The Mandalorian continues to bring new, exciting episodes that continue this unique Star Wars series, while connecting to the broader galaxy of content and stories. It doesn’t do it in a way that hits viewers in the face with its obviousness. But instead, it delivers it nicely in front of fans until there’s a moment where it just explodes with a discovery like the one in “The Siege.” And this time it ties directly to Snoke, Palpatine, and the ending of the Skywalker Saga. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 4, “The Siege”].
‘The Mandalorian’ Episode 4 brought back the Strand-Cast and cloning stuff, big time
Mando and The Child made it back to Nevarro in this episode after the Razor Crest was on its last legs following the attack in Episode 2. Din Djarin decided to head back because old friends like Cara Dune and Greef Karga were there, but also because he knew he’d be able to get the ship properly fixed. He finally has his biggest key to the Jedi that he’s had yet, with Bo-Katan’s information on Ahsoka Tano from last week’s episode. So, he’s ready to get to Corvus.
In the meantime. Cara and Greef Karga enlist Mando on a mission to blow up an Imperial base still left on Nevarro. They drove the Empire out of the town at the end of last season, and thought they killed Moff Gideon. However, there’s still a functional base. They want to get rid of it, once and for all, and believe it to be just a forward operating base.
But, when they get there, it’s actually an active military base, one with a lab that is still conducting experiments. And there are tanks full of large specimens that should look familiar to fans of Star Wars.
The specimens in the tanks were very Snoke-like
To put it plainly: the specimens in the tanks were Snoke. Or they looked like Snoke. They have similar head structures with the dent and everything. But, listening to what Dr. Pershing said, they’re failing. The M-cells, as he called them, aren’t replicating the way they should, and he needs a live subject to take more of those cells from in order to place them in beings in the tank.
Now, no one is an intergalactic Star Wars scientist (probably), so there’s a lot of jargon we can’t understand. However, M-cells most likely refer to midi-chlorians. And the live host he needs would be The Child, which is why Mando was hired to get him in the first place all the way back in Episode 1 of Season 1. Dr. Pershing’s Kaminoan insignia in Season 1 already tipped fans off to the fact that Baby Yoda is a clone of some sort, and that’s also not lost on Din.
He and Kuiil had a conversation about Strand-Casting last season, although Kuiil had more experience with genetic farming and didn’t think The Child was a product of the Kaminoans.
Regardless, the M-cells that The Child could give to the experiment would presumably give these specimens the Force sensitivity they need to carry on Palpatine’s bidding. Snoke did go on to mentor and teach Kylo Ren and others, right? Plus, The Child is very Force-sensitive. And Palpatine’s clone in The Rise of Skywalker has the Sith Lord’s Force powers as well, down to his Force lightning and everything.
Palpatine, at this point in time, is already in a clone somewhere
Now, this still brings fans down a road of major questions left unanswered. For one, where did the Empire get the original DNA or M-cells for Baby Yoda? Are they from Yoda, and if so, how? We know Yaddle existed, so did they get these cells from someone other than Yoda?
Thanks to the extended novel for The Rise of Skywalker, fans know that Palpatine had contingency plans galore in case he died, so odds are he was donating his own M-cells to this project for years before Anakin threw him down the shaft in the Death Star in Return of the Jedi. However, that doesn’t explain why The Child looks like Yoda; so again, fans are waiting for that tidbit of information to come in at some point.
Going back to Palpatine, at this point in the timeline, he’s already in a clone’s body post- Death Star 2 exploding and the Empire “falling.” But is he the one pulling the strings? Is he the one telling Moff Gideon to build an army of Dark Troopers? Again, Palpatine had these plans settled beforehand, but still, the thoughts are there.
There are so many years between now and The Force Awakens (and, of course, The Rise of Skywalker) that this is truly just the start of Snoke’s production, probably. It also means that anything could happen to The Child in that time, since he never came into play in the sequel trilogy. The Mandalorian truly isn’t disappointing fans, and is doing such an excellent job of bringing in aspects of the original trilogy, prequels, animated series, and sequels so coherently that you can’t even tell it’s happening.