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Where is The Mandalorian headed? 4 theories after that wild episode

It may not even crack 35 minutes, but there is plenty to digest in the latest episode of The Mandalorian. “The Siege” takes us back to Nevarro to meet up with some old friends for what seems like another side mission essentially unrelated to the broader plot, only to hit us with some massive potential bombshells.

Ever since The Mandalorian‘s first season, it’s been a mystery what Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) actually wants with Baby Yoda, although we heard in a previous episode that the plan seems to involve extracting something from him. After “The Siege,” it’s still a mystery, but we’re starting to get an idea. And it seems it could involve … Emperor Palpatine?

Here are four theories for where The Mandalorian‘s Gideon plot could be headed after this week’s wild episode.

Theory 1: Gideon is trying to create Supreme Leader Snoke

The scene fans may be dissecting for weeks to come occurs about 20 minutes into the episode, when the Mandalorian and the gang come across tanks containing some sort of bizarre specimens connected to whatever experiments Doctor Pershing is up to for Moff Gideon.

We never learn what is in the tanks, but after The Rise of Skywalker, the first thing that instantly comes to mind is Supreme Leader Snoke. We know from that movie that Snoke, the villain played by Andy Serkis who was killed off in The Last Jedi, was actually made by Palpatine. But he apparently didn’t get it right the first time, as the film’s opening scene revealed a tank full of failed Snokes.

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The Mandalorian takes place almost 30 or so years earlier, so could it be that Gideon was actually involved in trying to make Snoke on Palpatine’s behalf? The music in the tank scene even sounds similar to music associated with Snoke in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and since so much about that character has been left mysterious — including when precisely he was made — it’s certainly on the table.

Theory 2: Gideon is trying to create a body for Palpatine

On the other hand, we also know that Emperor Palpatine’s plan for returning to life involved finding a new host body for him to occupy, and the body we see him using in The Rise of Skywalker is actually a clone of him. In fact, the Rise of Skywalker novelization revealed that Rey’s father was a failed Palpatine clone, who was made as part of this effort to find the emperor a new vessel.

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So could that be what’s going on in The Mandalorian? The specimens we see in the tank could be another batch of Palpatine clones or hosts, and Gideon’s efforts might all be connected to this broader plan by the emperor’s followers. Baby Yoda could come into play in that the plan involves finding a highly Force-sensitive creature to make an appropriately Force-sensitive body.

If this theory is correct, yes, this could end up being another Star Wars story that turns out to have been about Palpatine all along. No one’s ever really gone, after all.

Theory 3: Gideon is creating a Force-sensitive army

On the other hand, the episode also concludes with another enigmatic scene that may tie back into whatever is happening with the tank experiments.

We meet up with Moff Gideon in the episode’s closing moments and discover him standing in a room full of mysterious armor, teasing some sort of new army. If we connect the two scenes together, could it be that Gideon’s plan involves creating an army of stormtroopers that are all Force-sensitive?

It seems quite clear from “The Siege” that the reason Gideon wants Baby Yoda is because of his Force sensitivity, as Doctor Pershing mentions the need for blood from a donor with a high “M-count.” This is an all-but-certain reference to Midi-chlorians, the microscopic life forms used to measure Force sensitivity. So what if they’re experimenting with extracting Midi-chlorians from creatures like Baby Yoda to create an entire army — an army made up of troops that are all as strong in the Force as he is?

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Theory 4: Gideon is creating an army of Dark Troopers

Another interpretation some fans are coming away from that closing scene with is that Gideon is creating an army of Dark Troopers, or at least something to that effect.

Originally appearing in the old Star Wars expanded universe, Dark Troopers are essentially advanced droids, so this theory might suggest that the two big scenes in “The Siege” relate to two different aspects of Gideon’s plan. He could be working on experimentation involving Palpatine or Snoke, while at the same time working on creating his very own a droid army.

Given that the Mandalorian next appears to be headed to go meet Ahsoka Tano, it could be weeks before we get the answers about Gideon, leaving plenty of time for additional theories and debate — and to study some of those scenes just a few more times.