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‘The Mandalorian’s Big Antagonist Return Has Me on the Edge of My Seat for the Season Finale

Moff Gideon in Disney+'s The Mandalorian.

This week’s episode of Disney+’s The Mandalorian gave us a lot to unpack—primarily where the end of the season is heading, but one of the things that really is the most Star Wars about the episode is that, well, somehow, Moff Gideon has returned. That’s not the most surprising thing, since Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) famously let him live at the end of season 2, but he has been missing throughout the first six episodes of the season, so when he does appear in episode 7, “The Spies,” it’s a bit shocking that so much of the story is centered around Gideon this time around.

Granted, it’s great whenever Giancarlo Esposito shows up because he’s such a dynamic performer, and I’d honestly rather have Gideon popping up more often than not (*cough* Palpatine *cough*), but it is something that really is a bit shocking throughout the episode. It starts with Moff Gideon and it ends with Moff Gideon. Now where does that lead us for the season finale?

The start of episode takes us back to Coruscant, to Elia Kane. She’s walking through the streets of the city when she finds a droid and begins speaking with none other than Gideon, proving what we all expected: She’s a double agent. But it ushers in a lot of information about where these Imperial outliers are and what their plans are. And honestly? It’s not great! But it just gives us a bit of insight into how shows like The Mandalorian are going to tie into the rise of the First Order that we saw in The Force Awakens and the rest of the sequel trilogy.

When will the Empire stop?

Look, I know that part of the deal with the Empire is that they will continue to fight for their own power and rights because they think that their way is the only way to exist throughout the galaxy. This episode shows that the powers that be are still there, and they’re willing to wait until their time to rise has come again.

In that scene with Moff Gideon speaking with the remaining leaders of the Empire, we get to see people like General Hux’s father, and it just gives some insight into how these people inspire who would lead the First Order under the control of Kylo Ren. It does give me pause to think about where Moff Gideon is when we get to the reign of Kylo, because he’s decidedly not in the sequel trilogy, and that’s only roughly 25 years later.

But my original question remains: When will the Empire stop? With leaders like Grand Admiral Thrawn (who will be played by Lars Mikkelsen in Ahsoka) still out there, we know that their ranks are still strong enough to strike back at the New Republic. And it’s honestly terrifying.

With The Mandalorian, we’ve been so into what journey Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan are going on that we sometimes forget the stakes of what’s going on in the galaxy right now. One slip of the New Republic and we could see the Empire striking back, and that’s not something we’ve really seen in play until now in The Mandalorian, and it has me on the edge of my seat until next episode.

(featured image: Lucasfilm)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.