The finale to “The Mandalorian” Season 3 aired on Disney, and it showed our heroes, Mando and his green alien child Grogu, and Bo-Katan Kryze, coming out victorious at the end of the episode. The big bad for the last three seasons, Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), was shown to have died when a massive fleet crashed into his base as the fires consumed him. However, this isn’t the first time Gideon has cheated death, so the question remains: is he actually dead? Here we explore the possibilities regarding this burning question, but before any of you come at us, we’re simply discussing theories about Gideon’s return.
Of course, the show is called “The Mandalorian,” so it’d be rather anti-climactic to have the protagonist Din Djarin die at the end of the season or be replaced by another protagonist, like Bo-Katan Kryze, for example. Hence, as much as it’s expected that Din Djarin and Bo-Katan would survive the crash of the massive ship thanks to Grogu’s Force, we’ve got to take a few closer looks at the final moments of the showdown. We’re made to believe that Moff Gideon, the full Beskar armor wearing Sith Lord wannabe, burns to a crisp in the fire of the ship while his opponents survive thanks to the child’s powers. However, this won’t be the first time that Moff Gideon has gone down, or the second, for that matter. In Season 1, Mando managed to shoot rockets at Gideon’s ship to make it crash, but he escaped from the wreckage using the Darksaber. In Season 2, after being firmly defeated by the Darksaber-wielding Din Djarin, Gideon was taken away by Cara Dune to be tried for his crimes. Rumors had surfaced that he had his mind flayed while others said he’d escaped, which was later confirmed by Carson Teva that the transport ship was broken into with a piece of Beskar armor being detected.
Gideon returned, yet again, and this time even stronger than his previous self, wearing Beskar armor and wielding an electric staff used by Praetorian guards. He had an army of Stormtroopers equipped with the same armor, and his arsenal had been restocked with TIE fighters, which could destroy the troop carriers of the Mandalorians in the simplest dogfights. Hence, Gideon was a force to be reckoned with, thanks to these new tools he’d added to his arsenal, but what made him truly terrifying was the other army he was preparing. In Episode 7 of “The Mandalorian” Season 3, there was a theory that Gideon was trying to clone Snoke or Palpatine with the hopes of resurrecting the Empire and re-establishing the Order. However, the finale revealed Gideon was much more self-serving, and he had plans for himself. He was planning to create clones of himself that would have the power of The Force, thanks to the blood he’d extracted from Grogu when he was captured in “The Mandalorian” Season 2. This blood allowed Gideon to create several clones of himself but with Force manipulation powers; therefore, his plans to create an army were not of a legion of Stormtroopers wearing Beskar but of a population entirely made of Gideon’s clones who’d be able to use The Force, thereby claiming all the power of the galaxy himself.
We witnessed Mando destroy the clones in the storage room as the containers exploded and short-circuit electrocuted the bodies, and Gideon himself angrily announced that Mando had “smothered” the clones. With Gideon defeated, there was a huge lull of peace in the galaxy as everyone believed the evil was exterminated. However, what if—and here lies the most important question—the Gideon that burned to a crisp was a clone as well? An advanced version of the clones that were destroyed, with a personality identical to that of Gideon’s, could’ve been fighting Mando, Grogu, and Bo-Katan wearing the armor without anyone knowing, and the one that died might not be the original evil leader of the remnant of the Fallen Galactic Empire. This would mean the real Moff Gideon is alive and planning his next move, probably to come back once he has replenished the troops he’s lost or by gathering some other power. Although Grand Admiral Thrawn is most likely to be the next big bad in the upcoming “The Mandalorian” seasons, there might be a possibility that Gideon will be back one more time with his real body to face off against Mando and his son.
However, there’s one more possibility that borrows a lot from the original Star Wars movies, where yet another antagonist was burned horribly but returned as a much stronger villain in the later movies. Yes, we do mean a Darth Vader-like return where Gideon, now surviving on a respirator and with most of his body changed to machines, comes back to exact revenge for being left to be charred in the fire as Grogu protected his dad and his friend. This theory says that it was the real Gideon who burned in the fire, but he somehow managed to escape before being toasted completely and is in severe need of help at the moment. In case Gideon returns, that might be borrowing a little too much from Vader, but it can be a possibility that his indomitable attitude makes him survive this fire because his passion for vengeance burns hotter than any fire. In any case, if Gideon does return in “The Mandalorian” Season 4, he better do something a little more substantial to come off as a real threat. So far, Gustavo Fring from a different universe (“Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”) seems a lot more menacing than an army general with an electric staff and super-strong armor who conveniently loses at the end of every season.