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Star Wars Secretly Hints The Mandalorian’s Villain Was Betraying The Empire




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Summary

  • Moff Gideon was secretly betraying the Empire during the New Republic era.
  • The Imperial Remnant was in charge of Project Necromancer, which was meant to create a Force-sensitive clone of Palpatine.
  • Gideon wanted to harness the Force, create a clone of himself, and wield the ultimate power – just like Palpatine.



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Star Wars has once again hinted that The Mandalorian’s greatest villain, Moff Gideon, was secretly betraying the Empire during the New Republic era. Moff Gideon was an important member of the Imperial Remnant. After the fall of the Empire, the Imperial Remnant remained hidden in the shadows, biding its time until the moment to strike against the New Republic revealed itself. Additionally, the Imperial Remnant, and the Shadow Council, by extension, were in charge of the successful continuation of Project Necromancer, a project that would ensure Palpatine’s “immortality” and the continued domination of the Empire.


Project Necromancer started long before the Empire fell, however. Star Wars: The Bad Batch, a direct sequel series to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, has shown audiences that Palpatine’s obsession with cloning began in the early days of the Empire. The Empire’s Advanced Science Division, led by Dr. Hemlock, was originally in charge of the research. Above all, Hemlock’s experiments proved that if the Emperor wanted a Force-sensitive clone, they would need to be able to harvest and stabilize midi-chlorians. This, of course, presented several scientific issues – but it also proves that, years later, Gideon had no intention of being a loyal servant of the Empire.


Midi-Chlorians Were A Rare Commodity By The Time Of The Mandalorian

Palpatine in the forefront with Qui-gon Jinn and Midi-chlorians against a blue background

Custom Image by Corey Larson


The concept of midi-chlorians was first introduced in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. In essence, midi-chlorians are sentient, microscopic organisms found within the cells of every living being. Those with high midi-chlorian counts could connect to the Force through these organisms – the higher the count, the more Force-sensitive an individual was deemed to be. Anakin Skywalker, for instance, had the highest midi-chlorian count ever recorded. As such, it’s no wonder that Project Necromancer needed midi-chlorians to succeed; without those organisms, no clone would ever be Force-sensitive.

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Even The Jedi Don’t Really Know What Midi-Chlorians Are

The midi-chlorians are mysterious, microscopic lifeforms in Star Wars canon, and even the Jedi Order didn’t fully understand what they were.


During the time of The Bad Batch, Project Necromancer was essentially still in its infancy, but the Empire had access to midi-chlorian rich resources. Though Palpatine had killed thousands of Jedi, there were still a handful of suitable subjects to harvest midi-chlorians from. Palpatine and Vader imprisoned and tortured surviving Jedi to become Inquisitors, for instance – using them as test subjects would have been no issue. During the New Republic era, however, it’s an entirely different story. Most of the Jedi who survived Order 66 had, by then, been killed, and the Inquisitors were no more.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch
‘s season 3 premiere is streaming now on Disney+.

The Empire Needed Midi-Chlorians To Resurrect Palpatine

Palpatine's Project Necromancer in The Bad Batch season 3 and Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Custom Image by Nathaniel Roark


The lack of midi-chlorian rich subjects during the New Republic era is why Grogu was such an important asset for them. He was the only viable test subject they seemed to be aware of at the time, the only one with enough midi-chlorians to push Project Necromancer forward. If Palpatine wanted to continue ruling with an iron fist, if he wanted to remain the most powerful person in the galaxy even after his death, he needed to be able to wield the Force. To resurrect Palpatine in all his former glory, Project Necromancer needed access to an infinite number of midi-chlorians.

Throughout The Mandalorian, the remains of the Empire were intent on recapturing Grogu, and Moff Gideon led the charge. In The Mandalorian season 2, Moff Gideon managed to recapture Grogu, but he was mercifully rescued by Din Djarin and his comrades. It wasn’t until The Mandalorian season 3, however, that it became clear why the Imperials and Moff Gideon, in particular, were so intent on recapturing Grogu. Together, Star Wars: The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian have begun to make sense of Palpatine’s resurrection in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.


Moff Gideon Was Using Midi-Chlorians For His Own Purpose

The Mandalorian season 3 proved that Moff Gideon had his own nefarious plans, as well. Gideon was obsessed with creating a clone of himself. During each of his Mandalorian appearances, Moff Gideon proved that he was after one thing only: power. He liked to wield it, showcase it, and brag about it. It’s why he invaded Mandalore and stole the planet’s natural resources to create beskar-infused armor for himself and his stormtroopers, and it’s why he was so intent on capturing Grogu. Gideon didn’t just want to create a clone. He wanted to harness the power of the Force, just like Palpatine.

Gideon didn’t just want to create a clone. He wanted to harness the power of the Force, just like Palpatine.


During his meeting with the Imperial Shadow Council in The Mandalorian season 3, Moff Gideon tried to deny his obsession with clones, but he later made his intentions clear when speaking to Din Djarin: “My clones were finally going to be perfect. The best parts of me, but improved by adding the one thing I never had. The Force. I was isolating the potential to wield the Force, and incorporating it into an unstoppable army.” But, if Project Necromancer had been in the works for so long, why was Gideon so intent on hiding away on Mandalore? Why didn’t he share his research and findings with the Council?

If he was truly working for the good of the Empire, if he believed in Palpatine’s right to rule for eternity, he would have worded that differently. In The Bad Batch, Dr. Hemlock is very particular about whom the project is for: the Emperor. Everything he does is for Palpatine. Gideon, however, seems to be the exact opposite. “My clones, the best parts of me, the one thing I never had.” How long had he been keeping his work a secret?


Did Moff Gideon Believe In Project Necromancer?

Moff Gideon and Imperial Shadow Council

It’s possible Moff Gideon simply didn’t believe in Project Necromancer. If he was privy to all the information, there’s a good chance he knew about the state of Palpatine’s genetic samples. They were degrading, and no amount of midi-chlorians was going to fix that. Perhaps, as time went on, and the research kept failing, Gideon felt that the Emperor would never be resurrected and that Project Necromancer’s resources needed to be used elsewhere. That’s a fair assumption to make, and it’s possible he didn’t tell his fellow Imperials because they would have needlessly implored him to keep going.


Given Gideon’s fixation with the Force, however, and his insistence that he had done all the work, it seems much more likely that he took the Shadow Council’s trust and used it to his advantage. He wanted what Palpatine had. He wanted that ultimate power, and he used the Empire’s dwindling resources to create the perfect version of himself. Perhaps Gideon had turned his back on the Empire after the Emperor died in Return of the Jedi, simply using what they could offer to better himself, instead. Gideon is nothing if not nefarious, and Star Wars has proven it again and again.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 3, episodes 1-3 are available now on Disney+. Future episodes release Wednesdays at 12:00 a.m. PT, 3:00 a.m. ET, and 8:00 a.m. GMT.

Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 3 Poster Showing a Painted Battle Damaged Clone Helmet

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is an action-adventure animated series set after the events of The Clone Wars, following Clone Force 99 (a.k.a. the Bad Batch.) Finding themselves immune to the brainwashing effects of Order 66, the Bad Batch become mercenaries for hire while outrunning the empire, now seeing them as fugitives of the law.

Cast
Dee Bradley Baker , Michelle Ang , Noshir Dalal , Liam O’Brien , Rhea Perlman , Sam Riegel , Bob Bergen , Gwendoline Yeo

Release Date
May 4, 2021

Seasons
3

Writers
Jennifer Corbett , Dave Filoni , Matt Michnovetz , Tamara Becher , Amanda Rose Munoz , Gursimran Sandhu , Christian Taylor , Damani Johnson

Directors
Brad Rau , Steward Lee , Nathaniel Villanueva , Saul Ruiz

Showrunner
Dave Filoni

Creator(s)
Dave Filoni , Jennifer Corbett

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