Is The Mandalorian's Moff Gideon dead and can Giancarlo Esposito return?
Here's everything you need to know about the Imperial officer played by Giancarlo Esposito.
While he didn't exactly complete his mission, we find out that he was able to create clones using Dr Pershing's research – and he causes quite the catastrophe when he appears to destroy the Darksaber once and for all.
As Gideon is engulfed in flames in the finale episode of season 3, we wouldn't blame fans for being suspicious. So, is he really gone for good?
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Is Moff Gideon dead in The Mandalorian?
Episode 8 saw Djarin, Bo-Katan and Grogu battling Gideon, who was well protected in his Dark Trooper suit. However, the end of the battle saw Gideon engulfed in flames in a huge explosion, which Grogu protected Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) from using The Force.
It seems unlikely that he'll have survived such a hellish demise – but there are a few caveats to that. First of all, Gideon was wearing his Dark Trooper armour. It's clear it's a pretty powerful suit, considering he was able to crush the Darksaber with it, so could he have survived while wearing it? We wouldn't put it past him.
Plus, while Djarin flooded out the clones, presumably killing them, who's to say Gideon didn't create more? He may even have some in hiding, preparing for the event of his death.
For now, we're going to assume Gideon is gone – but we've been, ahem, burnt before, so we're staying wary.
Previously speaking about the finale, Esposito told Collider: "Yeah, I think it’s going to be quite a surprise to many of the fans, what really is happening. He’s very democratic, he’s with the counsel trying to bring people together. And so you see people relying on, and trying to figure out, who is going to be that all-powerful leader.
"Right now, you’ve got Moff Gideon who’s in the mix. He’s back. He’s back after having been shuttered for a little bit – obviously he escaped, and obviously he has ideas on how to divide and conquer."
Who is Moff Gideon in 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 1 finale, the character played a role in the Great Purge, an Imperial effort to wipe the Mandalorians from the galaxy.
During the Purge, Gideon was responsible for decimating Mandalore and causing its people to flee. Gideon also claimed the Darksaber after defeating the Mandalorians' leader Bo-Katan.
We also later learned that Gideon was part of the Imperial Security Bureau - the covert intelligence arm and secret police for the Empire that we had a better look at in the Disney+ series Andor.
Since the fall of the Empire, Gideon has been a member of the Shadow Council - a group of high-ranking imperial officers who survived the fall of Emperor Palpatine and the establishment of the New Republic. Gideon's mission appears to have been to harness the power of Grogu's blood to transfer to a new host. Could this be Emperor Palpatine?
Gideon was clearly aching to become the leader of the Empire's remnants over the likes of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Mads Mikkelsen) and is seen in debate with Brendol Hux (Brian Gleeson) and Captain Gilad Pellaeon (Xander Berkeley).
Why did Moff Gideon want Grogu?
We now know that Moff Gideon wanted Grogu in order to obtain his blood for his experiments.
This is revealed to be due to Grogu's high "M-count" aka his midichlorian count which means his physiology is strong with the Force. Gideon wished to transfuse Grogu's blood into a test subject. The experiments, mostly conducted with the help of emotionally torn scientist Dr Penn Pershing were deemed a failure.
Gideon was later apprehended for his crimes and lost the Darksaber in combat with Din Djarin.
What exactly is the Darksaber he carried?
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.
After losing the Darksaber in combat with Din Djarin, the weapon later ended up once again owned by Bo-Katan Kryze.
Gideon previously claimed the weapon from Kryze as he was a chief participant in the Purge of Mandalore.
Who is actor Giancarlo Esposito?
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 includes Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, Dear White People, The Usual Suspects, 2016’s The Jungle Book, Stargirl, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Money Monster.
The Mandalorian season 1 to 3 are available to stream on Disney Plus. Sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 for a year.