Mandalorian Reveals Why The Empire Wants Baby Yoda: Force Cloning… Or Snoke?

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 4, “Chapter 12: The Siege.”

Is Baby Yoda The Basis For Snoke or Palpatine?

This naturally raises the question of just how The Mandalorian fits into the overarching Star Wars narrative. The series is set at a time when the New Republic believed the Empire to be defeated, unaware that Palpatine had actually survived his death in Return of the Jedi and had been resurrected in the Unknown Regions on the Sith redoubt of Exegol. There, he is biding his time in a failed clone body, but through the dark side of the Force he continues to exert his influence upon the galaxy. It is unknown whether Moff Gideon is a Palpatine loyalist, or a warlord who desires to reform the Empire under his command. Even if he is the latter, though, that doesn’t necessarily mean he is not the Emperor’s puppet; Darth Sidious used the Force to bend others to his will across the galaxy, planting ideas in their minds, whispering sinister counsel in their ears, manipulating them without their awareness.

The laboratory seen in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 4 is reminiscent of the one discovered by Kylo Ren on Exegol in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, suggesting these experiments may ultimately be part of Palpatine’s plans. The Emperor’s own clone body is deteriorating, the vast power of the dark side too much for it to contain, and he is no doubt seeking a new host. It’s possible Palpatine is hoping to transfer midi-chlorians into one of his cultists, which would then allow his spirit to possess that body as a host.

If that is indeed Palpatine’s goal, then it must be a failure, because the Emperor is still in that failing clone body in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But he could well still find a way to use Moff Gideon’s research by creating Snoke as his agent in the galaxy. Snoke has been described as a genetically engineered being, partly created by cloning, and midi-chlorian experiments may well explain why he is so disfigured in the sequel trilogy; because the process used to grant him Force power is imperfect, and his body initially attempted to reject the blood he was injected with. It’s possible the process only worked at all with Palpatine at Snoke’s side, using the dark side to enhance it.

Baby Yoda’s Role In Moff Gideon’s Super Soldier Program

As dramatic as those ideas may be, Moff Gideon is the immediate concern in The Mandalorian season 2. It’s now clear Moff Gideon is conducting what can essentially be considered a super-soldier program, hoping to convert his most skilled and loyal assets into Force-sensitives. If Dr. Pershing’s experiments ultimately prove successful, then the Empire will be able to manufacture an army of dark side users, whose powers in the Force rival those of any Jedi. With such an army, the Empire – even diminished as it is – would be unstoppable.

Related: Why Palpatine’s Clone Body Looks So Bad In Rise of Skywalker

Moff Gideon may well desire to become Force-sensitive himself. Certainly he dresses himself like a Vader fanboy, and he even possesses his own lightsaber, the Darksaber. Worse still, viewers still haven’t been told how Moff Gideon fitted into the Imperial hierarchy before the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy has revealed the Emperor kept Sith cultists close at hand, people who were uniquely knowledgeable in the ways of the dark side even if they did not possess the Force themselves. Moff Gideon could well be one of these Sith cultists, well versed in the ways of the Force, meaning he would be something of a natural if he ever did gain Force-sensitivity.

The Mandalorian season 2, episode 4 ended with a dramatic revelation; an Imperial agent on Nevarro has planted a homing beacon on Din Djarin’s ship. Moff Gideon hopes to reacquire the Child – but he has no idea the former bounty hunter he is pursuing is actually headed to find Ahsoka Tano. Rather than find one Force-sensitive, Moff Gideon is about to discover two – and Ahsoka is a former Jedi who crossed blades with Darth Vader himself, and whose knowledge and experience of the Force makes her supremely dangerous. Hopefully with Ahsoka’s help, The Mandalorian season 2 will see all Moff Gideon’s dreams come to nought.

More: All Star Wars Movies, Ranked Worst To Best