“Chapter 12: The Siege” has a little something for everyone: Baby Yoda eating a blue space macaroon; Mando outmaneuvering TIE-Fighters; a lava explosion; a hungry red-eyed ferret; the return of Gina Carano’s Cara Dune (far-right Parler fanatics are thrilled), Carl Weathers’ Greef Karga (he also directed the episode), and Horatio Sanz’s Mythrol; Baby Yoda puking up the blue space macaroon; and the third appearance of Moff Gideon, the menacing possessor of the Darksaber played by Giancarlo Esposito. The Better Call Saul star has described his character as “a warden of the universe… You don’t know if he’s good or bad.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Moff Gideon is more “extremely evil” than “good,” based on what we see at the end of the episode.
Following Mando, Cara, Greef, and Mythrol’s trip to an Imperial base, where they discover floating bodies that resemble Snoke in The Rise of Skywalker (there’s a whole fan theory about this, because of course there is) and a hologram from Dr. Pershing about the Child’s blood having a large “M-count” (Midichlorians), our hero and Baby Yoda leave for Corvus to find Ahsoka Tano in the repaired Razor Crest. But Greef’s mechanic is working for Moff Gideon. “The device has been planted, as you requested,” the alien tells an officer (a female officer, a rarity in Star Wars), who replies, “You’ll be well rewarded in the new era.” Could the “new era” be a reference to the First Order?
And another question: to paraphrase Tom Waits, what’s he building in there?
Those aren’t Cylons.
Because to me, those look like Dark Troopers or Shadow Troopers. It’s tough to know for sure (I’m willing to bet all my Beskar that they’re Dark Troopers, though), but it’s bad news for the galaxy either way. Dark Troopers, “advanced battle droids and infantry exoskeletons that featured heavy plating that resembled the armor of a Stormtrooper, powerful weapons, and jump packs for increased flexibility and tactical advantage,” were introduced in the 1995 video game, Star Wars: Dark Forces. One Dark Trooper could go head-to-head against Mando, let alone an entire fleet of them. Shadow Troopers are equally difficult to blast, as they wear “distinguishing black suits of experimental armor coupled with portable cloaking devices, rendering them almost completely invisible and highly suited for stealth missions.” Neither trooper is hitting their head on any doors.
Thinking ahead, there could be a possible connection between the floating bodies and the Troopers. Is Moff Gideon creating an army of Force-controlled, nearly-indestructible soldiers? It’s not as wild as it sounds (this is an episode where a little frog used an “energy field created by all living things” to steal a cookie from a child; nothing is too wild in Star Wars). But only Kyle Katarn (and hopefully Jon Favreau) knows for sure.