Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon closeup in The Mandalorian

Who Is Moff Gideon? Everything You Need To Know About Giancarlo Esposito’s ‘Mandalorian’ Villain

While many fans are highly anticipating the return of Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu in The Mandalorian season 3, many are also equally anticipating the return of the morally complex Moff Gideon. Giancarlo Esposito has received high praise for his masterful portrayal of the fierce, ruthless Galactic Empire patriot who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. His portrayal of Gideon in the first two seasons of The Mandalorian earned him two Primetime Emmy nominations, and he was unsurprisingly welcomed back for the third season.

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However, some viewers may be curious about Moff’s story in season 3. After all, season 2 ended in what was a seemingly definitive defeat for Moff, making one wonder how his story will stretch into another season. So far, his role in the new season has been kept fairly under wraps. Esposito did tease fans, though, that Moff would rise again in the new season. He told TVLine:

You’re going to get some Moff Gideon. I mean, I always want more Moff Gideon — I’ve got to be honest with you! But, you know, you’re going to get a good amount of Moff Gideon. You always want to see the phoenix rise from the ashes. Or, you want to see a nefarious villain rise from the ashes. And believe me, he will.

With The Mandalorian season 3 seemingly exploring Moff’s second rise to power, lets take a look at his initial rise from an Imperial Officer to a formidable villain.

Who is Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon?

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

While The Mandalorian has featured many pre-established Star Wars characters—like Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), and Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson)—the show is the first and only time Gideon has appeared in the Star Wars universe so far. This means not a whole lot is known about his history. Given his fierce loyalty to the Galactic Empire and ability to wield the Darksaber, some questioned if he was a Force-sensitive or Sith Lord. However, it appears that he is neither. He was simply a human male who worked in the Imperial Security Bureau during the reign of the Galactic Empire. He seemingly built up quite a bit of power during this period as he was given the political rank of “Moff,” meaning he governed his own sector of the Galactic Empire.

He was also part of the Empire’s genocide of the Mandalorians in what is called the Great Purge of Mandalore, during which he took the Darksaber from Bo-Katan. Given his participation in the horrific murders of millions of Mandalorians, it was believed that he was executed for his war crimes after the fall of the Empire. However, Gideon survived and became a warlord, rallying Stormtroopers and death troopers in a bid to restore the Galactic Empire. His master plan still hasn’t been revealed, but Grogu was a part of it.

In season 2, it is revealed that Gideon sought Grogu to hand him over to Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) for some kind of experiment involving Grogu’s blood. It isn’t clear what these experiments entailed, but it seemed as if Moff was either trying to become Force-sensitive, or potentially even build an army of Force-sensitive Stormtroopers. His plans were foiled by Djarin, though, and he was stripped of the Darksaber and handed over to the New Republic to be tried for his crimes.

However, given his return in The Mandalorian season 3, a prison escape seems to be on the horizon. Additionally, his master plan may become clearer. For now, though, some speculate he could be laying the foundation for the First Order.

(featured image: Disney+)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.