After the Quest

What happens once the quest is done?

(Spoiler alert: The below contains spoilers of the Mandalorian and Boba Fett series to date.)

Somewhere along the way, you had a goal, a quest, you were pursuing. Maybe it was as simple as complete a class. Finish High School. Graduate College. And once you accomplished the quest and met your goal, then what? You may have had a clear path forward, maybe not. What happens once the quest is done, the dragon slain, the towns people saved, peace restored? For the Star Wars fans in the audience, this is exactly the situation season 3 explores and why it may feel painful to watch for some.

The Mandalorian Series started off immersing us in the world of Star Wars. After one or two episodes in season 1, we teased out that the story takes place after the fall of the Empire. A few episodes in, the main charecter, Mando is given an explicit quest to return baby Yoda to his kind. Along the way he had a number of different adventures, but each episode, each encounter was always pursuing the end goal of helping baby Yoda (or Grogu as we learn his proper name further in the story). Season 2 ends with this goal accomplished. The Boba Fett series sees Grogo return to Mando’s side. Season 3 picks up with the two of them reunited.

And then what? The quest has been achieved, so where do we go from here? It’s not clear where the season leads to and each episode is its own self-contained story. We see bits and pieces of where the story is going, and in the 5th episode we see something of a quest finally form: re-establish Mandalore. And yet, that may just be a side quest or a way to advance the plot.

It’s a different way to tell a story and let the plot emerge. We were used to a giant quest in front of us for this show. Most of the episodes take place in the ‘return Grogu to his people’ quest. What do we do once the objective has been complete?

Sometimes in life we have a clear path. Much of the time, the path is only clear after the fact. Life transitions from a clear
quest to moving forward to some unforeseen future… and back again.

Season 3 of the Mandalarian is uncomfortable because we don’t know where we’re going. For anyone who has accomplished a big life goal, you’ve likely sat afterwards and pondered “now what?” The first half of Season 3 mimics the wandering that can follow the accomplishment of a goat. In our life, we may find ourselves having one encounter after another, marching towards an ultimate quest. Yet much of the path will be murky and hidden from us.

When you find yourself lost, take stock of where you are, keep moving forward, and do what you can where you are to help other people. Stay true to yourself. You may not know what quest you are on now, but that goal may emerge in time as you look back and realize the way you were going the entire time.