Warning: Contains SPOILERS forThe MandalorianSeason 2, Episode 4, “Chapter 12: The Siege”.
The Mandalorian is back with the fourth episode of Season 2, The Siege, and as always, it has raised a lot of questions. With four episodes, the hit Disney + series has reached the midpoint of its second season, and it appears to be heading for major heights between the other Mandalorians, the New Republic, and the rest of the Imperialists. It remains to be seen whether these tensions manifest in Season 2 or persist through to the next, but the scale of the shows’ story is certainly expanding.
The siege sees Din Djarin and the child return to the planet from Nevarro Season 1 to repair the Razor Crest in preparation for their journey to find Ahsoka Tano. There, they find local Magistrate Greef Karga and former Rebel Shock Soldier-turned-Marshal Cara Dune, who enlist Mando to help them destroy a nearby Imperial outpost. With the base demolished, Nevarro would finally be completely free, so the three left with unnamed Season 1 Mythrol (now under contract with Karga) to do the deed. After facing off against a squad of Imperial troops, the team manages to destroy the base and escape, but not before making some intriguing discoveries. In the last shot, Moff Gideon admires what appears to be battle room armor aboard his Imperial cruiser.
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From start to finish, The Siege is a thrilling and nostalgic adventure. The assault on the Imperial outpost and the escape that followed is reminiscent of scenes from the Death Star of A new hope, and the revelations uncovered in the base could link The Mandalorian to the sequel trilogy. Much is still unresolved, although many questions remain unanswered, let’s talk about it.
Does Din Djarin relax the rule of his helmet?
The opening scene of The Siege shows Din and Baby Yoda trying to perform in-flight repairs on the Razor crest in vain. They take a break to reassess and sip a delicious space soup, and though Din doesn’t fully remove his helmet, he tilts it back enough to eat in the child’s sight. Does this mean that his attachment to the path is loosening?
One explanation is that Din has become so used to the child that he feels comfortable being lax in the code around him. Since he’s essentially a toddler and part of the family, it makes sense for Mando to be less strict about his helmet when it’s just two. After all, he has to eat at some point, right?
On the other hand, the soup scene could be a sign of a broader easing of Dins’ adherence to the code. After meeting the Bo-Katans clan in The Heiress and recognizing them as true Mandalorians despite their willingness to show their faces, Dins’ opinion might shift. Its unlikely hell to be walking around without a helmet in public anytime soon, or maybe not at all, but it’s certainly something to watch out for as the series progresses.
Why was the Empire using blood from Baby Yodas?
The biggest reveal of The Siege also raised the biggest questions. Inside Nevarro’s Imperial Outpost, Din and his crew discovered a laboratory with what appeared to be dead life forms suspended in tanks. A recorded message from Season 1, Dr Pershing, revealed that the rest were using Baby Yodas’ blood, needed due to its high midi chloride count for some sort of biological experiment. According to the post however, it appeared to be a failure.
The apparent suggestion is that the experiment was part of a plan to help restore Sith Lord Sidious, or create the artificial dark side being Snoke. Of these two probably related theories, the latter seems more plausible for several reasons. There are weak musical signals in the lab scene reminiscent of Snokes’ own score in the sequel movies, and the creature shown in the tank also physically resembles Snoke (asymmetrical bulbous head, etc.). Additionally, given that Palpatine had laid the groundwork for his resurrection long before his death, it seems unlikely that his return would depend on Gideons’ experiences with the child.
However, there is another possibility completely separate from the follow-up trilogy that Gideon is trying to create Force-sensitive soldiers. It is not known if Gideon and his remnant are related to Sidious’s resurrection in the Unknown Regions. It seems likely, but his group could be an independent faction only loyal to him. If so, Gideons’ plans for the child may have nothing to do with Palaptine. Instead, they could be tied to the last shot of the episode.
What is Moff Gideons’ Super Soldier Plan?
In the final shot of The Siege, Moff Gideon is shown aboard his Imperial Cruiser, admiring what appears to be black battle armor. The camera doesn’t reveal much, but it seems safe to assume that the technology in question is part of a military plan. Combined with the revelation of the Baby Yoda experiences, could this be proof of an Imperial Super Soldier program?
Even without the idea of Force-sensitive soldiers, the armor could still be part of an elite military program. The Imperial Dark Troopers, the mainstay of the old Expanded Universe, have yet to make an appearance in the new canon in any way, and The Mandalorian could be the perfect context to bring them back. However, Midi-Chlorian experiences and Gideons’ clear obsession with Darth Vader might suggest something even more sinister.
Without clarification on the experiences of the Empires, this is all speculation, but it is here that Moff Gideon could try to become artificially Force-sensitive and lead an army of equally powerful commandos. Everything about his aesthetics, from the cape and body armor to the lightsaber (black saber) is reminiscent of Vader, who was a terrifying legend to anyone who served under him. Given that Palpatines is aware of such things, it seems impossible that Gideon is already Force sensitive. But an experiment to soak up the power that Vader held? It seems like something a crazed warlord could pursue at any cost.
What role will Ahsoka Tano play in the story?
Now that the Razor crest has been fixed, Din and Baby Yoda will go in search of Ahsoka Tano. If the leaks that the next episode will be called The Jedi and directed by Dave Filoni are true, the fan-favorite character can be put into action in a matter of days. But once Ahsoka shows up, what will she do?
Previous questions were about her relationship with Baby Yoda. Would she train him? Would Din trust her enough to leave her? Would he stay during training? Would she tell them to get lost? Much depends on the unknowns of what exactly Ahsokas has been doing since the end of Star Wars: Rebels, and why she didn’t come back to help continue the fight against the Empire. But now the Gideons Force experiments could introduce another layer.
If the Imperial remnant need blood samples with a high number of midi-chlorians for their mysterious science, Ahsoka could be in grave danger and with a tracking device now planted on the Razor crest, Din could lead Gideon directly to her. Of course, Ahsoka isn’t exactly child’s play after taking on Vader, Maul, and other incredibly powerful opponents. Shell will certainly be able to defend against what’s left of the Empire, but it remains to be seen how much of a role the role plays in the fight.
Will Cara Dune join the New Republic?
The siege brought back New Republic pilot Paul Sun-Hyung Lees Carson Teva in a cameo. Captain Teva comes to Nevarro after Dins leaves to inquire about the destruction of the Imperial bases. There, he makes an offer to Cara Dune to return to the Republic forces and join the fight against the Imperial remnant. She refuses at the moment, but he leaves with her an Alliance medal (seal? Badge?) Which could prove important later.
As one of the main recurring characters in the series, Cara will definitely be seen again. As Gideon grows stronger and more daring in his plans, she could play a bigger role in the battle against him. It seems unlikely that The Mandalorian will bring in all of the major Alliance players from the original trilogy given the difficulties of the redesign, but the Caras arc could show fans a bit more of the beginnings of the New Republic.
Will Baby Yoda grow up?
The siege was a big episode for Baby Yoda. He attempted mid-flight mechanical repairs, drank soup, enrolled in a galactic geography class, stole other children’s buttons with the Force. All in all, a hectic day for any extraterrestrial 50s with human baby tendencies.
Seriously, The Siege raises questions about the potential of Baby Yodas in the immediate future in terms of both Force and basic sentient behavior. He seems to understand Dins’ instructions decently (if not perfectly) at the start of the episode, and his Force powers don’t seem to drain him that much (although to be fair, cookie theft is a relatively low-energy task). Will the child experience any significant changes in speech, intelligence, physical abilities, or Force powers as the show continues? Well everyone must keep on watching The Mandalorian discover.
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