prove his skills and even gives Grogu a voice, which is brought to life by Taika Waititi. It also allows him to keep up with the Mandalorians in the finale, where he helps in battle and is able to save Mando from the Praetorian Guards. His journey from baby to toddler is eventually conveyed a little more clearly at the end of Season 3 when Grogu is promoted from foundling to apprentice.

The sculpture in Bo-Katan's castle means more that it seems

When Season 3 kicks off, Din Djarin finds Bo-Katan in her palace on Kalevala. Viewers expect to see her deep in preparation, going over the plans to retake Mandalore with her supporters. But, instead, she is sitting alone on her throne as they've all deserted her.

Next to where she sits is a sculpture of one clan of Mandalorians fighting another. This is only shown in a brief blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but adult viewers who do notice it are able to decipher its importance, particularly when Bo-Katan talks about the divisions between the Mandalorians being their greatest weakness. It's fitting then, albeit a little sad, that when the palace gets destroyed, so does the sculpture, and symbolically those past rivalries die with it, too.

This theme of overcoming divisions is carried through Season 3 as Bo-Katan reclaims her power, metaphorically and physically, when she gets the Darksaber and aims to unite the Mandalorian tribes. She indirectly references this sculpture again in the finale, when she says that they are all "stronger together." This time, the Mandalorians don't repeat their past mistakes — which led to Moff Gideon destroying Mandalore — and instead, they take back their home and defeat him once and for all.