The Mandalorian: Why Does Moff Gideon Want Baby Yoda?
ICYMI, This Is What Moff Gideon Really Wants From Baby Yoda on "The Mandalorian"
Watch out! This post contains spoilers.
Near the end of "The Mandalorian" season two, Baby Yoda (aka Grogu) is captured by the dastardly Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) after evading him for a long time. Din Djarin, aka the titular Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and his compatriots end up defeating Gideon and taking him into custody, but we know that he's going to return in "The Mandalorian" season three and still wants to get his hands on the little guy. So what exactly does Moff Gideon want with Grogu? The answer seems to come down to one of Star Wars's most controversial pieces of canon: midi-chlorians.
Gideon has never shared his intentions outright, but there have been clues throughout the season. During the sixth episode of the second season, "Chapter 14," Gideon exhausts and taunts Grogu. Once he puts the little guy to sleep, he has one of his officers contact Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi). Pershing is the doctor at the beginning of the series who was trying to keep Grogu alive while the Client (Werner Herzog) ordered experiments on him. Gideon refers to Grogu as the "donor."
However, we find out what Pershing and Gideon are really up to in "Chapter 12." Din finds a recording that Pershing sent to Moff Gideon about his experiments. Mando thinks Gideon is dead and assumes the recording is an old one, but Cara Dune (Gina Carano) tells him the message is from three days earlier. In the recording, Pershing says that he's had "catastrophic failure" in his trials, adding, "There were promising effects for an entire fortnight, but then, sadly, the body rejected the blood." He adds, "I highly doubt we'll find a donor with a higher M-count, though." The Child was too small for him to take more blood out of when he had him in his custody, so he needs to get more.
"M-count" almost definitely means midi-chlorians, which are a combination of science and magic that animates the Star Wars universe. Midi-chlorians are living, intelligent, microscopic organisms that exist in every living being, but a high midi-chlorian count leads to Force sensitivity. Having a high count lets a person access the Force, which then could let them become a Jedi or a Sith with proper training. The concept of midi-chlorians was first introduced in the first Star Wars prequel movie, "The Phantom Menace."
So it seems the baddies of "The Mandalorian" are out to extract midi-chlorians from Grogu and transfer them — and the powers of the Force that they bring — to someone else. Right now, they're trying to do that through blood transfusions, but they've had no luck so far.
In the alternate "Legends" canon (consisting of materials spun off from the original trilogy but rendered noncanon after Disney's acquisition of the franchise), there's a technology that allows for infusions from someone with a high midi-chlorian count to heal someone who's on the brink of death. While that hasn't been touched on yet in the main, current canon, it's certainly possible that this is at least part of the reason Gideon is after Grogu: to get a "transfusion" that will save his life or the life of some other Imperial figure.
However, the alternate explanation is an even scarier — and probably more likely — one: Gideon is trying to artificially turn himself into a Jedi, or, more accurately, a Sith lord. He already acquires a lightsaber by the time viewers meet him, carrying around the legendary Mandalorian Darksaber despite being neither a Jedi nor a Mandalorian. Din wins the saber from him in the season two finale, but Gideon surely still has his eyes on it.
Lightsabers aren't exactly a common weapon, and they're known as a weapon used almost exclusively by Force users, so it's definitely odd that a "normal" guy, even a powerful Imperial officer, would wield one without a good reason. Pair that with his obsession with capturing Grogu as a midi-chlorian "donor," and it's very possible that he's hoping to transfer Baby Yoda's Force abilities to himself and become a full-fledged Sith to restore the Dark Side and the Empire in the aftermath of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine's deaths. We don't know his exact plans, but surely they're coming in season three — and a reunited Din and Grogu will have to stop him.
"The Mandalorian" season three premieres on March 3.