*** Be warned that FULL SPOILERS ARE AHEAD for the most recent episode of The Mandalorian, so if you haven’t watched it yet, don’t read this article. Trust me, you want to go into this one without spoilers. ***
The most recent episode of The Mandalorian, “Chapter 12: The Siege,” was another thrilling adventure for Din Djarin – but it quickly became so much more.
That’s because the episode left us with all sorts of teases and intrigue about what could be coming, and a lot of it has to do with Moff Gideon and what his plans are. I covered some of my thoughts in my review of the episode, but I wanted to elaborate on them a bit here.
What we know:
If you remember back to season one, “Chapter 3: The Sin,” we are introduced to Doctor Pershing, an Imperial scientist who takes the Child and begins running tests on him. Din Djarin then breaks into the compound and rescues the Child from Pershing. Curiously, Pershing wears the emblem of the Kaminoan cloners…
In the latest episode, Pershing returns, as we see a recorded hologram message he sent to Moff Gideon just three days prior to the events of Chapter 12. His message:
“Replicated the results of the subsequent trials, which, also resulted in catastrophic failure. There were promising effects for an entire fortnight, but then sadly the body rejected the blood. I highly doubt we’ll find a donor with a higher M-count, though. I recommend that we suspend all experimentation. I fear that the volunteer will meet the same regrettable fate if we proceed with the transfusion. Unfortunately we have exhausted our initial supply of blood. The Child is small and I was only able to harvest a limited amount without killing him. If these experiments are to continue as requested, we will again require access to the donor. I will not disappoint you again, Moff Gideon.”
As they hear this message, Djarin, Greef Karga, Cara Dune, and the Mythrol stand in a lab with different experiments. Through the message, they learn that Moff Gideon is still alive, and they learn more about what he wants with the Child – something Djarin had asked about in season one but never got answered.
Of interest to me during this scene are a couple of subtle things. Firstly, the figure seen in the tank looks quite a bit like the Snoke clones seen in The Rise of Skywalker. Secondly, the music that plays during this scene seems suspiciously particular to just be coincidental. At first, it starts out with some variation of the Snoke theme in The Force Awakens, and then it transitions to a more subtle version of Kylo Ren’s theme. Hmm…
What this could mean:
I have two theories about what this could mean, and both of them seem plausible to me.
1. This could tie-in to the cloning efforts surrounding Palpatine
This theory rests on Moff Gideon actually being secretly loyal to Palpatine, in a similar way as Allegiant General Pryde in The Rise of Skywalker. It would mean that Gideon’s true motives are to restore not only the Empire, but also its Emperor, to power. As he fell down the reactor shaft on the second Death Star, Palpatine flung his spirt to a clone body waiting on Exegol, but the transfer was imperfect. That left him confined to the Ommin harness, while the Sith Eternal cultists worked to create a clone body capable of containing Palpatine’s immense power with the dark side. This led to the creation of Palpatine’s son, but also, seemingly, the creation of Snoke. In other words, it seems that part of the difficulty in the cloning process might have been trying to create a body capable of possessing the Force prowess of Darth Sidious.
So, while nothing in Chapter 12 of The Mandalorian mentioned cloning, it’s very plausible that something relating to cloning is taking place – from Doctor Pershing’s mysterious background to the subjects in the lab looking awfully like cloning projects. So what would they want with the Child’s blood? Perhaps it’s not as much about transfusion as the end goal, but instead about trying to find how to clone bodies capable of using the Force – which would create an ideal host body for the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Contributing to this theory is some of the surrounding circumstances of this: Doctor Pershing’s Kaminoan patch, the body in the tank looking similar to Snoke, and the music paying homage to both Snoke’s theme and Kylo Ren’s theme. There’s plenty of reason to wonder if this is a direction that the show could be taking, tying in to The Rise of Skywalker in a very significant way. That would have massive implications on the saga as a whole, and it would be an incredibly interesting route to explore.
2. This could be Moff Gideon wanting to become Force sensitive
The other theory I have is that Moff Gideon isn’t working on some larger level for Palpatine but is instead motivated by a far more self-serving reason: he wants to become Force sensitive.
He wields the darksaber, and so it wouldn’t be surprising if he wanted to supplement that by being able to use the Force. This would fit more naturally with the words of Doctor Pershing in the recording, as it sounds like the tests have been to inject subjects with blood with high midi-chlorian counts (from the Child), but the subjects have rejected the blood. In other words, it’s possible that the point of the tests is to see whether a subject can become Force sensitive simply by being injected with a certain amount of blood with high midi-chlorian counts. But this isn’t exactly working, nor do I think it should work. That’s not what midi-chlorians are about. The irony is that the Force flows through every living being, but some people were more sensitive to it.
This theory would be backed up by the words spoken by Doctor Pershing and taking a more simple approach to interpreting what he’s saying. Whereas the previous theory is based primarily on the knowledge of other Star Wars material and some subtle hints in the show, this theory is based primarily on the direct words spoken in the show so far. Plus, of course, a bit of guessing that Moff Gideon wants to become Force sensitive, which I don’t think is a stretch. And if/when he gets his butt kicked in a lightsaber duel by the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano, I’m guessing that desire would only grow.
If Gideon is out to re-establish a new and better Empire, with him as the head, then he probably wants to have the Force as his ally. From what little we know of him, he seems like a smart enough guy to have been able to figure out that Emperor Palpatine was strong in the Force (even though it doesn’t seem most people were aware of that), so perhaps he thinks he needs that in order to rule the galaxy effectively (or, probably more accurately, to take control of the galaxy successfully).
In my mind, this latter theory is probably more likely to happen, since it’s the most simple and reasonable while still seeming totally logically connected to the story that both this show is telling, as well as the larger Star wars story.
What do you think?