The Mandalorian: What is Moff Gideon’s plan?

Giancarlo Esposito’s Star Wars baddie appears to have plans to bring the Empire back – and it all comes down to midi-chlorians.

Giancarlo Esposito

While Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian is on the face of it a fairly light-hearted adventure series full of zooming spaceships and shoot-y lasers, in season two it’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s a mysterious conspiracy at its heart – and no, we don’t mean Baby Yoda’s quest to consume any and all creatures in the vicinity.

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Rather, we’re referring to the plan currently being hatched by Giancarlo Esposito’s villain Moff Gideon, whose motives for hunting The Child (Baby Yoda) became slightly clearer in The Mandalorian’s latest instalment.

Check out our latest The Mandalorian review for details and be warned: spoilers lie ahead.

In The Siege (aka Chapter 12, aka season two episode 4) Mando (Pedro Pascal) and his chums take out a nondescript Imperial base, only to discover it actually had a darker purpose. Deep within its corridors is a top-secret lab where the Imperial remnants have been experimenting, with their (apparently deceased) test subjects hanging in a nearby vat.

As for exactly what they’ve been up to, well, we now have a pretty good idea. In a hologram, Dr Pershing (a scientist played by Omid Abtahi, returning from season one) notes that their experiments with blood taken from The Child in a previous episode were initially successful, but caused problems in the subject as time went on.

Now, they need more blood – and as they’re unlikely to find another subject with such a high “M-count” he recommends they track down the Child again. Implicit in Pershing’s statement is the fact that Baby Yoda may not survive the next encounter, as the first time he took the maximum amount of blood he could get without killing The Child – and given that didn’t work, the next time they may need to be more ruthless.

M-count test subject
One of the unfortunate test subjects of the Child’s blood transfusion in The Mandalorian (Disney)

We also learn that Pershing is still working for Moff Gideon, who maintains a small army of ex-Imperials on his ship that are working to track Mando down and apparently bring the galaxy back to its knees.

“You’ll be well-rewarded in the new era,” one officer tells an informant – but what new era are they talking about? And what do these experiments have to do with what Moff Gideon is planning?

Well, the first clue may be the reference to The Child’s “M-count.” As anyone who lived through the prequels may remember, an individual’s connection to the Force was established as being related to the number of microscopic organisms in their blood called midi-chlorians, with Anakin Skywalker noted as the record holder.

“The reading’s off the chart,” Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi notes in The Phantom Menace. “Over 20,000. Even Master Yoda doesn’t have a midi-chlorian count that high.”

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

It seems fair to assume that the ‘M-Count’ referred to in The Mandalorian uses the same metric – and given that before Anakin came along Yoda held the record, it seems fair to assume that a fellow member of his species like The Child could be similarly gifted.

In other words, the Empire appear to be trying to transfer a connection to the Force from the Child to other test subjects. Presumably, this would create powerful Jedi-like warriors that Gideon’s forces could control, in lieu of the Sith Lords like Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader who once ruled the Empire.

In the episode’s final scenes, we see Gideon looking over a large collection of armour, suggesting that he plans to fill it with these warriors when the experiments are successful – and if he does manage to, perhaps this is how the “new era” of the Empire could arrive. And maybe this new era could somehow tie into the rise of The First Order, which the Empire had morphed into by the time of the sequel trilogy.

Giancarlo Esposito
Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian (Disney+)

Clearly, there’s still a lot to discover here (including why you’d have the suits on hand when none of the experiments have even worked yet), but it’s clear that Moff Gideon has some dastardly plans afoot. We can only hope that the Mandalorian, the Child and their allies are able to keep one step ahead as the series continues…

Want to know more about The Mandalorian cast, The Mandalorian release schedule or when is The Mandalorian set? Check out our suite of content on RadioTimes.com.

New episodes of The Mandalorian are available on Disney+ on Fridays – sign up to Disney+ for £5.99 a month or save 15% with the annual plan for £59.99 (savings based on 12 mo. of monthly subscription). T&Cs apply.

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