Mandalorian Season 3: a forgotten Jedi fixes the biggest Baby Yoda problem
"I'm gonna teach you, you're gonna learn. That's it."
Luke Skywalker's cameo in The Mandalorian Season 2 finale was a watershed moment. Simultaneously, an entire fandom was elated at the appearance, and then slowly realized what Grogu being trained by Luke really means: being classmates with Kylo Ren, and possibly victim to his eventual betrayal to the Jedi.
Is Disney really going to let "Baby Yoda" go the way of Luke's Jedi academy? It's hard to imagine, but also, how does he avoid such a fate? There's a way that Grogu could still learn the ways of the Jedi without being slaughtered by Kylo — and it involves a special teacher from old Star Wars lore.
LOST LEGENDS is an Inverse series about the forgotten lore of our favorite stories.
This teacher's name: Kyle Katarn, a familiar one for longtime Star Wars video game enthusiasts. The face of the saga's gaming world for many years, Kyle was first introduced in the Dark Forces series, which shows his journey from Imperial stormtrooper to gun for hire.
In Dark Forces: Jedi Knight, Kyle meets a Jedi ghost, and discovers his own Force sensitivity. Kyle trains himself to become a Jedi, apparently not needing a master of any kind. In fact, when Luke Skywalker offers to train him, Kyle declines.
Kyle Katarn's informal use of the Force turns to be a dangerous idea. After striking up a partnership with Mara Jade where they teach each other the Jedi ways, Kyle stumbles upon Sith ruins that put him under the Dark Side's control. It's not until he's almost slain Mara Jade that he snaps out of it.
In time, Katarn goes on to become a proper Jedi master, taking on two apprentices of his own. When one of them falls to the Dark Side, he reaches out and offers forgiveness because he has been there too.
That's what makes him the perfect instructor for precious Grogu.
In her spotlight episode of The Mandalorian, Ahsoka Tano tells Din Djarin there's a lot of fear and anger inside Grogu, so much so she can't risk training him. Luke Skywalker is probably the most renowned Jedi master, but he doesn't know the fear that falling to the Dark Side instills in a person, not firsthand; by observation, yes, and through the history of his father, but not at his own experience.
Kyle Katarn, meanwhile, has been there. As Grogu's teacher, he could provide the informal training the young one requires — and maybe, just maybe, let Din Djarin stick around, forgoing the usual Jedi rules about attachment.
Kyle Katarn is a massively popular character among fans of Star Wars' non-canon extended universe. While he hasn't appeared in a canon property yet, he's technically already in the fold thanks to an appearance in Star Wars: The Card Game. There's obviously an intent to make him canon, and The Mandalorian Season 3 is the perfect opportunity.
As for Grogu, he's not your average Jedi padawan. For one thing, he's 50 years old. For another, he's developed strong attachments, specifically with his adopted father. That bond has actually strengthened his powers. Hopefully, Luke will see this and pass his teaching duties over to Kyle, a Jedi who knows when to throw out the rulebook and teach his students the way they need to be taught.
It's not just what's best for Grogu — it might be what's best for the Jedi writ large. Kyle Katarn training Grogu could change the whole Jedi order forever.