Who is The Mandalorian’s Moff Gideon?

Why does he want Baby Yoda? And what is that sword he's carrying? Here's everything you need to know about the Imperial officer played by Giancarlo Esposito.

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moff gideon The mandalorian

At first, it seemed like The Client was the big bad of The Mandalorian. However, by the close of the Star Wars show’s debut season, it became clear that Werner Herzog’s Imperial agent wasn’t the real threat at all. A much bigger enemy lurked: Moff Gideon.

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Played by Breaking Bad actor Giancarlo Esposito, Gideon blasted into the penultimate episode of season one, commanding a legion of Imperial stormtroopers and demanding the possession of The Child (Baby Yoda). Why? It’s not clear. However, viewers were left in no doubt that he’ll kill whoever stands between him and this goal.

But exactly what is his history in the Empire? And just what is that mysterious sword he carries? Glad you asked: here’s everything you need to know about The Mandalorian villain Moff Gideon.

Who exactly is Moff Gideon?

moff gideon The mandalorian

As long-time Star Wars fans will know, ‘Moff’ is not an actual name, but a rank in the Imperial hierarchy. And quite a high rank too: technically, Moffs are ‘Sector Governors’ and can only be outranked by ‘Grand Moffs’ (such as Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin).

In other words: Moff Gideon used to be a pretty big deal. As viewers learned in the season one finale, the character played a role in the ‘Great Purge’, an Imperial effort to wipe the Mandalorians from the galaxy. As a result, Gideon appears to have access to their records and thereby knows The Mandalorian’s real name (Din Djarin).

It’s not exactly clear what Gideon has been up to since the Empire’s fall, though. Although Esposito said in an interview with IGN that he’s been looking to “put the universe back together”, there’s good evidence indicating Gideon had been keeping a low profile: in the show, Cara Dune (Gina Carano) says she believed he’d been previously executed for war crimes.

Why does Moff Gideon want Baby Yoda?

Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian on Disney Plus (Disney+)
Disney

Now that’s the million republic credit question. Although Gideon appears to stop at nothing to capture The Child, it’s not yet clear why.

One explanation is that Gideon is looking to somehow extract force powers from Baby Yoda to wield as his own. This theory essentially means that Gideon is hoping to become a new Sith Lord and ruler of the galaxy, akin to the late Darth Vader.

However, it’s not clear how exactly this will work (something related to midichlorians?), but it would explain why Gideon wants The Child alive rather than dead.

Interestingly, in a recent interview, Esposito described Gideon as “the warden of the galaxy”, perhaps indicating he’s searching for a way to gain immense power to carry out this role. Or at least he might be looking to give this power to somebody else: Emperor Palpatine, for instance, who is still alive but weak at this time in Star Wars lore.

What exactly is the Darksaber he carries?

Just to make Gideon even more mysterious, at the end of The Mandalorian’s first season, he’s seen wielding one of the strangest weapons seen in the Star Wars Universe. After The Mandalorian forces him to crash land a TIE fighter, Gideon is seen cutting himself out of the wreckage with a mysterious glowing black blade.

What exactly is this sword? Answer: a Darksaber, an ancient artefact first created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi. How did Gideon get hold of it? What are its powers? Better read our complete guide to the Darksaber.

Who plays Moff Gideon?

The Mandalorian star Giancarlo Esposito
Getty

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, we’ll make it clear here: Moff Gideon is played by Giancarlo Esposito.

If you don’t recognise him as drug lord/Los Pollos Hermanos owner Gus Fring from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, you may also know Esposito from The Boys as Vought boss Stan Edgar.

Esposito’s very long list of screen credits also include Dear White People, The Usual Suspects, 2016’s The Jungle Book, Stargirl, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Money Monster.

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The Mandalorian season 2 is released on Friday 30th October. The Mandalorian release schedule sees a new episode drop every Friday. Sign up to Disney+ now for £5.99 per month or £59.99 for a full year. Check out our list of the best movies on Disney Plus and best shows on Disney Plus, or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.