Warning! This article contains SPOILERS for The Mandalorian season 3, episode 3.The Mandalorian season 3, episode 3 contains one line from Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan Kryze that hints at the season’s true villain. The Mandalorian season 3, episode 3 picks up directly after episode 2’s cliffhanger left off, with Bo-Katan reeling from her sighting of a living Mythosaur beneath the Living Waters of Mandalore. Choosing to keep the sighting secret from Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin, the two swiftly return to Bo-Katan’s homeworld of Kalevala.
However, Din, Bo, and Grogu are attacked by a squadron of TIE interceptors en route back to the planet. Bo-Katan states they are likely forces from a lone Imperial warlord she has angered as she and Din resolve to fight them off. However, after dealing with the first squadron of TIEs, a group of TIE bombers destroys Bo’s castle, a hint to her former status as a member of the Mandalorian royal family – Clan Kryze. Din and Bo are then forced to flee, as a massive squad of TIE Interceptors enters the atmosphere. Here, Bo-Katan utters one specific line, which hints at the true villain of The Mandalorian season 3.
Bo-Katan Realizes They’re Dealing With A Resurgent Empire
The line in question comes as Bo realizes “That’s a lot of ships for an Imperial warlord.” This shows that Bo-Katan may finally be realizing that the Imperial Remnant shown throughout The Mandalorian thus far are not remnants at all, and are in fact sects of a resurgent Empire led by none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn. This plot point would make sense, given the information shown throughout both The Mandalorian and the now-Legends book trilogy surrounding Thrawn by Timothy Zahn.
In that trilogy, the story centered on Thrawn attempting to overthrow the New Republic and restore the Empire to its former power after the events of Return of the Jedi. While many Star Wars fans lost hope that this story would be adapted into canon after Thrawn’s introduction in Star Wars Rebels before the events of the original trilogy, his confirmed appearance in the Mandoverse could hint towards this becoming a reality after all. The overwhelming Imperial presence shown in The Mandalorian is enough to support this, with Bo’s line meaning she finally realizes this could be the case and that the Empire poses a bigger threat than ever.
The Mandalorian Has Already Established Thrawn As The Empire’s Potential Leader
On top of the basis of Thrawn being the Empire’s post-Return of the Jedi Imperial leader that was established in Legends, The Mandalorian itself has already hinted at the Chiss being the show’s true main villain. In The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5 “The Jedi,” the titular Ahsoka Tano was shown to be fighting in a conflict with an Imperial magistrate. After besting the magistrate in combat, Ahsoka asks “Where is your master? Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?” This implies that Thrawn still has some control over some Star Wars planets, while also making perfect sense for Ahsoka to be the one asking where he is.
At the end of Rebels, Ahsoka vowed to find the missing Ezra Bridger, who disappeared into hyperspace with Thrawn in tow. With this line and therefore the setup of Ahsoka appearing in The Mandalorian, the show has already provided hints that the Empire Din Djarin has been fighting against is actually led by Thrawn himself. This is only bolstered by the events of The Mandalorian season 3, episode 3, in which a seemingly random Imperial Remnant attack turned into something potentially much more sinister.
More: Why The Mandalorian Season 3, Episode 3 Is Dividing Star Wars Fans
New episodes of The Mandalorian release every Wednesday on Disney+.