“The Mandalorian” is determined to drop bombshells that make “Star Wars” fans squeal with delight. Season 2’s “Chapter 13: The Jedi” provided the biggest reveal yet thanks to the live action debut of Ahsoka Tano, with Rosario Dawson wielding her famed dual white lightsabers. But when Ahsoka refused to train young Grogu (formerly known as Baby Yoda) toward the end of the episode, she teased bigger surprises yet to come.
Ahsoka instructs Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) to bring the child to Tython, a planet with strong ties to the Force. If Mando places Grogu atop the seeing stone on Tython’s ancient Jedi temple, the youngling could reach out through the Force and a Jedi may answer the call. But since this Disney Plus series takes place roughly five years after “The Return of the Jedi,” there aren’t many Jedi still alive. So who might show up to train everyone’s favorite wide-eyed egg eater in the ways of the Force? Here are the six likeliest options.
Luke (Mark Hamill) is the most obvious contender given the timeline of the story. At this point in history, Luke is busy tracking down Jedi relics and searching for Force sensitive beings to enlist in his new Jedi Academy. It would make sense for someone actively trying to rebuild the Jedi Order to hear little Grogu’s call. However, his appearance would come with plenty of problems.
Would production digitally de-age Mark Hamill? Would Luke be re-cast (Twitter has already declared Sebastian Stan as the preferred replacement)? And didn’t we just conclude the Skywalker Saga with the latest trilogy of films? It would feel odd to introduce him in this show after just concluding his journey on the big screen. If Luke does show up, it’s hard to see him whisking Grogu away for training since the sequel trilogy had zero mentions of an incredibly powerful being from Yoda’s race.
An appearance from Leia comes with some of the same baggage as her brother, due to the untimely passing of Carrie Fisher. Her daughter Billie Lourd could make a wonderful young Leia, but Lourd’s appearance as Lt. Connix in the sequel trilogy of films would make such a casting choice confusing. And since Leia never fully completed her Jedi training with Luke, it is unlikely she would rush to take on a padawan. Still, she became a source of wisdom and guidance in the post-Empire world of “Star Wars,” and a brief appearance from her to push Grogu down his own unique path with the Force would feel appropriate.
Ahsoka could ultimately have a change of heart and stick around to help the youngling. She is one of the most powerful Force users in the galaxy at this point, so Grogu would be hard pressed to find a better teacher. For those who haven’t watched the animated “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” series, Ahsoka was the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker. She witnessed his descent into darkness and even battled with him once he became Darth Vader. She still carries the pain of Anakin’s betrayal, hence her hesitancy to train Grogu after sensing his fear. Plus, Tano dropped the bomb that she is on the hunt for Grand Admiral Thrawn. That mission seems like a much more urgent matter for her, and frankly feels like a set up for a spin off series.
Ezra is a character from the animated series, which “Mandalorian” showrunner Dave Filoni also developed. Filoni delights in bringing many of his best creations from “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” into the live action realm (see also: Katee Sackhoff’s badass Bo-Katan Kryze). Ezra was last seen in a moment of self sacrifice, rocketing himself and the recently name-dropped Admiral Thrawn into the unknown regions of space courtesy of a blind hyperspace jump. Since this young Jedi has yet to appear in live action form, it provides “The Mandalorian” a blank slate to work with. That might just make Ezra the most likely candidate.
Similarly, Cal Kestis (Cameron Monaghan) has also never appeared in live action. He made his debut in the canon video game “Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order.” Cal survived the infamous Order 66 which wiped out most of the Jedi in the galaxy, and spent the bulk of the game evading the clutches of the evil “Inquisitors” intent on destroying him. It’s unknown where Cal is during the timeline of “The Mandalorian,” so the writers could easily plop him into the story without worrying about continuity from the movies. However, with a sequel to “Fallen Order” in the works, an appearance on this series might spoil the tension in the game if players know that Cal survives.
A Sith Lord
Grogu is supposed to reach out through the Force once he gets to the seeing stone, but Jedi aren’t the only folk who tap into this energy. Given that there are so few Jedi left in the universe, it’s just as likely Mando and Grogu will come face to face with a Sith. In the expanded universe of novels, which Disney now classifies as non-canon “Legends,” Tython has strong connections with Darth Bane. Since Dave Filoni has a habit of taking characters from Legends and inserting them into canon (like Timothy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth), it’s easy to see him drawing on the planet’s connection to the dark side with an appearance from the spirit of Darth Bane. With the Empire’s cloning experiments on the youngling’s blood and Ashoka’s warning about his intense fear, there is no guarantee Grogu won’t be pulled towards the dark side.