Whoa. So, the ending of the second episode — sorry “Chapter 2” — of The Mandalorian — just made something pretty clear that was totally a question before. Can a certain someone use the Force or not? The specific answer to that question, not only has implications for The Mandalorian, but also, for the entire sequel trilogy, including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Here’s how the latest twist on The Mandalorian might explain all sorts of Force-balancing questions in the sequel trilogy and beyond.
Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian: Chapter 2. Speculation ahead for The Rise of Skywalker.
As of now, we know that the Yoda baby can 100 percent use the Force. This means that not only is it the same species as Yoda, but also, that it has a high enough midi-chlorian count that it can do things a Jedi could do, even though it’s a 50-year-old-toddler. And because this thing is 50-years-old, it was basically born the same year as Anakin Skywalker.
It feels like the Yoda baby (or “The Asset”) is the anti-Anakin, a creature, possibly, created by the Force itself to balance out the extreme power of Anakin. If you like Harry Potter, this might make this Yoda baby sort of like Neville Longbottom; a back-up Chosen One, just in case shit with Anakin didn’t work out.
But, even if that theory isn’t true, a new Force-wielder in the post-Darth Vader, pre-Kylo Ren era is still really, really interesting. So here are three ways the existence of this Force-wielder could shake-out affect the plot of The Rise of Skywalker.
3. This might not be a big deal because there have been a ton of Force-users running around parallel to Luke and Leia for awhile
After Darth Vader died in Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker was supposedly the only Jedi left in the galaxy. Well…actually, no. Star Wars Rebels (produced by Mandalorian writer and producer Dave Filoni) clearly established in its series finale that there were no less than three potential Jedi out in the galaxy who weren’t Luke Skywalker: Ezra Bridger (lost somewhere in hyperspace), Ahsoka Tano (living in secret, and not technically a Jedi, but still rocking lightsabers) and, Jason Syndulla the son of Hera Syndulla and Jedi Knight Kanan Jaruss.
Throw the Yoda baby and Princess Leia in there and you’ve got six living Jedi-ish folks running around the galaxy after Anakin supposedly restores balance to the Force by “killing” the Emperor. So, maybe the balance of the Force isn’t affected by the Yoda baby at all. In a deleted scene in The Force Awakens, Maz Kanata was going to use the Force, but, by her own admission, she was not a Jedi, either. So, whatever!
The point is: The existence of someone who can use the Force might not mean anything relative to the whole “bringing balance” prophecy.
2. The Yoda-baby is probably still alive during the sequel trilogy
When Ahsoka Tano was introduced in The Clone Wars, every single Star Wars fan said the same thing: The only way The Clone Wars can end is with the death of Ahsoka.
This theory was simple: Because Anakin eventually helped kill all the Jedi (except for Obi-Wan and Yoda) Ahsoka couldn’t canonically survive, right?
Well, both The Clone Wars and then Rebels ended-up splitting the difference on this. Ahsoka didn’t die, but she was kicked out of the Jedi Order, which “protected” her from getting killed by Order 66. After all, the Emperor’s order was to kill all the Jedi not, “Kill everyone, who, you know, has a midi-chlorian count in the high eighties!”
Bizarrely, Ahsoka was almost killed off later on Star Wars Rebels, by Darth Vader. But, this was undone by time travel, which, seriously, don’t worry about. Dave Filoni figured out the perfect way to keep Ahsoka safe from Order 66, and then, years later, had her fight Vader anyway. Sigh.
Anyway, Dave Filoni, master of the Ahsoka side-step, is one of the major players shaping the story of The Mandalorian. In fact, he even created competition for Luke Skywalker within the Rebellion era with the existence of Ezra Bridger, who, like Ahsoka, wasn’t killed-off, but instead, exiled.
What does all of this have to do with the Yoda baby and The Mandalorian? If you think the Yoda baby has to die — or eventually, be killed by Kylo Ren — to make the scarcity of Force users match-up with the status quo of The Force Awakens, think again. Dave Filoni has explained away this kind of thing before, and he’ll do it again with the Yoda baby. Which means, yes, by the time of The Rise of Skywalker, the Yoda baby will probably be alive and be pushing like 80 or 90. So, it’s almost like you can count on them being in the movie. Maybe just a cameo, but very, possibly there.
1. The Mandalorian himself is probably not done running into people who can use the Force
Because the Empire is after this little creature, there’s a chance we’ll see other Force-wielding folks throughout the rest of the show. One reason? It seems almost 100 percent confirmed that the guy with glasses, who works for Warner Herzog’s Imperial character, has ties to the world of cloning. Eagle-eyed fans have noticed that an emblem on this character’s arm matches the same emblem of Jango Fett clones on Kamino. (Side note: Remember how those guys were described as “damn good” cloners? Like, are there bad cloners? Subpar cloners?)
Anyway, in Chapter 1, this character really wants the Yoda baby alive, which we can assume has something to do with cloning. This sort of breaks out into two theories. First, he wants to clone the Yoda baby outright. Second, he has already cloned someone else and he wants the Yoda baby for the midi-chlorians. If the second option is what is really going on, then it stands to reason, a certain someone who has come back to life in The Rise of Skywalker, could be getting an infusion of midi-chlorians from a Yoda baby in The Mandalorian.
Will The Mandalorian actually do this? Will it make a connection to Palpatine through complicated cloning tech? Maybe, maybe not. But, now that the Force has been busted-out, it seems impossible that The Mandalorian is putting that Jedi back in the bottle.
The Mandalorian is streaming now on Disney+
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out in theaters on December 20, 2019.