A persistent remnant of the collapsed Milky Empire was one of the reasons that led to the skirmishes between Mando and the Imperial Remnant throughout season 2 of The Mandalorian.
In episode 3, The Heiress, captain of the Imperial Remnant crashed his ship and committed suicide inside to prevent it from falling into the hands of Bo-Katan Kryze. In the episode near the end, “The Believer”, when confronted with Imperial officers in an Imperial Remnant-run refinery, Mando once again knew what fanaticism was. The final episode of The Mandalorian season 2, “The Rescue”, an Imperial Remnant pilot shot and killed his teammates because he intended to surrender to the enemy.
What remains of the Empire is a blind dedication. All are willing to sacrifice the pieces of their Empire in the hope of winning in the end, even if they are those pieces.
Having been around since season 1, Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) is known to wield Darksaber, a powerful weapon capable of cutting through almost anything. By the time Mando and his brave comrades approached Moff Gideon’s light cruiser, Gideon announced that he had achieved his goal – studying the Baby Yoda’s blood for a future reviving the Empire.
When he was defeated at the hands of Din Djarin and taken by Cara Dune to the New Republic, it was likely that at that time, he had a different plan. What could it be? Has Mando obstructed this plan?
1. Moff Gideon knew that Mando came to find him
Mando has sent Moff Gideon a text warning him on his way to get Grogu back. Instead, Gideon could find a way to flee from the Mandalore’s pursuit or gather more forces around him. However, when Mando and his teammates approached the location of Gideon’s light cruiser, the ship did not even prepare for an attack – not even the Dark Troopers.
Gideon immediately seemed to suspect that the lambda had been taken command by the enemy (presumably due to the recognition of Bo-Katan’s voice) and refused to enter the light cruiser upon being captured by Boba Fett’s Slave 1. “attack”, though allowed.
This rejection was most likely a test: Gideon knew that most of the Empire’s loyalists were officers willing to sacrifice their lives if ordered. Therefore, the entry of the lamba into the cruiser was a clear sign of an invasion. Gideon calmly watched the lambda enter the cruiser without actually trying to stop it.
After that, he formed a new raid army under his command to attack the intruders and support the Shadow Army. Meanwhile, he walked towards the boat himself, knowing with certainty this attack was a distraction. Mando’s real goal is to take Grogu away.
2. Moff Gideon deliberately lost Darksaber to Mando?
Not only did Moff Gideon know that Mando was on his way, he also knew that Bo-Katan would be with him. During the confrontation between the two sides, Gideon loudly said that he knew Darksaber once belonged to Bo-Katan, and said: “I know you went with Bo-Katan. One honest piece of advice: think I know everything”. It is not known exactly how Gideon acquired Darksaber, though. But through the way Bo-Katan determined to defeat Gideon on her own and the two seemed to know each other before, it was more likely that Gideon defeated Bo-Katan and took Darksaber from the opponent’s female hand.
Moff Gideon is well aware of the importance of Darksaber: anyone who uses it properly will be Mandalore’s leader. Bo-Katan needed it to bring together the scattered Mandalore people under her command to retake the planet.
The New Republic was clearly the enemy of the Imperial Remnant Empire, and the Mandalore were also in their way. While getting off the boat, Moff Gideon probably knew that he was capable of losing his battle with Mando. However, after being disarmed by Mando and pointing the blade at him, Gideon just smiled and said, “Are you sparing my life? That’s interesting”.
This was not the reaction of the tragic loser, but the satisfied attitude of a man about to see the results of a successful plan. Gideon stole from Bo-Katan the weapon she needed so much to ensure it reached the hands of a Mandalore who was indifferent to the power of her clan.
3. What is Moff Gideon’s final plan in The Mandalorian 2?
An intelligent person like Moff Gideon may have planned many unexpected situations, and anticipated the outcome in his favor. Apparently he was ready to die in the fight with Mando, as long as Bo-Katan was destroyed. The ideal outcome, however, would still be to kill Mando and repel the attack.
Faced with the raid aimed at his ship, Gideon seemed unfazed. He was so calm that it forced people to suspect that part of his plan had been carried out in a smooth, safe way. The information obtained from Grogu’s blood research was probably sent by him to someone else hiding in the dark, and it will most likely be used to create soldiers loyal to the Empire. Moff Gideon’s next plan is likely to be revealed further in The Mandalorian 3.
4. Moff Gideon did not expect Luke Skywalker to appear
One thing was definitely not part of Moff Gideon’s plan: the surprise of Luke Skywalker, a Jedi Master. The moment Gideon knew that there was a Jedi on the ship was the first time he was truly scared. He even used a blaster, trying to kill Baby Yoda, in order to prevent the Jedi from acquiring this child and taking him on training. Failure to kill Grogu, Gideon attempts to kill himself but is stopped by Cara Dune.
Gideon apparently had hoped that his Shadow Army would raid the boat, attacking the intruders so he could regain control. But when Luke showed up, Gideon knew that all hope was gone.
Even so, even if Luke Skywalker intervened, Gideon’s plan could still come true, even if the Empire leader is currently under Republican custody. The Mandalorian 3 hopes to reveal the goal of Baby Yoda’s blood research – perhaps not for good.