Only Star Wars can make us wonder about the future of events that took place a long, long time ago. But Daisy Ridley’s upcoming return to the franchise has us thinking about exactly that. Her new standalone movie will see Rey trying to restore the Jedi Order 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker. What will this new era of the group look like compared to past iterations? And how will she avoid the mistakes her mentor Luke Skywalker made when he undertook the same task? We don’t know the answers to those questions yet, but we do know one important Star Wars figure who could be a big part of that story. The Mandalorian‘s Grogu is poised to play a major role in the upcoming Rey movie as well as the short and long term future of the Jedi overall.
We have no idea if Yoda actually looked good for his age in Return of the Jedi. Sure, he aged far better than Luke would have after nine centuries. But it’s possible that Yoda looked awful for his species. We don’t know because we know very little about his kind. We’ve only ever met three members of that big-eared, green-skinned, diminutive alien race whose origins and home planet remain a secret. And yet, the little we have learned about Yoda, Yaddle, and Grogu is incredibly important for the Jedi’s prospects in a post-Palpatine galaxy.
All three were especially strong in the Force. Yoda served as Grand Master of the High Jedi Council, a group Master Yaddle was also a part of. Few Jedi ever ascended to such heights, because in addition to a powerful connection with the Force they must also be wise, experienced, and dedicated.
Grogu is still far too young on The Mandalorian to even be a Jedi Knight, let alone a Master. But like the other two members of his species we’ve met we know he also has an unusually strong connection with the Force. That’s why Imperial officers desperately want his midi-chlorian rich blood for Palpatine’s cloning program.
Grogu’s Force-sensitivity would be reason enough for Rey to want him as part of her new Jedi Order, which she’ll be putting together 40 years after the events of The Mandalorian‘s third season. (The current year of the Disney+ show takes place in roughly 10 ABY, 10 years after A New Hope. Her film will take place in 50 ABY, when Grogu is 91 years old.) But there’s far more reason to expect Grogu to be part of a new Jedi Order than just his midi-chlorian count.
Unlike Rey herself, Grogu was part of the original Jedi Order. He was at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant during Order 66 as a Padawan. Something about the Child made him special, too. Jedi Knights died saving his life so Jedi Master Kelleran Beq could get Grogu to safety. All during the worst moment in the Order’s history.
At some point, either before Order 66 at the Temple or after it with Kelleran ( or with a different surviving Jedi), Grogu also had meaningful training as a Padawan. And he learned a lot during his studies, far more than his toddler-like age would indicate. When he was briefly Luke Skywalker’s first student, the Jedi Master realized he wasn’t introducing Grogu to the Force or the ways of the Jedi. “It’s more like he’s remembering than I’m actually teaching him anything,” Skywalker told Ahsoka Tano.
Grogu’s history with the Jedi Order goes back much farther than Luke’s ever did, let alone Rey’s. He’s a direct connection to that era and all its wisdom and teaching. And as we seem him unlock more and more repressed memories of his past life and what he learned, he’ll have more and more to offer new Padawans. Especially as he reaches the age Yoda was when he first became a Jedi Master. The 900-year-old Jedi sat on the High Council for 800 years. By the time of Rey’s movie Grogu will be old enough to be a Jedi Knight. (Again, we’re talking about Grogu 40 years after The Mandalorian season three. It’s tough to think of the wee little lad as an adult, but that’s what he’ll be by then.)
And because we know Grogu’s race can live to be so old, he’s going to be around long after Rey becomes one with the Force herself. Grogu could not only help Rey restore the Jedi Order in her movie, he can shepherd the group for centuries after she’s gone.
Grogu might yet prove to be the future of Mandalore. Like the Jedi, it’s people need a leader who can lead them into a new age, too. As both Jedi and Mandalorian, he might be uniquely suited to filling that role. But with his connections to the Force, his history with the old Jedi Order, and the long life that awaits him, it’s hard to imagine him not being an important part of the Jedi’s future both now and long into the future.
Plus we’re pretty sure Rey will like having him around. Everyone always does. And the Jedi are always stronger when they work together.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.