Moff Gideon, played by Giancarlo Esposito, joins the Shadow Council in The Mandalorian

This Detail From ‘The Mandalorian’ Might Address One of the Sequel Trilogy’s Biggest Plot Holes

I mean THAT return in TRoS has to come from somewhere, right?

Season 3 of The Mandalorian is rushing toward a final episode that promises to be full of action, what with the Mandalorians—including Din Djarin, Grogu, and Bo-Katan Kryze—and the Imperial remnants led by Moff Gideon both perfectly poised for an epic battle to retake the planet Mandalore

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This article contains spoilers for season 3 of The Mandalorian and the Star Wars sequel trilogy

Still, bringing out Praetorian Guards and troopers in Beskar armor to lay the foundations for a good satisfying end-of-the-season match wasn’t the only thing episode 7, “The Spies,” did. It also connected a few more dots to help us better understand what exactly happened between the end of Return of the Jedi and the start of The Force Awakens—something that Episode VII never really did. And neither did Episode VIII. Or Episode IX, for that matter.

Let’s just say that the Sequel Trilogy movies have left a lot of unanswered questions, and maybe some of the events of this season of The Mandalorian are starting to give us some answers—especially when it comes to how the Imperial remnants turned into the First Order and how exactly we ended up with poor Oscar Isaac having to deliver one of the worst lines in the history of cinema in The Rise of Skywalker. You know the one.

So what happened in episode 7 of The Mandalorian?

“The Spies” opens with a meeting of the Shadow Council, a group of Imperial leaders who are clearly busy in secret operations throughout the galaxy that are meant to bring the Empire back to power—or a version of it, possibly, considering that’s what the First Order ultimately is.

Most of the meeting is commandeered by Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon, finally back on the screen and looking for support to take on the Mandalorians on Mandalore and complete the Purge once and for all. Still, as the various leaders are discussing the state of their respective affairs, we get some mentions of a project that might just reveal itself to be one of the key elements of the story moving forward.

One of the people sitting on the Shadow Council is Commandant Brendol Hux, the father of General Hux from the Sequel Trilogy, and hilariously played by Domhnall Gleeson’s real-life brother, Brian Gleeson. This Hux seems to be working closely with Admiral Pellaeon, the only member of the Council to be in contact with Grand Admiral Thrawn—a much-anticipated character expected to appear in the upcoming Ahsoka series.

The very first look at Grand Admiral Thrawn in the Ahsoka trailer
To be fair, there’s also a chance that we’ll get a Thrawn face reveal in The Mandalorian season finale (Disney)

Commandant Hux is said to be working on Project Necromancer. Every member of the Shadow Council seems to know very well what this Project consists of, and the questions Hux poses to Gideon about Dr. Pershing’s research are a clue that the two are closely connected. So the question to ask now is what exactly is this Project Necromancer?

Project Necromancer could be about Palpatine …

The name of the Project is of course the first major indicator of what the whole thing is about. Necromancy is usually described as a form of magic that involves the dead, either by communicating with them or straight-up raising them back to life. 

So it stands to reason that Project Necromancer’s aim is bringing someone back to life, or maybe cloning a version of them—and since the Shadow Council talked about needing new leadership referred to that new leadership coming from Project Necromancer … then the safest bet as to who, exactly, Hux is trying to bring back is none other than Palpatine himself.

We know, of course, that Palpatine was thrown down a Death Star chute by a newly-redeemed Anakin Skywalker in Return of the Jedi—something that probably didn’t exactly leave a body behind. And from the very sparse information we got about his reappearance in Rise of Skywalker—as well as the ever-punctual Wookieepedia—we also know that he’s actually a clone of the original Emperor, which fits perfectly with Project Necromancer and Dr. Pershing’s research.

It would also explain why Moff Gideon and Dr. Pershing were after Grogu in the first season of The Mandalorian—his Force-sensitive blood could definitely be useful in trying to resurrect a version of one of the most powerful Sith Lords of all time.

Dr Pershing as played by Omid Abtahi in The Mandalorian
Dr. Pershing might end up being at least half-unwilling to help bring the Emperor back to life (Disney)

Or it could be about Snoke

Project Necromancer could also help explain how Supreme Leader Snoke came to be—since we didn’t really get to know much about him before Kylo Ren killed him in The Last Jedi

Here there are two possible options: Project Necromancer could be all about the creation of Snoke, and Palpatine’s return is something else entirely that has nothing to do with the Imperial remnants and everything to do with the ways of the dark side of the Force. 

Or, more likely, it could be that Snoke is another part of Project Necromancer with Palpatine as the main objective—so while the Project is still working on a way to bring the Emperor back to life, it’s also focusing some of its resources on creating a new interim leadership for the Imperial remnants-soon-to-be-First Order.

Supreme Leader Snoke, played by Andy Serkis, as he appeared in The Last Jedi
Loved the way Ben Solo disposed of Snoke, still would have also loved knowing a bit more about him before his demise (Disney)

After all, Snoke is the Supreme Leader of the First Order for a while—and in Rise of Skywalker, we also learn that he’s one of many clones, all created to be puppets for the Emperor as part of his great Contingency plan—a detail which circles back once more to Dr. Pershing’s research, which clearly is of high interest to Commandant Hux, since he asked Gideon about the Doctor’s face. Besides, they wouldn’t have dedicated an entire episode of The Mandalorian‘s third season to Pershing if he wasn’t going to come back in a pretty relevant way sometime later in the story. 

Now that all the theories are laid out, I guess we’ll just have to wait for next week’s season finale and hope it clears some more things up.

(featured image: Disney)


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.