The Mandalorian is gradually hinting at a possible future for Grogu that may be considered an improved version of Rey’s adoption of the Skywalker name in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Like Rey, Grogu has emerged as a core figure in the Star Wars universe. Not only are they both Force-users, but their presence holds great weight in recent canon entries.
In The Book of Boba Fett season 1, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) gives Grogu an ultimatum: the choice of returning to his adopted father, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and ending his training as a Jedi or continuing his training but never seeing the Mandalorian again. His subsequent decision to end his training echoes and inverts the final scenes of The Rise of Skywalker. At the Lars homestead on Tatooine, Rey (Daisy Ridley) chooses to adopt the name Skywalker, turning her back on her genetic lineage as the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine to honor her mentors, the Skywalker siblings, Luke and Leia (Carrie Fisher), instead.
The significance of these character choices may signal something important for Grogu and in the understanding of who the title character of The Mandalorian might actually be. As such, Rey’s choice at the end of The Rise of Skywalker should not be viewed as mere fan service. Despite its flawed execution, Rey Skywalker is the only good ending for the Skywalker saga, partly because it offered a logical story and character choice based on using the Skywalker name as an honorific title. The title of “The Mandalorian” may also be viewed like this, and by choosing to be a Mandalorian, it is possible that Grogu could eventually be revealed as the real title character of the Disney+ series.
Throughout its first two seasons, The Mandalorian backs Din Djarin’s claim that “Mandalorian isn’t a race, it’s a creed.” Bo Katan Kryze, the Armorer, and Boba Fett underline that, aside from an arsenal of weapons, being Mandalorian is not easily defined. Choosing to be Mandalorian is what they all share, and this is the same choice Grogu makes. Of course, being a Mandalorian and possessing the near-mythic title of “The Mandalorian” are not the same. The obvious assumption is that this will be the Mandalorian, who currently struggles to wield the Darksaber, Din Djarin. However, this may be misdirection. Grogu now possesses beskar armor and is arguably the main narrative focus throughout both seasons, appearing in all but one episode, while his growth and development directly impact Din Djarin’s character arc. In addition, reuniting the characters before the start of Season 3 suggests that Grogu will remain the major focus of The Mandalorian in future seasons.
There remains a distinct advantage to The Mandalorian adopting this narrative path for Grogu compared to Rey choosing the name Skywalker. This is because the setup in The Rise of Skywalker feels rushed and careless, meaning it is easy to assume it is nothing more than fan service. This is a shame because the final scene is designed to show respect for the Skywalker name and all that it conveys. The similarities between Rey and Anakin Skywalker are only one reason for this. More significantly, “Skywalker” can be used as a symbol to represent several different things, whether it’s honoring Rey’s mentors, the possibility of redemption, or the idea that anyone can be a hero. If The Mandalorian is doing something similar, with Grogu becoming “The Mandalorian,” the TV show format should allow a greater amount of screen time to reveal the truth and provide a more satisfying reveal.
That is for the future, though. Expectations may not be subverted in this way, and Din Djarin may still turn out to be The Mandalorian of the title while Grogu may only be the second Mandalorian Jedi. In many ways, the key element of the Rey Skywalker reveal has already taken place. Like Rey, Grogu chooses where he feels he belongs, and it will ultimately be up to him to decide what that means for his future.