The Mandalorian season 2 episode 4 brings the series back to Nevarro, the planet where Mando first got the mission that led him to The Child. So it shouldn’t be surprising that our trip back there has revealed more about the Empire’s plans for Baby Yoda than anything so far this season.
Even better than just the Empire’s plans, this episode also might have provided a nice bridge between the Empire, and the eventual rise of the First Order and its leader.
[Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2 episode 4, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker]
If you remember all the way back to season 1 of The Mandalorian, you’ll probably recall that Nevarro was the home base of everyone’s least-favorite scientist, Doctor Pershing, who poked and prodded Baby Yoda on behalf of The Client and the Empire. Pershing made his return this week just in time to give us some extremely helpful information about the kinds of experiments he was doing with Baby Yoda.
As it turns out, he extracted blood from The Child and has been transfusing it into test subjects — at least one of which is willing to participate in the process. Unfortunately for the subjects, these experiments haven’t been going well and only that last volunteer remains. The problem is they’ve run out of blood, and according to Pershing it’s going to be hard to find replacement blood with as high an “M-count.”
Yep, that’s right. Midi-chlorians have made it to The Mandalorian. It seems that Pershing is just as aware as we are of Baby Yoda’s impressive Force powers, and that’s why he’s been using The Child’s blood for his experiments. All this certainly sounds like the Empire’s plan involves giving non-Force-sensitive beings Force powers in order to unleash them upon the rebellion.
In fact, this plan likely extends to clones too. Back in the first season when we got a clear view of the patch on his shirt, we learned that Pershing has some connection with Kamino, the cloning planet where the Republic’s army was created in Attack of the Clones. Supporting this in episode 4 are the various tanks that we see in the background while the Pershing is explaining his plan. These tanks certainly look like cloning tanks, even though that’s not made explicitly clear in the episode.
Inside the tanks are several bodies, including one that looks suspiciously like Snoke, who we learned was a clone at the beginning of Rise of Skywalker. But, since that movie offered no real explanation behind the cloning — or Palpatine’s cloned resurrection for that matter — it seems The Mandalorian could be stepping in to provide us with some answers. If Pershing is actually trying to give Force powers to those that don’t already have it, it could all be in preparation for the eventual creation of Snoke and the resurrection of Palpatine.
For now though, it seems the Empire and its emissary, Moff Gideon, have more immediate plans for these experiments. At the end of episode 4, we see Gideon as he inspects a room filled with strange new infantry units. They’re definitely not your standard issue white-armored grunts. Instead, these troopers are huge and wear black armor — much like the Imperial death troopers Gideon employs in season 1. They are also connected to what looks like an external breathing apparatus, and in general seem pretty reminiscent of Darth Vader himself. It’s also possible that these are simply suits of armor that Gideon plans to give to anyone that makes it through Pershing’s tests in one piece, or maybe even droids.
While they don’t give us a full explanation in the episode, it certainly seems like Moff Gideon might be building himself a Force-sensitive stormtrooper squadron. These new adversaries, combined with Ahsoka Tano likely showing up next episode, means that The Mandalorian may include a whole lot more of the Force in the very near future.