The Mandalorian is all about Mando, aka Din Djarin, a Mandalorian bounty hunter in the time not long after the Galactic Empire fell in Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi. And after Season 1, Mando’s big mission is to deliver The Child (aka Baby Yoda) to the Jedi, since he’s Force-sensitive.
But something creator Jon Favreau and co-executive producer Dave Filoni have done with the series is create a piece of Star Wars media that is entirely its own thing, away from the Skywalker saga. In doing so, it’s also taking in a lot of other aspects from Legends or canon that fit in perfectly while also making longtime fans lose their minds’ with all the unanswered questions it leaves in its wake. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 4].
Mando just found out that Moff Gideon is alive and is desperately in need of The Child
Mando headed back to Nevarro with The Child because his ship, the Razor Crest was barely flyable. Cara Dune and Greef Karga were there too, which was a big plus for Mando and Baby Yoda. Things were looking up in the town they chased Imperial Stormtroopers and leaders out of, but the Empire wasn’t completely off the planet just yet.
Cara and Greef Karga enlisted Mando’s help to blow up a forward operating base the Empire still had there. However, they came to find out it’s a fully operational military lab. Dr. Pershing left a message about needing more M-cells (from The Child) for the specimen in the tank there.
It was hinted at, but not outright stated, last season that The Child was a product of the Empire or Dr. Pershing’s program. He had a Kaminoan insignia on his uniform; the Kaminoans famously created the Clone army for the Clone Wars. It’s clear in this message that without The Child, they don’t have enough midi-chlorian or M-cells for the beings in the tank to carry out whatever experiment they’re doing.
This is the moment when Mando and the gang also found out that Moff Gideon is, in fact, alive. They thought he was dead this whole time after their fight in his TIE fighter in the Season 1 finale. Mando gets off Nevarro with Baby Yoda, but not before an alien puts a tracking device on his ship without him knowing.
Moff Gideon is presumably creating Dark troopers; this is their first appearance in wider canon
This is what leads to one of the bigger moments in the episode, and it’s oh-so-short too. Moff Gideon is on a massive Imperial ship. This is after the audience sees that the Imperials know Din Djarin’s tracking device is active. And Moff Gideon is in a wing of the ship full of blacked-out Stormtrooper uniforms.
At first glance, this seems odd and maybe aesthetically cool, but nothing more. But, there is of course more to it than just cool-looking Stormtroopers. There have been Shadow troopers before, but these are Dark troopers.
For those that are very aware of Star Wars video game lore, Dark troopers have been around since the ‘90s, but haven’t made it into the wider canon, especially not any of the films or series. As Entertainment Weekly reported, sometimes Dark troopers are Stormtroopers with weaponized suits, and other times they’re droids. It’s unclear which kind these are, but judging by the fact that they look pretty lifeless, they’re probably droids.
Whichever version of Dark troopers Favreau is bringing into canon, finally, it’s going to be epic. And it’s going to surely be a pain in Mando’s neck. Stormtroopers, he’s been able to handle relatively well. But automated transformer-like Dark troopers? Yeah, good luck.
‘The Mandalorian’ continues to bring huge aspects of ‘Star Wars’ to the small-screen
The Mandalorian had a lot to live up to when it first came out last November. It was the first live-action Star Wars series, ever, and also one of the first Disney+ series to hit the streaming platform when it dropped the same day. But since then it’s really gone above and beyond fans’ expectations. And a lot of it has to do with aspects like this.
Favreau, Filoni, and the entire writing and directing team for The Mandalorian dive into the original heart of Star Wars and dig into old aspects of Legends, old themes, and even newer characters like Snoke. They do that and subtly infuse them into this new story flawlessly which is nothing short of impressive.
So even though there was a little bit of worry from fans that this season would be way too packed with pre-existing characters coming in like Boba Fett, Bo-Katan, and Ahsoka Tano, the creative team of The Mandalorian obviously knows what they’re doing. Plus, if they keep including surprises from non-canon material or just great Star Wars connections, like Dark troopers, The Mandalorian will continue to stay strong.